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Bombing of Shia shrine calls Syria peace talks into question‏

North America

Middle East

Bombing of Shia shrine calls Syria peace talks into question

Isil suicide bombers on Sunday killed 60 people near a Shia shrine in southern Damascus, underlining how current peace talks even if successful will not solve the conflict in Syria on their own.
Two attackers blew themselves up near the Sayidda Zeinab shrine on the southern edge of the city, which has been heavily contested in fighting including by Iranian-backed Shia militias.The shrine contains the tomb of the grand-daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, who is particularly revered by Shia. At least 25 foreign militia members were said to be among the dead, along with 29 civilians including children.
“Two soldiers of the caliphate carried out martyrdom operations in a den of the infidels in the Sayyida Zeinab area, killing nearly 50 and injuring around 120,” Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) said in a statement.

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Saudi executes 47 people, including Sheikh Nimr
Press TV
Saudi Arabia has executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr along 46 other people in defiance of international calls for the release of the prominent Shia cleric and other jailed political dissidents in the kingdom.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and state television reported the executions Saturday, citing the kingdom’s Interior Ministry.
According to the Saudi ministry, those executed had been found guilty of being in “terrorism” and adopting a “Takfiri” ideology. All on the list of those killed are Saudi national s except an Egyptian and a Chadian.
The Saudi Interior Ministry did not elaborate on the method to execute the convicts, but said they were executed Saturday in 12 cities across the country.

Shiite protesters took to the streets after Saudis’ execution of prominent cleric
The Globe and Mail
The Saudi decision to halt diplomatic relations came after their mass execution Saturday of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others – the largest carried out by Saudi Arabia in three and a half decades – laid bare the sectarian divisions gripping the region. Shiite protesters took to the streets from Bahrain to Pakistan while Arab allies of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia quickly lined up behind the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Iran after embassy torched in Tehran
Asia Times
Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran on Sunday, responding to the storming of its embassy in Tehran in an escalating row between the rival Middle East powers over Riyadh’s execution of a Shi’ite Muslim cleric.[Flames and smoke rise from Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran after the attack by Iranian protesters Sunday]Flames and smoke rise from Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran after the attack by Iranian protesters Sunday
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh that the envoy of Shi’ite Iran had been asked to quit Saudi Arabia within 48 hours. The kingdom, he said, would not allow the Islamic republic to undermine its security.
Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran early on Sunday and Shi’ite Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, predicted “divine vengeance” for the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken opponent of the ruling Al Saudi family.

Muslim Woman & Jewish Man Booted from Trump Rally for Silent Protest Against Islamophobia
Democracy Now
A Muslim woman and a Jewish man were kicked out of a Donald Trump rally on Friday after silently protesting the Republican front-runner’s Islamophobic views. Rose Hamid, a flight attendant, and Marty Rosenbluth, an attorney, wore yellow badges with the word “Muslim”—an intentional reference to the yellow star badges Jews were forced to wear under the Nazis. Rose Hamid was also wearing a hijab and a T-shirt that read “Salam, I come in peace.” Friday’s incident comes a month after Trump called for banning Muslims from entering the United States following the attack in San Bernardino. Anti-Muslim incidents have increased around the country in the weeks since. Hamid and Rosenbluth join us to discuss their action.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia severs ties with Iran as Mideast protests rage
CNN
(CNN)First, one man’s execution spurred sectarian protests and violence in the Middle East. Now, it appears to have sparked a serious diplomatic rift.Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Sunday that his country is severing ties with Iran. Iranian diplomats in Saudi Arabia have 48 hours to leave the country, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters.
The two countries have long been at odds, but Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr Saturday kicked off a new round of sparring between them that analysts say could mark a dangerous shift in an already volatile region.

Aid group says Yemen hospital hit in Shiite rebel stronghold
Fox News
SANAA, Yemen –  The aid group Doctors Without Borders says a projectile from an unknown source has hit a hospital it supports in Yemen’s northern Saada province, killing four and injuring 10.
The group, known as MSF, says in a statement that the Sunday attack led to “the collapse of several buildings of the medical facility.”
Of those injured, three are MSF staff, and two are in critical condition, it said.
MSF operates in eight Yemeni provinces at a time when many foreign aid groups and even United Nations personnel have been evacuated.

South Asia

Pakistan says it will respond to any threat to Sa udi Arabia
KSL.com
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke a strong response from Islamabad, Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif said Sunday.
Sharif made the remarks in a statement after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman met with him in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to the capital.
Salman earlier arrived in Islamabad, making him the second top Saudi official to visit Pakistan in a week amid growing tension with Iran over Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr’s recent execution.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir visited Pakistan a couple of days ago.
The visits came after Saudi Arabia and several of its allies announced the severing or downgrading of diplomatic relations with Shiite powerhouse Iran. Protesters in Tehran stormed the Saudi embassy and a Saudi consulate elsewhere in the country after Saudi Arabia executed al-Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric and opposition leader earlier this month.
Europe

Slovakian Prime Minister warns country will stop Muslim refugees from entering
The Independent
Slovakia’s Prime Minister has warned that the country will fight against immigration from Muslim countries to prevent attacks such as the Paris shooting and Cologne sexual assaults, it has been reported.
Prime Minister Robert Fico made the comments while declaring that multi-culturalism is “a fiction.=2��
He told reporters that he would resist the European Commission’s plan for mandatory quotas to share 120,000 asylum seekers among the EU’s member states.
He said: “Not only are we refusing mandatory quotas, we will never make a voluntary decision that would lead to formation of a united Muslim community in Slovakia.
Africa
Nigeria Minister of Justice Ask for Release of ‘Sheikh Zakzaky’
ABNA
AhlulBayt News Agency – The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has asked the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs to formalize its request for the release of the leader of the  Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Zakzaky and some members of the group have been in detention after army’s brutal attack by ordering of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai on Islamic Movement members, in Zaria in December 2015.
Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Salihu Isah, said in a statement on Thursday, that Malami gave the advice on how to press for the detainees’ release during a visit to him on Tuesday by a delegation of NSCIA put together by its National President and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.

Shiite women march again for El-Zakzaky, wife in Kaduna
The News
Female members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria on Tuesday in Kaduna demanded for unconditional release of their revered leader , Sheikh Ibrahreem El-Zakzaky and wife .
The women’s  wing of the Shiite sect also called for immediate release of their husbands and children who  are in detention across the northern states .
The women ,who embarked on a peaceful protest to Kaduna Secretariat of  Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ carrying  poster portraits of Sheikh El-Zakzaky ,also insisted that corpses of Shiite members killed by the  army during the Zaria military operation should be released immediately for burial according to Islamic rites.
Addressing newsmen at NUJ Secretariat ,Secretary of Shiite Women’s Wing , Hajiya Aisha Hassan ,  called on federal government  to accept its crime by paying Diyya ,(Death Compensation) to all affected families and relations.

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