Kabul bomb explosion inside a mosque killed two people, including the imam, and wounding two others an official of Afghanistan government said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (Daesh) has been active in Kabul in recent weeks and has in the past carried out attacks inside mosques in Afghanistan.
Taliban insurgents insist they have never carried out an attack inside of a mosque.
Mullah Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was one of the two people killed in June 2 attack, Arian said. He was seriously wounded in the explosion and died later at a hospital.
Niazi was a well known cleric who was active as Friday prayer leader at the mosque. Next to his religious convictions he carried out duties as Kabul University professor in the Islamic Law department.
Tariq Arian, spokesman for Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry, said the bomb targeted the Wazir Akber Khan Mosque at around 7:25 p.m., when worshippers had gathered for evening prayers. The mosque is located in a high-security diplomatic area near the offices of several international organizations and embassies.
Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, tweeted that the government strongly condemned the attack, saying it “reveals the brutality and inhumanity of those who purposefully perpetrate violence against our Ulema and innocent people.”
Attacks against worshippers have increased in Afghanistan: Last month, an unknown number of attackers stormed a mosque in northern Parwan province, killing 11 and wounding several others.
The Minister of foreign affairs discussed the latest developments in Iraq. The diplomats have been assessing the consequences of the recent escalation of tension and major security incidents in Iraq and its impact on the entire the region. They also considered the impact of these developments on the international coalition engaged in the fight against Da’esh.
Ministers have exchanged views on possible ways to de-escalate tensions both in the short and long term.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, invited to the Council has assessed the discussion with Foreign Ministers as important.
He expressed the opinion of a profound need to continue to support Iraq, fighting international terrorism, and stay united in face of the threat.
NATO Ambassadors met on 6 January 2019 in Brussels headquaters to address current tensions in the Middle East and implications for NATO’s training mission in Iraq.
“…Allies expressed their strong support for the fight against ISIS and for the NATO mission in Iraq. In everything that we do, the safety of our personnel is paramount. As such, we have temporarily suspended our training on the ground,” – Jens Stolenberg said.
“Allies called for restraint and de-escalation. A new conflict would be in no one’s interest. So Iran must refrain from further violence and provocation” he added.
Speaking after the meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the safety of NATO’s personnel in Iraq is paramount and that the Alliance had temporarily suspended training activities on the ground. He added that NATO was prepared to continue training and capacity-building when the situation permits, emphasizing that the Alliance remains strongly committed to the fight against international terrorism, namely Daech in Middle East.
Between 21-24 November, law enforcement and judicial authorities in Europe launched a joint action against the so-called Islamic State (IS) to disrupt the online activities of this terrorist organisation.
The referral action coordinated by the European Union Internet Referral Unit of Europol, supported by Eurojust was joined by 12 Member States and 9 online service providers. It led to the referral of a total of over 26 000 items of IS-supporting content. This process is based on the referral by Europol of branded terrorist propaganda to online service providers who are responsible for evaluating it to establish any potential breach of their terms of service, to ensure that the rule of law is implemented and freedom of speech is safeguarded.
The operation was led by the Belgian Investigating Counter Terrorism Judge and the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office, together with the Belgian Federal Judicial Police of East-Flanders.
Within this operation the Guardia Civil carried out an arrest in Spain of an individual suspected of being part of the core disseminators of IS terrorist propaganda online. This arrest was carried out in coordination with the Central Magistrate’s Investigating Courts number 3 and 5, and the Prosecutor’s Office of the Audiencia Nacional.
The Netherlands is not obliged to help actively in repatriation of the young children and their mothers who left the country to join ranks of the Islamic State in Syria, an appeals court in The Hague said on November 22, overturning an earlier ruling.
Earlier this month the preceding court instance said the government must actively help to repatriate 56 children living in squalid conditions in camps in Syria.
All the children concerned have Dutch nationality and are under 12 years old. Most are younger than six.
The government appealed this ruling, citing national security and the risks it said Dutch officials would be exposed by entering the camps to find these women and children.
It said the ruling would negatively impact Dutch foreign policy and international cooperation. The mothers and children concerned are living in poor conditions which could rapidly deteriorate as winter arrives in the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, their lawyer Andre Seebregts told the court, defending the need of repatriation.
In total, around 68,000 defeated fighters of the Caliphate and their families are being held in the camp, according to the Red Cross. They are under the custody of Syrian Kurdish forces after they took the jihadist group’s last enclave.
Government figures revealed that, as of October, some 55 Islamic State militants still based in northern Syria had traveled there from the Netherlands. There were also at least 90 children with Dutch parents or parents who had lived for a considerable time in the Netherlands as residents.
Iraqi courts will prosecute 13 French citizens captured while conducting jihad for the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, President Barham Saleh confirmed.
The jihad fighters, who were turned over to Iraq after being seized by Kurdish forces in Syria, “will be judged according to Iraqi law,” Saleh told at Paris news conference after talks with President Emmanuel Macron.
“Those who have engaged in crimes against Iraq and Iraqi installations and personnel, we are definitely seeking them and seeking their trial in Iraqi courts,” he continued.
An Iraqi government source informed that 14 French citizens engaged in jihad had been brought to Iraq by the US-backed forces trying to remove them from their last bastion in Syria.
The leader of Republic of Chechnya (Russian Federation), Ramzan Kadyrov puts the blame for radicalisation of Paris terrorist Khamzat Azimov (1997-2018) on French society.
“I think it necessary to say that the entire responsibility for Khamzat Azimov stepping on a path to crime rests with the French authorities. Chechnya is only is birth place but he grew up in French society, where his personality, his views and principles, were formed,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel.
However Kadyrov acknowledged that the terrorist had Russian citizenship in the past, formally receiving passport according to existing procedures at the age of 14, “but his passport became invalid as he skipped issuance of a new one at an age of 20,” he explained, adding that latest reports gave him grounds to think that Azimov had had contacts with French law enforcement and special services, and they were well aware of his radical views.
Kadyrov also extended his condolences to the family of a slain man, stabbed to death by Azimov in a lively touristic area next to Paris Opéra Garnier. The killing was qualified as a “terrorist act” by French authorities.
Khamzat Azimov came to France as an asylum-seeker from Chechnya with his parents in early 2010, and lived in Nice and Strasbourg, he was naturalised the same year at age of 13, and later received a scholarship in Strasbourg University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Azimov came to police radar on 2016, and was monitored by special services as S-listed after his attempts to go to the Middle East to join Islamic State.
Daesh related news source #Amaq has posted an online video depicting Khamzat Azimov masked, giving an oath to #IS commander Baghdadi in a move to proof he was their soldier (mujaheddin) and his act was premeditated.
The ex-Soviet Republics are threatened by militants from Central Asia and the Middle East as a springboard for expansion, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, according to RIA news agency.
The vision of the Central Asian countries may become the next goal of the Islamic State Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned, speaking at a “government hour” symposium at the Federation Council.
“As for Afghanistan….We are worried that the IS militants are building up their presence on the borders with our neighbors and allies: the Central Asian countries. First of all, in Afghanistan they are striving for the north,” the minister underlined.
“It gives the idea that the Central Asia is their next goal.”
“Within the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), involving not just foreign ministries, but law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and defense ministries as well, we are developing corresponding plans to fight against this terror threat,” Lavrov said.
A reporter working with RT Arabic, Khaled Alkhateb (25), has been killed in shelling from Islamic State (IS) in the eastern suburb of Homs, Syria.
Alkhateb was covering the Syrian Army’s operations against IS terrorists.
The slain reporter and a Syrian Army official, who has not been identified yet were hit by a rocket in an attack by the Islamic State militants near a village called Bghailiyah, in Homs province, according to the head of RT Arabic’s office in Damascus, Abdelhameed Tawfiq.
Khaled Alkhateb was just 25 years old and had recently joined Russia Today television chain to cover Syrian conflict.
Islamic State militants vowed to “fight to the death” in Mosul as Iraqi military commanders said they would take full control of the city from the insurgents at any moment during the weekend.
Dozens of Iraqi soldiers celebrated amid the rubble on the banks of the Tigris river without waiting for a formal victory declaration, some dancing to music blaring out from a truck and firing machine guns into the air.