Over 100 Dead after Nigerian Military Bomb Refugee Center

over-100-dead-after-nigerian-military-bomb-refugee-centerPublished in: Rest of World

A military official confirmed an Air Force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly attacked the camp in northeast Rann, near the border with Cameroon.

The Borno state government official is helping to coordinate the evacuation and treatment of wounded - many of which are aid workers and humanitarians.

Military commander Major General Lucky Irabor confirmed that aid workers among the wounded and at least 100 people have been killed in the incident on Tuesday.

Two soldiers were also wounded, but a final toll of injured and dead has not yet been calculated.

Maj Gen Irabor said: "Somehow, some civilians were killed. We are yet to ascertain the number of persons killed in the air strike.

"Many civilians including personnel of International Committee of the Red Cross and Medicins Sans Frontieres were wounded."

The mission had been ordered based on geographic coordinates amid information that Boko Haram insurgents were gathering.

But Maj Gen Irabor claimed it was too early to say if a tactical error was made, but he would push for an investigation.

This is believed to be the first time Nigeria's military has admitted to making such a mistake, Express reported.

Extremist group Boko Haram stepped up attacks in the last few weeks as the end of the rainy season has enabled its fighters to move more easily in the bush.

US Scolds Bahrain for Execution of 3 Activists

us-scolds-bahrain-for-execution-of-3-activistsPublished in: Bahrain

The executions have ignited major demonstrations and rekindled tensions between the protesters and rulers of the Persian Gulf kingdom, which have concerned Washington since a crackdown on an uprising in 2011.

The kingdom is a strategic ally of the US and home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

Bahrain's High Court last week upheld the death sentences against the trio for their alleged role in a bomb attack in March 2014.

"We're concerned that these executions occurred at a time of elevated tension in Bahrain," US State Department spokesman John Kirby said. "Violent attacks against the police... are reprehensible, of course, and deserve condemnation."

"We've also seen allegations that the individuals facing execution were victims of torture, and that the evidence used against them in court was extracted, in part, through coerced confessions."

Bahrain, which has been ruled by the Al-Khalifa dynasty for more than two centuries, has given a heavy-handed security response to peaceful popular protests, which first began in early 2011.

"We continue to call on the Government of Bahrain to return urgently to the path of reconciliation, and to work collectively to address the aspirations of all Bahrainis," Kirby said, AFP reported.

2 More Palestinians Killed in Occupied Territories

2-more-palestinians-killed-in-occupied-territoriesPublished in: Palestine

Israeli soldiers raided the Palestinian village of Umm al-Hayran in the Negev desert early on Wednesday to demolish a number of Palestinian houses there, prompting fierce scuffles with local residents.

The regime claimed the houses were being built without Israeli-issued permits.

Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Two villagers were fatally shot, and four others sustained gunshot wounds.

Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset) that currently serves as the head of the Arab-dominated political alliance Joint List, was shot in the head and injured during the melee.

Odeh was taken to Suruka hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva to receive medical treatment.

Palestinian sources later identified one of the fatalities as Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qayaan. They said Qayaan was shot dead as he sought to prevent Israeli military forces from entering Umm al-Hayran.

The development came only a few hours after Israeli forces carried out an attack on the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Reports say the Israeli soldiers used tear gas and live bullets as clashes broke out between residents and the troops inside the camp.

Iran opposes United States participation in Syria peace talks in Astana: Zarif

iran-opposes-united-states-participation-in-syria-peace-talks-in-astana-zarifPublished in: Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed the Islamic Republic’s opposition to the participation of the United States in the forthcoming Syria peace talks in Kazakhstan, which aim to boost efforts to end the nearly six-year-old conflict in the Arab country.

The top Iranian diplomat made the remarks in answer to a question on Tuesday ahead of the planned peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana.

“We have not invited the US and oppose their presence [at the talks]," Zarif said.
The Astana negotiations will be held between representatives from the Damascus government and foreign-sponsored opposition groups on January 23.

The negotiations, which exclude the Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist groups, are mediated by Russia, Turkey, and Iran. The three countries successfully implemented a similar accord in December after militants were defeated in Syria's northwestern city of Aleppo.