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Besieged occupied Kashmir neighbourhood in test of wills with India’s Modi

SRINAGAR:  For more than a week, the young men of Soura, a densely populated enclave in occupied Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, have been taking turns to maintain an around-the-clock vigil at the entry points to their neighbourhood. Each of the dozen or so entrances have been blocked with makeshift barricades of bricks, corrugated metal sheets, wooden slabs and felled...

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UK PM Cameron says he mishandled ‘Panama Papers’ tax scrutiny

LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Saturday he should have handled scrutiny of his family's tax arrangements better and promised to learn the lessons after days of negative media coverage and calls for his resignation. After four days and four different statements over his late father's inclusion in the "Panama Papers", Cameron said on Thursday he once had...

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El Salvador raids Mossack Fonseca office, seizes documents

SAN SALVADOR: Authorities in El Salvador on Friday raided the local offices of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, seizing documents and equipment, the country's attorney general's office said. The Panama-based law firm is at the center of an international data leak scandal that has embarrassed several world leaders and shone a spotlight on the shadowy world of offshore companies. Attorney...

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At least two dead in shooting at US Air Force base

SAN ANTONIO: An air force base in San Antonio, Texas was on lockdown Friday after a shooting left two people dead, authorities said. The killings were apparently a murder-suicide, US media reported, citing local law enforcement. Deputies were still inside the building at Lackland Air Force Base, the Bexar County Sheriff said in a tweet. Local law enforcement authorities are...

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Turkey, Israel make progress on deal to restore ties: Turkish ministry

ANKARA: Turkish and Israeli teams made progress towards finalising an agreement to mend ties between the two countries in talks and agreed a deal will be finalised in the next meeting to be convened very soon, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Friday. Turkey was once Israel's closest regional ally but ties collapsed in 2010 over the killing by Israeli...

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Aware of RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav’s arrest in Pakistan: US

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has confirmed that it was aware of ‘RAW’ agent, Kulbhushan Yadav’s arrest in Pakistan. In a daily press briefing, Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department said, “I am aware of the reports about the arrest, however, I don’t have anything any details of the arrest.” To a question about frozen peace talks...

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Afghan casualties disputed after US air strikes

KABUL: US warplanes conducted two air strikes in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on Wednesday but there were conflicting reports on whether the casualties were civilians or combatants. The two strikes in Paktika province were aimed at insurgent targets, US military spokesman Commander Fernando Estrella said on Thursday, but he gave no more details. Paktika provincial police chief Zorawar...

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Syrian state TV says 300 workers kidnapped by Islamic State

BEIRUT: Islamic State fighters have kidnapped 300 cement workers in an area northeast of Damascus where the militants launched an assault against government forces this week, Syrian state television said on Thursday. The workers and contractors of Al Badia Cement company were taken from near the town of Dumeir and their employer had lost all contact with them, state TV...

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Turkey won’t implement migrant deal if EU falls short: Erdogan

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned the European Union that Ankara would not implement a key deal on reducing the flow of migrants if Brussels failed to fulfil its side of the bargain. Erdogan's typically combative comments indicated that Ankara would not sit still if the EU fell short on a number of promises in the deal,...

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Clashes in Kashmir after two killed by Indian Army

Srinagar: Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Indian Kashmir on Thursday after two Kashmiri were killed in a gun battle with government forces, the army and witnesses said. Protesters torched a police armored vehicle as masked militants fired automatic rifles into the air in honor of the dead men, a police officer at the scene told AFP on condition...

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Panama will form commission to review financial practices

PANAMA CITY: Panama said on Wednesday it would form an independent commission to review the country’s financial practices following the leak of information from a local law firm that has embarrassed a clutch of world leaders. “The Panamanian government, via our foreign ministry, will create an independent commission of domestic and international experts … to evaluate our current practices and...

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Terrorism remains main focus of India’s engagement with Pakistan: S Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: Terrorism remains the focus of India's engagement with Pakistan. Dispelling notions that a broad-based engagement with Pakistan was on the cards any time soon, foreign secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday said "the change this government has brought in is the centrality of terrorism in the dialogue: whether it was Ufa, or the NSA meeting in Bangkok or the...

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‘Panama Papers’ law firm says ‘hacked by servers abroad’

PANAMA CITY: One of the founders of the law firm at the center of the explosive “Panama Papers” revelations on off-shore holdings told AFP on Tuesday his company was hacked by servers abroad. Ramon Fonseca said the firm Mossack Fonseca had lodged a criminal complaint with Panamanian prosecutors on Monday over the breach. He added that in all the reporting...

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Suicide bomber kills six civilians north of Afghan capital

KABUL: A suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up near a school north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, killing at least six people, officials said. Twenty-six people including three children were wounded in the blast, said Wahid Sediqqi, a spokesman for the governor of Parwan province. "He carried out the attack on poor civilians to spread fear...

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47 Indian policemen get life in prison for killing Sikh pilgrims

LUCKNOW: A special court in India has sentenced 47 policemen to life in prison for killing a group of Sikh pilgrims in 1991 whom they had claimed were militants, a prosecutor said Tuesday. The officers were convicted of shooting dead the pilgrims to try and earn promotions in Uttar Pradesh state which at the time was hit by Sikh militant...

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Afghan forces’ retreat in Helmand should help battle Taliban: minister

LASHKAR GAH/SORAB, Afghanistan: The surprise withdrawal of Afghan forces from parts of Helmand province may leave large areas under Taliban control, but it should bolster the defenses of the volatile southern region, the country's top defense official said. Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanekzai said it made little sense to spread forces across sparsely populated districts like Musa Qala and Naw...

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US, allies conduct 24 strikes against Islamic State: US military

DAMASCUS: The United States and its allies conducted two dozen strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, the coalition leading the operations said. In a statement released on Monday, the Combined Joint Task Force said 14 strikes near seven cities in Syria, almost half of them near Al Hawl, hit several tactical units and destroyed vehicles, buildings...

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