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Islamic State’s magazine shows photo of ‘bomb’ that downed Russian plane

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Photo: en.dailypakistan.com.pk
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Cairo: The Islamic State terrorist group on Wednesday released a photo of an improvised bomb that was allegedly used to down a Russian airliner last month.

The photo, which was released in a latest version of the group’s English-language magazine, Dabaq, showed an improvised explosive device made from three parts: a soda can, something of a detonator and a remoter.

Also included in the magazine were pictures of purported passports that the IS said were obtained from Russian victims, with the debris of the downed Russian plane as the background.

The group said in the magazine that the original plan was to bring down a plane that belongs to the Western anti-IS coalition led by the US, but after Russia started directly bombing IS targets in September, their target changed.

“After having discovered a way to compromise the security at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and resolving to bring down a plane belonging to a nation in the American-led Western coalition against the Islamic State, the target was changed to a Russian plane,” the group said.

“A bomb was smuggled onto the airplane,” it added.

Just one day before the IS released those photos, Russia confirmed on Tuesday that a bomb caused the Russian airliner crash after taking off on October 31 from Egypt’s Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh, in the Sinai peninsula.

All 224 people on board were killed.

Moscow has said it had seen those pictures released by the IS and was still investigating.

Egypt said on Tuesday that it would consider the Russian findings on the plane crash, but an Egypt-led probe team has yet determined the cause.

(IANS)

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US Backtracks on Iraqi, Kurd Cease-fire Claim

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An Iraqi soldier removes a Kurdish flag from Altun Kupri
An Iraqi soldier removes a Kurdish flag from Altun Kupri on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq. VOA

Iraq, October 27: The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State announced Friday morning a cease-fire between Iraqi forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga in Northern Iraq but quickly backtracked on the claim, saying it is not an “official” cease-fire.

Army spokesman Ryan Dillon posted a clarification on Twitter to say “both parties (are) talking with one another,” but that a “cease-fire” had not been reached.

The Iraqi military and the Kurdish minority have been clashing for several weeks after the Iraqi troops moved to secure areas in northern Iraq that had been seized from IS jihadists by Kurdish forces. The Kurdish forces abandoned the land largely without resistance, though low-level clashes have been reported.

Iraqi PM rejects Kurdish offer

The areas Iraqi forces are moving into were mostly under Baghdad’s control in 2014, when Islamic State militants swept into the region. Kurdish Peshmerga and coalition forces recaptured the lands, and the Kurdistan Region has since held them.

The Iraqi leadership said it is retaking the areas to establish federal authority after a Kurdish referendum for independence in September threatened the nation’s unity. More than 92 percent of Kurds in Iraq voted “yes” in a vote Baghdad called illegal, and the international community leaders said was dangerous and ill-timed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday rejected an offer by Kurdish leaders to freeze the results of their independence referendum in favor of dialogue in order to avoid further conflict.

The Kurdistan Regional Government, in a statement, said the confrontations have hurt both sides and could lead to ongoing bloodshed and social unrest in Iraq.

“Certainly, continued fighting does not lead any side to victory, but it will drive the country towards disarray and chaos, affecting all aspects of life,” the KRG said.

‘Unified Iraq is the only way to go’

Abadi said in a statement his government will accept only the annulment of the referendum and respect for the constitution.

During a briefing Friday morning at the Pentagon, Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie Jr. told reporters the U.S. believes “a unified Iraq is the only way to go forward.”

He added, “We’re not helping anyone attack anyone else inside Iraq, either the Kurds or the Iraqis.”(VOA)

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