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69 Pakistanis in detention of Saudi Arabia for their alleged involvement in terror-related offences

69 Pakistani are being held in Saudi Arabia for their alleged involvement in terror-related offences

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Saudi Arabia, Jan 23, 2017: At least 69 Pakistani are being held in Saudi Arabia for their alleged involvement in terror-related offences, local media reported on Monday.

The most recent arrest came on Saturday when Saudi security forces rounded up Fatima Ramadan Balochi Murad along with her Saudi husband from an apartment in al Naseem district after a tip-off, Saudi Gazette reported.

Murad was detained in a security operation launched after a firefight and subsequent blowing up of two suspected terrorists in Jeddah on Saturday. This is not the first time Pakistani citizens have been suspected of perpetuating terror in the oil-rich kingdom.

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In July last year, a Pakistani suspect Abdullah Qalzar Khan blew himself up near Solaiman Fakeih Hospital in Jeddah, which led to the arrest of as many as 49 Pakistani residents who were put under interrogation.

Meanwhile, a terror attempt, which involved two Pakistanis — Solaiman Arab Deen and Farman Naqshaband Khan — was also foiled last October in Jeddah. The suspects had planned to carry out blasts in al Jowhara Stadium.

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Through its communications portal, the Saudi interior ministry revealed that 5,085 terror suspects from 40 countries were undergoing detention in five intelligence prisons in the kingdom.

“There are 4,254 Saudis detained in intelligence prisons constituting the largest number of suspects,” it said. The Saudis are followed by 282 Yemenis and 218 Syrians. There are three suspects from the US and one each from France, Belgium and Canada.

–IANS

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Tech Giant Google Refuses to Remove Controversial Saudi App

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms

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Google has refused to pull out a controversial government app from Saudi Arabia which lets men track and control women who travel, saying it does not violate its Play Store policies.

According to a report in the Business Insider on Sunday, the tech giant told the office of California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier, who had called for the removal of the app called “Absher”, that the app does not violate its terms of service.

The US Representatives Speier, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and 11 others have demanded that Apple and Google must both remove the app.

Speier called Google’s response “deeply unsatisfactory”.

“The responses received so far from Apple and Google are deeply unsatisfactory. As of today, the Absher app remains available in both the Apple App store and the Google Play Store even though they can easily remove it,” Speier was quoted as saying.

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Apple was yet to announce its decision.

Absher allows Saudi users to access government services and also offers features which allow “Saudi men to grant and rescind travel permission for women and to set up SMS alerts for when women use their passports”.

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An earlier report suggested Saudi men could use the app to control female dependents.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms. (IANS)