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ISIS executes 15 police officers, kidnaps 4 journalism students in Iraq

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Baghdad: The Islamic State radical group on Sunday executed 15 Iraqi police officers and kidnapped four journalism students accused of collaborating with the foreign press in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

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Mohammed al-Bayati, the head of security in the Iraqi province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, said that the incidents were part of a campaign of arrests and executions being carried out by the IS against the security services and public officials.

The 15 officers were killed by rifle fire on a square in Mosul in front of the city hall before a crowd of passersby with the aim of “intimidating” local residents, Al-Bayati said.

Later, their bodies were delivered to the city morgue, the official said, adding that the IS fighters are carrying out mass arrests of election commission employees and members of the security forces, who had declared their fidelity to the IS.

Meanwhile, four University of Mosul journalism students were arrested on Sunday morning in different districts around the city and were accused of publishing images of the “land of the Caliphate”, thus cooperating with the international press, a member of the Iraqi journalists union, Sufian al-Mashhandani, said.

The images of Mosul were allegedly published on the Facebook pages of the arrested students.

After their arrests, the students were transferred to an IS prison located in the southeastern part of the city to be questioned by a tribunal of jihadis about their alleged collaboration with the foreign media.

Since the jihadis occupied Mosul on June 10, 2014, they have murdered hundreds of people for opposing the extremist ideology of the IS, including human rights activists, physicians, journalists, soldiers, and policemen.

In late June 2014, the IS declared an Islamic caliphate in the territories it controls in Syria and Iraq.

(IANS/EFE)

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President of Egypt Calls for Collective Action Against Countries Supporting Terrorism

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The president of Egypt Urges world leaders to take decisive action against states supporting terrorism. Pixabay

Egypt’s president Wednesday called for “decisive” and “collective” action against countries supporting “terrorism” in an apparent reference to Turkey and Qatar, who back the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is outlawed in Egypt.

The three countries also support opposing factions in the war-torn Libya.

Addressing a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi also said achieving sustainable development in Africa is needed, along with efforts to fight militant groups in Egypt and the Sahel region that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

“There should be a decisive response to countries supporting terrorism and a collective response against terrorism, because the terrorist groups will only have the ability to fight if they are provided with financial, military and moral support,” he said.

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The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. VOA

The gathering in Aswan is attended by the leaders of Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Senegal along with officials from the U.S., Britain and Canada.

The Sahel region is home to al-Qaida and Islamic State group-linked militants. El-Sissi said Egypt could help train forces and provide weapons to countries in the region to fight extremists.

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests against his brief rule.

Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the country’s vast Western Desert, which has witnessed deadly attacks blamed on militants infiltrating from neighboring Libya.

Since Morsi’s ouster, tensions have grown between Egypt and Turkey and Egypt and Qatar. The political party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo designated as at terrorist group in 2013.

Upcoming conference

El-Sissi also said a “comprehensive, political solution would be achieved in the coming months” for the conflict in Libya, which descended into chaos after the 2011 civil war that ousted and killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He did not elaborate.

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This photo provided by the office of Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, dignitaries including Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, gather, for a photo during a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Egypt. VOA

He said that would put an end to a “terrorist hotbed that pushes militants and weapons to (Libya’s) neighboring countries including Egypt.”

El-Sissi apparently was referring to an international summit in Berlin that aims to reach an agreement on actions needed to end the conflict. The conference had been scheduled for October, but it has apparently been postponed.

After the 2011 civil war, Libya split in two, with a weak U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Maritime border agreement 

El-Sissi’s comments came amid heightened tensions with Turkey after a controversial maritime border agreement it signed last month with Libya’s Tripoli-based government.

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Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.

Hifter has for months been fighting an array of militias allied with the Tripoli authorities to wrestle control of the capital.  He is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy. (VOA)