Kuwait City, October 8, 2016: Authorities in Kuwait say two Iranians were arrested after being seen photographing Shi’ite congregation halls ahead of a major religious ceremony.
NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.
Kuwait’s Interior Ministry issued a statement late Thursday saying the two men took “suspicious photos” of the halls, also known as husseiniyahs. It said the two men entered Kuwait separately in the past two months.
NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the men had lawyers.
Their arrests came ahead of next week’s Shi’ite commemoration of Ashoura, which marks the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the 7th century.
Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.
Kuwaiti police have promised increased security ahead of Ashoura.
An Islamic State-claimed suicide bombing in 2015 targeting a Shi’ite mosque in Kuwait City killed 27 people and wounded scores.(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)