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Two Indian Hostages rescued from the clutches of Islamic State in Libya, says Sushma Swaraj

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Representational Image, ISIS hostages. Flickr
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the abducted Indians being rescued from IS  Libya
  • The men were detained and held captive since July 2015
  • Anti-IS force of Misrata carried out the rescue mission

Sept 17, 2016: Two Indian teachers who were abducted and held captive since July 2015 in Libya, have been freed and rescued; Sushma Swaraj, minister of the External Affairs, tweeted on Thursday, September 15.

Both the men along with their two other colleagues were on their way to return India on July 2015. When they were en route to the airport in Tripoli on a car, all were detained in a check post on a distance of about 50 kilometres from the town of Sirte. The teachers were then abducted by a group owing to its allegiance to the Islamic State, reported The Hindu.

Men who were Abducted-

Two of the teachers; Mulbagil Vijay Kumar, 56, of Bengaluru and Laxmikant Ramakrishna, 37, of Raichur were freed after two days of the abduction. The other two; C Balaramkishan of Telangana and T Gopalakrishna of Andhra Pradesh were forcibly kept in captivity.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Wikimedia

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Most of the people belonging from Sirte town got occupied by the Islamic State. The university, in which the four men were working, was located in a zone that fell under a strong hold of IS. The Government officials believe that the teachers probably stayed back in order to attain their dues even while the university was not operational for a certain amount of time.

The Rescue Mission

According to The Hindu reports, the rescue operation was initiated and carried out by the anti-IS force from Misrata that is a city close to the capital of Libya. However, it will still take some time for the final chapter of the rescue mission to finish. As the security situation in that area is as strict as before.

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Ministry of the External Affairs has reportedly stated that efforts were continually given in order to rescue the abducted Indians. Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson of the ministry has said that the ministry has been in frequent follow-ups regarding this case in Libya; not only in Libya the issue was discussed in the neighbouring countries as well including Egypt and the discussion was raised at the time president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was in India.

As per reports, some 2000 Indians continue to stay back and remain employed in the conflict-hit country of Libya in spite of frequent advisories by the MEA urging them to leave for their own safety.

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Iraqi Forces capture Ancient City Nimrud from Islamic State (IS) Terrorist Group

Archaeologists first began excavating the Assyrian city of Nimrud, built nearly 3,000 years ago in the 1840s

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FILE - An Islamic State fighter holds the extremist group's signature flag and a weapon in the Iraqi city Mosul, June 23, 2014. Preparations are underway to wrest the city from IS control. VOA

Baghdad, Nov 14, 2016: Iraqi forces recaptured the ancient village of Nimrud and the site of the ruins as part of the ongoing battle for Mosul, the Islamic State (IS) terror group’s last major stronghold in the war-torn country.

The recapture took place on Sunday, according to Colonel Mohammed Ibrahim, a spokesman for Iraq’s Joint operations command.

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While the village was now under control by Iraqi forces, clashes were still underway to retake the town, less than a mile west of the ruins, Ibrahim told CNN.

Nimrud is 30 km southeast of Mosul.

Archaeologists first began excavating the Assyrian city of Nimrud — built nearly 3,000 years ago — in the 1840s.

In the decades that followed, they unearthed priceless treasures from the city, including palaces adorned with unique frescoes and giant sculptures.

Last year, the IS blew up the ancient walled city.

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Unesco described the deliberate destruction of Nimrud as a “war crime”.

Nimrud flourished between 900 B.C. and 612 B.C. Buildings there “have yielded thousands of carved ivories, mostly made in the 9th and 8th centuries B.C., now one of the richest collections of ivory in the world,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica’s website.

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The famous British mystery novelist Agatha Christie accompanied her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan, at his excavation in Nimrud and helped clean some of the ivories.

The Iraqi and Kurdish troop offensive to liberate Mosul began on October 17 with a three-pronged offensive along the north, south and eastern fronts, which has enabled the liberation of various eastern Mosul neighbourhoods. (IANS)

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At 500 Kg, Egyptian Woman Iman Ahmad Abdulati is World’s Fattest

Only 36, Iman Ahmad Abdulati has not left her home in Alexandria for 25 years and is unable to move from her bed

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Representational image. Flickr

Cairo, October 23, 2016: She weighs half a tonne, believe it or not. This Egyptian woman, tipping the scales at about 500 kg, is thought to be the fattest woman alive, media reports said on Sunday.

Only 36, Iman Ahmad Abdulati has not left her home in Alexandria for 25 years and is unable to move from her bed or even roll over because of her enormous size, the Daily Mail reported.

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She relies on her mother and sister Chaymaa Abdulati to perform everyday tasks like eating, changing clothes, cleaning and relieving herself.

Iman was probably fated to be fat.

According to El Arabiya, she was born weighing a staggering five kg and was diagnosed with elephantiasis — a parasitic infection that causes extreme swelling in limbs.

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Physicians have also said that due to a “disruption of glands”, her body stores and retains more water than it should.

As a baby, Iman learnt to get around using her hands. But by the age of 11 she couldn’t support herself while standing up due to her weight and thus resorted to crawling around the house.

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She had to drop out of primary school after suffering a cerebral stroke, which left her bedridden.

Since then, Iman has remained in her room — totally stationary and unable to do anything.

Fearing death, her family has posted a desperate plea online to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi asking for medical assistance. (IANS)

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Siege and Bombardment of Syria’s Aleppo constitute Crimes of Historic proportions, says United Nations

The Russian ambassador accuses Britain and its allies of protecting terrorists from destruction

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People inspect the damage as a civilian walks near blood stains at a market hit by air strikes in Aleppo's rebel-held al-Fardous district, Syria, Oct. 12, 2016. VOA

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein says the siege and bombardment of Syria’s northern city of eastern Aleppo constitute crimes of historic proportions. He is calling on the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

Zeid says well over 300,000 Syrians have been killed and countless others wounded and traumatised in the course of more than five years of civil war. He says the relentless bombardment of Aleppo has turned the ancient city into a slaughterhouse.

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Without mentioning Russia by name, the high commissioner blames the indiscriminate airstrikes across the eastern rebel-held part of Aleppo by government forces and their allies for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties.

He says the violations constitute war crimes and calls for those guilty of international crimes to be held accountable.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, chair of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, agrees all parties to the conflict guilty of crimes must be brought to justice. VOA
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, chair of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, agrees all parties to the conflict guilty of crimes must be brought to justice. VOA

“Perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity will only cease to violate the laws of war when it is clear they will be held to account,” he said. “This why referral of the conflict in Syria to the ICC (International Criminal Court) or an ad hoc international justice mechanism is critical to resolving this conflict.”

People remove belongings from a damaged site after an air strike Sunday in the rebel-held besieged al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 17, 2016. VOA
People remove belongings from a damaged site after an air strike Sunday in the rebel-held besieged al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 17, 2016. VOA

Pinheiro says members of the investigative commission will continue to document war crimes in Aleppo. The British minister for Africa and the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, launched a blistering attack on Syria and Russia.

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“Hospitals have been bombed repeatedly. Hundreds of civilians, many of them children, have been killed since the (Bashar) Assad regime and Russia launched their assault on Eastern Aleppo.”

The Russian ambassador accuses Britain and its allies of protecting terrorists from destruction and allowing them to regroup so they can continue what he calls their barbaric acts. The Syrian representative calls Britain’s accusations baseless and fabricated to enhance its political agenda. (VOA)