Militant groups split & clash in E. Ghouta, civilians seek shelter – Russian MoD

Militants groups holding Eastern Ghouta have begun fighting each other after one faction attempted to separate from the terrorists, the Russian military said. Civilians are seeking shelter and trying to escape street fighting.

The confrontations broke out a day after the Russian Defense Ministry demanded that the Failak Ar-Rahman group separated from Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists, currently known as Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham. In exchange, the militants were offered safe passage out of the embattled suburb of Damascus.

“Open fighting between the members of illegal armed units is underway in the streets, civilians are forced to seek shelter not to accidentally become victims of hostilities," Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin told reporters on Monday.

© Ruptly

A Russia-backed ceasefire came into effect in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta around two weeks ago, in order to allow humanitarian aid deliveries and the evacuation of civilians. Two humanitarian corridors were established in the areas of Muhayam al-Wafideen and Mlekha to provide for the safe passage of local civilians. Both passages have been constantly shelled by the militants, injuring and killing those who were trying to escape, according to Russian MoD and eyewitnesses.

The first group of 52 civilians, half of whom were children, managed to flee the militant-held Eastern Ghouta on Sunday. Their safe passage was secured by the Russian and the Syrian forces after they had held talks with the armed groups controlling the area.

The situation in the militant-held enclave remains “tense,” according to Zolotukhin. They also continued the bombardment of Damascus and its suburbs, firing seven mortar shells on Sunday, the official added. No one was injured in the attacks.

Despite the provocations, the humanitarian operations went on, the Russian military said. The spokesman reiterated that the safe routes in Eastern Ghouta remain open to both civilians and militants who are willing to flee.

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Filmmaker Clint Eastwood to Premiere Film on Terrorism

Los Angeles, Nov 24 (Prensa Latina) U.S. actor and director Clint Eastwood's latest film ''The 15:17 to Paris'', a story on thwarted terrorist action, will be premiered, said various websites.

According to the website e.cartelera, the film was shot in the original locations in which the actions took place, seeking to bring characters closer to real life.

The film, to be premiered in February, is about the August 2015 events, when a man fired on a train that was traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.

The perpetrator, Ayoub El Khazzani of Moroccan origin, was killed before committing the killing, so only three people were injured.

Such terrorist action did not become a massacre thanks to the intervention of three young people traveling on the train: student Anthony Sadler, U.S. Army National Guard specialist Alek Skarlatos from Oregon, and a U.S. Air Forces member Spencer Stone.

Eastwood selected these three people that lived the events to perform the characters in his film.

He said that the film is a tribute to ordinary people, particularly these young people that took action to save lives when the extremist got on the train.

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50 Dead in Eastern Nigeria Suicide Bomb Attack

According to the officials, the young bomber mingled with worshippers prior to detonating the explosives.

Police officials are reporting that at least 50 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in the eastern Nigeria.

RELATED: Saudis Bomb Yemen's International Airport, Amid Devastating Blockade

The bomber, who Sky News reports to be a teen, targeted worshippers at a mosque during morning prayers in Mubi.

According to the officials, the young bomber was observed mingling with worshippers prior to detonating the explosives.

Police spokesman, Abubakar Othman, said the death toll will likely rise "as those seriously injured could add to the figure".

Last December, two young female suicide bombers carried out a deadly attack, which claimed the lives of 56 people and wounded dozens more in a crowded market in the same town.

The attack on the mosque in Mubi has not been claimed by any group.

Over the past eight years, approximately 20,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram.


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'Syria chemical weapons probe poisoned by new Russia-US Cold War'

The way the OPCW-UN's investigated the chemical incident in Syria is clearly not what the world expects when it sets up an agency to investigate events like this, and wants to be able to rely on it, says Nicolas J. S. Davies, author of Blood On Our Hands.

Russia on Thursday vetoed a US draft resolution at the UN Security Council to extend the work of a joint inquiry into the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in Syria earlier this year.

RT:  Why do you think the US and Russia failed to agree on this issue?

Nicolas Davies: It’s very hard to understand what has gone wrong with the OPCW investigation here. I mean the inspectors didn’t go within a 100 kilometer of the site, presumably because it’s too dangerous for them because that area is controlled by rebels linked to Al-Qaeda. Yet, they trusted the same rebels to gather samples and have custody of all the physical evidence they then examined, which is a complete violation of the OPCW’s rules for handling materials like that and for conducting an investigation.

@RT_com Russia blocks US-drafted resolution to renew inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in

@RT_com Russian resolution on international inquiry into chemical attacks in has failed at UN Security Council

Then in the report, they issued they seemingly ignored all the contrary evidence that suggested there might have been some other cause for these deaths of 82 people – possibly a bomb hitting another building nearby that was that was storing pesticides – that is one of the theories. But clearly that is not what the world expects of the OPCW or of the UNSC. When the world signs an international treaty and establishes an agency to investigate an incident like this, we expect to be able to rely on it, to conduct its investigations with integrity and to hear from experts from all sides and all points of view. This clearly didn’t happen. There are American experts challenging this … John Gilbert, who used to work for the Defense Department, I believe. So we haven’t had the kind of thorough investigation of this incident that all those ambassadors sitting on the UNSC should be demanding and should expect.

RT:  Do you think we’ll ever get to the bottom of what actually happened in Syria following this latest disagreement at the UNSC?

ND: I don’t know. This just seems to be poisoned by what people are calling a new Cold War between the US and Russia. Frankly, the hostility seems to becoming much more from the American side then the Russian side. But it really threatens the whole world. We’ve got the two countries with more of 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world that seem to be on a collision course. At the same time, we have a crisis on the Korean peninsula, where essentially the North Koreans have come to believe that the only way they can keep their own people safe is to develop weapons that threaten the lives of millions of Americans.

We have to acknowledge that this is just a breakdown in the rule of international law, in the world, and this has really developed for the most part since 9/11, and since the US invasions of Afghanistan, and Iraq and serial US acts of aggression against country after country, for which there has been no legal or political accountability whatsoever…

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Manhattan attack wouldn't have happened if CIA ‘spent less time’ arming terrorists – Assange

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange slammed the CIA, saying the deadly terrorist attack in New York overnight might not have happened if the agency investigated terrorists instead of training and arming them.

“If the CIA spent more time investigating terrorists and less time training and arming them we might not have had today’s truck attack in New York,” the whistleblower tweeted following the attack in lower Manhattan that left eight people dead and a dozen injured on Tuesday.

@JulianAssange If the CIA spent more time investigating terrorists and less time training and arming them we might not have had today's truck attack in New York.

The suspect, reportedly identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbekistan native, drove a rented truck onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking several pedestrians and cyclists. The vehicle did not stop until it hit a school bus, then the suspect left his vehicle holding two “imitation firearms” and shouting “Allahu Akbar.” He was shot by police officers before being taken into custody.

READ MORE: Videos show Manhattan terrorist attack suspect, victims & aftermath (GRAPHIC)

The suspect reportedly had a note in his truck that said he committed the attack on behalf of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), law enforcement told NBC News.

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Thousands evacuated from Moscow buildings as Russian cities inundated with bomb threats

Over 20 shopping centers, railway stations and universities had to be evacuated in Moscow, following warnings that they had been rigged with explosives. In total, 190 sites have been evacuated across 17 Russian cities after bomb threats, a security source told RIA news agency.

“This appears to be a case of telephone terrorism, but we have to check the credibility of these messages,” an emergency service source told Tass news agency, noting that the calls began at the same time, and continued after the evacuations had begun.

Tass reported that over 20,000 people had been affected by the evacuation in Moscow alone.

Emergency services said that police units including explosives specialists and officers with sniffer dogs are examining the buildings. Several later reported that police cordons had been lifted.

Among the locations affected are three of the capital's biggest railway stations, more than a dozen shopping centers – including GUM, located next to Red Square – and at least three universities, the leading First Moscow State Medical University, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations among them.

Tass reported that the railway timetable remained unaffected by the police operation. Social media accounts show bemused crowds milling passively outside evacuated buildings, and there have been no reports of disturbances of public order.

President Vladimir Putin has been informed of the incidents, but his press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that he would not be commenting “as this is a matter for the security services to address.”

An epidemic of hoax bomb warnings has plagued Russia over the past week. Security services told the RIA news agency that over 45,000 people were evacuated from public places in 22 Russian cities on Tuesday, adding that many of the calls appeared to have come from Ukraine.

Terrorist false alarms are punishable by up to five years in prison under Russian law, and multiple police investigations have been opened.  However, the possibility that the hoaxers are using pre-recorded messages - as appears to be the case in earlier, identical messages - automated dialing systems and digital means of concealing their true location present difficulties in identifying the culprits.

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Dozens dead and injured after massive blast rocks Kabul (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A suicide bomb attack in Kabul early Sunday has reportedly left at least 35 people dead and 40 others injured, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish has confirmed. The number of casualties is expected to rise, according to an official.

Earlier, the health ministry reported at least 2 dead and six injured in the explosion.

Pictures purportedly showing the blast’s devastation have been circulating on social media.

The Taliban has already claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters reports.

@tabishkafili An explosion has occurred in western neighborhood of but no reports yet of casualties or cause

@tabishkafili More Photos of Blast

The explosion is said to have happened near the house of Mohammad Mohaqiq, an MP and founder and chairman of the  People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan.

Mohaqiq is also the second deputy of Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah.

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Cuba condemns terrorist attacks in Caracas

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba issued a statement regarding recent events in the Venezuelan capital.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Caracas against the Supreme Court of Justice and the Ministry of Popular Power for Internal Affairs, Justice and Peace.

It is unjustifiable that certain governments and political figures, instead of expressing resolute and direct opposition to these terrorist and coup-mongering acts, present them as a supposed police rebellion, and manipulate them to incite the rupture of the civic-military union, and to attack the dignified decision of President Nicolás Manduro Moros to prevent chaos and call for the legitimate defense of constitutional order.

It is not surprising that the Organization of American States (OAS) and its secretary general have become, through their silence, accomplices of what happened and what may happen.

Cuba resolutely rejects the use of terrorism and foreign interference in Venezuela, while reiterating its firmest solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and its leaders. Nothing and no one will prevent the brave people of Bolívar and Chávez from fighting with determination to defend their ideas and achievements, and restore the peace that others have broken.

Havana, June 28, 2017

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