Ammon News, World

Iraqi minister calls for reopening Turaibil border crossing

[8/18/2017 4:15:54 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Iraqi Acting Minister of Trade Salman al-Jumaili on Friday called for the reopening of Turaibil border crossing with Jordan as soon as possible to boost trade exchange and passenger movement. In a statement, Al-Jumaili said Iraq is in deep need for the reopening of the border crossing, because this crossing is one of the most important land ports for Iraq, and that the majority of trade exchange with the world goes through this point. He also underlined the importance of bringing down all obstacles facing land trade exchange, such as bridges, road humps on the highway linking the two countries.

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Van attack kills two in Barcelona, gunmen trapped in restaurant by the police

[8/17/2017 11:46:31 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A van has crashed into dozens of people in Barcelona's city centre, local police said on Wednesday. Two people are reported dead in the terrorist act in Barcelona where a van ploughed into pedestrians and two armed men entered a restaurant and chased by the police. There were several injured in a “massive crash”, police said on Twitter. Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Placa Catalunya. The driver of the van fled vehicle on foot -el pais newspaper, citing police. A number of people were injured when a van rammed into a crowd of pedestrians on Barcelona’s iconic Las Ramblas on Thursday, police said. “Huge collision on Las Ramblas in Barcelona by an individual driving a van, many injuries,” a statement said. The area around the incident was cordoned off, with several ambulances and police vehicles on the scene, an AFP correspondent said. The famous Las Ramblas Boulevard is one of Barcelona’s busiest streets, normally thronged with tourists and street performers until well into the night. It was not immediately clear if the van had been deliberately driven into people, but vehicles have been used as weapons in several terror attacks in Europe in recent years. Two armed men have entered a restaurant in Barcelona after van crash. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Thursday he was in contact with authorities. Rajoy said on Twitter the priority was to attend to the injured. Barcelona police said Las Ramblas van incident is a terrorist attack. *Agencies

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King Salman orders planes to bring Qatari pilgrims for Hajj

[8/16/2017 6:35:14 PM]

AMMONNEWS - King Salman bin Abdulaziz instructed to allow Qatari pilgrims to enter Saudi Arabia via the land border without electronic permits. This decree came upon the mediation of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassem Al Thani, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received on Wednesday evening Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassem al-Thani at the Al Salam Palace in Jeddah. During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah affirmed that the brotherly relations between the Kingdom and Qatar are deeply rooted in history. Sheikh Abdullah offered to mediate to open the Salwa border crossing to allow Qatari pilgrims to enter the Kingdom. Prince Mohammed Bin Salman thanked Sheikh Abdullah for affirming the depth of historic relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, their citizens and the leadership in the Kingdom with the royal family of Qatar. King Salman bin Abdulaziz agreed to open the Salwa border crossing allowing all Qatari citizens who want to enter for the Hajj pilgrimage. Furthermore, the King ordered that all Qatari citizens be allowed to cross without the required electronic passes used for pilgrims based on the recommendation of Sheikh Abdullah. Furthermore, King Salman has ordered the transport of all Qatari pilgrims from King Fahad International Airport in Dammam as well as Al Ahsa International Airport be done free of charge and part of the king Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Program for Hajj and Umrah. In addition to that, King Salman ordered to send Saudi Arabian Airlines planes to Doha to transport all Qatari pilgrims directly to Jeddah and for all their costs to be covered at his expense. *Al Arabiya

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UN: Nearly 50,000 stranded at Jordan-Syria border

[8/15/2017 5:10:12 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Nearly 50,000 people, most of them women and children, are stranded at Syria's southern border with Jordan, an increasingly unsafe area where air attacks were reported over the past few days, the United Nations said on Monday. UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that "some people are reportedly attempting to leave the area, risking further danger and deprivation in an inhospitable desert location". Those remaining in the area, known as a berm, face a scarcity of food and healthcare, Haq said. In one section, called Hadalat, an estimated 4,000 people are reportedly living solely on flour and water, he said. On Thursday, Syrian government forces and their allies captured a key area along the Jordan border in their latest push against rebel groups there. Syrian state media said the capture closed major smuggling points used by rebels to bring weapons and fighters from Jordan into the war-torn country. Syrian state TV said government troops captured an area of 1,300 square kilometres in addition to some strategic hills. Jordan closed its border with Syria in June 2016 after a car bomb attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group staged from near Rukban killed seven Jordanian border guards. Since then, international aid organisations have wrestled with the dilemma posed by sending aid to an off-limits area. UN agencies agreed late last year to an aid system that critics say handed much of the control over aid distribution to Jordan's military and a Jordanian contractor and also involved armed men on the Syrian side. Haq said on Monday that UN agencies "are deeply concerned about the security and protection" of the nearly 50,000 people stranded at the border. "The UN calls on all parties to the conflict to take the necessary steps to prevent further harm to the frightened and highly vulnerable individuals stranded at the border," he said. UN agencies are ready to continue supporting Jordanian authorities, despite limited resources, and "immediately provide protection and additional life-saving assistance as needed," Haq said. *Agencies

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Photos show moments before Yemeni executed for child rape and murder

[8/14/2017 4:28:04 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Yemenis gathered on Monday in the Houthi-held capital to witness execution of a 22-year-old man named Hussein al-Saket, convicted of raping and killing a four-year-old girl. According to the AFP news agency, quoting Rajeh Ezzedine, a judge who attended the execution, Saket was found guilty of abducting, raping and murdering the girl. Ali Ayedh, the victim's uncle, said Saket "took part in the search for the girl before being unmasked" during the police investigation. It was the second such public execution in weeks. He said his public execution would act as a "deterrent for criminals." Saket was placed face down on Tahrir square in Sanaa, which the Houthi militias have controlled since 2014. A policeman shot him dead through the back with five bullets aiming for the heart, before his body was strung up on the end of a crane. On July 31, another man was executed in the same square after being convicted of raping and murdering a three-year-old girl.

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UN urges swift aid to border refugees, lauds Jordan’s ‘exemplary efforts’

[8/14/2017 4:20:34 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Despite limited resources, Jordan has been continuously enforcing "exemplary efforts" for the protection of the Syrians who have left their homes, the UN has said, urging stakeholders to provide further assistance to save refugees “trapped” at the border. In a statement released Monday, UN agencies in Jordan voiced concern over “the safety and security of thousands of Syrians near Jordan's northeastern border”, expressing readiness “to immediately provide protection and additional life-saving assistance as needed", and continued support for the Jordanian authorities' efforts. An estimated number of 4,000 Syrians at Hadalat and 45,000 Syrians at Rukban — mainly women and children — remain stranded at Syria’s southern border with Jordan, the statement said. Due to air strikes that have been reported to be in the area over the last couple of days, distress and fear have been heightened amongst the population with the risk of escalated hostilities. No casualties or injuries have been reported, yet the area has been described to be “increasingly unsafe”, the international organisation said, adding that the scarcity of services available in the area in terms of food and healthcare has placed women and children in a situation that has been going from bad to worse. “The supply route to the berm area for food and other basic commodities from inside Syria has become increasingly constrained in recent weeks,” according to the statement. Leaving the area risks danger and deprivation in an “inhospitable desert location”, making many Syrians “unsure of where to go in search of safety”. Aiming to prevent “further harm to the frightened and highly vulnerable individuals stranded at the border”, UN agencies in Jordan are advocating a resolution to their plight and calling on parties to step forward and shoulder their respective shares of responsibility, according the statement.

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More than 600,000 Syrians return home, mainly to Aleppo: UN

[8/14/2017 7:49:51 AM]

AMMONNEWS - More than 600,000 displaced Syrians have returned to their homes since the beginning of the year, with most of them heading to Aleppo, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration. Between January and the end of July, 602,759 displaced Syrians returned to their homes, many of them citing an improved economic and security situation in the areas they had fled from, IOM said in a statement. A total of 84 percent of those who have returned had taken refuge elsewhere within the war-ravaged country, while the remaining 16 percent returned from neighboring countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. More than a quarter of returnees said they did so to protect their assets and properties, while nearly the same number referred to the improved economic situation in their place of origin, and 11 percent cited the improved security situation there. Fourteen percent meanwhile pointed to the worsening economic situation in their place of refuge, IOM said. *AFP

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