Ammon News, World

Hamas kills man wanted in attack on Palestinian PM

[3/22/2018 3:07:14 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A man wanted for a bombing that targeted the Palestinian premier's convoy as he visited Gaza last week was killed in a firefight Thursday with Hamas forces, the militant Islamic group that rules the territory said. The Interior Ministry in Gaza said the suspect, Anas Abu Khousa, 26, refused to surrender when Hamas surrounded his hideout. It said Abu Khousa was killed in the exchange of fire along with two Hamas policemen. Another suspect later died of his wounds at a hospital, it said. Last week, a roadside bomb struck a convoy carrying Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah after he crossed into Gaza. Hamdallah was unharmed but the explosion wounded some of his bodyguards. Palestinians have been split since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, ousting forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who now governs just parts of the West Bank. Repeated reconciliation attempts failed. Abbas has blamed Hamas for the bombing, a charge that Hamas denies. A relative of Abu Khoussa said he was not affiliated with any group, though he embraced "a very radical interpretation of Islam." He spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be known to other family members. *AP

Read Comments

Coalition fighter jet unsuccessfully targeted by defense missile over Saada

[3/21/2018 3:54:47 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The spokesperson of the Coalition fighting to restore legitimacy in Yemen confirmed one their fighter jets was unsuccessfully targeted by a surface-to-air missile over Saada airport on Wednesday. Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the incident took place at 3:48 pm local time after a surface-to-air defense missile was launched at the fighter jet from inside Saada airport. Maliki also confirmed that the fighter jet completed its mission in the area and dealt with the source of the fire and returned to its air base and landed safely. He said that the coalition aircraft was targeted by an air defense missile that was not present within the military arsenal of the Yemeni forces, which were destroyed by coalition forces after Houthi militias gained access and control of their heavy artilleries in the area. “This proves that the Iranian regime, which supports the Houthi terrorist militias, continues to smuggle in specific capacities in clear and explicit defiance of UN resolutions, including resolution 2216, the continued support of terrorist groups and the threat of regional and international security,” a statement on Saudi Press Agency read. Maliki also pointed out that the presence of air defense missiles at arms smuggling groups and terrorist organizations is a serious development and a direct threat to air navigation, humanitarian and relief flights in Yemen. * Al Arabiya

Read Comments

Abbas accuses Hamas of attempting to assassinate Palestinian prime minister

[3/19/2018 2:13:41 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. *Al Arabiya

Read Comments

Russia elections: Vladimir Putin poised for new 6-year term

[3/18/2018 3:55:35 PM]

AMMONNEWS - President Vladimir Putin received 75 percent of votes cast so far in Sunday's election, easily winning another six-year term as Russia's leader. Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was in second with 13 percent, followed by nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 6 percent, results from the Central Electoral Commission showed with about half of all precincts counted. Putin addressed tens of thousands on the Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin with a short speech, thanking supporters for the election results. "I see in this minimum a recognition for what I did in the past year under very complicated circumstances. I see in this trust and hope that we will continue to work as intensely and as responsibly," said Putin. "We have to preserve this unity. It's very important to attract all these people who voted for other candidates to my side. We need unity in order to move forward." Turnout was 59.9 percent, according to the commission's results. Before voting began, there were reports that Russian authorities were worried about a potential low turnout that could affect its perceived legitimacy. Boycott Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was barred from running in the elections over a fraud conviction in a court case he claims was politically motivated, called for a boycott of the vote, as did other political groups. "It is too early to comment on the results because only 23 percent of ballots have been counted. But it is already clear that these elections weren’t fair," said Grudinin at a press conference. "Unfortunately Navalny turned out to be right - that one could vote two or three times and we have examples of that in the Moscow region. It is clear that the counting of votes and in general all procedures of the elections were unfair." According to independent Russian monitor Golos, various tactics that local administrations employed in order to attract more voters to the polling stations were not successful. "Various methods of boosting turnout of the vote, which the authorities undertook, did not bring the expected results. The big number of observers around the country were deployed and that brought about a relative balance," reported the monitor on its website. The majority of regions had similar turnout as 2012 and a few, such as Gechnya and Dagestan, turnout was slightly lower, because of the presence of observers. The monitor registered more than 2,500 complaints of violations, with some 460 in Moscow and about 230 in St Petersburg. State TV channel Rossiya 24 reported earlier there were complaints of violations but many were "fake". Close to 109 million registered voters were eligible to vote in 100,000 voting stations across the 85 regions and republics of the Russian Federation. Russian citizens were also able to cast ballots in 145 countries. *AL JAZEERA

Read Comments

Regime seizes two towns from rebels in Syria’s Ghouta, as 7,000 leave enclave

[3/17/2018 3:31:06 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Syria’s regime retook two more towns in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday, a war monitor said, pressing an offensive to capture the rebel enclave on the doorstep of Damascus. Government forces seized Kafr Batna and Sabqa in the south of the enclave, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, as thousands of civilians fled into regime-held territory. Civilians leave rebel pocket The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the number of Syrians leaving a rebel pocket in Syria’s eastern Ghouta toward government lines on Thursday had climbed to at least 7,000. The people left Hammouriyeh, which government forces advanced into on Thursday, and other towns nearby, said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the UK-based monitor. Also, air strikes on Syria's Eastern Ghouta killed 30 civilians on Saturday, a monitor said, almost a month into a blistering Russia-backed regime assault on the rebel enclave outside Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights could not say who carried out the strikes on the town of Zamalka. The regime offensive has retaken 70 percent of the enclave since February 18. *AFP

Read Comments

Russians in Jordan vote ahead of presidential polls

[3/17/2018 2:52:27 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Hundreds of Russians in Jordan voted in Amman on Friday and in Aqaba on Wednesday ahead of their country's presidential elections which start tomorrow, according to Russian deputy ambassador, Oleg Levin. He said in a press release that 720 votes were cast from about 1,200 members of the Russian community in Jordan who are eligible to vote. levin said a committee comprising embassy staff oversaw the polling process, and that the lists of the ballots cast were sent to Moscow.

Read Comments

Russia expels 23 UK diplomats in retaliatory move in spy row

[3/17/2018 5:39:07 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Russia will expel 23 British diplomats in retaliation against the United Kingdom's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, Russia's foreign ministry said. The tit-for-tat expulsion follows after the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in London on March 4. Blaming Russia for the attack, the UK said it would expel 23 Russian diplomats, the single biggest expulsion in more than 30 years. Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury, after they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent. A former double agent, Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to British intelligence before his arrest in Moscow in 2004. He was later sent to the UK in exchange for captured Russian spies. Russia decided the British diplomats must leave Moscow within a week, its foreign ministry said on Saturday, after a meeting with Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow. Moscow also decided to close the British Council in Russia and to withdraw permission for Britain to open a general consulate in St Petersburg, the ministry said in a statement. The UK's Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has said London would submit a sample of the Novichok nerve agent used in the former spy's poisoning to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a UN body. Speaking to the BBC news on Thursday, Johnson said the rare Soviet-made chemical weapon used against Skripal and his daughter in the town of Salisbury was specifically chosen to send a message to political dissenters challenging Russia's President Vladimir Putin. "There is a reason for choosing Novichok. In its blatant Russian-ness, the nerve agent sends a signal to all who may be thinking of dissent in the intensifying repression of Putin's Russia," he said. "The message is clear: We will find you, we will catch you, we will kill you - and though we will deny it with lip-curling scorn, the world will know beyond doubt that Russia did it." The attack showed the Kremlin was "clearly willing to act without restraint" and fit a pattern of "reckless behaviour" by Putin, Johnson said. *AL JAZEERA

Read Comments