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Malaysian police have released facial composite sketches of two men suspected of killing a Hamas member in Kuala Lumpur.

Two men on a motorcycle fired at least 14 shots at Fadi al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer, in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, killing him on the spot.

Alerts have been put out for the suspects at all the country's exit points, police said on Monday.

Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip, accused Israel's Mossad spy agency of assassinating al-Batsh. Israel dismissed the charge.

The computer-generated photographs of the suspects are based on descriptions by witnesses, police chief Mohamad Fuzi Bin Harun told reporters.

'European or Middle Eastern'

They show two light-skinned suspects who may be European or Middle Eastern. Both men are about 180cm with sturdy builds, the police chief said, according to a recording of his comments heard by Reuters news agency.

Both suspects are on a high-powered, dark-coloured motorbike which could be a BMW or a Kawasaki. Both are carrying backpacks and have on dark jackets and helmets.

The photos showed one suspect wearing a helmet and glasses.

A forensic examination found that the victim died of multiple injuries to his head and body.

"We will send some of the bullets collected to our analysis experts to determine what kind of weapon was used in this heinous killing," Mohamad Fuzi said. He said they were not sure whether the men were still in Malaysia.

"We can't close off our exits and we don't have any other information apart from the photofit," he said. 

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Saturday the suspects were believed to be Europeans with links to a foreign intelligence agency.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed claims of Mossad's role in the murder and suggested that al-Batsh was killed as part of an internal Palestinian dispute.

Al-Batsh's family has requested for his body to be buried in Gaza.

Mossad has been accused of several high-profile killings involving Palestinians around the world, although Israel has consistently denied the accusations.

The spy agency was accused of executing the murder of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his hotel room in Dubai in 2010. In 2016, Hamas blamed Mossad for the killing of a Tunisian national it described as one of its drone experts.

 

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

The only surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attackshas been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in a 2016 gunfight with police in Brussels. 

Salah Abdeslam was convicted of attempted murder along with his co-accused Sofien Ayari, who also received a 20-year prison sentence, at a court in the Belgian capital on Monday morning. Neither of the defendants were present during the verdict hearing. 

Abdeslam was on trial for his role in a shoot-out between himself and two accomplices and police who had come to search the house in which he was hiding out on March 15, 2016. 

One suspect, Mohamed Belkaid, was killed in the raid, while Abdeslam and Ayari got away. Three police officers sustained minor injuries. 

Abdeslam, a 28-year-old Belgium-born French national of Moroccan ancestry, was captured three days later in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels along with Ayari.

His arrest on March 18, 2016, was the culmination of a four-month manhunt after his alleged participation in the 2015 Paris attacks in which 130 were killed.

He fled the city after the attacks, which were claimed by ISIL. Hours later, he was stopped and questioned by police at the French-Belgian border before he was allowed through.

After his arrest, Abdeslam reportedly told Belgian investigators he had planned to blow himself up at the Stade de France but then changed his mind. 

Abdeslam was extradited to France in April 2016 and remains in custody on the outskirts of Paris. 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Salahuddin Muhammad Bahaaudin headed a high-level delegation on Sunday visited the reform and development movement where received by the movement's head , Mohammed Baziani.

"We appreciate the position of the reform and development movement to support the electoral list 175, the list of the Islamic Union and reformist Islamists in Kurdistan," the secretary-general said during the meeting.

He stressed that the electoral list 175 able to serve citizens and defend their rights, it includes qualified candidates and have the qualifications and experience, and the majority of Islamic figures, preachers and thinkers support this list.

 

"We are ready to offer all forms of assistance to our brothers in the Kurdistan Islamic Union and the Kurdistan Islamic Movement. We hope that the list will succeed in a way that strengthens the status of the Islamists and for the people of Kurdistan ," Mohammed Baziani head of reform and development movement said.

 

 

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Jamal Kochar , candidate of the Kurdistan Islamic Union list 175 for the elections of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, said that "our parliamentary struggle in Baghdad will be for the people's welfare not for personal and partisan interests."

Jamal Kochar , the candidate for the province of Dohuk in a statement to Kurdiu stressed that in the event of winning the elections, will start a constitutional battle to stabilize the rights of citizens of the Kurdistan Region, will work to form a "Kurdish work room" and "Remove the salaries of people from the political conflict.

He explained that the efforts of the Kurds in Baghdad are scattered, there is a sharp division must be overcome by the collection of all the Kurdish blocs in a joint political and parliamentary project, which ensures the identification of goals and active participation to stabilize the rights of the people of Kurdistan.

He stressed that he will be committed to the promise made to the voters, he has experience 4 years in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, gained experience during this period.

 

 

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In order to evaluate the activities of the campaign for the candidates of the electoral list 175, the second centre of the Kurdistan Islamic Union with the third centre of the Kurdistan Islamic Movement held a joint meeting on Sunday in Erbil.

Following the meeting, the two sides issued a final statement saying that the two sides expressed their satisfaction with the continuation of the activities of the propaganda campaign for the candidates of the electoral list 175 in the city of Erbil.

The statement expressed its thanks to all the Islamic ,religious figures ,social, intellectual and academic figures who announced their support for the electoral list 175, for the Islamic Union and the majority of reformist Islamists in Kurdistan.

The statement appealed to citizens to vote for the list.

The statement concluded by thanking the cadres and organizations of the Islamic Union and the Islamic Movement for continuing the campaign for the candidates of the list 175.

 

 

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Representatives and candidates for the political blocs in the region, demanded to stop ridicule women candidates for parliamentary elections in Iraq.

This came at a press conference held in the city of Sulaymaniyah in the province of Kurdistan, on Sunday.

Nasef Tawfiq, candidate for the electoral list 175 for the Kurdistan Islamic Union, said at the press conference: "Unfortunately, there are people who do not abide by moral rules or laws. They publish articles, pictures and broadcast videos of women candidates for the Iraqi parliamentary elections."

She called on those people to stop ridicule women candidates, also called on the political blocs and civil society organizations to take a firm stance on this subject and condemn these actions that do not fit with the Kurdish community culture.

 

 

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A U.S. push to change the Iran nuclear deal was sending a “very dangerous message” that countries should never negotiate with Washington, Iran’s foreign minister warned as U.S. and North Korean leaders prepare to meet for denuclearization talks.

 

Speaking to reporters in New York on Saturday, Mohammad Javad Zarif also said that for French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “to try to appease the president (Donald Trump) would be an exercise in futility.”

Trump will decide by May 12 whether to restore U.S. economic sanctions on Tehran, which would be a severe blow to the 2015 pact between Iran and six major powers. He has pressured European allies to work with Washington to fix the deal.

Macron and Merkel are both due to meet with Trump in Washington this week.

 

“The United States has not only failed to implement its side (of the deal), but is even asking for more,” said Zarif, who is in New York to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

“That’s a very dangerous message to send to people of Iran but also to the people of the world - that you should never come to an agreement with the United States because at the end of the day the operating principle of the United States is ‘what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable,’” he said.

 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said earlier this month that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has “looked at the Iran deal, he’s seen what he can get and he’s seen how he can push through loopholes and we’re not going to let that happen again.”

Under the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, struck the pact to try to keep Iran from building a nuclear weapon but Trump believes it has “disastrous flaws.”

Zarif said if Washington leaves the deal, there were many options being considered by Tehran, including complaining through a dispute mechanism set up by the agreement or simply leaving the deal by restarting its nuclear activities.

“We will make a decision based on our national security interests when the times comes. But whatever that decision will be, it won’t be very pleasant to the United States,” he said.

 
 

When asked if Iran could stay in the deal with the remaining parties, Zarif said: “I believe that’s highly unlikely because it is important for Iran to received the benefits of the agreement and there was no way Iran would do a one-sided implementation of the agreement.”

Iran has always said its nuclear program was only for peaceful purposes and Zarif said if Tehran resumed its nuclear activities it would not be intended “to get a bomb.”

“America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear bomb, but we will pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment. If they want to fear anything its up to them,” Zarif said.

A representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government announced that flights between Sulaymaniyah International Airport and Tehran will resume soon.

Nadhim Dabbagh, representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Tehran, told the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) media that the Islamic Republic of Iran politically has decided to resume flights to Sulaymaniyah International Airport. Iranian airlines are scheduled to resume flights next Tuesday to Sulaymaniyah International Airport.

He added that the travel and tourism companies are organizing their flights to Sulaymaniyah.

 

 

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A force from the Peshmerga replaces the Iraqi army at the Qarahanger checkpoint, a Peshmerga commander announced that the Iraqi army had withdrawn from the checkpoint.

Major General Mariwan Mohammad, a commander of the Peshmerga forces, announced that the Qarahanger checkpoint had been under the control of the Iraqi forces, but had withdrawn and were replaced by the Peshmerga forces.

He added that the reason for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces is not yet known, but now under the control of the Peshmerga forces

 

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Authorities in Riyadh have called on drone enthusiasts to register with authorities before operating the aerial devices after a toy drone was reportedly shot down near the royal palace in the capital.

On Saturday, videos posted online purported to show Saudi security forces shooting down the drone near King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's palace, with heavy gunfire.

Riyadh police said security forces responded to an unauthorised, small drone-type toy after spotting it near a security point in the Khuzama neighbourhood.

It was not clear who was operating the device.

A spokesperson for the interior ministry said a framework regulating the use of drones was in "its final stages", state-run SPA news agency reported on Sunday.

The official said drone enthusiasts are expected to apply for a permit that would authorise them "to use drones for the purposes assigned to them in permitted sites from police in their neighbourhoods".

The spokesman said the measure would be temporary until the issuance of the regulation.

An unnamed senior Saudi official told Reuters news agency that King Salman was not in his palace at the time of Saturday's incident.

"The king was at his farm in Diriya," the official said, naming another area of Riyadh.

In October 2017, a gunman drove up to a gate of the king's palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and opened fire, killing at least two security guards and wounding three others before being shot dead.

The attacker, who was identified by the interior ministry as Mansour al-Amri, a 28-year-old Saudi national, was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and three Molotov cocktails.

 

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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