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Confusion, chaos after Taliban breach Afghan base kills 140 soldiers

(JERUSALEM POST) — Afghan soldier Zabihullah was chatting with an army comrade at their military base in northern Afghanistan when gunfire interrupted their quiet Friday afternoon.

“I asked my friend what was happening, and he said, relax, it must be one of us.”

It wasn’t. It was the Taliban.

Dressed in army uniforms, at least 10 Taliban attackers had breached the military headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif, eventually killing more than 140 soldiers, according to the latest estimates by officials.

“When they started hitting other soldiers, we understood that it was a terrorist attack,” Zabihullah told Reuters from his hospital bed, wounded by an explosion. “The soldiers were dropping like sparrows hit by a shotgun.”

The attack, which is likely the deadliest yet on an Afghan military base, represents a major blow to the country’s struggling security forces as they prepare for what is expected to be a year of bloody fighting against the Taliban, as well as other smaller militant groups like Islamic State.

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Paris terror attack: Live updates after ISIS gunman kills officer and injures two ‘as police hunt second suspect’

(UK MIRROR) — By Steve Robson and Joshua Taylor

A police officer has been killed after ‘terrorist’ gunmen opened fire with Kalashnikovs in Paris.

Shots rang out on the iconic Champs Elysees – one of the world’s most prestigious boulevards – leaving one officer dead and another two injured. A passerby was also wounded.

One of the suspects is dead but another is alive and an arrest warrant has been issued.

The attack, which has been claimed by ISIS, came when gunmen opened fire at a stationary police car at traffic lights, according to the French policing union.

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Heavily armed Muslim warns U.S. public: ‘Be terrified’

(WND) — By Leo Hohmann

A Muslim man entered a private gathering of Christians in a hotel ballroom in South Dakota, started cursing and livestreaming video on Facebook of the event and then, after he was ushered out, displayed multiple firearms and issued statements the speakers say were a direct threat to their safety.

The man, wearing a t-shirt that said, “I’m American, I’m a Muslim, I open carry, I conceal carry, and I’m dangerous only if you’re stupid,” was approached by a security guard and told to leave.

Once back in his car, he brandished an arsenal of weapons, including two military-style rifles with loaded magazines and three handguns, and made several threats of “Be scared, be F—ing scared. Be terrified.” Again, it was all livestreamed on Facebook while parked in the conference-center parking lot.

To the surprise of the conference organizers in Sioux Falls, after reviewing the videos, police chose not to charge the man with any crime. The state’s attorney says he’s still investigating but didn’t see anything criminal in nature on the videos.

The Muslim man, Ehab Jaber, a self-described former resident of Saudi Arabia who works as a server at a local steakhouse in Sioux Falls, was questioned by police and the FBI following his bizarre behavior at the April 9 Christian Worldview conference. And now two of the speakers at the event are saying if the security guard had not noticed Jaber’s strange activity and escorted him out, something “bad” could have happened to roughly 500 Christians, including women, children and at least two state legislators who were in attendance.

“It was a ticketed event but we didn’t have enough volunteers to be checking everyone coming in throughout the event,” said Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor and one of the speakers. “This guy came in after the event started so the way the hotel was set up, there were just too many ways to get in. This was a private event, a closed event for Christians, but that’s how he got in, because we just didn’t have the manpower to be checking everyone.”

“I do believe the off-duty police officer who noticed what was going on is a hero who may have stopped a potential attack,” said Brannon Howse, who was on the podium speaking when Jaber was asked to leave.

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Fresno frenzy: Muhammad shouts ‘Allahu akbar,’ kills 4

(WND) — By Bob Unruh

Police in Fresno say a black suspect identified as Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, has been taken into custody for allegedly shooting and killing four people after shouting “Allahu akbar” and declaring a hatred of “white people.”

Muhammad had been wanted in connection with the shooting death of a security guard nearby last Thursday, according to police chief Jerry Dyer.

On Tuesday, gunfire erupted at about 10:45 a.m. in Fresno. Within seconds a second shooting was reported, then a third and fourth.

Police reported the suspect allegedly fired at least 16 shots at four different locations in only a minute.

Fox News reported Dyer said Muhammad expressed hatred of white people and the government, but the police chief also said it wasn’t clear if the shootings were terror-related.

“Certainly by the statement that was made it could give that indication, however, there was no statement made on Thursday night when he shot the security guard and killed him. There was no comments or no statements made at that time, so I am not certain why he said what he said today,” the chief said.

Dyer said that as the suspect was taken into custody he yelled out “Allahu akbar.”

Police recounted the sequence of events. A PG&E truck drove into police headquarters and the driver reported his passenger had been shot by a gunman who had approached them. Then, Dyer said, the gunman walked over to a resident and opened fire but missed.

Encountering another man, the gunman fired and killed him. Dyer said he then headed toward Catholic Charities in the 100 block of North Fulton Street and opened fire on a man in the parking lot, striking and killing him.

Muhammad then was taken into custody.

Police said all of the victims Tuesday were white men.

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Officials: At least 94 Islamic State fighters dead in U.S. bombing

(UPI) — At least 94 Islamic State fighters were killed when the U.S. military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on militant group targets in Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Saturday.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, told several media outlets the number of dead was up from the 36 deaths reported on Friday. Officials said the number could increase as assessments of the bombing area continue.

“The number of Daesh fighters killed in the U.S. bomb in Achin district jumped to 94, including four commanders,” Khogiani told CNN, using an alternative name the IS. The IS’ media wing, Amaq News Agency, said none of its fighters were killed or injured.

The bomb dropped on Thursday was a 21,600-pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, nicknamed “the mother of all bombs” or MOAB. It was released from a C-130 Hercules in eastern Afghanistan at 7:32 local time. The device is the largest non-nuclear bomb in the Pentagon’s arsenal.

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Iraqi soldiers hit by Islamic State gas attack in western Mosul

(SKY NEWS) — A gas attack blamed on Islamic State militants has struck Iraqi soldiers in a newly-liberated area of Mosul.

The country’s military said jihadists fired a chlorine-filled rocket at troops who are trying to seize the west of the Iraqi city from IS.

Seven soldiers suffered breathing problems and were treated in a nearby field clinic following the night attack in al Abar.

US-backed Iraqi forces launched their offensive to reclaim western Mosul in February and have already taken back more than half of it.

But their progress has been slowed by improvised explosive devices and snipers as the troops engage in house-to-house fighting.

The US-led coalition is attempting to recapture the Old City from the extremists, but the ancient quarters are densely populated and there have been concerns over civilian casualties.

The jihadists have been sheltering behind families, using them as human shields and mounting attacks from their homes while terrorizing them into staying.

Thousands of civilians have managed to flee, but many are still trapped in what is the last major IS stronghold in Iraq.

The extremists were driven out of the eastern half of Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, in January.

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Terrorism one of gravest threats to religious freedom: Donald Trump

(THE ECONOMIC TIMES) — US President Donald Trump has said that terrorism is one of the gravest threats to religious freedom around the world and hoped for a “better tomorrow” when people of all faiths, including Hindus, can worship according to their conscience.

In his weekly radio and web address, he said the US has cherished the freedom of worship “from the very beginning”.

“That is the promise the first settlers saw in our vast continent — and it is the promise that our bravest warriors have protected for all of our citizens in centuries since, a long time ago,” he said yesterday.

“Sadly, many around the globe do not enjoy this freedom — and one of the gravest threats to religious freedom remains the threat of terror,” he said.

On Palm Sunday, as Christians around the world celebrated the beginning of the Holy Week, IS killed 45 people and injured over 100 at two Christian churches in Egypt, he said.

“We condemn this barbaric attack. We mourn for those who lost loved ones. And we pray for the strength and wisdom to achieve a better tomorrow — one where good people of all faiths, Christians and Muslims and Jewish and Hindu, can follow their hearts and worship according to their conscience,” Trump said.

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Coptic churches are devastated by double ISIS bombers as 43 Christians are killed at two Palm Sunday services in Egypt

(DAILY MAIL) — At least 43 people were killed in bomb attacks on two Egyptian Coptic churches on Palm Sunday that included the seat of the Coptic Pope, the latest assault on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamist militants.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also injured more than 100 people and occurred a week before Coptic Easter, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Egypt later this month.

The first bombing, in Tanta, a Nile Delta city about 100 km (60 miles) north of Cairo, tore through the inside of St. George Church during its Palm Sunday service, killing at least 27 people and injuring at least 78, the Ministry of Health said.

The second, carried out a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 16 people, including three police officers, and injuring 41, the ministry added.

Coptic Pope Tawadros, who had attended mass at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, was still in the building at the time of the explosion but was not harmed, the Interior Ministry said.

“These acts will not harm the unity and cohesion of the people,” Tawadros said later, according to state media.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi condemned the attacks and summoned the National Defense Council to an urgent session.

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Terrorist ringleader who rammed a truck into shoppers in Stockholm killing at least five people is ON THE LOOSE after fleeing chaotic scene during dramatic shootout

(DAILY MAIL) — A terrorist ringleader who rammed a truck into shoppers in Stockholm killing at least five people is on the run after fleeing the scene following a chaotic shootout.

The hijacked vehicle crashed into a packed shopping center and burst into flames.

Three men jumped out from the lorry and opened fire before trying to stab pedestrians, witnesses said.

Two men were tackled to the ground and arrested – but a third suspect is on the loose, immediately making him Europe’s most wanted man.

Police have released CCTV of the man wearing a green jacket, white shoes and a grey hoodie and have shut down Stockholm’s Central Station and tube network amid fears he is hiding underground.

Officers said the vehicle crashed into a group of people on the street outside a shopping center in Klarabergsgatan after racing down six streets at about 3pm local time.

Hundreds of shoppers were seen fleeing for their lives after the articulated lorry rammed into the corner of the building.

Horrifying images of the aftermath show blood smeared on the roads and bodies covered by blankets. Dozens more have been injured, some critically.

Stockholm Police said they are questioning two people in relation to the attack, but are yet to confirm if they are suspects.

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Kyrgyzstan: St. Petersburg subway bomb suspect ID’d

(USA TODAY) — Jane Onyanga-Omara and John Bacon

The suspect in a bombing in a St. Petersburg subway train that killed 11 people was identified Tuesday as a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, officials said.

The former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security said in a statement that it is cooperating with Russian authorities in the investigation.

“It has been established that an individual suspected of carrying out a terrorist attack is a native of our republic,” Rakhat Sulaimanov, the committee’s spokesman, told Russian news agency TASS.

The man was named as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in 1995, TASS reported.

Dozens of people were injured in the explosion Monday in Russia’s second-largest city. A second bomb laden with shrapnel was later diffused at a busy subway station, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city — his hometown — during the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Putin offered condolences to the families of the victims and promised a quick and thorough investigation.

“Law enforcement agencies and special services … will do everything to provide a full assessment on what has happened,” Putin said.

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