UK police arrest 2nd man in London subway attack case

London — London police say a second man has been arrested in connection with the London subway attack.

Police said on Sunday that a 21-year-old man was arrested late Saturday night in Hounslow in west London. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act.

Two men are now in custody for their possible role in the attack that injured 29 people.

Britain’s terror threat level remains at “critical” — the highest level — meaning that authorities believe another attack is imminent.

Police on Saturday arrested an 18-year-old man in the port of Dover — the main ferry link to France — and then launched a massive armed search in the southwestern London suburb of Sunbury.

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New jihadist alliance claims border attack in Mali

Dakar – A new jihadist alliance claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack that killed three members of Mali’s security forces on March 29, according to a statement released by jihadist monitoring group SITE.

Three Malian jihadist groups with previous Al-Qaeda links recently joined forces to create the “Group to Support Islam and Muslims” (GSIM), led by Iyad Ag Ghaly of Islamist organisation Ansar Dine.

The group, also known as Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen in Arabic, mounted an attack that killed three gendarmes, they said, though Malian security sources told AFP the day of the attack that it was two soldiers and a civilian who were killed.

“This past Wednesday, a brigade of mujahideen was able to attack a Malian gendarmerie post in Boulikessi, which is part of the Douentza area, near the Burkinabe border,” the statement released by SITE said.

“The attack resulted in killing three gendarmes and seizing some weapons and ammunition as spoils,” it added.

It is believed to be the jihadist alliance’s second operation after their merger, following the killing of 11 soldiers in the same area on March 5.

Ansar Dine was involved in an onslaught that saw northern Mali fall out of government control for nearly a year from spring 2012.

The extremists were later expelled from the region by a French-led international military intervention.

Nonetheless large swathes of northern Mali continue to come under attack from jihadist groups.

The area is also seen by governments battling the jihadist threat as a launchpad for attacks against other countries in the region.

Red Cross team attacked while burying Ebola dead

Conakry – A Red Cross team was attacked while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea, the latest in a string of assaults that are hindering efforts to control West Africa’s current outbreak.

One Red Cross worker is recovering after being wounded in the neck in Tuesday’s attack in Forecariah, according to Benoit Carpentier, a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Family members of the dead initially set upon the six volunteers and vandalized their cars, said Mariam Barry, a resident. Eventually a crowd gathered and headed to the regional health office, where they threw rocks at the building.

The attack is the most recent in a series that have plagued teams working to bury bodies, provide information about Ebola and disinfect public places.

The most shocking to date was the abduction and killing last week of a team of several health officials and journalists in Guinea who were educating people on how to avoid contracting Ebola.

Ebola is believed to have infected more than 5 800 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal. The outbreak has grown into the world’s largest ever for the disease, partially because it went undetected for months, began in a highly mobile area and has spread to densely populated West African cities.

Wrong messages

Resistance to efforts to control the disease, from outright denials that Ebola exists to fears that the very people sent to combat it are in fact carriers has frustrated efforts to end or even slow the disease’s spread in all three of the most affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, say officials.

There are deeply held beliefs about how dead bodies should be treated and buried in the region and teams that are forced to interfere with those practices are often targeted, said the Red Cross spokesperson, Carpentier.

Much of the resistance is in remote, insular areas, where attitudes change slowly, a difficult task even on issues that aren’t so sensitive as burials.

“You need to reach almost one person by one person, so they all understand and there’s not one person who doesn’t believe and they drag the entire village around by spreading wrong messages”, he said.

The conventional methods used to control Ebola, isolating sick people and tracing all their contacts are buckling under the sheer size of the outbreak. Public health experts are beginning to hope that vaccines now being tested might eventually make an impact.

There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, although some patients have received experimental drugs and scientists are now testing two vaccines.

Previously experts had said a drug or vaccine was unlikely to be ready in time to help in this outbreak. But on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said projected year-end quantities of vaccines could be large enough to have some impact on controlling the disease.

That would make this the first Ebola outbreak in history to be tackled with vaccines or medicines.

“It may be that without a vaccine, we may not be able to stop this epidemic”, said Dr Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a co-discoverer of Ebola. “In this outbreak, we are reaching the limit of what classic containment measures can achieve.”

Even if vaccines and treatments aren’t ready in time for this outbreak, scientists must prepare for the next one, said Jeremy Farrar, director of Welcome Trust.

“We must be in a position where this is the last outbreak of Ebola where we do not have any vaccines or treatments available”, he said.

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4 on trial for ‘China’s 9/11’ knife attack

Beijing – Four people accused of orchestrating a knife attack that killed dozens of people at a Chinese train station went on trial on Friday, a court said, in a case authorities blamed on separatists from largely Muslim Xinjiang.

The 1 March carnage in Kunming, in southwestern China, also saw more than 140 people wounded and was dubbed “China’s 9/11” by state-run media.

The suspects, whose names appear to identify them as members of the Uighur minority, are accused of “leading a terrorist group” which planned and executed the attack, Kunming’s Intermediate Court said on a verified microblog account.

State prosecutors said three of the suspects were arrested while attempting to cross China’s border, it said.

The other accused took part in the attack, along with at least four other assailants whom police shot dead at the scene, prosecutors added.

Death penalty

Beijing blamed the attack on “separatists” from the resource-rich far western region of Xinjiang, where dozens have died in clashes between locals and security forces over the last year.

Militants from Xinjiang were also accused of organising an explosive attack in the regional capital Urumqi which killed 31 people in May, and a suicide car crash in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last year.

Rights groups blame unrest in Xinjiang on cultural and religious repression of Uighurs, who sometimes attempt to escape China and seek asylum in Southeast Asia.

China’s courts have a near-100% conviction rate and the death penalty is regularly handed down in terrorism cases.

China last month announced the executions of eight people for “terrorist attacks”, including three it described as “masterminding” the car crash in Tiananmen Square. That came after 13 people were executed in June for attacks in Xinjiang.

DISCLAIMER: Gaza-Tshisa News Room [G.N.R] Encourages Freedom Of Speech And The Expression Of Diverse Views.

4 on trial for ‘China’s 9/11’ knife attack

Beijing – Four people accused of orchestrating a knife attack that killed dozens of people at a Chinese train station went on trial on Friday, a court said, in a case authorities blamed on separatists from largely Muslim Xinjiang.

The 1 March carnage in Kunming, in southwestern China, also saw more than 140 people wounded and was dubbed “China’s 9/11” by state-run media.

The suspects, whose names appear to identify them as members of the Uighur minority, are accused of “leading a terrorist group” which planned and executed the attack, Kunming’s Intermediate Court said on a verified microblog account.

State prosecutors said three of the suspects were arrested while attempting to cross China’s border, it said.

The other accused took part in the attack, along with at least four other assailants whom police shot dead at the scene, prosecutors added.

Death penalty

Beijing blamed the attack on “separatists” from the resource-rich far western region of Xinjiang, where dozens have died in clashes between locals and security forces over the last year.

Militants from Xinjiang were also accused of organising an explosive attack in the regional capital Urumqi which killed 31 people in May, and a suicide car crash in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last year.

Rights groups blame unrest in Xinjiang on cultural and religious repression of Uighurs, who sometimes attempt to escape China and seek asylum in Southeast Asia.

China’s courts have a near-100% conviction rate and the death penalty is regularly handed down in terrorism cases.

China last month announced the executions of eight people for “terrorist attacks”, including three it described as “masterminding” the car crash in Tiananmen Square. That came after 13 people were executed in June for attacks in Xinjiang.

DISCLAIMER: Gaza-Tshisa News Room [G.N.R] Encourages Freedom Of Speech And The Expression Of Diverse Views.

Fresh attack in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region

Nairobi – Unidentified gunmen raided a village near Kenya’s restive coastal town of Lamu early on Friday, Kenyan officials said, the latest in a string of attacks in the region.

Officials said more than 10 raiders struck at Pandanguo village, about 40km from Mpeketoni -here close to 50 people were massacred in an attack last month – stole guns from police reservists and torched houses and other buildings.

The Kenyan Red Cross said there were no reports of any casualties in the latest attack.

“The heavily armed attackers raided the village at around 01:00 today [Friday] and disarmed six police reservists,” Kaviha Charo Karisa, a local area assistant chief, told AFP.

“They burnt several houses, including a school and a dispensary, as well as robbed people in the village. There were no casualties suffered during the attack,” he said.

String of killings

It comes just days after a gang attacked and burnt offices of a conservation organisation in the area.

On Monday, armed attackers raided Amu Ranch, a community-run wildlife reserve working to support local peoples, animals and traditional ways of life, some 16km west of the coastal town of Lamu.

No one has claimed responsibility for the latest assaults, but the attacks the follows a string of killings in the same area in which at least 87 people have been killed, according to the Red Cross.

Somalia’s al-Qaeda linked Shabaab have claimed responsibility for earlier attacks, saying they were in retaliation for Kenya’s military presence in Somalia as part of the African Union force supporting the country’s fragile and internationally-backed government.

However, police and government officials have blamed the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), a group that campaigns for independence of the coastal region.

DISCLAIMER: Gaza-Tshisa Encourages Freedom Of Speech And The Expression Of Diverse Views.