Armed men open fire at Iranian Parliament

BBC reports that at least one gun man opened fire at a guard at the Iranian Parliament. BBC was citing news agencies. There are no confirmed reports of other casualties. A witness is reported to have told Reuters that the incident is over. The Iranian news IRIB has been quoted as saying that there were several attackers.

“There were three attackers armed with two Kalashnikov rifles and one colt pistol,” MP Elyas Hazrati was quoted as saying. BBC

In another incident of a similar nature at a mausoleum  several kilometers to the south happened at the same time.

“A person entered Iranian parliament today and started shooting at the guards. He shot one of the guards in the leg and ran away,” the Fars and Mehr news agencies reported in their Telegram messenger feeds. DW

DW reports quoting Iranian news agencies that a man blew himself up t the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini. Straits Times reports that a guard at the Iranian Parliament was killed, it was citing the AFP and REUTERS.

Lawmaker Elias Hazrati said three assailants, one with a pistol and two with AK-47 assault rifles, raided parliament, according the state television website. STRAITS TIMES


Another attack in London

Six people have been killed in London Borough, three suspects have been killed. The incident is being described as a terror attack, it happened at London Bridge and Borough. A speeding van hit pedestrians and then the suspects came out out and stabbed pedestrians and police officials. London Bridge station will remain closed overnight.

Thirty people have been taken to hospital for injuries. A police statement has said that investigations are underway even as the police and other services are providing rescue and relief.

This attack comes when the country is still coming to terms with the Manchester attack. The three attackers are reported to be killed.

Witnesses reported that at least one man jumped out of the van wielding a large knife and ran into the nearby Borough Market, a popular spot for pubs and restaurants on the southern side of the Thames. THE NEW YORK TIMES

The suspects were wearing, what looked like a suicide belt which turned out to be fake. | THE NEW YORK TIMES | BBC

Gunshots heard in Manila luxury resort

The Straits Times reports that “gunshots rang and fire broke out at Resorts World Manila.” Initial reports are linking the incident to the fighting between the Philippines forces and militants in Southern Philippines. CNN reports of blasts being heard and masked gunman being seen at the resort. According to the news channel the resort has been put under lockdown. Witnesses report hearing a blast when they were in the casino in the resort.

The resort has an array of hotels, resorts and bars, CNN reports. Philippines has been grappling with terror related violence especially in its southern region.

Plug pulled on US interview with wanted Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui

‘China using terror tactics against my family’, businessman claims

Image result for guo wen gui

Guo Wen Gui via Google

A highly anticipated interview in which a wanted tycoon said Chinese law enforcement authorities were harassing him and his family as part of a corruption cover up was interrupted by the broadcaster on Wednesday, sparking intense speculation on social media.

Washington DC-based Voice of America cut the interview short owing to “pressure from various parties”, VOA interviewee Guo Wengui, who is subject to an Interpol “red notice”, said in a video posted on his Twitter feed following the VOA interview.

Government bodies in the US and China have both been blamed by some social media commentators for the abrupt ending, and differing explanations from the parties involved in the interview have left the question open…


China chases billionaire who threatens ‘explosive’ allegations against elite

Guo Wengui says he is victim of a witch hunt after he vows to lift the lid on alleged corruption at senior levels of the Communist party

The billionaire, who has aired his as yet unproven allegations on his Twitter account and in a succession of recent interviews, accused Beijing of trying to silence him with “terror” tactics.

Guo Wengui’s claims are a PR disaster for president Xi Jinping.

Guo Wengui’s claims are a PR disaster for president Xi Jinping. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images / Picture from

“I’m greatly encouraged by the arrest notice. At least it will make people understand the true nature of my case,” he said. “If there was no such thing as corruption in China, the government wouldn’t become scared and frightened of me speaking the truth.”

In a brief message to the Associated Press, Guo added: “It’s all lies, all threats. It shows they are scared of me leaking explosive information.”

Willy Lam, a political expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Guo’s decision to go public was an extraordinary move that was certain to put him on the wrong side of Xi Jinping.

“It is the first time a [Chinese] billionaire, whether in or outside of China, has exposed this kind of dirty linen in public,” he said.

Lam said Guo’s claims concerning the relatives of top Communist party figures had yet to be fully substantiated. Even so, they represented “a big public relations disaster for the Xi Jinping administration and for the Communist party in…

Erdogan wins Turkey referendum as opposition cries foul

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo  / Picture from THE HINDU

The result could also have even wider implications for Turkey which joined NATO in 1952 and for the last half-century has set its sights on joining the European Union.

The ‘Yes’ campaign won 51.4 percent of the vote against 48.6 percent for ‘No’, the election commission said in figures quoted by state news agency Anadolu, in a count based on 99.5 percent of the ballot boxes. Turnout was a high 85 percent.

As huge crowds of flag-waving supporters celebrated on the streets, Mr. Erdogan praised Turkey for taking a “historic decision”.

“With the people, we have realised the most important reform in our history,” he added.

But opposition supporters in anti-Erdogan districts of Istanbul showed their dissatisfaction by bashing pots and pans with kitchen utensils to create a noisy protest. Hundreds also took to the streets in the areas of Besiktas and Kadikoy…THE HINDU


Erdogan claims victory in Turkish referendum; opposition plans challenge

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said it would challenge two-thirds of the votes, saying: “There is an indication of a 3-4 percentage point manipulation of the vote.”

Similarly, the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) has said they could appeal up to 60 percent of the vote. CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the party will not accept a “yes” camp victory.

“This referendum brought a truth to light – at least 50 percent of the people said ‘no’,” Kilicdaroglu said.

The referendum was carried out under a state of emergency that has seen around 47,000 people arrested in a crackdown following last July’s failed military coup against Erdogan…

Deadly Aleppo suicide attack targets evacuees from besieged areas

Aleppo suicide bombing

A screengrab from video provided by the Thiqa news agency shows the aftermath of the attack. Photograph: AP / Picture from The Guardian

Emma Graham-Harrison | April 16 2017

A suicide car bomber has killed and injured dozens of people and fractured a complex deal to evacuate four besieged towns in Syria, leaving thousands of people trapped in limbo.

The bomber targeted buses full of evacuees from government-held towns as they waited in a rebel-held area on the outskirts of Aleppo. He drove his explosives up to their vehicles in a van meant to carry aid supplies.

Syrian TV put the toll at 39, while the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring organisation, said at least 43 people had been killed and that the toll was expected to rise.

Images from the scene showed bodies on the ground around blackened vehicles, as thick smoke rose into the air. A senior rebel official said about 20 fighters guarding the buses had been killed, along with people inside.

Residents of rebel-held towns waiting in buses in government territory said they were terrified they could face reprisal attacks.

They appealed to international organisations including the UN for security guarantees, asking them to “provide the necessary protection to reach our final destinations”…

North Korea will respond to any nuclear attack in kind, No. 2 official says

Military vehicles carrying missiles with characters reading ‘Pukkuksong’ during / Picture from THE STRAITS TIMES

SEOUL (Reuters, AFP) – North Korea is prepared to respond to any nuclear attack by the United States in kind, the country’s No. 2 official said Saturday (April 15), as the regime displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il Sung.

“We’re prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and we are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks,” Choe Ryong Hae said in a speech at a ceremony before a large military parade started, which was broadcast live by the North’s Korean Central TV.

A US Navy attack on a Syrian airfield this month raised questions about US President Donald Trump’s plans for reclusive North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN and unilateral sanctions, regularly threatening to destroy the United States…THE STRAITS TIMES

North Korea vows to respond to US aggression with ‘nuclear attack’

Nordkorea Militärparade in Pjöngjang (picture alliance/AP Photo/W. Maye-E)

The military parade showed off North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated military hardware / Picture from

With the US Navy deployed near the Korean Peninsula, and experts speculating that Pyongyang was preparing another nuclear test, the tensions have been rising in recent days.

The huge military parade on Saturday showed off what appeared to be the country’s increasingly sophisticated military hardware, including ballistic missiles, to the accompaniment of marching music and a large audience.

“We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of nuclear attack,” Choe Ryong Hae, a top North Korean officer, said. Choe is considered by outside analysts to be the country’s most powerful official after the leader Kim Jong Un…

US Attacks IS in Afghanistan

US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan

This image taken from a video released by the U.S. Department of Defence on March 11, 2003, shows the exploding Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, nicknamed “mother of all bombs” in Florida.   | Photo Credit: AFP / PICTURE FROM THE HINDU

APRIL 14 2017 | Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne

The US military dropped America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb on ISIS targets in Afghanistan Thursday, the first time this type of weapon has been used in battle, according to US officials.

A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission. A MOAB is a 30-foot-long, 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition…CNN

US Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb on ISIS Target

U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an ISIS tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said.

The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives. When it was developed in the early 2000s the Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use…

US military drops ‘mother of all bombs on IS’ in Afghanistan

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), known as “the mother of all bombs”, is the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used by the US in a conflict.

The Pentagon said it was dropped from a US aircraft in Nangarhar province.

The news came hours after the Pentagon admitted an air strike in Syria mistakenly killed 18 rebels.

It said a partnered force had mistakenly identified the target location as an IS position, but the strike on 11 April had killed rebels from the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is backed by Washington…BBC

Beslan school siege: Russia ‘failed to prevent’ 2004 massacre

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia is guilty of serious failings in the Beslan school siege in which about 330 people died in 2004.

What happened in Beslan?

People commemorate the victims of the 2004 Beslan school siege

People gather in the gym of School 1 to commemorate the victims of the 2004 Beslan school siege, on 1 September 2016. Photograph: Tass/Barcroft Images / Picture from

Masked men and women, wearing bomb belts, burst into Beslan’s School Number One, opening fire in the courtyard as a ceremony marking the beginning of the school year was finishing.

The hostages were crammed into their school sports hall beneath explosives strung from the basketball hoops. Their captors were demanding Russian troops pull out of Chechnya….BBC

Russia could have done more to prevent Beslan school siege, court finds

Russian authorities failed to take sufficient steps to stop the 2004 Beslan school siege in North Ossetia in which more than 330 people were killed, the European court of human rights has ruled.

The court said Russian authorities had received information that a terror attack was being planned and security at the school was not increased sufficiently.

Chechen militants stormed the school on 1 September 2004, beginning a three-day hostage crisis. The death toll included 184 children…