UPDATE – Turkey calls to stop 'Islamophobic fascist terrorism'

             UPDATES WITH CONDEMNATION BY TURKEY'S PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR</p>    <p>By Jeyhun Aliyev</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Friday urged the world to stop the &quot;Islamophobic fascist terrorism&quot; after the armed attack at two mosques in New Zealand.</p>    <p>&quot;Attack on two mosques in New Zealand shows the point where Islamopfobia, Muslim hostility reached,&quot; Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, said on Twitter.</p>    <p>His remarks came after twin mosque attacks in Christchurch which claimed at least 40 lives, according to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.</p>    <p>Kalin strongly condemned &quot;the fascist terrorist attack&quot; and wished God's mercy on those killed.</p>    <p>&quot;This cowardly act shows how anti-Muslim rhetoric and hatred leads to murderous acts. The world must break its silence over Islamophobic hatred.</p>    <p>&quot;We have seen many times that Islamophobic rhetoric against Islam and Muslims have turned into a perverse and murderous ideology,&quot; Kalin said.</p>    <p>So far, four people have been taken into custody regarding the incident, according to New Zealand police.</p>    <p>Meanwhile, Fahrettin Altun, Turkey's presidential communications director, also condemned the armed attack on Twitter.</p>    <p>&quot;I condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s terror attack in #Christchurch,&quot; Altun said.</p>    <p>He also said that his thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.</p>    <p>&quot;This is a reminder that a house divided cannot stand: it is time to unite against all forms of terrorism,&quot; Altun urged.

New Zealand: 4 people arrested after mosque attacks

             By Jeyhun Aliyev</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - At least four people were taken into custody after Friday's armed attacks at two mosques in New Zealand, police said.</p>    <p>On Twitter, police confirmed that there have been a number of fatalities, adding: &quot;So far, four people, three men and a woman, have been taken into custody after being apprehended by police.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that at least 40 people were killed in twin mosque attacks in Christchurch city.

New Zealand police asked all mosques across the country to shut their doors after attacks.

"We ask all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advise that people refrain from visiting these premises until further notice.”

Police continue to respond to an "ongoing serious and tragic firearms incident" in Christchurch, it said, adding: "We can confirm that Police have been dealing with two shootings at two mosques in Christchurch one at Deans Avenue and one at Linwood Avenue.”

Police also strongly urged Christchurch residents to stay indoors and keep safe.

Turkey calls to stop 'Islamophobic fascist terrorism'

             By Jeyhun Aliyev</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey on Friday urged the world to stop the &quot;Islamophobic fascist terrorism&quot; after the armed attack at two mosques in New Zealand.</p>    <p>&quot;Attack on two mosques in New Zealand shows the point where Islamopfobia, Muslim hostility reached,&quot; Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, said on Twitter.</p>    <p>Kalin's remarks came after attacks in two mosques in Christchurch where at least nine people were reportedly killed. </p>  <p>He strongly condemned &quot;the fascist terrorist attack&quot; and wished God's mercy on those killed.

"This cowardly act shows how anti-Muslim rhetoric and hatred leads to murderous acts.
The world must break its silence over Islamophobic hatred.

"We have seen many times that Islamophobic rhetoric against Islam and Muslims have turned into a perverse and murderous ideology," Kalin said.

New Zealand police confirmed that there have been a number of fatalities.

"So far, four people, three men and a woman, have been taken into custody after being apprehended by Police,” police said on Twitter.

Afghanistan: US soldier killed in armed attack

By Sayed Khodaberdi Sadat

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – A U.S. soldier with the NATO force in Afghanistan was killed in an armed attack, the NATO mission to the country announced on Tuesday.

Details were not given on the soldier’s identity and the place of the attack.

As the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force entered the 18th year of its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2019, it has evolved into training and advising of the nascent Afghan security forces.

Around 12,000 foreign troops from 28 NATO allies and 14 other partner nations agreed to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

The U.S. is a part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission (RSM) — launched in January 2015 — to train advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions.

Armed attackers kill 37 Fulani civilians in Mali

            By Alaattin Dogru</p>  <p>DAKAR, Senegal (AA) - At least 37 people have been killed in an armed attack in Mali’s central Mopti region, the government said Tuesday.</p>  <p>The attackers, dressed as traditional Dozo hunters, arrived on motorbikes and opened fire on the village of Koulogon, killing ethnic Fulani civilians. The victims included women and children.</p>  <p>Soldiers were present in the village from Dec. 22-31 due to threats against the village headman.</p>  <p>Fulani herders, who live mostly in central Mali, have been subjected to attacks in recent years due to terrorist incidents in the region.</p>  <p>Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed military coup and a rebellion by the nomadic Tuareg ethnic group that ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take over the northern half of the country.</p>  <p>In 2015, a peace deal was signed between the government and some insurgent groups.</p>  <p>Political and community disputes continue to fuel tensions in northern Mali, undermining the implementation of the peace agreement.</p>  <p> </p>  <p> 

Gun attack martyrs police chief in northeastern Turkey

             By Muhittin Sandikci and Meltem Ozturk</p>    <p>RIZE/ANKARA, Turkey (AA) - A police chief was martyred in an armed attack in the northeastern Turkish province of Rize, the provincial governor said on Tuesday. </p>    <p>A police officer, identified by his initials I.S., opened fire at Altug Verdi, 46, at his office at around 2.50 p.m. local time [1150 GMT] when the first handed in his appointment demand to the chief. </p>    <p>According to Rize Governor Kemal Ceber, the chief did reportedly not accept the officer’s demand.</p>    <p>The attacker also wounded Ercan Polat, the head of a personnel office, in the chest and the back, and Yigit Can Koksal, bodyguard of the police chief, in his leg, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in the capital Ankara. </p>    <p>The police chief, who sustained injuries in his neck, succumbed to his wounds in the hospital, Oktay added, while the others are not in critical condition.</p>    <p>The attacker, who was wounded in the foot by Koksal, was arrested.

Turkey arrests 2 over attack on Italian priest's killer

By Ali Balli

MUGLA, Turkey (AA) – At least two suspects thought to have links to an armed attack targeting the killer of an Italian priest and his brother were arrested in southern Turkey, police sources said early Wednesday.

Police squads rounded up the suspects identified by the initials E.D. and S.K. in Antalya province, according to sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The suspects were brought to Bodrum State Hospital for health inspection, while tight security measures were taken.

The arrests came after Oguzhan Akdin — killer of an Italian priest — and his brother Alparslan Akdin, were injured in an armed attack in the resort district of Bodrum in southwestern Mugla province.

Alparslan Akdin remains in critical condition, according to hospital sources.

Oguzhan Akdin had been sentenced to 18 years and 10 months of jail after killing Santa Maria Church priest Andrea Santoro on Feb. 5, 2006 in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, but had been freed in 2016.

UPDATE 7 – Iran: 25 killed in attack on military march

UPDATES WITH NEW TOLL, HEADLINE CHANGE

By Mustafa Kamel and Muhammed Kursun and Ibrahim Saleh

TEHRAN (AA) – The toll of people killed and injured on Saturday in the armed attack targeted a military march in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz risen to 25 people killed and 60 people injured, according to Iran’s IRNA official news agency.

Earlier Saturday, Iranian local media reported that, at least 24 people killed and 53 people injured over the attack, explaining that, including members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. A journalist named Yunus Purhulu was among those killed.

A woman and a child were among the injured, according to an earlier report by IRNA.

Iranian local media reported that gunmen wearing military uniforms fired at the Iranian forces during a military parade, an attack that lasted for about 10 minutes.

For his part, spokesman for Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi announced that “three terrorists were killed” on the spot over the attack, while a fourth one who has been wounded “died in hospital", IRNA reported.

Shekarchi mentioned in an earlier statement that three of the terrorists were killed by security forces while a fourth one has been arrested.

"Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

According to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman Ramezan Sharif said “The attack by some elements of al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia, aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the parade by the Iranian armed forces.”

However, the self-proclaimed Daesh terrorist organization claimed latter Saturday its responsibility for the attack through its electronic website “Amaq”.

Through the Amaq website, Daesh claimed that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was attending the targeted military parade.

The website, however, has not published any footage or video for the attack.

Iranian authorities “temporarily” shut down two border crossings with Iraq, according to an Iraqi customs official who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

The two border crossings in question are that Shalamjah (adjacent to Iraq’s Basra governorate) and Al-Shib (adjacent to Iraq’s Maysan governorate).

UPDATE 6 – Iran: 24 killed in attack on military march

UPDATES WITH DAESH'S RESPONSIBILITY CLAIM

By Mustafa Kamel and Muhammed Kursun and Ibrahim Saleh

TEHRAN (AA) – At least 24 people killed and 53 people injured on Saturday in an armed attack targeting a military march in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz, local media reported.

Out of 24 killed, at least 11 were members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. A journalist named Yunus Purhulu was among those killed.

A woman and a child were among the injured, Iran's official news agency (IRNA) reported.

Iranian local media reported that gunmen wearing military uniforms fired at the Iranian forces during a military parade, an attack that lasted for about 10 minutes.

For his part, spokesman for Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi announced that, “three terrorists were killed” on the spot over the attack, while a fourth one who has been wounded “died in hospital", ISNA reported.

Shekarchi mentioned in earlier statement that three of the terrorists were killed by security forces while a fourth one has been arrested.

"Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

According to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman Ramezan Sharif said “The attack by some elements of al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia, aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the parade by the Iranian armed forces.”

However, the self-proclaimed Daesh terrorist organization claimed latter Saturday its responsibility for the attack through its electronic website “Amaq”.

Through the Amaq website, Daesh claimed that, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was attending the targeted military parade.

The website, however, has not published any footage or video for the attack.

Iranian authorities “temporarily” shut down two border crossings with Iraq, according to an Iraqi customs official who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

The two border crossings in question are that Shalamjah (adjacent to Iraq’s Basra governorate) and Al-Shib (adjacent to Iraq’s Maysan governorate).

UPDATE 5 – Iran: 24 killed in attack on military march

UPDATES NUMBER OF ATTACKERS KILLED AND WOUNDED

By Mustafa Kamel and Muhammed Kursun and Ibrahim Saleh

TEHRAN (AA) – At least 24 people killed and 53 people injured on Saturday in an armed attack targeting a military march in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahwaz, local media reported.

Out of 24 killed, at least 11 were members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. A journalist named Yunus Purhulu was among those killed.

A woman and a child were among the injured, Iran's official news agency (IRNA) reported.

Iranian local media reported that gunmen wearing military uniforms fired at the Iranian forces during a military parade, an attack that lasted for about 10 minutes.

For his part, Spokesman for Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi announced that, “three terrorists were killed”on the spot over the attack, while a fourth one who has been wounded “died in hospital,” ISNA reported.

Shekarchi mentioned in earlier statement that three of the terrorists were killed by security forces while a fourth one has been arrested.

"Terrorists recruited, trained, armed & paid by a foreign regime have attacked Ahvaz. Children and journos among casualties. Iran holds regional terror sponsors and their US masters accountable for such attacks. Iran will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of Iranian lives," tweeted Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

According to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman Ramezan Sharif said “The attack by some elements of al-Ahvaziya group which is fed by Saudi Arabia, aimed to overshadow the magnificence of the parade by the Iranian armed forces.”

Iranian authorities “temporarily” shut down two border crossings with Iraq, according to an Iraqi customs official who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

The two border crossings in question are that Shalamjah (adjacent to Iraq’s Basra governorate) and Al-Shib (adjacent to Iraq’s Maysan governorate).