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Alaturka Gazetesi

Burkina Faso’s leader calls for unity against terrorism

By James Tasamba

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AA) – Burkina Faso’s president urged citizens Thursday to remain courageous and unite against terrorist groups, which have recently stepped up deadly attacks on civilians and security forces.

Roch Marc Kabore’s call in a televised address came a day after a deadly attack that left dozens dead and many wounded.

“I call on Burkinabe people from within the country and outside to unite and mobilize regardless of religion, ethnicity, political opinion, in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

The president said he had ordered the recruitment of defense volunteers in areas under threat, stressing that “only a general mobilization of sons and daughters of the nation” can defeat the murderers.

Noting that the attacks were aimed at generating fear among the people and destabilizing the country’s democracy, Kabore said the defense and security forces would hunt down the terrorists and all their accomplices.

At least 37 people were killed and more than 60 wounded Wednesday in an attack on a convoy transporting local employees of Canadian mining company Semafo in eastern Burkina Faso, authorities said.

The ambush by "unidentified armed individuals" took place in the morning, Saidou Sanou, the governor of Est Region, said in a statement.

The attack took place between Semafo’s Fada and Boungou mine sites, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Boungou, according to a statement by the company.

Five buses were being escorted by the military when they were ambushed leading to several fatalities and injuries, the company said.

The president has declared three days of national mourning beginning Friday.

“During these 72 hours, I invite each Burkinabe to recollection and introspection, to strengthen his faith in unity, cohesion and peace in our country,” he said.

The attack is seen as the deadliest since Muslim extremists became active in the country in 2015.

Three militant groups have been creating havoc in the country’s north and east.

But even the capital Ouagadougou has not been spared.

Reports indicate that hundreds of people have been killed so far this year and more than 150,000 have fled their homes due to attacks across the Sahel region.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Fifth convoy sets out from Syria’s Daraa for Idlib

By Esref Musa and Adham Kako

IDLIB, Syria /ANKARA (AA) – A fourth convoy carrying opposition fighters and civilians from Syria’s southwestern Daraa province arrived in opposition-held parts of Idlib and Aleppo in the country’s north on Saturday.

The 10-bus convoy is reportedly carrying some 452 passengers, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent based in the region.

With the new arrivals, at least 3,300 people have been evacuated from Daraa to Idlib and Aleppo’s western countryside in recent days.

On June 20, the Syrian regime — with Russian air support — launched a major military operation in Daraa, allowing it and its allies to establish control over most of Syria’s border with Jordan.

The fighting led to a major displacement crisis, with an estimated 350,000 civilians fleeing Daraa towards areas near the border.

Following peace talks last year in Kazakh capital Astana, Daraa was designated a “de-escalation zone” in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Bangladesh: US convoy attacked, 50 injured in protests

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Amid escalating casualties from nationwide student protests, the U.S. envoy’s convoy came under attack from a group of armed adults in the capital Dhaka, said U.S. officials on Sunday.

Ambassador Marcia Bernicat and her security team left the Mohammadpur area unharmed after the Saturday night attack, but two security vehicles were damaged, said a U.S. Embassy statement.

In a statement on Facebook, the embassy added: “While we do not condone the actions of a few who have engaged in senseless property destruction, including of buses and other vehicles, nothing can justify the brutal attacks and violence over the weekend against the thousands of young people who have been peacefully exercising their democratic rights in supporting a safer Bangladesh.”

University and high school students in Dhaka have been protesting for safer roads and justice for their two peers who were killed in an accident in Dhaka on July 29.

At least 50 people — including 10 journalists — were also injured in a clash between police and ruling party members, reported local daily Prothom Alo.

Several thousand students also marched on the Dhaka headquarters of the ruling Awami League in Dhanmondi to protest attacks on students on Saturday by Awami’s student branch, injuring hundreds.

Speaking to reporters, representatives of Awami and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) blamed each other for the volatile situation.

In another development, the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) unit arrested a local actress on charges of spreading rumors online which fueled the protests.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday warned of stern measures against anyone who tests the government’s patience.

He called on protesting students to go home, adding that their demands will be met.

The protests also again kept public buses off the streets, causing hardship to commuters in the capital.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

22nd convoy from Syria's Douma arrives in Al-Bab

ALEPPO, Syria (AA) – A 22nd convoy carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the city of Douma in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta arrived in Aleppo's Al-Bab district on Sunday, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents in the area.

The convoy of eight buses carried 145 people, including 55 children and 42 women, who will be brought to the Azaz district from Al-Bab where they will be provided with temporary accommodation in camps.

With the latest convoy, the number of people to have left Eastern Ghouta since the evacuation process began on March 22 has surpassed 60,000.

Evacuations from Douma are set to continue, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area.

Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, launched in late 2016, liberated Al-Bab from the Daesh terrorist group.

The operation, which concluded in March of last year, largely succeeded in purging the Turkey-Syria border area of the terrorist presence.

Evacuations are being conducted as part of a Russian-brokered agreement between Syria's Assad regime and armed opposition groups.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a cease-fire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, however, the regime and its allies in early March launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russia — aimed at recapturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.

Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has prevented the delivery of badly needed humanitarian supplies.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict and millions displaced.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

20th convoy from Syria's Douma arrives in Al-Bab

By Omer Koparan

ALEPPO, Syria (AA) – The 20th convoy carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the city of Douma in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta arrived in Aleppo's Al-Bab district late Friday, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.

The convoy carried 3532 people, including 1413 children and 903 women, who will be brought to the Azaz district from Al-Bab where they will be provided with temporary accommodation in camps.

With the latest convoy, the number of people to have left Eastern Ghouta since the evacuation process began on March 22 has surpassed 60,000.

Meanwhile, a Syrian child was killed and four people injured when Syrian regime forces reportedly shelled the 21st convoy as it moved to Al-Bab.

The attack took place on in Aseer al-Hanasir road in the regime-controlled Hama, according to Anadolu Agency's reporters.

The 21 convoy is set to arrive in Al-Bab during the upcoming hours.

Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, launched in late 2016, liberated Al-Bab from the Daesh terrorist group.

Evacuations are being conducted as part of a Russian-brokered agreement between Syria's Assad regime and armed opposition groups.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a cease-fire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, however, the regime and its allies in early March launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russia — aimed at recapturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.

Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has prevented the delivery of badly needed humanitarian supplies.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict and millions displaced.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

13th convoy departs E. Ghouta amid evacuation deal

By Esref Musa

IDLIB, Syria (AA) – The 13th convoy carrying civilians and opposition fighters from Syria’s besieged suburb of Eastern Ghouta arrived in the western suburbs of Aleppo and Idlib provinces on Monday.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area, the evacuees were taken from the towns of Arbin, Zamalka, and Ain Tarma.

Monday’s convoy was made of 28 buses carrying over 1,000 passengers, including injured people, patients, women and children.

Separately in Duma, one of the biggest districts in Eastern Ghouta, 89 injured and sick people were also evacuated.

At least 46,000 people have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta since the evacuation process began on March 22.

Evacuees are being accommodated at temporary refugee centers, and at local schools and mosques, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

The evacuations are part of a Russian-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a cease-fire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, however, the regime and its allies early in March launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russian air power — aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.

Home to some 400,000 residents, the district has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years which has prevented the delivery of badly needed humanitarian supplies.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE – More convoys from E. Ghouta arrive in Syria’s Hama

UPDATES WITH ARRIVAL OF 7TH CONVOY

By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa

IDLIB, Syria (AA) – More convoys carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta arrived in Syria’s central-west Hama province on Wednesday.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area, 57 buses — and four other vehicles for transporting the infirm — reached Hama with 3,241 passengers aboard.

Later the same day, a seventh convoy of 55 buses also arrived in Hama carrying 3,014 civilians, including a number of injured people and medical patients.

Evacuees will be accommodated at temporary refugee centers — and in local schools and mosques — in Syria’s northwestern Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

Last week, the first two convoys evacuated people from Eastern Ghouta’s town of Harasta. These were followed by additional evacuations from the towns of Arbin, Zamalka and Ain Tarma.

The evacuations come as part of a Russia-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.

To date, more than 25,000 people — including opposition fighters and their families — have been transported out of Eastern Ghouta.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a ceasefire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the ceasefire resolution, however, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russian air power — aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, at least 1,433 people have reportedly been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.

Home to some 400,000 residents, the district has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has prevented the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian supplies.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

6th convoy from Eastern Ghouta arrives in Syria’s Hama

By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa

IDLIB, Syria (AA) – A sixth convoy of vehicles carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta arrived in Syria’s central-west Hama province on Wednesday.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area, 57 buses — and four other vehicles for transporting the infirm — reached Hama with 3,241 passengers aboard.

Evacuees will be accommodated in temporary refugee centers set up in Syria’s northwestern Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

Last week, the first two convoys evacuated people from Eastern Ghouta’s town of Harasta. These were followed by additional evacuations from the towns of Arbin, Zamalka and Ain Tarma.

The evacuations come as part of a Russia-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.

To date, more than 22,000 people — including opposition fighters and their families — have been transported out of Eastern Ghouta.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a ceasefire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the ceasefire resolution, however, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russian air power — aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, at least 1,433 people have reportedly been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil-defense sources.

Home to some 400,000 residents, the district has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has prevented the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian supplies.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Evacuation convoy reaches Syria’s Idlib from E. Ghouta

By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa

IDLIB, Syria (AA) – A first convoy of vehicles carrying civilians and opposition fighters from the Harasta district of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta region reached Idlib and Aleppo on Friday.

An Anadolu Agency correspondent reported that 30 buses had reached Idlib and the western countryside of Aleppo province on Friday carrying more than 1,900 people, including women and children.

One female evacuee reportedly gave birth while making the trip, while a second died due to a chronic health condition.

Evacuees will be accommodated in refugee camps set up in Idlib and Aleppo by local civil society groups.

After making the 10-hour trip, evacuees were given humanitarian supplies provided by Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, IHH spokesman Selim Tosun said supplies included food packages, fruit, water and cleaning materials.

The evacuations come as a part of a Russia-brokered agreement between Syria’s Assad regime and armed opposition groups.

A total of 8,000 people — including opposition fighters and their families — are now slated for evacuation from Eastern Ghouta, a regime-besieged suburb of capital Damascus.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a ceasefire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the ceasefire resolution, however, the regime and its allies early this month launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russian air power — aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,000 people have reportedly been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta.

Home to some 400,000 civilian residents, the district has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has prevented the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian supplies.

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Alaturka Gazetesi

Turkey condemns attack on Palestinian PM convoy in Gaza

By Cansu Dikme

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Tuesday condemned the attack against the convoy of Palestinian premier in blockaded Gaza Strip.

An explosion struck near the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the Gaza Strip earlier in the day, which premier described as an “assassination attempt”.

“We strongly condemn the armed attack against the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah in Gaza today,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We wish that our Palestinian brothers act in unity and solidarity against this provocative attack,” it added.

Turkey also wished a speedy recovery for the wounded and expected the perpetrators of the attack to be identified as soon as possible.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.