The Asian Age – Six killed in London terror attack, three attackers shot dead: police

The police believe all of the attackers were killed, but investigations are underway to ensure there are no more

London, 4 June 2017. Terrorism struck at the heart of London, police said Sunday, after a vehicle veered off the road and mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and witnesses told of men with large knives stabbing passers-by at nearby Borough Market.

Police said six people died and 20 were injured in the attacks, while police shot dead three suspects. The Metropolitan Police head of counter-terrorism, Mark Rowley, said police believe all of the attackers were killed, but investigations are underway to ensure there are no more.

The violence turned a summery on Saturday night in an area packed with bars and restaurants into a scene of panic and chaos, with officers running through crowded streets screaming for people to flee and lifeboats drafted to help clear the area.

The Metropolitan Police force declared the attacks “terrorist incidents.” Hours after the attacks began, a large area of central London remained cordoned off and police told people to avoid the area, leaving tourists and revellers struggling to get home. It was unclear whether any of the attackers was on the run.

Bursts of gunfire echoed through the streets, likely from armed police, and at least three blasts rang out as police performed controlled explosions. One image taken by a witness showed a man on the ground surrounded by police; he appeared to be wearing a vest with canisters attached to it.

Gerard Vowls told The Guardian newspaper that he saw a woman being stabbed by three men at the south end of London Bridge. He said he threw chairs, glasses and bottles at the attackers in a bid to stop them.

“They kept coming to try to stab me, they were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people,” he told the newspaper. “I want to know if this girl is still alive. I’ve been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don’t know what to do.”

Bartender Alex Martinez said he hid in a garbage bin for a half hour when a man stormed the restaurant where he worked, which was nearly full. “I saw that man with a knife in his hand and after that a man started screaming so I knew something wrong was happening,” he said.

Medics treated the injured near the market as shocked people cried and shouted around them. Police officers yelled at people to run from the area. Simon Thompson told Sky News that he was just outside Borough Market when he saw crowds fleeing.

“We ran for like 100 meters and then saw loads of police cars turned up and there was kind of a period of quite intense gunfire,” he said. “I hid in a restaurant basement for about an hour. … Police told us to get out and then there was more gunfire.”

The mayhem began just after 2:30 pm IST (2100GMT), when police responded to reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on London Bridge, which crosses the River Thames in central London. Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting as many as six pedestrians.

“We saw injured people on the road, injured people on the pavement,” witness Will Heaven told Sky News.

Soon after, reports started coming in of stabbings at Borough Market, a nearby area full of bars and restaurants surrounding a popular food market. Witnesses reported seeing as many as three attackers with knives.

Police initially said officers were also responding to a third incident, in the Vauxhall neighborhood, but later said that turned out to be an unrelated stabbing. Police tweeted a warning telling people in the area to run to safety, hide and then call police if it is safe to do so. They asked Londoners to “remain calm but be alert and vigilant.”

Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the attack “is being treated as a potential act of terrorism” and said her thoughts were with “those who are caught up in these dreadful events.” May’s office said she would chair a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee on Sunday.

As thousands of people flooded from the area of the attacks, many unable to get home with nearby underground stations shut, locals were quick to offer assistance.

The Royal Oak pub, near the area of the attacks, opened its doors to people evacuated from hotels. At least one taxi company offered free rides to people stranded in the area. Phaldip Singh, who describes himself as an entrepreneur and youth activist, tweeted that Sikh Gurdwaras were open to provide food and shelter for those affected.

If confirmed as terrorism, this would be the third attack to hit Britain in as many months. In March, a British convert to Islam ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.

On May 22, a British suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured dozens at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. After that attack, Britain’s official threat level from terrorism was raised to “critical,” meaning an attack may be imminent. Several days later it was lowered to “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

A charity concert for victims of the Manchester attack, featuring Grande and other stars, is due to be held in the northwest English city on Sunday.

Advertisements – 1984 Holocaust: SGPC appeals Sikh masses to attend anniversary event at Sri Akal Takht Sahib

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar Sahib-Panjab, 2 June 2017. SGPC President Professor Kirpal Singh Badungar has appealed to the Sikh masses to attend the 33rd anniversary of 1984 holocaust at Sri Akal Takht Sahib on June 6.

He has also directed the worldwide Gurdwara committees to perform ‘Ardas’ on June 6 after culminating Sri Akhand Path Sahib in the memory of Sikhs who attained martyrdom during the 1984 holocaust.

Professor Kirpal Singh Badungar said that the June 1984’s attack on Sri Akal Takht Sahib by the Indian government was an example in itself in the whole world where a government used its army to massacre its own citizens. He added that the Sikh community could never forget this tragedy.

Professor Kirpal Singh Badungar said that the Sikh Gurdwaras were symbol of communal harmony in society but the Indian government had depicted its fanatic face by attacking Gurdwaras in June-1984.

He has appealed the Sikh masses to attend the anniversary event at Sri Akal Takht Sahib along with their families. He has also appealed the Sikh masses to offer prayers on June 6 in their residential areas for the martyrs of June-1984 who laid their lives while defending Sikh faith.

Notably, Professor Badungar has been holding meetings with pro-freedom Sikh outfits, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the Dal Khalsa. He also appealed both organizations to attend the anniversary programs. This is a new development as the SGPC has sidelined these organizations for a while.

Liège Gurdwara – Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan

Liège Gurdwara – Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
30 April 2017

Rue des Steppes – Gent girls and boys

Rue des Steppes – Palki truck

Rue des Steppes – Sadh Sangat

Rue des Steppes – Sadh Sangat following Palki truck

Rue des Steppes – Sadh Sangat following Palki truck

Rue des Steppes – Sangat

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Prakash
Rue St Léonard 625
4000 Liège/Luik – Province de Liège

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Man in Blue

Pakistan Observer – Never forget Operation Blue Star!

Mohammad Ali Baig

Pakistan, 4 June 2017. Why did Indira Gandhi chose a Sikh known as Major General Kuldip Singh Brar to storm the Golden Temple, the holiest place in Sikh religion?

How saint Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale turned into a terrorist from being a close and trusted associate of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi? Was military operation and killing of thousands of innocent Sikhs the last resort? How and why 1984 is still the blackest year in the history of modern India?

These are among the numerous questions a common follower of the Sikh religion still asks from the Republic of India and Indian Army.

The Operation Blue Star was a deliberate military operation out of the necessity carried out by the Indian Army on the direct orders of the then PM Indira Gandhi in the first week of June 1984, to kill or capture Sikh saint named as Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale and to clear the Golden Temple of lightly-armed Sikh devotees.

The operation was a desperate attempt by PM Indira Gandhi to use Sikh elements in the Indian Army in such a way that may result in a twofold effect. First, Sikh General’s actions would yield in hatred within the Sikh community and its people would be divided either in its favour or against it.

Second, to give the world a secular view – in which a Sikh General of the Indian Army; carried out a military operation against the people of its own religion at the holiest Sikh Temple.

Many Indians say that perhaps Indira Gandhi chose Major General Kuldip Singh Brar, a Sikh, for Operation Blue Star so he would be able to fully understand the sanctity and holiness of the Golden Temple Complex and would refrain from desecrating the Akal Takht.

Well, it sounds the perspective of a few people who intentionally intends to paint the ‘planned massacre’ as an inadvertent or unplanned escalation of the battle between Indian Army and Sikh devotees.

Even for the sake of argument, if one considers this perspective, another thing comes to one’s mind, that isn’t PM Indira wanted to create a fuss or rift within the Sikh community by deputing a Sikh Indian Army General to do the dirty work? The latter makes sense in relation to the former.

How ridiculous the assertion may look, it still has strong footings since the Operation Blue Star was prepared in such a hasty manner that exhibited serious military flaws as well as lack of operational brilliance in its execution.

It still is a surprise for the students of Indian politics that once Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale was a close associate of Indira Gandhi and he did campaign for her so that Indian National Congress may become able to form its government in Sikh-dominated Indian state of Punjab.

Thanks to the print and electronic media archives, that one can see and observe Bhindrawale and Indira together campaigning for the Congress. Otherwise, Indian Hindu-dominated media would have painted an entirely fake and malicious picture of Bhindrawale and his devoted followers.

Indira was well aware of the influence and respect Bhindrawale possessed in the hearts and minds of the Sikh people and being a believer of Realism she was desperate to either turn that devotion in her favour or simply eliminate it by any means possible. After using Bhindrawale and his followers, it was the time to get rid of them.

It was the basic reason that he turned into an enemy of the Indian state from being a spiritual leader and Indira’s ally.

Operation Blue Star saw some heinous crimes committed by the Indian Army. Interestingly, Indian Army retired Major General Shabeg Singh was among the thousands of Sikhs killed during the massacre.

Major General Shabeg Singh was the one who fought exceptionally in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War and was responsible for the arming and training of ‘Mukti Bahni’(a terrorist group).

But surely, Shabeg was unaware of the fact that soon he was destined to become a victim of Indian Army’s duplicity and hypocrisy. Shabeg and the rest of Sikhs were brutally murdered, since their only crime was the demand of freedom and provincial autonomy.

Today, every honest and sensible soul mourns for the Sikh victims of Operation Blue Star. General Kuldip Singh Brar survived many assassination attempts and still lives with the guilt. Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale’s ‘Babbar Khalsa International’ still operates outside ‘Democratic India’ since there is no place in India for Sikhs who demand rights and freedom.

The United Nations, European Union and various organizations of human rights must have to investigate the dilapidated and worse human rights conditions in India for Sikhs and other minorities including Muslims and Dalits.

It is the moral obligation of Pakistan and the world to support the Babbar Khalsa International and the Indian Sikhs in realization of the independent state of Khalistan, the ultimate destiny of Sikh people.

The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.


The Hindu – Deadly explosions rock funeral in tense Kabul

The burial was of a victim of violent clashes between the police and protesters on Friday

Kabul, 3 June 2017. At least six people were killed and dozens wounded as explosions rocked the funeral of an Afghan politician’s son who died during an anti-government protest over spiralling insecurity in Kabul, raising tensions in a city already on edge.

Witnesses reported three blasts at the burial site of Salim Ezadyar, who was among four people killed on Friday when the protest degenerated into street clashes with police, fuelling anger against the government.

The hilly, wind-swept site was littered with bloodied corpses and dismembered limbs, local television footage showed, with one witness telling AFP that “people were blown to pieces” due to the impact of the blasts.

“So far six dead bodies and 87 wounded people have been brought to Kabul hospitals,” Health Ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh told AFP.

The funeral of Salim Ezadyar, the son of an Afghan Senator, was attended by senior government figures including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, but his office told AFP that the latter was unhurt.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bombings, saying on Twitter: “The country is under attack. We must stay united”.

The fresh killings are likely to further polarise a city that has been on edge since a truck bombing on Wednesday in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter killed 90 people and wounded hundreds of others, in the deadliest attack on the Afghan capital since 2001.

The bombing highlighted the ability of militants to strike even in the capital’s most secure district, home to the presidential palace and foreign embassies that are enveloped in a maze of concrete blast walls.

Hundreds of angry demonstrators calling for Mr Ghani to step down over spiralling insecurity clashed with police on Friday, prompting officials to beat them back with live rounds in the air, tear gas and water cannon.

City on lockdown

Kabul city was on lockdown on Saturday with armed checkpoints and armoured vehicles patrolling the streets to prevent a repeat of Friday’s protests.

Before the blasts at the funeral, authorities had sealed off roads in the centre of the city, citing the threat of new attacks on large gatherings of people.

“We have intelligence reports that our enemies are trying again to carry out attacks on gatherings and demonstrations,” Kabul garrison commander Gul Nabi Ahmadzai said earlier Saturday. “We hope that people will stay away from protests.”

But dozens of people still gathered on Saturday under a tent close to the presidential palace calling for Mr Ghani’s government to resign, but the assembly was largely peaceful.

“Any government attempt to disrupt our fair and just demonstration will show their complicity with terrorist groups and the perpetrators of Wednesday’s attack,” said Asif Ashna, a spokesman for the protesters.

“It is the duty of the government to ensure security to the protesters… and the government will be held responsible for any violence.”

The United Nations and a host of international allies have urged the protesters for restraint.

“The enemy seeks to manipulate the people’s anger and sadness to create division and sow instability,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

“Now is the time to stand unified and announce to the enemies that Afghans… will not allow cowards to break the resolve to achieve a stable and peaceful nation. The enemies of Afghanistan cannot win. They will not win.”