Reader’s links for Jan. 13 – 2016

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

115 Replies to “Reader’s links for Jan. 13 – 2016”

  1. Majority of militants fleeing Pakistan joined Islamic State in Afghanistan: Afghan envoy (tribune, Jan 13, 2016)

    “Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai claimed on Wednesday a majority of militants fleeing operations in Pakistan’s Mohmand and Orakzai agencies joined Islamic State in Afghanistan.

    “About 60 to 70 per cent militants fleeing Pakistan during operations in Mohmand and Orakzai went on to join IS in Afghanistan,” Mosazai said, while addressing a seminar in Islamabad.

    Claiming that Islamic State is a major threat in the region and terrorism is a common issue for both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mosazai reassured that the government in Kabul will not allow anyone to use its territory against any country, including Pakistan…”

  2. Over 23,000 migrants reached EU in 2016 (ansa, Jan 13, 2016)

    “(ANSA) – Geneva, January 13 – Over 23,000 asylum seekers have reached Italy and Greece since the beginning of the year, the International Organization on Migrations (IOM) said Wednesday.

    At least 58 of them have died trying to reach Europe, the OIM said.

    A total of 22,895 made it to Greece and 260 to Italy – against a total of 6,000 in January 2014 and January 2015 together, the organization said. That number has quadrupled and more than half of January is still ahead,” said IOM spokesman Joel Millman.

    One million asylum seekers reached Europe in 2015, most of them from war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

    Also on Wednesday, the first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said the Schengen Area must get back to normal this year.

    “We must give clear results in the coming weeks on recovering border control and reducing migration flows,” he said.

    “We must make sure the hotspots (for asylum seeker identification and processing) become fully operational and that new arrivals are registered and fingerprinted,” said Timmermans, adding the EU is giving Greece 1.36 million euros to buy 90 fingerprinting machines.”

  3. Macedonian expelled to ‘prevent terror’ (ansa, Jan 13, 2016)

    “(ANSA) – Rome, January 13 – Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Wednesday ordered a Macedonian national who had been living in Italy since 1998 expelled for reasons of “terrorism prevention”.

    Police removed 39-year-old Ljimani Redjep from his home near the northern city of Treviso on Wednesday morning.

    Alfano said Redjep had been in contact with radical Wahabi Islamists in the Balkans who are “strongly hostile to Western customs and traditions”.

    “(Redjep) has a deep knowledge of jihadism and is a strict observer of the rigid dictates of Salafist doctrine,” said Alfano.

    The man was radicalized and was becoming “progressively anti-Western”, Alfano said, citing Redjep’s refusal to sign a letter of solidarity to France from Islamic associations in Italy condemning the November 2015 Islamist terror attacks in Paris.

    Redjep’s son reportedly expressed support for the Paris attacks in the classroom, saying things like “now let’s go to Rome and kill the pope” and “long live ISIS (Islamic State terror group)”, the interior ministry said.”

  4. Migrants accused of disabled woman rape (ansa, Jan 13, 2016)

    “(ANSA) – Turin, January 13 – The Turin prosecutor’s office on Wednesday requested sentencing for three migrants accused of gang raping and beating a mentally disabled woman last May.
    The men, aged 27, 30, and 31, are from Somalia, Ghana, and Nigeria, respectively.

    The crime took place in the abandoned Olympic Village on the outskirts of Turin, which now serves as a de facto residence for refugees, migrants and the homeless who have been squatting there for more than two years.”

  5. With Russian help, Syrian army pushes into rebel bastion (yahoo, Jan 13, 2016)

    “Backed by relentless Russian airstrikes, Syrian troops and allied militiamen on Wednesday pushed deeper into a major rebel stronghold in the northwestern province of Latakia, a day after seizing a key rebel-held town in the strategic region overlooking the coast, the government and opposition activists said.

    The insurgents in the opposition-held area near the Turkish border were collapsing after the town of Salma fell to government loyalists late Tuesday. Salma’s fall marked one of the most significant military victories by the Syrian military since Russia began airstrikes in the country last September to shore up President Bashar Assad’s forces.

    On Wednesday, government troops seized the villages of Mrouniyah and Marj Kawkah near Salma as they continued their advances in the region, aided by immense Russian firepower.

    Salma, part of mountainous chains near the border with Turkey known as Jabal al-Akrad and Jabal al-Turkmen, has been under rebel control for the past three years…”

  6. strong>Paris attack suspects rented homes with cash, say prosecutors

    Belgian prosecutors say some of the suspects in November’s Paris attacks rented properties in three cities in Belgium using cash and false documents.

    Investigators have also established that a Seat Leon hatchback used in the attacks stopped near two of those properties. Another vehicle, a BMW rented by a suspect stopped near all three locations. Investigators found several mattresses in one of the houses.

    The properties in Charleroi, Brussels and Auvelais were rented using cash and false documents

  7. Suicide bombers kill at least 10 in Cameroon (CNN, Jan 13, 2016)

    “Two female suicide bombers killed at least 10 people and injured 12 at a mosque on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria, the Far North Region’s governor, Midjiyawa Bakari, said Wednesday.

    Cameroon’s Far North Region flanks northeast Nigeria, heartland of the jihadist terror group Boko Haram, and has become a frequent target for the group’s insurgents.

    There was no immediate confirmation that Boko Haram was behind the latest attacks. But the terror group has also been expanding its operations from its Nigerian base to other neighboring countries, including Niger, Benin and Chad.

    This is despite the existence of a multinational military force of 8,700 soldiers set up to fight the insurgents…”

  8. German Justice Minister: More migrants will be deported after Cologne attacks (CNN, Jan 13, 2016)

    “German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday that more foreign criminals will be deported once new rules are introduced in response to an unprecedented wave of mob sex attacks blamed on migrants in Cologne.

    In an interview with German broadcaster and CNN affiliate ARD, Maas said that Germany’s plans to lower the threshold for deportation would lead to more criminal migrants being expelled.

    “Criminals should be punished consistently,” he said. “That will also lead to more deportations.”

    On Tuesday, German officials outlined plans to make it easier to deport foreigners. They say the plans could be passed into law as early as next month.

    The new rules would lower the threshold of criminal offending for expulsion, allowing authorities to deport offenders found guilty of sexual or physical assaults or resisting police officers…”

  9. Obama knocks Trump, voices optimism

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama took aim on Tuesday at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and accused critics of playing into the hands of Islamic State in a speech meant to cement his legacy and set a positive tone for his final year in office.

    Obama, delivering his last annual State of the Union speech to Congress as president, called for leaders to “fix” U.S. politics and criticized candidates such as Trump for using anti-Muslim rhetoric that betrayed American values.

    “When politicians insult Muslims … that doesn’t make us safer,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd in the House of Representatives chamber. “It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals.”

  10. Turkish pro-gov’t daily accuses Putin of being behind Istanbul attack

    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin might be behind a deadly attack that killed 10 tourists in Istanbul’s historic tourist hub of Sultanahmet on Tuesday, Turkey’s pro-government Star daily reported on Wednesday, claiming that the Russian president has a history of abetting terrorist organizations in the region.

    Running a headline that read “The suspect is Putin,” Star claimed that Russia, in cooperation with Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and Iran, is in close cooperation with terrorist organizations.

    In the daily’s view, the attack, which according to Turkish officials including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, was carried out by an Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspect, might be an act of revenge by Putin.

    At least 10 tourists, most of them Germans, were killed, and 15 wounded in a suicide bombing attack in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district early on Tuesday.

    The daily claims that Russia openly supports Daesh (the Arabic acronym for ISIL) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and claimed that the attack might be revenge for Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet.

    Star also said a Russian soldier who sparked a protest from Ankara when he carried a missile on his shoulder while on a Russian warship sailing through the Bosporus last December had actually aimed the weapon at Sultanahmet.

  11. Al Jazeera America Shuttering In April

    After a rocky and low rated run of two and a half years, Al Jazeera America is closing down on April 30. The “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace,” said the news net’s CEO Al Anstey in a memo to staff today.

    NYT – Al Jazeera America to Shut Down by April

    In a memo to the staff, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, said the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.”

    “I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future,” he continued. “The decision that has been made is in no way because AJAM has done anything but a great job. Our commitment to great journalism is unrivaled.”

    As part of Wednesday’s announcement, Mr. Anstey said that after the cable news network shuts down by April 30, Al Jazeera would expand its digital presence in the United States. The expansion “would bring new global content into America.”

  12. Charlie Hebdo sparks new controversy with cartoon depicting Aylan Kurdi as ‘an ass groper in Germany’

    There has been an immediate and angry backlash online

    The creators of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have sparked new controversy with a cartoon depicting the drowned Syrian child Aylan Kurdi carrying out sexual assaults on the streets of Cologne.

    […] what the dead child refugee would have been if he had lived has led to an immediate and angry backlash online.

    The cartoon appears to be a satirical take on the view that all migrants are in some way implicated in the extraordinary spate of attacks on women in Germany on New Year’s Eve.

    It shows a cartoon version of the picture of Aylan which rallied international efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, with another picture showing the child grown up, dehumanised, and chasing a woman.

    The caption reads: “What would little Aylan have grown up to be? An ass groper in Germany.”

    PIC :

  13. Special U.S. targeting force ‘now in place’ in Iraq: U.S.

    A new U.S. force of special operations troops has arrived in Iraq and is preparing to work with Iraqi forces to go after Islamic State targets, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

    Carter disclosed the deployment in a broad speech to U.S. soldiers that sought to underscore American efforts to accelerate the campaign against Islamic State, both in Iraq and Syria.

    “The specialized expeditionary targeting force I announced in December is now in place and is preparing to work with the Iraqis to begin going after ISIL’s fighters and commanders,” Carter said at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.[…]

    Wa Po – Elite U.S. targeting force has arrived in Iraq to fight the Islamic State

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – An elite U.S. Special Operations targeting force has arrived in Iraq and will carry out operations against the Islamic State, part of a broader effort in 2016 to strike at the militants and that also includes U.S. Special Operations troops in Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Wednesday.

    The targeting force is now in place and is prepared to work with Iraqis to begin going after militant fighters and commanders, “killing or capturing them wherever we find them,” Carter said, speaking to about 200 soldiers at the home of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, which is expected to deploy about 500 soldiers next month to Iraq and Kuwait as part of the campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.[…]

    • US considers training Syrian rebels despite previous failure

      Ankara has asked the US to re-launch its program to train the so-called moderate opposition in Syria…Washington is considering the step – despite it failing spectacularly last time round

  14. CBC – MONTREAL JAN 06 2016 Trial begins for man facing charges of sexual assault, pimping and kidnapping

    Walid Mustapha Chalhoub is facing 48 charges

    The trial of a Muslim accused of assaulting 10 minors began yesterday at a courthouse in Montreal.

    Walid Mustapha Chalhoub faces 48 charges, including sexual assault, pimping, extortion and kidnapping.

    According to police testimony, Chalhoub allegedly attracted victims to his home by promising them jobs and cash.

    Police allege Chalhoub then engaged in blackmail to extort money and force the teenagers to film sex tapes.

    He is also alleged to have threatened to upload the sex tapes to the internet to extort more money.

    A detective working on the case told the court the investigation began after a father called 911 to report his daughter’s disappearance.

    That report led police to other alleged victims.

    The first witness in the trial took the stand on Tuesday afternoon.

    The trial is expected to last three weeks, and is expected to hear from 14 witnesses.

    Extorsion et agressions sexuelles: Chalhoub plaide coupable

    • Walid Mustapha Chalhoub faces 48 charges

      Walid Mustapha Chalhoub, facing 48 charges alleging he took advantage of minors and young women, and forcing them into prostitution and to perform acts of fraud, has seen his trial start at the Montreal courthouse on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The trial is expected to feature 14 witnesses including ten plaintiffs – between the ages of 15 and 18. Almost all of the plaintiffs went to the same school and went to Chalhoub’s residence to drink alcohol and consume marijuana. They were convinced to sign contracts before learning the contracts called for them to have sex with Chalhoub. When they refused Chalhoub threatened they’d have to pay him thousands of dollars for violating the contract

    • Trial: Chalhoub claimed he was a murderer and in the Mafia to extort sex from teenagers

      A Montreal man charged with sexually assaulting several teenagers after convincing them they were contractually obligated to have sex with him, claimed he was in the Mafia and a murderer in order to intimidate his victims, a court heard Wednesday.

      Walid Mustapha Chalhoub, 33, a resident of the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough, is charged with sexual assault on eight minors and an 18-year-old woman he had previously dated. He faces 48 charges in all in a trial at the Montreal courthouse. That includes ten counts of sexual assault, two counts of armed sexual assault and 11 counts of extortion.

      Quebec Court Judge Serge Boisvert heard testimony from two young women who were close friends when they decided to go to Chalhoub’s apartment in the borough because a schoolmate had told one of them Chalhoub had a way for them to make easy money. The women were 16 and 17 when they went to Chalhoub’s home in August 2013. Both gave the Montreal police videotaped statements, last February, in which they said Chalhoub was vague about the contracts he offered them. The statements were played for Boisvert before each witness testified.

      The young women said they were given alcohol and offered marijuana when they arrived and found a small party in progress in Chalhoub’s apartment. As the night progressed people gradually left and Chalhoub talked of being a chauffeur for escorts, claimed he was part of the Mafia and boasted that he had killed people.

      Both women said they assumed Chalhoub wanted something sexual from them but that he was never specific when they discussed the contracts. One witness, who was 17 when Chalhoub sexually assaulted her, said she initially assumed her body would be painted while she was nude before going to his apartment. In her videotaped statement to Montreal police Det.-Sgt. Brigitte Guérard, recorded on Feb. 10 last year, the witness said that once she signed the contract Chalhoub suddenly made it clear he expected sex from her. She could either make $5,000 to perform fellatio on him using Nutella, a hazelnut cocoa spread, or make $12,000 to have intercourse with him. He said the sex acts would be recorded on video and sent to an Internet site where clients would to pay to view it. He assured her the video would not be accessible in Montreal. She told Guérard she felt drunk when she signed the three-page document.

      She said she decided to back out of the agreement as Chalhoub walked with her to a Petro-Canada gas station near his home to buy condoms. When asked if she had actually agreed to have sex with Chalhoub at that point she replied that she was going along with him because she felt pressured and threatened.

      “I said I didn’t want to do it. He said that to annul the contract would cost me $3,800,” the witness told Guérard in February. “He said he could set my house on fire, to think of my family, that he was part of the Mafia.”

      The witness said she agreed to have sex with Chalhoub only out of fear and that she cried and held her 16-year-old friend’s hand while he raped her. She later testified that she didn’t want her friend to leave because she dreaded the idea of being left alone with Chalhoub.

      “He told me to stop crying because it didn’t excite him,” the witness said.

      The young woman’s father was in the courtroom while part of her videotaped statement was played for Boisvert. The man stared directly at Chalhoub, who sat in a prisoner’s dock, and never took his eyes off of him. Chalhoub avoided the father’s stare by keeping his eyes fixed on a television screen as the statement was shown. The father left the courtroom before his daughter described being raped.

      The friend who held the 17-year-old’s hand while she was raped testified that she decided against signing a contract and had gone to sleep, in Chalhoub’s living room, while he was trying to convince her friend to sign. She said she believed her drink might have been drugged because she felt very drowsy. She said either her friend or Chalhoub later shook her awake and she was informed that her friend wanted to back out of the contract she had just signed.

      The younger witness testified that Chalhoub said one way her 17-year-old friend could get out of the contract was if she agreed to have sex with him instead. She informed Chalhoub that she wasn’t interested in that option.

      The young woman also described what she saw in her friend’s face while she held her hand as Chalhoub raped her.

      “It was horrible. I saw fear. I saw hate. I never saw her like that before,” the younger witness told the court.

      As the day neared its end on Wednesday, defence lawyer Marie Christine Latour asked the witness who alleged she was raped by Chalhoub why she never asked him for the $12,000 he supposedly would have owed her before she left his apartment.

      “I was just too shaken up at that point,” she said.

      The trial resumes on Thursday.

  15. Swedish officials unwelcome, deputy FM says, as Swedish deputy speaker visits

    Jerusalem vents fury after FM Wallstrom calls for a probe into ‘extrajudicial killings’ of Palestinian attackers; Wallstrom was told last year PM and FM would not meet her if she came

    Officials from Stockholm are currently unwelcome in Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely declared Wednesday, a day after Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, called for an investigation to determine whether Israel has been conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinians during the current wave of violence.

    “Israel is closing its gates to official visits from Sweden,” Hotovely said during a briefing for future Israeli diplomats currently taking the cadets’ course.

    “For over two years, relations with Sweden have been at some level of disconnect,” she said. “That is, we have refused visits by the Swedish foreign minister in Israel. At the clearest level, the State of Israel is sending a very stark message to Sweden that says that [when] you encourage terror [in Israel], you encourage Islamic State to act in all parts of Europe: in Brussels, in Paris.

    “We’re currently at the front line of the battle against terror,” Hotovely added. “[Wallstrom] is de facto supporting it, encouraging it, and the State of Israel is sending a blunt message.”

    • The comments are very good on both of the articles on the incident, the conclusion most are taking is that Obama did ok the capture and probably ordered the surrender in international waters.

  16. Here’s what a former Navy SEAL with “extensive experience with operating riverine craft of the type that were seized” has to say:

    The claim by Iran that the USN boats “strayed into Iranian waters” is complete bulls***.
    For an open-water transit between nations, the course is studied and planned in advance by the leaders of the Riverine Squadron, with specific attention given to staying wide and clear of any hostile nation’s claimed territorial waters. The boats are given a complete mechanical check before departure, and they have sufficient fuel to accomplish their mission plus extra. If, for some unexplainable and rare circumstance one boat broke down, the other would tow it, that’s why two boats go on these trips and not one! It’s called “self-rescue” and it’s SOP.

    This entire situation is in my area of expertise. I can state with complete confidence that both Iran and our own State Department are lying. The “strayed into Iranian waters” story being put out by Iran and our groveling and appeasing State Dept. is utter and complete BS from one end to the other. The boats did not enter Iranian waters. They were overtaken in international waters by Iranian patrol boats that were so superior in both speed and firepower that it became a “hands up!” situation, with automatic cannons in the 40mm to 76mm range pointed at them point-blank. Surrender, hands up, or be blown out of the water. I assume that the Iranians had an English speaker on a loudspeaker to make the demand. This takedown was no accident or coincidence, it was a planned slap across America’s face.

  17. Istanbul Suicide Bomber Registered as Refugee Before Attack (abcnews, Jan 13, 2016)

    “The suicide attacker who detonated a bomb that killed 10 German tourists in the heart of Istanbul’s historic district had registered as a refugee just a week earlier, Turkish officials said Wednesday, raising questions over whether extremists are posing as asylum-seekers to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe.

    Turkish authorities identified the assailant in Tuesday’s attack as a Syrian man who was born in 1988, and said he was affiliated with the Islamic State group. Turkish media, including some close to the government, identified him as Nabil Fadli and said he was Saudi-born. The extremist group has not so far claimed the attack.

    Meanwhile, Turkish police arrested five people suspected of direct links to the bomb attack which took place just steps from the historic Blue Mosque in Istanbul’s storied Sultanahmet district. The suspects were not identified…”

  18. US turning to UN over flow of Central American migrants (BBC, Jan 13, 2016)

    “The US is looking to the United Nations for help in dealing with thousands of migrants fleeing to the US to escape violence in Central America.

    The hope is that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will set up processing centres for people to apply for resettlement in the region.

    The centres would be located in several Central American countries.

    Over 68,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended by US immigration authorities in 2014.
    Violence and endemic poverty in several Central American countries have been driving migrants north to the US.

    Refugees cannot make applications for relocation while in their home country, so they must travel to neighbouring countries to apply for relocation to a third country.

    The hope is the processing centres would provide at least temporary safety while asylum claims were processed, and would mean people being relocated to other countries other than the US.

    “We are hopeful that this process can be an effective tool for assessing individuals’ humanitarian relief claims and avoid a very dangerous journey to the United States,” said a senior administration official…”

  19. Afghan Airman Missing in US Located, 1 Still Unaccounted For (abcnews, Jan 13, 2016)

    “One of the two missing Afghan airmen who disappeared in the United States in December has been located, according to an American official.

    Two male Afghan Air Force students, part of a program to train Afghan pilots and maintenance personnel, failed to report for duty on Dec. 7, 2015 at their regular training at Moody AFB in Valdosta, Georgia.

    They were among nine pilots and 14 maintenance crew who were at Moody Air Force Base for much of the past year. The missing men were from the maintenance crew.

    One of the men is an Afghan Air Force lieutenant, while the other is a senior master sergeant, officials said.

    They were scheduled to graduate from the program a week after they went missing and return to Afghanistan shortly after.

    Officials did not confirm which of the men was found…”

  20. Australia Resists US Pressure to Boost Efforts Against IS (abcnews, Jan 13, 2016)

    “Australia said Thursday that it was among 40 countries urged by the United States to increase their military contributions in Iraq and Syria following the Paris attacks in November. But Australia told the U.S. that its commitment would remain largely unchanged.

    The news of Australian resistance comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull prepares to make his first visit to Washington as Australia’s leader next week.

    Defense Minister Marise Payne’s office said in a statement that the United States had asked 40 countries including European nations “to consider expanded contributions” to the U.S.-led coalition fighting in the Middle East after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris cafes, restaurants, a sports stadium and a music hall that killed 130 people.

    “Australia has considered the request from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in light of the substantial contributions we are already making to train Iraqi security forces and to the air campaign,” the statement said.

    “The government has advised Secretary Carter that our existing contributions will continue,” it said.

    But Australia has offered no significant increase in resources…”

  21. INDONESIA – JAKARTA – Multiple explosions, gunshots, reported in Jakarta – rolling report

    Reports of explosions and gunshots in the centre of the Indonesian capital, including outside the United Nations building

    A massive explosion has rocked downtown Jakarta in front of a popular shopping mall, and an Associated Press reporter saw at least one dead body.

    Gunshots were heard after the midmorning explosion Thursday in front of the Sarinah shopping mall in an area that also has many luxury hotels, embassies and offices.

    It was not clear who was shooting but there was a massive police presence, which prevented reporters from going near the scene.

    Explosions, gunfire heard in Central Jakarta: Reuters

    Several explosions were heard in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, witnesses told Reuters.

    Police were not immediately available for comment, but according to the an official Jakarta police Twitter account one explosion went off in front of a shopping centre called the Sarinah mall.

    Reuters eyewitnesses said three were dead and a gunfight was ongoing in Central Jakarta, while the newswire also reported local television news said that a total of six explosions had been heard.

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