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Showing posts from April 14, 2016

Saudi used US-made cluster bombs in Yemen market attacks: HRW

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Saudi Arabia used US-made cluster bombs in two recent airstrikes on a busy market in Yemen, which killed scores of civilians.

The March 15 bombing targeting the northwestern town of Mastaba marked the second-deadliest airstrike conducted by the Saudi campaign since it began its war in March 2015.

The strike also wounded at least 47 people and left charred bodies lying next to flour sacks and twisted metal.

Human Rights Watch said Thursday its investigators traveled to the town in Yemen's Hajjah province the day after the attack and listed the names of 97 civilians killed in the strike, including 25 children.

The team said that another 10 bodies were burned beyond recognition, bringing the total number of victims to 107.

They found fragments of a GBU-31 satellite-guided bomb as well as its guidance equipment supplied by the US, matching an earlier report by British television channel ITV.

“One of the deadliest strikes against civilians in Yemen’s year-l…

Canada refuses to cancel arms sales to Saudi despite rights violations

Canada’s Liberal government has refused to cancel a controversial contract to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia despite Riyadh’s human rights violations, particularly in the war against Yemen.

Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion signed off on export permits for the USD 15-billion sale of light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia on Friday. The contract had been initially signed under the previous Conservative government in February 2014.

Dion, which has come under fire over authorizing the sales, told reporters on Wednesday that Canada’s credibility would be harmed if it didn’t honor the contract.

“Credibility matters. The Liberal Party committed during the 2015 election campaign to respect the previously agreed contract… Our government will not weaken the credibility of the signature of the government of Canada,” Dion said.

He also claimed that canceling the agreement would impede Canada’s efforts to convince Saudi Arabia to improve its human rights record.

“If we drop the contract, we will s…

German ruling coalition agrees on counter-terror measures

Germany has unveiled a new package of counter-terror measures amid rising threats of terrorist attacks across Europe.

The leaders of Germany's ruling coalition parties unveiled the package at a meeting on Wednesday.

The measures include granting more powers to law enforcement to deploy undercover agents, as well as empowering Germany's intelligence agencies to exchange information with foreign partners under clear conditions, Reuters reported.

The announcement comes as Europe has faced a wave of terror attacks in recent months, including the Brussels bombings in March and the Paris attacks in November 2015, which were both claimed by the Takfir Daesh terrorist group.

In March, German authorities stepped up security measures at airports, train stations, and the country's borders with Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

On April 5, Daesh released a video claiming that it may launch more attacks in European countries. The terror group named London, Berlin and Rome as …