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8 ISIS agents arrested

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in India had today (18)  raided 19 locations across four states and arrested eight operatives of the Ballari module of the banned Islamic State terror organisation, including its leader Minaz alias Md. Sulaiman, foiling plans by the accused to carry out terror acts, the agency said.

The raids also led to the seizure of explosive raw materials, such as sulphur, potassium nitrate, charcoal, gunpowder, sugar and ethanol, sharp-edged weapons, unaccounted cash and incriminating documents, along with smartphones and other digital devices, the NIA said.

The agency launched the searches after registering an FIR against several members of the group. The officials said the premises connected with several suspected members were raided.

The NIA teams raided 19 locations spread across Ballari and Bengaluru in Karnataka; Amaravati, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra; Jamshedpur and Bokaro in Jharkhand; and New Delhi, it said.

The eight ISIS agents arrested during the raids were involved in actively promoting terror and terror-related acts and activities of ISIS, the proscribed organisation. They were operating under the leadership of Minaz, the probe agency added.

Those arrested have been identified as Minaj and Syed Sameer from Ballari; Anas Iqbal Shaikh from Mumbai; Mohammad Muniruddin, Syid Samiullah alias Sami and Md Muzammil from Bengaluru; Shayan Rahman alias Hussain from Delhi; and Mohammad Shahbaz alias Zulfikar alias Guddu from Jamshedpur.

News agency ANI reported that the terror group was engaged in anti-India activities.

The raids came days after the NIA raided multiple locations across Bengaluru, Karnataka, in a case relating to the radicalisation of prisoners by a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist.

A total of six locations, including the houses of four accused, one of whom was still absconding, were extensively searched in the case on December 13 as part of the NIA’s continuing investigations into the case (RC-28/2023/NIA/DLI).

The other locations that were searched were premises connected with two other suspects. In that raid, the NIA teams seized a host of digital devices, various incriminating documents, and cash amounting to ₹7.3 lakh from the premises of Mohammed Umar, Mohammed Faisal Rabbani, Tanveer Ahmed and Mohammed Farooq, as well as absconder Junaid Ahmed.

(Hindustan Times)

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Brawl in Italian Parliament ahead of G7 Summit 

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Lawmakers at the Italian Parliament clashed over a bill on Wednesday (12 June), as Italy began to host world leaders for the annual Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Puglia.

A video of the clash was widely shared on the internet. 

The row began when Five Star Movement (MS5) MP Leonardo Dono tried to tie an Italian flag around the neck of Regional Affairs Minister Roberto Calderoli of the pro-autonomy Northern League. 

MPs from Calderoli’s League party cornered Dono in response, turning the debate into a free-for-all fight involving about 20 men. Donno, injured in the clashes, had to be evacuated in a wheelchair and taken to hospital.

Media reports state the bill sought to grant certain regions further autonomy. Opponents of the bill state it would further deepen the north-south divide in the country and bring more hardship to the impoverished south. 

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Kuwait residential building fire kills 50

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At least 40 Indians are among 50 people killed in a fire at a residential building in the Kuwaiti city of Mangaf.

A fire broke out on Wednesday (12 June) in a building where many foreign workers resided.

Most of the casualties are from the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Around 50 Indians have also been injured.

Three Filipinos have also been killed, media reports quoted Philippines officials as saying. Filipino and Nepali workers are also among the injured.

Local media reports said the building housed 196 workers and there are suggestions that it may have been overcrowded.

Two-thirds of the Kuwaiti population is made up of foreign workers, especially in the construction and domestic sectors, and the country is highly dependent on migrant labour.

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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