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Satellite images show Russian army convoy near Kyiv re-deployed | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Maxar says satellite photos show huge Russian convoy outside Kyiv has broken up; forces moving into towns and forests nearby.

A large Russian military convoy that was mired outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, since last week appears to have dispersed, according to a United States-based company.

Maxar Technologies said satellite images taken on Thursday showed that the 64km (40-mile) line of vehicles, tanks and artillery has broken up and been redeployed.

The company said the images showed armoured units manoeuvring in and through the surrounding towns close to the Antonov airport, northwest of Kyiv.

Some of the vehicles have moved into forests, Maxar reported.

It added that images also show convoy elements further north have repositioned near the town of Lubyanka with towed artillery howitzers in firing positions nearby.

A satellite image shows troops and equipment deployed in trees, in Lubyanka at the northwest of Antonov airport, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine, March 10, 2022.
A satellite image shows troops and equipment deployed in a forest in Lubyanka at the northwest of Antonov airport, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, March 10, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

The convoy had massed outside the city early last week, but its advance appeared to have stalled amid reports of food and fuel shortages.

The convoy’s re-deployment comes amid reports that Russian forces have reached the northeastern edge of Kyiv and are fighting for the control of the main highway.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the capital had now been “transformed into a fortress”.

“Every street, every house … is being fortified,” he told Ukrainian television. “Even people who in their lives never intended to change their clothes, now they are in uniform with machine guns in their hands.”

He added that about two million people – half the population of the metropolitan area – have left the capital.

“From our information, one in two Kyiv residents has left the city,” he said.

Western officials said Russian forces have made little progress on the ground in recent days and are seeing heavier losses and stiffer Ukrainian resistance than Moscow apparently anticipated.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces have used air power and artillery to pummel Ukraine’s cities.

The 12-day conflict has killed and wounded thousands of people and displaced millions.

At least 2.3 million have left Ukraine for neighbouring countries, while another 1.7 million people have been internally displaced.

 



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Gambian government says it will prosecute exiled ex-ruler Jammeh | Courts News

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The Gambian government has said it will prosecute former President Yahya Jammeh for murder, rape, torture and other alleged crimes committed during his more than 20-year rule.

The Ministry of Justice said on Wednesday that it accepted all but two of the 265 recommendations made by a commission that probed alleged crimes committed by the state under the despotic former leader from July 1994 to January 2017.

The commission’s report – presented to President Adama Barrow and made public in December – was based on years of witness testimonies.

Jammeh is currently living in exile in Equatorial Guinea, which has no extradition treaty with the Gambia.

The government said it would prosecute all 70 alleged perpetrators named in the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission’s twice-delayed report, including former Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy and members of the so-called “Junglers” hit squad.

“For 22 years, Yahya Jammeh ruled The Gambia with an iron fist,” the government wrote in a white paper.

“During his regime, extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, enforced disappearances, and numerous grievous human rights violations became part and parcel of his military Junta.”

Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from the capital Banjul, said “victims, survivors, victims’ families, activists, diplomats – everybody came here this morning with expectations that they will be disappointed at the end of the day”.

Many said they want to see these recommendations put into action by the government of the Gambia, Idris added.

Emmanuel Daniel Joof, head of Gambia’s national human rights commission, said: “We believe seriously that the government will own up, and these recommendations will be implemented.”

“We also understand that not everything will be implemented,” he told Al Jazeera.

‘World is watching’

Meanwhile, Abdoulie Fatty, a former local legal consultant for the commission, called the government’s decision “unprecedented” and said “This level of acceptance of recommendations by the government is extraordinary.”

“The fact that there is a strong emphasis for the prosecution of Jammeh and those who bear the greatest responsibility sends a strong message that government is serious about pursuing him and ensuring that he’s held accountable for his crimes,” he said.

The government said it was developing a “prosecution strategy” and would set up a special court located within the Gambia, with “the option of holding sittings in other countries”.

The truth commission had recommended prosecuting Jammeh and his accomplices in an internationalised tribunal in another West African country.

“Impunity is a kind of incentive that we are not prepared to serve perpetrators,” Justice Minister Dawda Jallow said in a speech Wednesday.

“Their resolve to commit these atrocities cannot be stronger than our collective will as a society to hold them to account.”

Human rights groups say arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and summary executions became the regime’s hallmark. Testimonies by alleged perpetrators before the truth commission confirmed that some killings were done under Jammeh’s direction.

The former president has also been accused of administering phony HIV “treatment” programmes and of the massacre of some 50 African migrants in 2005.

The commission recommended prosecuting the former president and 69 other alleged perpetrators. The government had until Wednesday to respond.

Jammeh was forced into exile in early 2017 after his shock electoral defeat to Barrow and a six-week crisis that led to military intervention by other West African states.

Barrow, who was re-elected in December, last year formed a political alliance with Jammeh’s former party and nominated two known Jammeh supporters as speaker and deputy speaker of parliament.

“Barrow and his government know that the world is watching, [so] they did not have much choice but to accept the TRRC recommendations,” said Nana-Jo N’dow, the founder of an NGO that campaigns against enforced disappearances and summary executions, whose own father disappeared in 2013.

“The question now is whether Barrow follows through on these recommendations, and swiftly.”



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Afghanistan: Deadly explosions hit Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif | Taliban News

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At least 11 killed in a series of separate explosions that hit a mosque in Kabul and vehicles in northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

A series of explosions in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif has killed nine people while a blast at a mosque in the capital Kabul left at least two worshippers dead, according to officials.

A bomb exploded inside a mosque in the capital Kabul late on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, the interior ministry said.

Kabul’s Emergency hospital tweeted that five people had been killed in the mosque blast and 22 others wounded.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the death toll.

Several ambulances rushed to the mosque in Kabul to ferry the victims of the blast, witnesses said.

There were no further details on the blast that struck the Hazrat Zakaria Mosque in the city’s central Police District 4, according to Khalid Zadran, a Taliban police spokesman in Kabul.

“The blast took place while people were inside the mosque for the evening prayers,” Zadran said, adding that they were waiting for an update.

Minibuses were targeted in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and explosive devices were placed inside the vehicles, according to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a Taliban-appointed spokesman in Balkh province. He said the explosions killed nine and wounded 15.

“The bombs were placed on three minibuses in different districts of the city,” Waziri said, adding that 15 other people were wounded.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosions.

The number of bomb attacks have dropped across the country since the Taliban seized power last year in August, but several cities were rocked by bombings during the holy month of Ramadan.

Dozens of civilians were killed in Ramadan in the primarily sectarian attacks – some claimed by a regional affiliate of the ISIL (ISIS) group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K).

The ISKP, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014, is being seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban rulers.

Following their takeover, the Taliban has launched a sweeping crackdown against the ISKP headquarters in eastern Afghanistan.



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Al Jazeera demands Reuters retracts ‘editorial error’ | News

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Reuters attributed mistranslation of Qatari foreign minister’s comments to Al Jazeera, which was not the original source.

Al Jazeera Media Network has demanded that Reuters retract a news report that attributes a misquote of the Qatari foreign minister to Al Jazeera.

The report, published on Saturday, quoted the Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, as saying that Iran was willing to “compromise” in negotiations with the United States to restore its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

However, the foreign minister had actually said that Iran had informed Qatar that the revival of the nuclear deal was “under review”.

The initial misquote was the result of an error from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, which was picked up by Reuters and then carried by Qatari news outlets, including Al Jazeera.

“The Reuters agency insisted on attributing the original story to Al Jazeera, claiming that the channel had caught and corrected a translation error, something that has no basis in fact,” the Al Jazeera statement said. “The correction was issued by the original source for the news.”

The Iranian foreign ministry rejected the reports and said that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had made no mention of compromise to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, during a meeting in Tehran earlier in May.

“It is very clear from the context of the leader’s remarks that the ball is in the US court, which must make wise political decisions to fulfil its obligations,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said on Saturday.


Statement in full:

Al Jazeera demands that Reuters correct professional errors

Al Jazeera Media Network has demanded that the Reuters news agency retract and correct editorial errors made in attributing to Al Jazeera the most recent statements by the foreign minister of Qatar regarding the Iranian nuclear file.

Al Jazeera said in a letter to Reuters that its regional office in Dubai attributed the original news and its subsequent correction to Al Jazeera, even though a German newspaper was the original source for the news item.

That news item was then carried by the Qatar News Agency, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other media outlets, including Al Jazeera.

However, the Reuters agency insisted on attributing the original story to Al Jazeera, claiming that the channel had caught and corrected a translation error, something that has no basis in fact. The correction was issued by the original source for the news.

In its letter to Reuters, Al Jazeera called for accuracy and professionalism and that the agency correct the matter immediately.

An official source at Al Jazeera said the Reuters regional office in Dubai had deliberately maintained the attribution and had not corrected it, which flies in the face of professional ethics. He added that the agency should have reviewed and scrutinised the work of its office in Dubai and monitored its performance, which should not be subject to any non-professional considerations.


 



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