Shia News Wire #65

April 29th to May 6th/ 2016

Iraq

April 30th: On Saturday, ISIS set off a bomb killing 23 Shia pilgrims in Nahrawan. They had been walking to the northern Baghdad shrine of eighth-century Imam Moussa al-Kadhim . Although Interior Ministry put the death toll at 23 the Mayor estimated the number of killed  43 people. The Islamic State claimed it had killed “nearly 100” as it used a truck filled with explosives to target the pilgrims. The attack took place after authorities claimed securing the area with extra security forces.

5/1st/2016: In the Southern city of Samawa, ISIS carried out twin car suicide bombs killing at least 34 individuals. According to reports, about 75 people were injured as a result of these attacks. The cars were filled with explosives and detonated at midday. The first bomb went off at city center by a bus station, and the second one went off five minutes later about 400 meters from the first explosion at a small government building.  

May 2nd, 2016: Three bombs went off around Baghdad, Iraq killing 14 people including number of Shia pilgrims. The largest blast of the day, which was claimed by ISIS, killed 11 and wounded 30. The pilgrims had been heading toward the shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of Prophet Mohammad who was killed in the 8th century. The two smaller blasts were unclaimed. The smaller blasts occurred because explosives planted on the ground in Tarmiya, 25km (15 miles) north of Baghdad, killed two and wounded six, while a roadside bomb in Khalisa, a town 30km (20 miles) south of the city, left one dead and two wounded.

Nigeri

Thursday May 3rd, 91 Shia members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria were criminally charged before the Kaduna High Court and the Kaduna state government is pushing for them to all receive the death sentence.

The charges came after Nigerian Army was critiqued by international committees for attacking and killing hundreds of Shia Muslims and mass burying their bodies  in December 2015.

Azerbaijan

On May 2nd, Azerbaijani forces backed by police, destroyed a Shia Religious school name The Imam Zaman Seminary located in Nardaran, under the pretext of expanding the street. According to the witnesses the seminary is located at the end of the alley and does not need any  expansion. In recent years, Azerbaijan authorities have been limiting Shia Muslim activities although this country is  majority populated country.  Azerbaijanian Shia have been attacked during Muharram gatherings in past killing five people. More than 150 Shia activists including 18 clerics are in prisons of Azerbaijan.

Activists believe during the past few years the Wahhabists have grown notably in Azerbaijan, especially in areas of the country sharing borders with Russia. The Wahhabists during the past two decades, with funding from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, started activity in Azerbaijan, particularly northern regions of the country. It is believed  Wahhabi circles have more present in a set of Azeri regions like Zaqatala, Qusar, Baku the capital, Salyan and Neftchala. They also built a mosque in Baku.

Bahrain

Bahraini court has revoked the citizenship of an opposition leader, Ebrahim Karimi. Bahrain’s high criminal court also sentenced him to two years and a month in prison as well as a fine of 2,100 Bahraini dinars ($5,570) over accusation of “allegedly insulting Salman and Saudi Arabia”.

Hassan Alawi Shahrakani was also arrested again. Hassan is a religious poet who has been arrested multiple times in the past due to his pro-democracy activities.

State Department has critiqued Bahrani kingdom for not following through with its public announcement  plans to release Zainab Al-Khawaja and her baby. her as soon as possible,” he added.

Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said in a press conference held in the State Department’s headquarters that Foreign Minister of Bahrain Khalid Al Khalifa announced the government’s decision to release Al-Khawaja at a press conference with State Secretary Kerry on April 9th in Manama. However she is still in custody as of May 6th.

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