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British woman stabbed while travelling in tram in Jerusalem

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Jerusalem, April 15: In a shocking murder, a British woman was brutally stabbed to death by a Palestinian man on a tram in Jerusalem on Friday. She has been named as 21-year-old University of Birmingham student Hannah Bladon.

Bladon was stabbed several times in the chest when she was on a tram in Tzahal Square and who succumbed to death in hospital.

Israel Palestinians

Emergency services and police are seen at the scene of an stabbing attack in Jerusalem Friday, April 14, 2017. A Palestinian stabbed a young British tourist to death in Jerusalem Friday near the Old City that was packed with Christians celebrating Good Friday and Jews celebrating Passover, police and hospital officials said Friday. Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center said the woman died soon after she was rushed there following the attack on Friday despite efforts to save her. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Meanwhile, a 57-year-old Palestinian man was detained at the scene, BBC reported.

She commenced her studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in January 2017 as part of a student exchange programme. She was about to complete the programme in September.

The Hebrew University offered its condolences to Bladon’s family, saying in an official statement that “the university condemns such acts of terror and murder that hurt innocents who have come to Jerusalem to enrich their knowledge.”

Emergency services evacuate an injured person from the scene of an stabbing attack in Jerusalem Friday, April 14, 2017. A Palestinian stabbed a young British tourist to death in Jerusalem Friday near the Old City that was packed with Christians celebrating Good Friday and Jews celebrating Passover, police and hospital officials said Friday. Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center said the woman died soon after she was rushed there following the attack on Friday despite efforts to save her. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Bladon had been taking classes in bible studies, archaeology and Hebrew at the Rothberg International School, part of The Hebrew University.

The school said: “Her friends described her as an inquisitive and adventurous student who made the most of her opportunity to learn and experience life in Israel.”

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri informed that the attacker, who holds an Israeli ID, was released from a psychiatric hospital in northern Israel shortly before the incident. He was on going to his home in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem.

An off-duty policeman travelling on the tram is said to have pulled an emergency brake and then overpowered the attacker with the help of another passenger.

 

However, a statement released by Israel Security Agency Shin Bet called the suspect a “terrorist,” saying he might have carried out the attack in an attempt to get killed by the police.

“He recently tried to commit suicide, in a hospital in northern Israel, by swallowing a razor blade,” Xinhua news agency quoted the agency as saying in the statement.

“In 2011, he was convicted of sexually abusing his daughter,” it added.

A man and a pregnant woman, who apparently sustained injuries when the rail went into an emergency brake, also needed hospital care, according to a spokesman for the MDA, an Israeli emergency medical service company.

The rail service in the city was temporarily suspended, said a statement by Citipass, the company that operates the rail.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin expressed grief over the killing and said that his thoughts and prayers were with the family of the victim.

The attack came amid the Jewish holiday of Passover.

The police in the city have been on high alert as tens of thousands of Jews arrive for prayers in the Western Wall inside East Jerusalem’s Old City, and some even go to visit the flashpoint al-Aqsa compound, a hilltop site above the Western Wall regarded as sacred by both Muslims and Jews.

The incident comes amid a spate of violence that broke out in September 2015.

As the unrest spread, Palestinians have killed 41 Israelis and two US nationals, while Israeli forces and civilians killed at least 241 Palestinians, a Jordanian and two African asylum seekers, most of them alleged attackers, according to Israel.

Wefornews Bureau

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Islamabad High Court disqualifies Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Asif

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Islamabad, April 26: Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has been disqualified from Parliament for holding an Iqama (work permit) of the United Arab Emirates by Islamabad High Court on Thursday.  

The three-member special bench, delivering the verdict, said that Asif was not even qualified to participate in 2013 Elections.

A petitioner of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, who was defeated by Asif in 2013, had filed the plea against him last year, seeking his’ disqualification for holding the foreign permit.

Last year, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the prime minister in the Panama Papers case under Article 62 of the Constitution for failing to declare a receivable salary as an asset.

Following this, in a big blow for Sharif Pakistan’s apex court ruled that his disqualification was for life.

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Armenian parliament to vote for new Prime Minister on May 1

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Armenian parliament

Yerevan, April 26: The Armenian parliament will elect the country’s new prime minister on May 1. 

The Armenian Parliament will elect Prime Minister on May 1, Speaker Ara Babloyan announced today.

The National Assembly will convene a special sitting at 12:00, May 1 to elect and discuss the issue.

Amid wide-spread protests, Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan had resigned on April 23.

“Armenia is starting a new chapter in its history”, Reuters quoted Armenian President Armen Sarkissian as saying.

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Kim to cross border on foot for inter-Korean summit

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North Korean Kim Jong un

Seoul, April 26: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will cross the border on foot to attend the historic inter-Korean summit on Friday, the Presidential office said here on Thursday.

Kim will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the military demarcation line (MDL) dividing the two Koreas at 9.30 a.m., Xinhua quoted the Blue House as saying.

Kim will cross the MDL, marked only by a low concrete slab, through a narrow aisle between the blue pavilions sitting in the middle of Panmunjom, a border village straddling the two Koreas.

Later both leaders would be escorted by honour guards towards Peace House, the summit venue on the southern side.

Kim will become the first North Korean leader to step on South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, Efe news reported.

The government in Seoul reported that after a welcoming ceremony and a brief informal talk, the first round of the summit will begin at 10.30 a.m.

Among the nine delegates designated by Pyongyang are the country’s honorary president Kim Yong-nam, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong, who is director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of North Korea.

Kim Yo-jong had made a historic visit to the South in February during the Winter Games to facilitate the rapprochement.

After the morning session the two parties will have lunch separately before they plant a tree together in a symbolic ceremony.

The two leaders will then go for a short, informal walk before resuming talks.

At the end of the meeting, Moon and Kim Jong-un will sign an agreement and make an announcement, according to a Seoul spokesperson.

He added that where and how the announcement will be made will be determined by the content of the agreement.

The banquet, in which Seoul hopes that Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju can attend, will start at 6.30 p.m., followed by a “farewell ceremony” that will conclude the summit, according to the details provided by Moon’s office.

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