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Journalist’s death a mistake: Saudi Arabia

Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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journalist Jamal Khashoggi

New York, Oct 21 : Saudi Arabia on Sunday described as “a mistake” the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month.

In an interview with Fox News, Saudi Foreign Minister Abel Al-Jubeir said that this was a “rogue operation”.

“They made a mistake and killed Jamal Khassoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it,” Al-Jubeir said.

Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the Consul General as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The kingdom acknowledged early Saturday that Khashoggi died in a brawl in its consulate, but did not give any explanation on the cause of his death.

As of now, 18 Saudi suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the incident and two senior Saudi officials fired.

IANS

Middle East

Netanyahu: Iran to face consequences for threatening Israel

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Benjamin Netanyahu

Jerusalem, Jan 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Iran would face consequences for threatening Israel, hours after Israeli fighter jets struck targets in Syria’s capital Damascus.

“We are acting against Iran and the Syrian forces that abet the Iranian aggression. Whoever threatens to destroy us will bear the full responsibility,” Netanyahu said in a speech.

He said that the overnight assault targeted mainly Iranian sites in Syria, which was a response to a rocket fired by Iranians in Syria towards the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We will not ignore such acts of aggression as Iran attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier in the day, Damascus said that it intercepted multiple Israeli guided missiles targeting the country’s south. Some 11 pro-government fighters were killed, according to reports.

In a rare public acknowledgment, the Israeli military confirmed it carried out the attacks.

Israel says it is not part of the eight-year war in Syria but its military has carried out hundreds of air attacks over the past years against Iranian targets, which Israel accuses of attempting to entrench itself in Syria, in addition to Syrian Army positions.

It also bombed weapons convoyed to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia militia.

Israel has mostly kept silent on its actions against Iranian targets in Syria, fearing such comments might trigger an escalation. That policy started to change under Netanyahu, who confirmed earlier in January that the Air Force had struck Iranian sites in Syria hours after the attack.

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Disaster

Earthquake jolts Iran’s Gilangharb city

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Earthquake

Tehran, Jan 6 (IANS) At least 31 people were injured in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that shook Gilangharb city in Kermanshah province in the west of Iran on Sunday, Iran Emergency Organization was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Assessment teams of Iran’s Red Crescent Society have been dispatched to the site of earthquake to study the damage, Kourosh Mahmoudian, the governor of Gilangharb, told Tasnim.

Some residential buildings and cattle farms have been damaged and rockfall has blocked the roads in the area, Mahmoudian said, Xinhua reported.

The quake has also affected the quality of drinking water in Gilangharb, he said.

However, he assured the local people of the sufficient quality drinking water reserves.

According to Iran’s Seismological Center, the epicenter of earthquake was monitored at 34.16 degrees north latitude and 45.66 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 10 km.

At least 15 aftershocks, ranging from 3.0 to 4.8 magnitude, have shaken the region so far, according to the center.

The earthquake was also felt in neighboring Lorestan province as well as in Iraq.

In November 2017, 211 Iranians died in a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit the Iranian-Iraqi border in Sar pol Zahab area.

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Middle East

CCTV Footage may show men carrying Khashoggi body parts in suitcases, bags

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Jamal Khashoggi

A Turkish TV station has broadcast CCTV footage showing men carrying Suitcases, bags it says contained Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s body parts. The images shown on A-Haber television late feature three men carrying five suitcases and two large black bags into the home of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul.

A-Haber said the bags and suitcases were put into a minibus which travelled the short distance from the consulate to a garage at the residence. The men are then seen taking them inside.

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