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Activists allege Bahrain royal family involved in journalist murder


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Activists allege Bahrain royal family involved in journalist murder

 

activistsA 28-year-old Bahraini sports journalist Eman Salehi, working for the state’s TV channel, was killed on December 23, in what activists allege is an attack by the royal family.

The attacker aimed at the news reporter’s head, after she stopped mid-driving in Riffa, a locality popular with foreign activists and the ruling Al-Khalifa family.

The targeted member of the press – famous for her sharp blue eyes and friendliness with everyone – was travelling with her six-year-old child, who witnessed the murder. The assailant turned himself in to police of his own accord right after the incident.


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Activists have alleged that the killer was involved with Bahrain’s royal family. Importantly, Bahrain Center for Human Rights’ Said Yousif Almuhafdah mentioned, “If you say it involves the military, it involves the king. No one wants to mention that,” MailOnline of the Daily Mail UK reported.

In a Twitter post, Bahrain Interior Ministry acknowledged the “murder of a female,” but didn’t make any other statement. In contrast, the Bahrain News Agency noted that the killer was a “34-year-old man.” Another local media player, leaning towards the royal family, said the murdered served in the country’s Defence Force.

While activists asserted the accused is related to the monarchy based on locals’ knowledge, military court head Brigadier General Yussef Rashid Flaifel issued a statement pertaining to the event. It focused on proceedings regarding the attack, and said: “The Military Prosecution launched the investigation as soon as it was notified of the incident. […] ‘The case will be referred to the specialized Military Court after the investigation is completed,” according to MailOnline.


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He also wanted Egypt to join, together with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan and the United Nations. A number of rebel groups have signed the agreement, Russia's Defence Ministry said. Several rebel officials acknowledged the deal, and a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose alliance of insurgent groups, said it would abide by the truce. One FSA commander was optimistic about the truce deal, the third serious attempt this year at a nationwide ceasefire. "This time I have confidence in its seriousness. There is new international input," Colonel Fares al-Bayoush said without elaborating. Syria's civil war, which began when a peaceful uprising descended into violence in 2011, has resulted in more than 300,000 deaths and displaced over 11 million people, half its pre-war population. The ceasefire, in the waning days of President Barack Obama's administration, was the first major international diplomatic initiative in the Middle East in decades not to involve the United States. PREVIOUS COLLAPSES The previous two Syria ceasefires, brokered by Cold War foes Washington and Moscow, took effect in February and September but both collapsed within weeks as warring sides accused each other of truce violations and fighting intensified. Putin said the parties were also prepared to start peace talks intended to take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Syrian state media said late on Thursday that these talks would take place "soon". The Syrian government will be negotiating from a strong position after its army and their allies, including Shi'ite militias supported by Iran, along with Russian air power, routed rebels in their last major urban stronghold of Aleppo this month. Moscow's air campaign since September last year has turned the civil war in Assad's favor, and the last rebels left Aleppo for areas that are still under rebel control to the west of the city, including the province of Idlib. Before talks can take place, the ceasefire will have to hold. In a sign that the latest truce could be as challenging to maintain as its predecessors, there was confusion over which rebel groups would be covered by the ceasefire. The Syrian army said the agreement did not include the radical Islamist group Islamic State, fighters affiliated to al Qaeda's former branch the Nusra Front, or any factions linked to those jihadist groups. But several rebel officials said the agreement did include the former Nusra Front - now known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham - which announced in July that it was severing ties with al Qaeda. The powerful Islamist insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham meanwhile said it had not signed the ceasefire agreement because of "reservations", which it would make clear in due course. ASSAD IN STRONG POSITION The deal also follows a thaw in ties between Russia and Turkey. Talks on the latest truce picked up momentum after Russia, Iran and Turkey last week said they were ready to back a peace deal and adopted a declaration setting out principles for an agreement. Putin said opposition groups and the Syrian government had signed a number of documents, including the ceasefire, measures to monitor the truce, and a statement on readiness to start peace talks. While Ankara has been a big sponsor of the rebellion, Assad's removal has become a secondary concern to fighting the expansion of Kurdish influence in northern Syria. The chances of Assad's opponents forcing him from power now seem more remote than at any point in the war. 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Syria ceasefire off to a shaky start with early clashes

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