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Afghan Officials Tighten Kabul Security After Series Of Attacks

Afghan authorities in Kabul are increasing security in the area of the capital that houses foreign embassies and government offices after a series of attacks killed hundreds of people in the city and across the country. Salem Ehsaas, acting police chief of Kabul, told Reuters on August 6 that our priority is the diplomatic area” in the new security plan for the center of the city.

“The highest threat level is in this area, and so we need to provide a better security here,” he said. United Nations figures show that 209 civilians have been killed and 777 injured in suicide and other attacks, mostly blamed on the Taliban, in the first half of the year in the Afghan capital.

Among the larger attacks, a massive truck bomb blast in Kabul s diplomatic sector on May 31 killed about 150 people and wounded around 400 others, mostly civilians. On July 24, a Taliban suicide car bomb killed at least 26 people and wounded 41 others in the western part of the city. Outside of the capital, up to 50 people, including women and children, were killed after Taliban militants seized control of a village the Sayad district of the northern province of Sari Pu on August 5.

Underscoring concerns in the capital, Afghan intelligence officials said on August 6 they had seized a truck in Kabul carrying more than 16 tons of explosives hidden in boxes marked as poultry feed.

“It was loaded with explosives to make bombs, suicide vests . and conduct terrorist activities in Kabul,” the National Directorate of Security said. Included in the new security will 27 permanent checkpoints along the 42 roads through the diplomatic zone.

They will be supported by mobile explosives scanners, sniffer dogs, and security cameras. Trucks arriving in the city will be checked by scanners at four of the eight main entry points . The other four sites will get scanners at a later date, officials said.

Officials estimated that the measures will be fully in place within six months.

With reporting by Reuters and ToloNews

Israel metal detectors row was about sovereignty, not security

They came in the dead of night with heavy equipment to remove controversial metal detectors from outside the gates to the holy sites. It was a sudden climb-down by Israel1 after it stated just 24 hours before that they would stay. The metal detectors had divided Israel’s security establishment, with the Shin Bet security agency and the IDF (Israeli military) arguing they were counter-productive. It seems those voices were part of the reason for the change of tack – but only after days of violent protests. But it is still not clear whether the removal of the magnetometers will defuse the current crisis. Israel says they will be replaced with high-tech cameras equipped with facial recognition.

The Waqf – the Jordanian religious trust that governs the holy esplanade – has put together a committee to look at the new security measures. It wants the area returned to how it was before the metal detectors were installed; if it is not, it claims the “status quo” will have changed and that is unacceptable. The current crisis was triggered when Israel installed the metal detectors after three Israeli Arabs killed two Israeli policemen2 at the Lion’s Gate in the Old City. Israel maintains the measures did not alter the “Status Quo” agreement and were a necessary measure to prevent further attacks. But at the moment the boycott remains in place. Muslim worshippers are still refusing to pass through the gates to the holy sites and are instead praying outside in protest.

A lot depends now on what goes on behind the scenes and whether or not the Waqf can be convinced that what Israel has done, or is doing, is not changing what they consider to be the status quo. And if the boycott is not lifted there will inevitably be further violent clashes. The fundamental problem is the lack of trust between the two sides. Israel claims the Palestinians use al-Aqsa to incite terror . The Palestinians claim Israel exploits the issue of security as a way of consolidating its illegal occupation. The sites are of course of great religious and national importance to both Jews and Muslims. The area is called the Temple Mount by Jews and is the holiest site in Judaism.

Muslims refer to the al-Aqsa compound as the Noble Sanctuary and it is the third holiest site in Islam.

The argument then was never about the metal detectors: the argument was always and still is about sovereignty.

References

  1. ^ sudden climb-down by Israel (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ three Israeli Arabs killed two Israeli policemen (news.sky.com)

Organisers in talks with cops as security stepped up for Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh after recent terror attacks

Security ramped up

Organisers of Scotland’s annual farming and countryside show are in constant talks with cops over security and policing of the event

SECURITY is being ramped up at the Royal Highland Show after recent terror attacks across the UK. Organisers of Scotland s annual farming and countryside show are in constant talks with cops over security and policing of the event.

Organisers In Talks With Cops As Security Stepped Up For Royal Highland Show In Edinburgh After Recent Terror Attacks

This year s show will take place from today until Sunday at at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh and bosses have released a statement reassuring those planning to go. They say they are working closely with cops and are keeping their plans under constant review.

A statement from organisers said: We appreciate that recent events have brought public safety to the front of everyone s minds and we would like to reassure visitors that keeping people safe has always been, and continues to be, our number one priority.

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The security review follows last month s horror bombing at an Ariana Grande gig at the Manchester Arena. A total of 22 innocent victims lost their lives in the blast1 on May 22. Then on June 3, five people were killed and 50 injured when a terrorist drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge2 and then stabbed a police officer.

Organisers In Talks With Cops As Security Stepped Up For Royal Highland Show In Edinburgh After Recent Terror Attacks

The Royal Highland Show statement added: The Show has a robust event management plan in place that has been created in collaboration with Police Scotland, our security contractor and other emergency services.

We are reviewing our plans on a regular basis in recognition of the changing external environment.

Any additional security measures likely to impact our guests will be communicated via our social media channels in the run up to the show.


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References

  1. ^ 22 innocent victims lost their lives in the blast (www.thesun.co.uk)
  2. ^ drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge (www.thesun.co.uk)
  3. ^