According to local TV, they killed five civilians and took 17 people hostages.
Islamists are linked to the rebels that are now being forced out of the city by the government troops.
Assad’s troops have regained control over the major part of the city though they still see resistance in the old part of the town and in the suburbs.
Late Tuesday, the government forces repelled a terrorist attack by Lebanese mercenaries” Source – The Voice of Russia.
Flashback: Syria: Entire Christian Family Beheaded By Suspected Islamists In Damascus – “As reported by Fides sources in Damascus, the Christians in the suburbs of Jaramana (south-west of Damascus) and Zamalka (South-East of the city) are under pressure from armed groups jiahdisti and are terrified. Today in Zamalka a family of Armenian Christians was found murdered, and all members of the family horribly decapitated. The execution brings to mind the work of radical Islamist Salafis.” Read more.
Flashback: ‘Deliberate and Growing’: Christian Persecution From ‘Arab Spring’ Insurgents in Syria Becoming a Steadily Growing Reality, ‘It Will Never Be the Same Anymore’ – “Refugees who have fled to Jordan from Syria are telling mission leaders supported by Christian Aid Mission about deliberate, new persecution from the ‘Arab Spring’ insurgents who are seeking to overthrow the brutal Assad regime in Damascus. Nearly 100,000 Christians so far have fled from Homs and other cities being targeted by government forces, but it is no longer just to escape the crossfire. Now, more reports are revealing that a new wave of persecution is deliberate and growing… ‘It is over; we can’t get back what we lost,’ said one discouraged Christian refugee here in Jordan. ‘It will never be the same anymore for me or my family. We’ve lost hope.’” Read more.
Muslim extremists attempted to kill a pastor supported by VOM and his family earlier this month in Nigeria.
At least seven gunmen entered Pastor Audu D. Gadzama’s church on August 10, intending to kill the pastor, his wife and his three children. One gunman shot Pastor Audu’s 24-year-old son, Thomas, in the leg.
Pastor Audu ran outside when he heard the gunshot, and the gunmen fired at him as well but missed. The gunmen, assuming both their targets were dead after seeing the men fall to the ground, then entered the house to search for the church key.
They forced Pastor Audu’s wife and other two children to lie on the ground as they set fire to the house and church. The family was able to escape and hide in the bushes as the gunmen fired into the air while shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ The Christians remained in hiding through the night, and the next morning took Thomas to a hospital. The family is now living with another pastor in the area.
Please pray for the safety of this family. Pray that this incident will not sow anxiety in their hearts, but that they will remain steadfast in their faith. Pray for wisdom for Pastor Audu and other church leaders in Nigeria. Pray that Nigerian Christians will be able to forgive and love their persecutors.” Source – Vlad Tepes.
The bandits who stormed the Family House of the Redeemed Christian Corpers Fellowship (RCCF) held the parishoners hostage for hours after relieving them of hundreds of thousands of dollars and other valuables.
The gunmen gained entrance into the Corpers lodge from a toilet in the female wing of the building. They carted off three laptops, about 24 mobile phones and thousands of naira.
‘We were about 20 corpers in the lodge when it happened,’ recalled a church member. All our phones were taken away, some of us had two, three phones. Our monthly feeding allowance which we contributed to was also taken away by the evil men.’
A fellowship member who asked that his name not be used in print said: ‘We were sleeping when some men came in holding all sort of dangerous weapons but we never resisted them, we obeyed their orders because we were in great fear. They asked us our state of origin and religion and threatened to behead us if we misbehaved.’
RCCF president Banji Omogbehin said ‘the bandits were asking us for our state of origin, threatening to rape our ladies and behead us.’ A motive for the attack is unknown.” Source – Sahara Reporters.
By Sharon Hill, The Windsor Star – “A strong sewage smell preceded scenes of dead fish littering the shores of Lake Erie this weekend and has residents wondering what caused the massive die-off, the president of the Rondeau Cottagers Association said Tuesday.
‘This is a very substantial fish kill and there’s something really wrong to have a fish die off like this,’ said Dr. David Colby, a cottager who is also the Chatham-Kent medical officer of health.
Colby said it is more of an environmental disaster than a threat to human health since it would be foolish to eat dead fish from the shore. He’s waiting to hear results from the Ministry of Environment, which collected fish and water samples Saturday that could take a few days to analyze.
He said some of the possible causes for the fish die-off wouldn’t explain the smell which started Friday, peaked at 3 a.m. Saturday and wasn’t like the rotting fish smell that has taken over the shoreline.
‘All kinds of people were woken out of a sound sleep by a stench and it was like a septic tank was backing up,’ he said.
Colby said he’s never smelled such a sewage stench on the lake and he’s never seen anything like the scenes of large dead fish littering the beach.
MOE officials aren’t sure what killed the fish, but preliminary tests and observations ruled out pollution or spills, MOE spokeswoman Kate Jordan said Tuesday. There was a strong manure smell Saturday but Jordan said there was no sign of manure runoff.
‘Certainly all the field measurements that our staff did on the weekend as well as observations that they made didn’t point to or indicate any source of spill or man-made pollution,’ Jordan said.
A significant number of dead fish in the tens of thousands was reported to the ministry on Saturday in a 40 kilometre stretch from Rondeau to Duttona Beach which is west of Port Stanley in Elgin County, she said.
‘Natural causes are a possibility. We are considering the possibility of a lake inversion,’ she said.” Read more.
Largest Die-Off In Recent History Could Have Huge Implications – “This turned out to be only the beginning of the largest die off of near shore fish in recent history. The beaches are littered, and in some cases, covered with tens of thousands of rotting fish… All these near-shore species appeared to have died within a short period. From Port Glascow, an offshore fisherman’s report of gasping fish and the suddenness of death resembles hypoxia, the reduction of oxygen in the water… The bottom of the western basin has been dubbed the Lake Erie ‘dead zone’ for good reason. Decades of nutrient runoff from the Detroit River, cities on both sides of the lake and surrounding agribusiness have contributed to a massive layer of sludge at the bottom of the lake. If this sludge begins to mobilize due to environmental temperature effects or excessive methane buildup during the hot summer months, then we may be witnessing the creeping fingers of the dead zone extending throughout the lake.” Read more.
‘Creepy’: Strange Earth ‘Growl’ Keeping Residents Awake In West Seattle, Has ‘An Unworldly Sound To It’
By Jim Forman, KING 5 News – “Julie Schickling stood out on her porch in West Seattle just after midnight because she couldn’t explain what she was hearing. So she recorded the sound (listen here on West Seattle Blog).
‘It gets high and lower, and goes away, then comes back,’ said Schickling.
Some of her neighbors report being shaken out of bed by the low rumble, also described as a growl. In fact, as many people you talk with is about how many different words you heard to describe it.
‘It is kind of creepy,’ Kay Kirkpatrick, the West Seattle resident said of the sound. ‘It creeps you out a little bit.’
The neighboring large industries say they aren’t to blame.
Then what is? Something the City of Seattle is looking into.
Some long time residents say they’ve heard this sound before over the years. Others say it’s the first encounter they’ve had with the eerie noise.
‘We want to know,’ Kirkpatrick said. ‘Tell us what it is.'” Source – KING 5 News.
Update: Biologists think there’s something fishy going on …
By Angelica Spanos -“MILTON, Del.- The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is investigating what caused more than 7,000 fish to die in the Broadkill River.
DNREC’s official count said that 7,500 menhaden, 10 striped bass and eight carp all died in the river. It said the cause may be from low oxygen levels in the river, which can happen after a lot of rain, when runoff goes into local waterways.
Some fisherman in Sussex County said they were worried about their health, but DNREC said there should be no concern yet for human health.
DNREC is conducting water testing, when those results are back it says it will present the full report.” Source – WBOC 16.
By Nozrul Islam, AsiaNews – “Dhaka (AsiaNews) – In Bangladesh, Christian children from Tripuri tribes have been taken away from their villages and forcibly converted to Islam. Local Catholic sources, who asked their names be withheld, told AsiaNews that almost 300 children have been taken to madrassas (Islamic schools).
The story is the same. So-called intermediaries, who are also ethnic Tripuri, visit poverty-stricken communities where they convince families to send their children to a mission hostel, charging between 6,000 and 15,000 taka (US$ 500 to 1,200) for school and board. After pocketing the money, the intermediaries sell the children to Islamic schools elsewhere in the country.
The latest case involved 11 children, ten boys and a girl, from Thanchi, Ruma and Lama in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Their story has a happy ending though. After six months of threats and violence, the children were able to escape thanks Hotline Human Rights Trust, a Dhaka-based civil rights organisation that defends minorities run by a Catholic woman, Rosaline Costa.
Tripuri are one of the many tribal groups found in Bangladesh. Most are Christian, both Catholic and Protestants, especially in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, in south-eastern Bangladesh.
Radical Muslims are engaged in a campaign against Christian missionaries whom they accuse of proselytising and forcibly converting others in order to create a Christian majority in the area so that it can be annexed to India.
In the latest case, the first eight boys were taken in January and February and brought to the Darul Huda Islami School in Mia Para village (Gazipur). The girl was placed in a madrassa (whose name she could not tell) in Muhammadpur, Dhaka. The other two boys were brought to another Darul Huda Islami in Maddha Badda (Gulshan, Dhaka).
Their days included Arabic lessons (8-12 AM), Qur’an reading (Nurani Shikkha, 2-5 PM) and five daily prayers.
In their respective madrassas, the children found other tribal Christians, many even younger themselves. They also saw acts of physical violence when children missed prayers or refused to take part in a lesson. In fact, after she was rescued, the girl showed scars to the hand, where she was struck with a cane.” Read more.
Flashback: Muslim Teacher In Bangladesh Burns Children’s Legs With Hot Iron Rods After Learning They Didn’t Pray Regularly During Vacation – “Police in Bangladesh are looking for a teacher from a Muslim religious school who allegedly placed burning hot iron rods on the legs of her students for failing to offer prayers regularly. They say 14 girls, aged between eight and 12, received burn injuries… ‘It was the first day of the madrassa after our holidays. Our teacher got angry when she heard that we were not offering regular prayers during our vacation,’ said Ferdousi Akther, aged eight. ‘Then she asked her servant to heat up the rod and then she pressed it on our legs. The pain was unbearable.’ Pupils say that the teacher asked the students whether they knew the severity of the fire in hell.” Read more.