Radical Islamist party frees 11 Pakistani police hostages

Published by Al-Araby An outlawed Pakistani Islamist political group freed 11 policemen almost a day after taking them hostage in the eastern city of Lahore amid violent clashes with security forces, the country’s interior minister said Monday. Supporters of the hardline Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party attacked a police station near their rallying point and on Sunday took the policemen hostage. The group is protesting the arrest of their leader, Saad Rizvi, and pressuring the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately expel France’s envoy over the publication of controversial cartoons.…

Iraq PM hints at progress on coalition troop withdrawal

Published by Al-Araby Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has said that his government has succeeded in “imposing legal and time-based mechanisms” for the withdrawal of US and Coalition forces deployed in the country to fight Islamic State extremists. In a meeting with military officers Al-Kadhimi praised the preparedness of Iraqi soldiers to lead the combat role against IS, while acknowledging their remained “challenges and needs” to be addressed before assuming that role fully, Iraqi media reported. “Our security forces are a pillar of the nation and a symbol of Iraq…

Saudi anti-corruption agency launches new crackdown on ministry officials and civil servants

Published by Al-Araby Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption committee announced on Sunday that it had started legal proceedings against several former officials and civil servants accused of financial and administrative corruption. In one of the most prominent cases announced by the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), two former ministry of National Guard employees were detained for allegedly obtaining SR198 million ($52.8 million) from local and foreign firms in return for helping them win contracts. A second case announced by the agency involves a former project director at the ministry of higher education…