Briefing :- 18/3/17

Here is CurrentHow’s Daily Briefing™ for the 18th of March, 2017 :-

1. Man shot dead after trying to steal weapon from soldier at Paris’ Orly airport :-

Man shot dead after trying to steal weapon from soldier at Paris' Orly airport
French Police confirmed that a security operation was in progress at the airport.

Security forces at Paris’ Orly airport on Saturday shot dead a man who grabbed a weapon from a soldier, as France was on alert just weeks away from presidential elections.

The second largest airport in the French capital was evacuated following the shooting at around 8:30am (0730GMT) and both terminals were closed, airport authorities said.

“A man took a weapon from a soldier then hid in a shop in the airport before being shot dead by security forces,” interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told AFP.

He said no one was wounded in the incident. Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux is due to visit the facility, in Paris’ southern outskirts.

Brandet said demining operations were underway to determine if the man had explosives on him. He said nearly 3,000 people had been evacuated from the southern terminal alone but those in the other one had been “confined.”

Traffic to Orly has been “completely suspended,” France’s civil aviation authority said.

France is still in a state of emergency after a series of terror attacks, including the November 2015 massacre in Paris and a truck attack in Nice, in July last year. In mid-February, an Egyptian staged a machete attack in Paris’s Louvre museum before being shot and wounded.

The latest shooting comes weeks ahead of the first round of France’s two-stage presidential election, in which security is one of the main issues on voters’ minds.

2. US, China plan to act together against ‘dangerous’ North Korea :-

US, China plan to act together against 'dangerous' North Korea
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on Saturday.

The US and China pledged on Saturday to work together in addressing the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear programme, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the situation had reached a “dangerous level.”

The language from Tillerson and his Chinese counterpart after talks in Beijing was notably conciliatory after a run-up in which US President Donald Trump accused China of doing nothing to control its rogue neighbour while Beijing blamed Washington for fuelling hostilities.

“I think we share a common view and a sense that tensions in the peninsula are quite high right now and that things have reached a rather dangerous level,” Tillerson said after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“We will work together to see if we cannot bring the government in Pyongyang to a place where they want to make a different course, make a course correction, and move away from the development of nuclear weapons.”

Tillerson arrived in Beijing earlier Saturday after visits to US allies Japan and South Korea where he said the US would no longer observe the “failed” approach of patient diplomacy favoured by Beijing and followed by the Obama administration.

Trump upped the pressure in a Friday Twitter blast accusing Beijing of failing to use its leverage as North Korea’s key diplomatic and trade partner.

“North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years. China has done little to help!” Trump said.

The tougher US talk followed two North Korean nuclear tests last year and recent missile launches, including a salvo earlier this month that Pyongyang described as practice for an attack on US bases in Japan.

Beijing is deeply reluctant to put harsh pressure on the unpredictable North lest it trigger a confrontation or a messy regime collapse.

China has hit back at the US, angrily accusing it of escalating the situation by holding military exercises with its ally Seoul and deploying an anti-missile system in South Korea.

Beijing has been calling for a resumption of diplomatic negotiations with North Korea on dismantling its nuclear programme — which UN resolutions bar it from pursuing — a track pursued for years in the past but which notably failed.

“We can either let the situation aggravate and lead to conflict or go back to the right track of negotiations,” Wang said.

“We both hope to find ways to restart talks and do not give up hope for peace.”

3. The Islamic State claims role in attack on Bangladesh security forces :-

IS claims role in attack on Bangladesh security forces
Bangladesh Rapid Action Batallion (RAB) personnel stand alert at the entrance at the entrance to a camp Friday, after an attempted suicide bomb attack.

The Islamic State Group claimed responsibility Saturday for a suicide bomb attack on a Bangladesh security forces camp, while police in Dhaka shot dead a suspected militant in a separate incident.

The Bangladeshi government has repeatedly denied the presence of IS in the country, blaming attacks on local extremists.

“A caliphate soldier in Bangladesh carried out a martyrdom operation with an explosive belt in a camp for special forces in Dhaka,” IS announced in its daily al-Bayan radio bulletin Saturday.

Two policemen were wounded in the apparently botched attack on Friday when a man blew himself up at an elite forces camp near Dhaka’s international airport.

The camp attacked was occupied by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite force tasked with combatting militancy.

Asked about IS’ claim of responsibility, RAB spokesman Mufti Mahmud Khan told AFP: “IS has no presence in Bangladesh at all”.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a major attack on a Dhaka cafe last year in which 22 people, including 18 foreign hostages, were killed.

The Bangladeshi government however has said a new faction of homegrown extremist group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was behind that and other attacks.

Critics accuse Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s secular government of using the spate of attacks in the country to demonise her domestic opponents.

On Saturday a man on a motorbike tried to cross a RAB security roadblock in Dhaka carrying a bag with improvised explosive devices.

Bangladesh police shot the suspected militant dead, Khan said.

“As he was carrying explosives we primarily suspect him of being a militant,” Khan told AFP, adding further investigation was needed to ascertain his identity.

A bomb disposal unit recovered the biker’s bag containing multiple small improvised bombs, which were later defused, Khan said.

Friday’s bomb attack was one of the first in recent years against the elite RAB force, which has led a nationwide crackdown on Islamist extremists, arresting scores of suspects.

Police have this month also been carrying out a series of raids in the southern Chittagong region and say they killed four suspected militants when they stormed an extremist hideout on Thursday.

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry said last year there was evidence to link extremists behind attacks in Bangladesh to IS.

“There is the ideological footprint of IS in Bangladesh, there is no denial about it,” said Shahab Enam Khan, a terrorism expert at Jahangirnagar University.

“However, we have not received enough evidence of their physical existence in concrete organisational form in the country yet.”

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