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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Oct 29, 2018

One person has died and two were injured after the bodyguards of a Sri Lankan government minister opened fire on a crowd amid a deepening constitutional crisis in the island nation.

Arjuna Ranatunga, the petroleum minister and a former Sri Lankan cricket captain, was trying to enter a government agency in the capital, Colombo, at about 3pm on Sunday when he was confronted by supporters of the president, Maithripala Sirisena.

Amid jostling, Ranatunga’s bodyguards opened fire, injuring three people, two of them critically, according to the police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera. One of the injured died later in a Colombo hospital.

Sunday’s incident is the first outbreak of violence since Sirasena shocked the country on Friday night by announcing the dismissal of the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with whom Ranatunga was aligned.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is unconstitutional and has refused to vacate Temple Trees, the prime ministerial residence that was surrounded by his supporters.

Read more: The Guardian (UK)

Turkey fired on U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militants in northern Syria on Sunday, moving ahead with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vow to rout them from his country’s southern border.

Turkish howitzers targeted positions held by the YPG fighters on the eastern flank of the Euphrates River that splits northern Syria roughly into eastern and western halves, state-run Anadolu news agency said. Turkey had earlier pushed out the American allies from most of the border areas to the west of the river, seeing them as an extension of PKK separatists it’s battled for decades at home.

Sunday’s shelling, albeit limited in scope, threatens to increase tensions between Ankara and Washington, which backed the Kurdish fighters because it saw them as best equipped to drive Islamic State fighters from Syria. The attack on YPG came just two days after Erdogan accused the U.S. of stalling on a June agreement to push the group away from the town of Manbij on the western flank of the Euphrates, and said he was warning Kurdish fighters for the last time to retreat.

Erdogan issued that warning a day before hosting German, French and Russian leaders in Istanbul in the search for a negotiated end to Syria’s seven-year civil war. A communique released at the end of the meeting called for a continuation of international efforts to fight terrorist organizations in Syria, without including the Kurds in that grouping as Ankara does. 

The quartet did, however, reject separatist agendas aimed at undermining Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which Turkey has accused YPG of doing in pursuit of an independent state.

News source: Bloomberg 

Syrian Kurdish special forces have joined an offensive against Islamic State militants in eastern Syria, a commander said, after the jihadists recovered ground from U.S.-backed forces in a fierce counter attack. 
Islamic State (IS) launched the assault against the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Deir al-Zor region near the Iraqi border on Friday. Iraqi Shi’ite militias have reinforced their side of the frontier in response. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said around 70 SDF fighters were killed in the assault which Islamic State launched under cover of a sandstorm and drew on suicide bombers and female jihadists. The SDF says it lost 14 fighters. 

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said Islamic State had been able to regain some ground but the SDF would “come back with coalition support”. 

Read more: Reuters

Three Palestinian youths have been killed in an Israeli air strike near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, Palestinian officials say. Gaza's health ministry said the dead were boys aged 13 and 14.

The Israeli military said it targeted suspected militants who approached the border fence and "were apparently involved in placing" a bomb next to it. Hamas, the militant Islamist group which dominates Gaza, accused Israel of targeting civilians. 

The incident followed another escalation over the weekend. On Friday night militants in Gaza fired at least 30 rockets towards Israel. The Israeli military responded with air strikes on what it said were more than 80 military targets in the strip.

The militant group Islamic Jihad said it launched the rockets after Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians during protests on Friday along the Gaza-Israel border. 

The Israeli military accused Iran and Syria of giving Islamic Jihad "orders and incentives", and warned that its response was "not limited geographically".

Read more: BBC News