CityPress - - News - PI­ETER-LOUIS MY­BURGH news@city­press.co.za

se­ries of terror at­tacks on Fri­day, which claimed the lives of nearly 250 peo­ple, reignited fears about the grow­ing in­flu­ence of the rad­i­cal Is­lamic State group.

The bloody at­tack on civil­ians in Tu­nisia, Syria, Kuwait, So­ma­lia and France fol­lowed a call from the Is­lamic State to Mus­lims around the world to wage a “holy war” against “hea­thens” in the month of Ramadan – the an­nual pe­riod of fast­ing, prayer and giv­ing to char­ity that is at the heart of the ob­ser­vance of Is­lam – which be­gan last week.

The call to arms ap­par­ently led di­rectly to at­tacks on Fri­day in:

Tu­nisia, in the tourist town of Sousse, where an armed at­tacker mowed down 38 hol­i­day-mak­ers on a beach at a ho­tel re­sort. Most vic­tims were Bri­tish tourists. Visi­tors from France and Ger­many were also killed in the at­tack.

The at­tacker was shot dead by po­lice and the Is­lamic State claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack.

Kuwait City and the Syr­ian city of Kobane. A sui­cide bomber from Is­lamic State killed 27 peo­ple when he blew him­self up in a mosque in Kuwait City, and the group killed at least 150 peo­ple in Kobane with as­sault ri­fles and mis­siles. These at­tacks show that Is­lamic State tar­gets are not only western­ers, but also Mus­lims who do not share the group’s rad­i­cal be­liefs.

So­ma­lia, where 30 peace­keep­ers from Bu­rundi were killed when the ter­ror­ist group al-Shabaab stormed an African Union mil­i­tary base in the south of the coun­try with a car bomb and as­sault ri­fles.

Al-Shabaab in­di­cated that, like the Is­lamic State, it will in­crease its at­tacks dur­ing Ramadan.

Lyon in France. Yassin Salhi (35) was ar­rested af­ter he al­legedly be­headed his boss and then caused an ex­plo­sion at a gas plant out­side the city.

The head­less body of Salhi’s boss was found near the plant and his head was found a dis­tance away on a pole bear­ing flags with Ara­bic in­scrip­tions.

Be­head­ings oc­cur regularly in re­gions in the Mid­dle East, where the Is­lamic State has been en­forc­ing its reign of terror for more than a year. Fri­day’s grue­some mur­der in France is re­garded as the coun­try’s first be­head­ing linked to rad­i­cal Is­lam.

Sur­vivors of the at­tack in Tu­nisia spoke about how the at­tacker opened fire ran­domly on tourists sun­bathing at the Riu Im­pe­rial Marhaba Ho­tel.

The Tu­nisian gov­ern­ment con­firmed that most of the vic­tims were Bri­tish. At the time of go­ing to press yesterday, the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment was still plan­ning its re­sponse to the at­tacks.

Mean­while, the French gov­ern­ment has placed the coun­try on its high­est alert for terror at­tacks.

UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon con­demned the at­tack on the peace­keep­ers in So­ma­lia in the strong­est terms.

Pro­fes­sor Farid Esack, an ex­pert on Is­lam at the Univer­sity of Johannesburg’s depart­ment of re­li­gious stud­ies, said the Is­lamic State and its lo­cal fol­low­ers did not re­gard South Africa as a so-called en­emy of Is­lam.

“Sup­port­ers of the Is­lamic State in South Africa have a ro­man­tic yearn­ing for an in­de­pen­dent Is­lamic state and will go to Syria to help the group achieve this ob­jec­tive. But there is no in­di­ca­tion that they con­tinue their rad­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties in South Africa when they come back,” he said. – This ar­ti­cle was com­piled with help from Le Monde, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and AFP


TERROR AND CHAOS Po­lice con­trol the crowd while sur­round­ing a man (front cen­tre) sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in the mas­sacre at a beach­side ho­tel in Sousse, Tu­nisia, on Fri­day CON­NECTED Atul Gupta and his nephew were ap­pointed as ad­vis­ers by for­mer Le­sotho prime min­is­ter Tom Tha­bane


WRECKED So­mali gov­ern­ment forces as­sess the scene of a bomb at­tack

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