Trump’s U-turn telling military to shoot stone-throwing migrants
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday backtracked from his suggestion a day earlier that American troops sent to the US border with Mexico would be free to fire on migrants who throw rocks at them, saying that rock-throwers would only be arrested.
“They won’t have to fire. What I don’t want is I don’t want these people throwing rocks,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
“If they do that with us, they’re going to be arrested for a long time.”
Trump’s rhetoric on shooting migrants drew criticism from human rights groups which said he was stoking fear ahead of this week’s congressional elections.
Calling migrants a national security threat “is as absurd as it is cruel”, advocacy group Human Rights First said.
In his comments, Trump suggested the military could fire on migrants who crossed the border illegally if they threw rocks at troops.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back… I told them to consider it a rifle.
“When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military police, I say: Consider it a rifle,” Trump said.
BARRANQUILLA: Colombia must invest more in education if there is to be peace, pop star Shakira said on Friday, during a visit to her country to close her El Dorado tour and break ground at two schools to be built by her charitable foundation.
The singer attended ceremonies in Cartagena and her hometown, Barranquilla, at the sites of the future schools. “… education is what equalises us,” Shakira told journalists. |
The Nigerian army on Friday used Trump’s remarks to justify opening fire on Shi’ite Muslim protesters earlier in the week. Authorities have reported only a few killed, but a Shi’ite group said the toll was more than 40.
After Trump’s remarks on Thursday saying stone-throwers should be treated as if they were carrying rifles, the Nigerian Army posted a note on Twitter with a video of Trump’s remarks, adding: “Please Watch and Make your Deductions.”
The US president has hardened his stance on immigration in a bid to rouse his political base ahead of the elections. His Republican Party is in an uphill fight to maintain control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, although it is expected to pick up seats in the Senate.
The Pentagon said on Monday last week it was deploying more than 5 200 troops to the border at Trump’s direction to confront a caravan of men, women and children travelling through Mexico as they flee violence and poverty in Central America.
Trump has characterised it as an “invasion” of migrants.
Mexico has said 2 800 to 3 000 people are in the caravan, which left MANILA: An Australian nun whose missionary visa was revoked by the Philippines was leaving the country yesterday, but vowed to continue helping impoverished Filipinos fight for social justice.
Patricia Fox, 71, from the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, said she was leaving “under duress” as she was still appealing a deportation case. Her ordeal began in April when she was detained after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an investigation into her activities. | Honduras in mid-October, although many are expected to drop off before reaching the US border.
Trump also said on Thursday his administration was finalising a plan to block immigrants who do not come into the US at a legal port of entry from applying for asylum, although federal law allows any immigrant in the US to do so.
Still, the migrant caravans have pressed on.
On Friday, a smaller caravan from El Salvador crossed through a river to enter the Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. | NEW DELHI: A man-eating tiger believed to be responsible for the deaths of 13 people in western India was shot dead after an elaborate hunt involving forest guards and sharpshooters, officials and news reports said yesterday.
The 6-year-old cat, nicknamed Avni, had claimed the lives of villagers near the Ralegaon forest in Maharashtra state’s Yavatmal district since June 2016.
The tiger was killed in the region late on Friday after a three-month search, senior police officials said.
The state forest department had hired an expert hunter and sharpshooter and mounted an operation involving nearly 200 personnel, trap cameras, drones, a pack of trained sniffer dogs and a hang-glider to trace her, broadcaster NDTV reported.
In September, the Supreme Court refused to suspend shoot-onsight orders for Avni, mother to two 10-month-old cubs, prompting a flurry of online petitions. Wildlife activists went online to protest Avni’s killing, saying the forest department could have captured her instead of killing her, which orphaned her cubs.
TV footage showed locals c elebrating and distributing sweets, saying they were relieved.