After receiving intelligence of plans to create disruptions and potential violence in Jerusalem’s Old City during Passover, police have banned some 10 Muslim and Jewish extremists from entering the area until the holiday is over. “Police operations took place to gather information on individuals who are intending to cause disruptions during the Jewish festival”, Rosenfeld said on Thursday. The majority of the suspects are Israeli-Arab extremists who planned to cause disturbances on the Temple Mount. At the same time, we issued a number of retraining orders against Jews who intended on coming to the Western Wall area to create disturbances. For the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall on the morning of April 13, Rosenfeld said more than 100,000 Jews are expected. For the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter on April 15, more than 50,000 Christians are expected, according to Rosenfeld. Police will ensure the security and ease of travel for the tens of thousands of visitors entering and exiting the Old City.
Nigerian troops rescued one of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists more than two years ago in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday on a forest hideout. She had a 10-month-old baby boy born to a Boko Haram fighter, said a statement from army spokesperson Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman. It was the first army rescue of a Chibok girl. She says she wants to be reunited with her mother and the father of her child, a detained Boko Haram extremist whom she says also was a victim of kidnapping and helped her escape. The government says she is receiving trauma counseling and other care at a military hospital in Abuja, where she has been joined by the girls released last month.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister sacked the minister of religious affairs on Friday after he made comments on Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi brand of Islam. “Prime Minister Youssef Chahed decided to dismiss Salem Abd El Jalil, minister of religious affairs, from his duties due to the lack of respect for government work and his statements that touched principles of Tunisian diplomacy,” the premier’s office said in a statement. The North African state has become a major source of extremists fighting in Iraq, Syria and neighbouring Libya. More than 3,000 Tunisians are believed to be involved and critics say foreign imam recruiters are partly to blame. Meanwhile, Income from Tunisia’s tourism sector, hard-hit by extremist attacks, fell eight per cent in the first nine months of 2016 compared with the same period last year, according to official figures. From January 1 to September 31, tourism firms took 1.8 billion dinars ($811 million, 730 million euros), against 1.97 billion the previous year, a fall of 8.4 per cent, according to data published on the tourism ministry’s website. That is a drop of 34 per cent on the first nine months of 2014, before two extremist attacks that spelled disaster for the sector.