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Nigeria killings on Ashura

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria says three people have been killed and a dozen injured in police crackdown on Shia mourners. The incident happened when police attacked people marking the martyrdom anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hossein in the northwestern city of Sokoto. According to the movement, security forces fired tear gas and live rounds to disperse the crowd. The group slammed the police for its unprovoked attack on people exercising their right to freedom of religion. It also called for justice for the victims, denouncing the brutal attack as a clear exhibition of religious intolerance by the state. Security forces frequently attack Muslims’ religious processions in northern Nigeria, killing and injuring people.

US most difficult airlifts

The United States says it has airlifted 13,000 people out of Kabul since the Taliban took over Afghanistan’s capital in mid-August. Biden made the remarks during a press conference at the White House. He said the US has evacuated more than 18,000 people from the war-weary country since July. Biden said that he cannot guarantee the final outcome of the emergency evacuation from Kabul's airport. Two top human rights organizations have asked Washington to extend a deadline for US troops to help evacuate Afghans fearing Taliban reprisals. The militants are blocking Afghans without travel documents from entering the airport. But even those with valid papers have struggled to get there, with some reportedly being beaten by Taliban guards.

Scotland independence

Scotland's ruling Scottish National Party has struck a deal with the Scottish Green Party for a pro-independence majority in the devolved parliament in Edinburgh. The agreement still needs to be approved by members of both parties. Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the two sides are committed to holding a new referendum on independence from the UK before the end of the current parliament in 2024. The agreement could bring the greens to power for the first time. The party holds eight seats in Scotland’s 129 seat parliament. Their backing gives the SNP an absolute majority of 72 seats. The last referendum in Scotland was held in 2014 and saw 55 percent vote against independence from the UK.

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