Istanbul, Oct 19 (AP/UNB) — A Turkish official said Friday that investigators are looking into the possibility that the remains of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been taken to a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul or to another city — if and after he was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
The official told The Associated Press that police have established that two vehicles belonging to the consulate, left the building on Oct. 2 — the day Khashoggi had walked into the consulate and vanished.
One of the vehicles traveled to the nearby Belgrade Forest while the other traveled to the city of Yalova, across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the ongoing investigation.
It was not immediately clear if police had already searched the areas.
Turkish reports say Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by members of an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but have yet to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who wrote critically of Prince Mohammed's rise to power.
President Donald Trump, who first came out hard on the Saudis over the disappearance but had since has backed off, said Thursday that it "certainly looks" as though Khashoggi is dead, and that the consequences for the Saudis "will have to be very severe" if they are found to have killed him.
Saudi Arabia has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press over recent days over Khashoggi's disappearance.
On Friday, Turkey's pro-government Sabah newspaper printed more surveillance camera photographs allegedly showing members of a Saudi team that was brought in to Turkey to dispose of Khashoggi.
A leaked surveillance photo published by the same paper on Thursday showed that a member of Prince Mohammed's entourage during several trips abroad had walked into the Saudi consulate, just before the writer disappeared there on Oct. 2.
The man, identified by Turkish officials as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has been photographed in the background of Prince Mohammed's trips to the United States, France and Spain this year.
This week, Turkish crime-scene investigators searched the Saudi consul general's residence in Istanbul and carried out a second search of the consulate itself. Authorities have not said specifically what they found, although technicians carried out bags and boxes from the consul general's home. He left Turkey on Tuesday.
United Nations, Oct 19 (AP/UNB) — The head of Israel's leading human rights group strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government during a contentious U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday for what he called its "supremacy and oppression" of the Palestinians.
Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon responded, accusing Hagai El-Ad, director of B'Tselem, of staging "a circus" in the council and then in Hebrew telling him: "Shame on you! You are a collaborator!"
That drew a rebuke from Britain's U.N. Ambassador Karen Pierce who complained that council members could not understand Danon's remarks in Hebrew, which is not one of the U.N.'s official languages. AP obtained a translation after the council meeting.
B'Tselem opposes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and has documented abuses committed by Israeli soldiers, sparking accusations of treason by Israeli hardliners. The rights group has also angered Israeli leaders because it accepts funding from foreign donors including the European Commission and because it airs its criticism in international venues like the United Nations.
Netanyahu told a recent meeting with Christian media outlets that he defined B'Tselem as "a disgrace."
El-Ad was invited to address the U.N.'s most powerful body by Bolivia, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, and he used his speech to decry "the indignity, the outrage, the pain of the people denied human rights for more than 50 years."
He described how Israel is fragmenting Palestinian land, separating Gaza from the West Bank, walling off east Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their future capital, and how Israeli courts legalize demolitions of Palestinian homes and the relocation of people.
The Israeli government is "quite expert at constructing this facade of legality which has been very successful at allowing us not to have to deal with any international consequences," El-Ad said. And this has enabled Israel to continue "oppressing millions while it somehow is still being considered a democracy."
He said ongoing efforts to legislate against Israeli human rights organizations "now go hand-in-hand with the routine in which opposition to the occupation is being equated with treason."
"So to president Netanyahu I say this: You will never silence us, nor the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who reject a present founded on supremacy and oppression and stand for a future built on equality, freedom and human rights," El-Ad said.
El-Ad urged the world to "let Israel know that it will no longer stand idly by, that it will take action against the continued dismantling of the Palestinian people."
Israel's Danon said B'Tselem was invited by Bolivia, "a country with a terrible human rights record to defame our strong democracy — but it actually had the opposite effect" and proved "the strength of Israel's vibrant democracy."
"I challenge you all, all of you, to find a Palestinian or a Bolivian who could dare defame his government at the Security Council," Danon said. "At best he might be thrown in jail but he would more likely end up dead."
Danon then accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inspiring a "rampant culture of hate" during his 13 years in office and "enabling an imminent war" between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Israel.
"Far from a peace partner, Mahmoud Abbas is the obstacle for peace," he said.
Bolivia's deputy U.N. Ambassador Veronica Cordova Soria, who presided over the meeting, had a message for El-Ad when she spoke.
"On behalf of this council I want to apologize for the way he was mistreated today," she told members. "We're not here to discuss Bolivia's human rights."
Sanaa, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has fired the prime minister, accusing him of "negligence" in running the country.
In a decree late Monday, Hadi's office said Ahmed bin Dagher was guilty of poor economic performance and failure to avert a collapse of the currency.
The statement named Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed as the new prime minister. He was previously minister of public works and roads.
Yemen has been locked in a ruinous war pitting a Saudi-led coalition backing the Hadi government against Shiite rebels known as Houthis since March 2015. The government operates largely from Saudi Arabia because the Yemeni capital of Sanaa remains in rebel hands.
An estimated 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has produced what the U.N. says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Istanbul, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — Turkey's official news agency says at least 15 migrants have been killed in a traffic accident, among them children.
The Anadolu news agency said Sunday the migrants were traveling in a truck in the western province of Izmir. The truck tipped over, leading to deaths and injuries. Video footage showed a destroyed truck.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have set out to sea from Turkey's coasts in the last few years to try to reach neighboring Greece, which is a member of the European Union. A Turkish-EU deal in 2016 to send those migrants back to Turkey significantly curbed the number of border crossings but many desperate migrants still attempt the journey.
Kabul, Oct 12 (AP/UNB) — An Afghan official says attacks by the Taliban in the country's north have killed eight people — four soldiers and four civilians.
Military spokesman Hanif Rezaie says the troops died in Kunduz province when the Taliban attacked a military outpost in the district of Archi on Friday morning. He says six were wounded in the assault.
Rezaie says the civilians were killed on Thursday, when a car bomb targeting an election campaign headquarters in Faryab province exploded prematurely.
He says several Taliban fighters died in both incidents.
Afghanistan is holding parliamentary elections on Oct. 20. The campaign has already been marred by violence.
On Tuesday, a suicide bomber struck the home of an election candidate in the city of Lashkar Gah, in Helmand province, killing the candidate and seven others.