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Turkey's Erdogan says WWI massacre of Armenians 'shared pain'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday offered condolences over the massacre of Armenians almost 100 years ago, describing the events of World War I as "our shared pain". Erdogan's statement, on the eve of the 99th anniversary of the start of mass deportations of Armenians in 1915, is the first such overt comment by a Turkish leader over the killings, considered by many as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Crimea Tatars say leader banned by Russia from returning

By Alastair Macdonald KIEV (Reuters) - Crimea's Tatar community assembly accused Russia on Tuesday of barring its leading political figure from returning to the peninsula following its annexation by Moscow. However, Russian officials declined comment and it was unclear whether Moscow had taken issued the banning order.

Russia bans Tatar leader from Crimea: Tatar assembly

Russia on Tuesday banned the leader of Crimea's pro-Kiev Tatar community from entering the Black Sea peninsula for five years, the Tatar assembly said in a statement. Community leader Mustafa Dzhemilev was handed an official order barring him from returning to Crimea as he crossed to mainland Ukraine from the territory that Moscow controversially annexed last month, the statement said. neo-del/yad

Russia bans Tatar leader from Crimea: Tatar assembly

Russia on Tuesday banned the leader of Crimea's pro-Kiev Tatar community from entering the Black Sea peninsula for five years, the Tatar assembly said. Mustafa Dzhemilev was handed an official order barring him from returning to Crimea as he crossed to mainland Ukraine from the territory that Moscow controversially annexed last month, the assembly said in a statement. Dzhemilev, also a member of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada parliament, condemned the decision as "an indication of what a 'civilised' state we are dealing with".

Putin signs decree to rehabilitate Crimea Tatars

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday to rehabilitate Crimea's Tatars and other minorities who suffered under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, courting a group that largely opposed Moscow's annexation of the region from Ukraine. Stalin deported Crimean Tatars to Central Asia en masse during World War Two, accusing them of sympathizing with Nazi Germany, and many died in grueling conditions on arrival in exile.

Putin signs decree to rehabilitate Crimean Tatars

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he had signed a decree rehabilitating Crimea's Tatars, an ethnic group accused of collaborating with Nazi Germany and exiled under Stalin. "I have signed a decree to rehabilitate the Crimean Tatar population of Crimea, the Armenian population, Germans, Greeks, all those who suffered during Stalin's purges," Putin told a government meeting.

Minorities on display in Chinese tourist boom

Marching in dragon dances, cheering on buffalo fights, singing folk songs with villagers, an enamoured traveller ticked off the sights during a three-week tour of Chinese ethnic minority festivals. The man -- who flew across the country to southwestern Guizhou province to see the colourful traditions -- represents both the benefits and downsides of ethnic minority tourism.

U.N. finds fear-mongering by pro-Russians in Ukraine

GENEVA (Reuters) - Ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine have falsely claimed to be under attack to justify Russian involvement, a report by the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday. "Although there were some attacks against the ethnic Russian community, these were neither systematic nor widespread," said the report, which follows two visits to the country last month by Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic.

Gunmen kill two Shiites in Pakistan's Quetta

Gunmen in southwest Pakistan shot dead two Shiite Muslims who had emigrated from neighbouring Afghanistan almost a decade ago to escape violence there, police said Sunday. Two men opened fire Saturday night on the family, from Afghanistan's Hazara community, who were at a bus station in Quetta preparing to travel to the southern city of Karachi. "A man of about 65 years of age and his 18-year-old grandson were killed in the firing at the bus terminal at Sariyab road," Imran Qureshi, a senior police official, told AFP.

Pakistan doubts Baluch group's claims about market blast

Pakistan's interior ministry Thursday cast doubt on claims by a Baluch separatist group that it carried out a bombing at a market in Islamabad that killed 24 people. The United Baluch Army (UBA), one of a number of militant separatist outfits from the southwestern province of Baluchistan, said it staged the attack -- the deadliest in the Pakistani capital since 2008. But a spokesman for the ministry dismissed the claim. "Initial investigations have revealed that the United Baluch Army has no links with yesterday's attack," the spokesman said in a statement.
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