Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sailors celebrate Enterprise’s 50th birthday

A logo to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). U.S. Navy photo illustration/Released)
The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has turned 50.
Hundreds of current and past crew members gathered Sunday and Monday at Naval Station Norfolk to celebrate Enterprise’s 50th birthday.

There also was a memorial service on Monday to honor those who died while serving aboard “Big E.”
Enterprise was commissioned Nov. 25, 1961, in Newport News. It participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the Vietnam War and launched the first strikes against the Taliban in October 2001. It will deploy one final time in March 2012 and is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015.

A graphic depicting some of the characteristics of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). U.S. Navy photo illustration/Released) - click on it for hi-res

Sailors spell out "E=MC2" on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ship's commissioning. Enterprise is the first and oldest nuclear powered aircraft carrier still in service and is celebrating its 50th birthday on Nov. 25, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd class Alex R. Forster/Released) - click on it for hi-res

Plank owners of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) gather on the flight deck for a photograph during the ship’s 50th birthday celebration. The term “plank owner” is used to identify members of a ship’s commissioning crew.  Enterprise is the oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy and is making preparations for her final deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Carpenter/Released)- click on it for hi-res

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Explosion injures German soldier in Baghlan province

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 –
 According to local security officials in northern Afghanistan, at least one NATO service member and Afghan child was injured following a roadside bomb explosion in northern Baghlan province.
Gen. Sikar provincial intelligence chief for Baghlan security commandment confirming the report said, the incident took place around 2 pm local time on Tuesday after a NATO-led vehicle belonging to German forces struck with a roadside bomb in central Baghlan district of northern Baghlan province.

Gen. Sikanr further added, the vehicle of the German forces piled up as a result of the explosion which injured one German soldier and an Afghan child who was taken to the provincial hospital for the treatment purposes.

He also said, the highway of Kunduz – Pul-e-Khumri was closed for the traffic due the explosion.
Zabiullah Mujahid a spokesman for the Taliban rebels group claimed the responsibility behind the incident and said, at least 5 International Security Assistance Forces were killed during the explosion.
In the meantime, a health official in provincial hospital Dr. Narmgoi said, a child who was injured during the incident had suffered injuries in his ears and abdomen and was under serious medical follow up.

This comes as another German soldier was injured following a roadside bomb explosion earlier this month in Chaharshanbe Tapa of central Baghlan province.

Report by Ajmal Omeri, Baghlan province

UPDATE: photo of the blowed up truck here
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Taliban commander held in Pakistan

Tehrik-i-Taliban PakistanImage via Wikipedia
A key Pakistani Taliban leader, Commander Toofan, was arrested Tuesday during a search operation in the country's northwest tribal region, police said.

The search operation was conducted in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province along the border with Afghanistan, the Online news agency reported.

Police said Commander Toofan, leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in Swat region, was arrested along with an aide. The aide was not named.

Police also recovered important documents, a laptop and cash from his possession.

Commander Toofan is wanted in cases related to target killings of security personnel.
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US, Pakistan differ on events leading to Mohmand strike

The US and Pakistan are in a classic war of 'he said, she said' over last weekend's attack by US aircraft on two Pakistani military border outposts in Mohmand that resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani troops. US officials are saying US forces struck after taking fire, while Pakistani generals are saying the attack was unprovoked and deliberate.

Iranian students storm British embassy in Tehran (live updates, video)

Iranian student hardliners stormed the British Embassy in Tehran Tuesday to protest the latest sanctions, and to demand the British ambassador’s immediate expulsion. Mehr News Agency initially reported that protesters took six of the embassy staff hostage in the residential compound, a report that Reuters tweeted, but Mehr’s report was quickly taken down. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said that the situation is “fluid.”

The students, chanting “Death to England!” and other slogans, hoisted the Iranian flag in place of the Union Jack, lit fires and scattered papers around the compound for at least an hour before riot police removed them. They also raided the residential compound, according to news reports, and have set cars on fire there.
Watch a video of the storming by students, said to be representatives of the paramilitary Basij organization:

In a statement, the British foreign office said that senior officials have urged Iranian authorities to “act with utmost urgency to ensure the situation is brought under control.” The office continued to describe the situation as fluid and said details were still emerging.

Read more and Live feed: http://wapo.st/w01lmr 

UPDATE 1550 GMT: Looks like we may have some clarity on the earlier story of six employees held "hostage" --- Fars reports that these were the people escorted from the Embassy compound by diplomatic police. Alef is also confirming the exit of all British Embassy employees from the building.

Nov. 29., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 29, 2011)

A Haqqani network leader was captured by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during an operation in Sabari district, Khost province, today. 

The facilitator distributed roadside bombs and planned attacks against Afghan forces.

One additional suspected insurgent was detained during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Ghazni district, Ghazni province, today. The facilitator directed attacks against Afghan forces. The security force detained one additional suspected insurgent during the operation.

Today, in Yahya Khel district, Paktika province, a combined Afghan and coaltion task force conducted an operation in search of a Haqqani network leader. The leader is responsible for numerous attacks against Afghan forces. The security force confiscated bomb making material and detained two suspected insurgents during the operation.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured an al Qaida facilitator and killed two insurgents during an operation in Surkh Rod district, Nangarhar province, today. The facilitator served as a courier between Afghanistan and Pakistan and delivered supplies to insurgents. During the operation, two individuals were observed displaying hostile intent toward the security force. Assessing an immediate threat, the security force engaged, killing both insurgents. One additional suspected insurgent was detained.

Today, in search of a Taliban leader, in Maidan Shahr district, Wardak province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force killed one insurgent during an operation. The leader plans attacks against Afghan forces in Maidan Shahr district. The security force observed an armed individual exit a building during the operation. The individual positioned himself in a tree line and was engaged by the security force. The insurgent was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and wearing a chest rack with multiple magazines and a grenade. One additional suspected insurgent was detained during the operation.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Maiwand district, Kandahar province, today. The facilitator distributed roadside bombs, weapons, ammunition, and, provided financial support to insurgent fighters in Kandahar province. The security force detained two additional suspected insurgents during the operation

In Yahya Khel district, Paktika province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache, yesterday. Approximately 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of hashish and 60 pounds (27 kilograms) or poppy seeds were found at the scene. The remaining drugs were confiscated by the Afghan Security Forces to be used as evidence.

A weapons cache was handed over to Afghan and coalition forces by a local Afghan in Tanai district, Khost province, yesterday. The weapons cache consisted of nine grenades, six rocket-propelled grenades, 11 RPG motors, various amounts of small arms and machine gun ammunition, three containers of homemade explosives and more than 100 components used to construct improvised explosive devices.  All of the seized weapons have been scheduled for destruction at a later date.

Mistaken identity could be cause of fatal raid

By Kimberly Dozier - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Nov 28, 2011 17:34:42 EST
WASHINGTON — A case of mistaken identity may have led to the deadliest case of friendly fire with Pakistan since the Afghanistan war began, U.S. officials believe.

The Associated Press has learned details of the raid, which began when a joint U.S.-Afghan special operations team was attacked by militants in Afghanistan.
The team then called for airstrikes, which killed up to 25 Pakistani soldiers at a border post inside Pakistan.
According to U.S. military records, the joint U.S.-Afghan patrol checked with Pakistani before returning fire. Officials described the records on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.
Hunting the escaped militants two hours later, the U.S. commander spotted what he thought was a militant encampment, and called for the deadly air strikes. That encampment was apparently the Pakistani base.

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