Saturday, January 7, 2012

Taliban commander detained in Nuristan province

According to local officials in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan security forces arrested two suspects who were planting roadside bombs in eastern Nuristan province.

The officials further added, a local Taliban commander was also detained by Afghan security forces in this province.

Nuristan provincial police chief Shams-ur-Rahman Nuristani confirming the reports said, Afghan police forces managed to arrest a Taliban commander Hazrat Nabi and two other militants who was planting roadside bomb following an operation at Noorgeram and Alingar districts.

Mr. Nuristani further added, the suspects were detained based on the intelligence reports.

He also said, the detained Taliban commander confessed to his links with the Taliban group.

In the meantime, a spokesman for the Taliban group Zabiullah Mujahid denied the reports and said that there is no Taliban commander with the name of Hazrat Mohammad.
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Gunmen assassinate road construction guards in Uruzgan

Local authorities in southern Afghanistan on Saturday said, at least two private security guards working for a road construction were assassinated by unknown gunmen in southern Uruzgan province.

The officials further added, another security guard was also injured during the incident which took place at Sarmorghab area in Tarinkowt district of southern Uruzgan province.

According to officials, the private security guards were providing security for a GTZ project in this province.

Provincial criminal chief Gen. Gulab Khan confirming the incident said, at least two security guards were killed and another one was injured during the incident.

He also said, the assailants managed to flee the area after opening fire on GTZ security guards and Afghan police forces have launched a search operation to detain those involved behind the incident.

No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
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Georgian soldier killed in Afghanistan

The latest death of a Georgian soldier in Afghanistan tolls up the number of Georgian troops casualties to 12 since the beginning of the year 2012.

According to officials in the ministry of defense of Georgia, one of its soldiers was injured following militants attack and died of his wounds.

The statement issued by Georgian defense ministry did not disclose further information regarding the exact date and location of the incident.

Georgia has deployed around 900 troops under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan.

In the meantime Georgian parliament earlier last month approved a bill which allow further deployment of Georgian troops to serve under the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.
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20 armed insurgents arrested in Afghanistan

Twenty armed insurgents have been detained in a series of military operations in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, the country's Interior Ministry said on Saturday morning.

"During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Army and NATO-led Coalition Forces launched five joint operations in Kandahar, Uruzgan, Helmand and Khost provinces detaining 20 armed insurgents," the Ministry said in a press release.

The ANP also discovered and confiscated five AK-47 guns, three pistols, two different types of weapons, 466 kg of hashish, 20 kg of explosive materials, one vehicle and one motorbike, it added.

The ANP also discovered and defused two anti-vehicle mines and one BM-1 rocket as a result of separate operations in Kandahar and Laghman provinces in the same period of time.

Afghan officials often use the word "insurgents" referring to Taliban. However, the insurgent group, who launched in May 2011 a rebel offensive against Afghan and NATO forces, has not to make comments yet.

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Six militants killed in Landi Kotal clash

LANDI KOTAL: At least six militants were killed and 12 injured on Friday after Lashkar-i-Islam and its rival Zakhakhel tribal force exchanged gunfire to gain control of a key base in Bazaar Zakhakhel area of Landi Kotal on Friday.

Officials said the dead were six Lashkar-i-Islam fighters, while the wounded included six fighters of the militant outfit and six Zakhakhel force volunteers.

They said Lashkar-i-Islam fighters attacked the Shankhel base of Zakhakhel force near Nari Baba area but the attack was repulsed after prolonged exchange of fire.

Officials said the two groups had many bloody clashes over the last many days for the control of key hilltops in the area.

Also in the day, the head of a peace committee remained safe in a blast targeting him in Sangar Khwar area of Mohmand Agency on Friday.

An explosive device planted near the house of Malik Mohammad Ali Haleemzai went off without causing any damage to the head of the peace committee.

The levies and khasadar personnel cordoned off the area and began an operation to hunt the perpetrators of the blast. However, no arrest could be made until late night.

Mr Haleemzai told Dawn that he and his guards were safe and that he was inside the house when the explosive device went off.

He said he was the apparent target of the blast as he used the passage, where the explosive device was planted, to go to the regional headquarters of Ghalanai in car.

Local political administration registered a case against unidentified miscreants and began investigation.

Meanwhile, a khasadar succumbed to his injuries at Peshawar`s Lady Reading Hospital on Friday.

Taj Mohammad, a resident of Gul Bar Shah Korona Ekkaghound, was doing his duty on a bridge near Ekkaghound on the main Peshawar-Bajaur highway when a speeding coach hit him. With critical wounded, he was shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital, where he died.

In a similar incident in Charsadda district`s Ibrahimzai area, a government girls` school was blown up by militants early on Friday.

Police and locals said miscreants planted an improvised explosive device inside the building of a government school for girls in Ibrahimzai area near Sradheri and that went off in the small hours of Friday.

They said the blast damaged the school`s boundary wall, rooms, furniture and documents.

from DAWN
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Taliban want US prisoners sent to Qatar: official

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents have demanded in negotiations with the US that prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay be transferred to Qatar, an Afghan government spokesman said on Friday.

But President Hamid Karzai’s government objects strongly to the move and wants the prisoners sent directly to Afghanistan, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi told AFP.

The Taliban announced this week that they planned to set up a political office in Qatar, a move seen as a precursor to peace talks with Washington.

At the same time, the hardline Islamists demanded the release of prisoners from the US military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – but the statement did not specify where they should be sent.

Karzai was told by the US about the demand that they should go to Qatar shortly before the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in December, Faizi said.

“Several meetings had taken place between the Americans and the Taliban. It was something discussed between the two sides.

“But that day, when the Americans talked to Karzai, it was the first time that they talked about the transfer of the prisoners to Qatar.” Faizi said his government was in favour of a release of Guantanamo prisoners, “but we don’t want them to go directly to Qatar – our government is strongly against it”.

Karzai’s government is concerned about being sidelined in the negotiations towards possible peace between the Taliban and the US, and Faizi stressed that it wanted “an Afghan-led transition”.

“The prisoners should be sent to the Afghan government first. We’ve been discussing this with the USA for the last five-six years. But so far, we have reached no agreement on that issue.”

Washington said on Wednesday it had taken no decision to release prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in order to boost negotiations aimed at ending the 10-year war with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
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Fresh Nigerian shooting kills 20

LAGOS, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- A fresh shooting attack from a Muslim sect had claimed 20 lives in northeast Nigeria on Friday, a local police officer has said.

The attack came as a spate of sect shooting and bombing attacks in the country's north over the past weeks.

The attack, which happened in Mubi in Adamawa state, had targeted a hall where a group of Igbo traders were meeting, the state police commissioner Ade T. Shinaba told local media.

He blamed the radical sect known as Boko Haram for the killing.

Two persons have been killed and three others wounded by unidentified gunmen in motorbikes in Mubi on Thursday evening and the Igbos were meeting to handle their corpses, according to local residents.

The attack came barely few days after a state of emergency was announced by the Nigerian government in some parts of Borno, Yobe, Niger and Plateau States. Adamawa was not listed among the flashpoint states.

Spokesperson of the Boko Haram sect Abu Qaqa on Sunday issued a three-day ultimatum to non Muslims and residents from the southern states of Nigeria living in north of the West African country to vacate the area or face the wrath of the group.

Boko Haram is apparently responding to the state of emergency declared on Saturday by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Boko Haram launched the first attack in Maiduguri in July 2009, during which many were killed and wounded with property destroyed. The sect's leader known as Yusuf and his alleged financier Buji Foi were killed in a counter-attack by the security operative.

More than 800 people including security personnel have been killed in violence linked to suspected Boko Haram militants.

The frequent spate of violent attacks especially on innocent souls in north Nigeria is worrisome, partly for its reflection of the dastard state of insecurity in the land.
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