Monday, January 9, 2012

Taliban execute 10 more Pakistani troops

By Bill Roggio - January 9, 2012 - Threat Matrix/LWJ

The Taliban executed 10 more paramilitary troops from Pakistan's Frontier Corps. From the BBC:
At least 10 paramilitary troops have been found shot dead in a volatile tribal area of north-west Pakistan, security officials say. The men were abducted last month from the Orakzai region after militants attacked a military post.
Local officials say the bullet-riddled bodies of the men were found in a ravine close to the town of Dabori. It is unclear when they were killed....
The soldiers, who were members of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps, had been missing since 21 December when 23 soldiers were attacked by up to 100 heavily-armed militants, a security official quoted by the AFP news agency said.
Last week, the Taliban executed 15 Frontier Corps troops after overrunning a fort in the settled district of Tank. The bodies were dumped in Miramshah, a stronghold of the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan [see LWJ report, Pakistani Taliban execute 15 Frontier Corps troops]. The Taliban have said they will soon release video of the execution.
While the Pakistani military and government have repeatedly claimed that the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has been ejected from tribal agencies such as Arakzai, that the terror group's top two leaders are at each other's throats, and that the group is divided and demoralized, the group continues to demonstrate that it can mass forces in the tribal areas as well as in the neighboring settled districts of the northwest.
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Russian troops clash with Chechen militants, 8 killed

North Caucasus regions within the Russian Fede...Image via Wikipedia
MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) -- Eight people were killed on Sunday and more than a dozen others were injured when troops clashed with militants in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, officials said on Monday.

The violence occurred on Sunday morning in the Vedensky district of Chechnya when Russian troops and police officers clashed with local militants. The shootout left four soldiers and four militants killed, while sixteen soldiers were injured.

Describing the scene, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said the security forces were in the middle of deep snow and thick fog while facing an armed group consisting of 10 to 15 people, including several senior militants. However, police sources told RIA Novosti that the militants had been 'blocked' in the area's forest while additional troops were gathering at the site.

Violent clashes are not uncommon in the region, where Russia has been battling Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, which saw two violent wars against separatists in Chechnya during the past 20 years. Ingushetia, along with the neighboring republic of Dagestan, has been experiencing increased violence from both street brawls and terrorism in the recent years.
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R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr., Spc. Christopher A. Patterson, Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of four Soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died Jan. 6 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enermy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, 32, of Indianapolis, Ind.

Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr., 44, of Hamlet, Ind.

Spc. Christopher A. Patterson, 20, of Aurora, Ill.

Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, Ind.

They were assigned to the 81st Troop Command, Indiana National Guard, Indianapolis, Ind.

For more information media should contact the Indiana National Guard public affairs office, Maj. Shawn Gardner at 317-247-3222 (office)/ 317-407-7065 (cell), or Staff Sgt. Les Newport at 317-247-3222 (office)/ 317-538-8414 (cell).
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4 militants killed in northern Jowzjan province

Districts of Jowzjan.Image via Wikipedia
According to local authorities in northern Afghanistan, at least four militants including two Taliban commanders were killed following an air raid by NATO-led coalition forces in northern Jowzjan province.

An Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate for Security official in northern Jowzjan province speaking on the condition of anonymity said, the operation was carried out successfully without incurring any casualties to civilians.

The source further added, at least two senior Taliban commanders recognized as Mawlawi Abdul Qadir and Mawlawi Abdul Majid was also killed during the operation.

In the meantime, district chief for Qosh Tapa in northern Jowzjan province Aminullah said that the number of militants casualties could have been more than it has been reported.

A local resident in the area said, the operations were launched after militants attacked a security check post in Chehl Tapa.

Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the operation.
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Senior Taliban commander detained in Helmand province

According to local officials in southern Afghanistan, a senior Taliban commander was detained following a military operation by NATO-led International Security Force in southern Helmand province.

The officials further added, the Taliban commander who was recognized as Kochnai Mullah Abdul Bari was detained in Kajaki district of southern Helmand province last week.

Helman provincial governor Media office following a press release confirmed the detention of the senior Taliban commander during an ISAF operation at Kajaki district.

Local officials said, the militants commander Kochnai Mullah Abdul Bari was working under the command of Mullah Qayum Zakir and was a vital militants commander who was playing an important role in northern regions.

Mullah Abdul Bari was elected as the district chief of Nad-e-Ali, Kajaki, Mosa Qala and Baghran districts by the Taliban group.

According to Helmand provincial governor media office officials, Mullah Abdul Bari was elected as the military chief for the northern regions of Helmand province by Taliban’s Quetta council recently.

The officials also said, he was playing a vital role in plotting insurgency attacks and organizing roadside bombs to target Afghan and coalition forces.

In the meantime, another insurgent who was expert in planting explosive devices was also detained during the operation.

Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the reports.
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Attacks kill 17 in Iraq, wound 15 Afghan pilgrims

Iraq map karbala                             Image via Wikipedia
BAGHDAD - Attacks across Iraq on Monday, many of which targeted Shiites, killed 11 people and wounded dozens, including 15 Afghans visiting the country for religious commemorations, officials said.

The violence included bombings in and around Baghdad against Shiite worshippers walking to the shrine city of Karbala, 110 kilometres (70 miles) south of the capital, for Arbaeen rituals later this week.

In the deadliest attack, a car bomb blast killed four people and wounded at least 25 near Husseiniyah Shiite mosque in Muasalat, southwest Baghdad, at about 6:30 pm (1530 GMT), said officials from the ministries of interior and defence.

About half an hour later, another car bomb explosion killed one person and wounded at least five others in Shaab, a Shiite neighbourhood in the east of the capital, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Just south of Baghdad in the town of Owairij, a roadside bomb on Monday morning targeting devotees walking to Karbala killed one pilgrim and wounded at least nine others, according to the officials.

And on the outskirts of the central city of Hilla, a car bomb wounded 15 Afghan pilgrims, three of them seriously, police and medics said.

The festival of Arbaeen later this month marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the killing of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the Caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

As part of the ceremonies, Shiite pilgrims walk to Karbala from across Iraq. Devotees also descend on the city from around the world.

Attacks on Shiites in the capital and southern Iraq on Thursday killed 70 people and wounded more than 100, the highest death toll since August, as a row between the Shiite-led government and the main Sunni-backed bloc stoked sectarian tensions.

In the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded three others, army Lieutenant Colonel Yassin Mohammed said.

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Taliban appoint al Qaeda-linked commander to lead Peshawar shura

The Taliban have appointed a Taliban leader with close ties to al Qaeda to lead one of their four regional military councils in Afghanistan.
Sheikh Mohammed Aminullah, who in 2009 was placed on the United Nations Sanctions Committee's list of "individuals and entities associated with al Qaeda," has been named to lead the Taliban's Peshawar Regional Military Shura, which is responsible for operations in eastern and northern Afghanistan.

The Taliban have appointed a Taliban leader with close ties to al Qaeda to lead one of their four regional military councils in Afghanistan.
Sheikh Mohammed Aminullah, who in 2009 was placed on the United Nations Sanctions Committee's list of "individuals and entities associated with al Qaeda," has been named to lead the Taliban's Peshawar Regional Military Shura, which is responsible for operations in eastern and northern Afghanistan.
The Hindu was the first to report that Aminullah, who is listed as Fazeel-a-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al Peshwari, had been named to lead the Peshawar Shura. Confirming that report, two US intelligence officials who closely track the Taliban and al Qaeda told The Long War Journal that Aminullah was appointed to lead the Peshawar Shura sometime last year, when he replaced Mullah Abdul Latif Mansour.
According to the United Nations Sanctions Committee designation, Aminullah runs the Ganj Madrassa, or religious school, which he has used to recruit and provide support for al Qaeda. Aminullah also furnished suicide vests to al Qaeda and Taliban suicide bombers, and paid the families of the terror groups' so-called martyrs.
"[A]s the leader of the Ganj Madrassah in Peshawar, Pakistan, [Aminullah] was providing assistance including funding and recruits to the al Qaeda network as of early 2008," the UN stated. "He also provided funding, explosive suicide vests and other resources to the Taliban. Al-Peshawari [Aminullah] also began a campaign to support Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan. As of 2006, Al-Peshawari was providing monetary compensation to families of Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan and was involved in Taliban recruiting activities."
With the appointment of Aminullah to lead the Peshawar Shura, three of the Taliban's four regional councils are now run by leaders who are closely linked to al Qaeda [for more information on the Taliban's Quetta and regional shuras, see LWJ report, The Afghan Taliban's top leaders].
Siraj Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani and operational commander of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, commands the Miramshah Regional Military Shura. Siraj directs activities in southeastern Afghanistan, including the provinces of Paktika, Paktia, Khost, Logar, and Wardak. The group has recently expanded its operations into the capital city, Kabul, and in Kandahar province. The Haqqanis shelter and support al Qaeda leaders and fighters from Haqqani bases across the border in the Miramshah area of North Waziristan, Pakistan.
Mullah Adbul Zakir leads the Gerdi Jangal Regional Military Shura, which directs operations in Helmand and Nimroz provinces. Zakir was a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before he was released to the Afghan government, which soon set him free. He quickly returned to the Taliban, taking control of the Mullah Dadullah Mahaz, which is closely tied to al Qaeda. Zakir is also considered to be the Taliban's top military commander.
The Taliban's appointment of al Qaeda-linked commanders to top leadership positions takes place as the US and NATO are seeking to broker a peace agreement with the Taliban. As part of a settlement, the US wants the Taliban to renounce ties with al Qaeda and refuse the terror group sanctuary in Afghanistan. While the US wants the Taliban to renounce al Qaeda, the US is considering releasing five senior Taliban leaders who were instrumental in forging ties to al Qaeda [see LWJ reports, Afghan Taliban announces new 'political office' in Qatar, and Taliban seek freedom for dangerous Guantanamo detainees].

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5 Afghan Army soldiers injured in Khost province

Afghan Defense Ministry officials following a press release on Monday said, at least 5 Afghan National Army soldiers were injured during the past 24 hours.

The source further added, the soldiers were injured during military operations at Sabari district of eastern Khost province.

The statement also said, at least 19 improvised explosive devices and 13 rounds of artillery fires were recovered during the operations.

In the meantime, Afghan National Army soldiers seized at least 3 AK-47 assault rifles with ammos following a separate military operation at Zurmat district of eastern Paktia province.

In a separate statement officials in the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan said, at least 10 militants were detained following military operations at Nangarhar, Khost, Helmand and Maidan Wardak provinces.
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80 Taliban militants join peace process in Afghanistan

At least 80 armed militants surrendered to Afghan government and joined peace process in Afghanistan.

Afghan Intelligence Department, National Directorate for Security following a statement said, the militants including their commanders joined peace process who were actively operating against the Afghan government and NATO troops in various regions of Afghanistan in the past.

The source further added, at least 50 militants including their commander Qodratullah joined peace process in southern Kandahar province while 10 militants joined peace process in western Herat province.

The officials also said, at least 20 militants including their commander Malik Asil surrendered to Afghan government and joined peace process in eastern Nangarhar province.
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Jan. 09., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured two Taliban facilitators during an operation in Khugyani district, Nangarhar province, today.

The facilitators distributed weapons and supplies to insurgent fighters and coordinated attacks throughout Khugyani district. The security force confiscated multiple weapons during the operation.

One additional suspected insurgent was detained.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation today. The leader directed the placement of roadside bombs and coordinated direct attacks against coalition forces. The security force also seized approximately 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of hashish during the operation.


An Afghan led and coalition supported security force captured a Haqqani network leader during an operation in Bak district, Khost province, today. The leader distributed bomb-making materials, planted roadside explosives and organized insurgent fighters for attacks against Afghan forces. The security force confiscated weapons and detained multiple suspected insurgents during the operation.

In Maidan Shahr district, Wardak province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation today. The facilitator planted roadside bombs and acquired ammunition and bomb-making materials for insurgent fighters.
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Seven Taliban killed in Afghanistan

Seven suspected Taliban militants have been killed in a special operation in Afghanistan, a government spokesman said.

A unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security launched an operation Sunday on a Taliban hideout in Mirmandab area of Gereshk district in the southern province of Helmand, Daud Ahmadi told Xinhua.

An exchange of fire broke out shortly after the intelligence agency forces arrived at the compound, leaving seven militants dead. Four of them were later identified as Malawi Mansour, Abdul Raziq, Mullah Maluk and Shekari.

No members of the security force or civilians were injured in the raid, he said.

The Taliban were yet to make any comment.
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Somali Pirates Release Tanker – MV OLIB G and 18 Sailors

The MV Olib G. Photo: EU NAVFOR
Somali pirates have released the Maltese-flagged tanker M/V OLIB G and her crew of 18, according to a report by the Somalia Report.

The vessel and her crew, consisting of 15 Georgians and 3 Turks, was hijacked while transiting the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor, an area set up by EU NAVFOR (Task Force 465), the NATO (Task Force 508) and Combined Maritime Force (Task Force 151) to coordinate the patrol of maritime transits.

Somalia Report says that the vessel was released after a ransom of $3 million was paid to the pirates belonging to a group that is “not particularly well known” in the area. The ransom paid was far less than the $9 million originally requested by pirate negotiators.

The crew is said to be safe and in good health.

In November, the crew of the OLIB G were videotaped as they discussed the conditions they have been subjected to. The video offered unique glimpse into the lives of hostages being held in Somalia, something we don’t see very often. If you listen closely, they speak of the harsh conditions, little food rations, no medicine and little help from the companies that they work for.

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Jan. 08., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered multiple drug caches during a routine patrol in Panjwa‘i district, Kandahar province, today.

The caches consisted of 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of marijuana and 3,410 pounds (1,550 kilograms) of hashish. A small portion of the drugs were confiscated as evidence and the rest were destroyed at the scene without incident.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Maiwand district, Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug and improvised explosive device cache during a routine patrol today. The cache consisted of approximately 398 pounds (181 kilograms) of marijuana and 16 IED components. All drugs and components were confiscated and will be destroyed at a later date.

In Panjwa‘i district, Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered an IED cache during a routine patrol today. The cache consisted of five IEDs, various IED-making components and approximately 44 pounds (20 kilograms) of homemade explosives. All materials were confiscated and will be destroyed at a later date.
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Military Personnel Get Free Help with Taxes

TaxImage by 401K via Flickr
The military has a strong Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The Armed Forces Tax Council consists of the tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The AFTC oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide, and serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families.

Airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, guardsmen, and their families worldwide receive free tax preparation assistance at offices within their installations. These VITA sites provide free tax advice, tax preparation, and assistance to military members and their families. They are trained and equipped to address military specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits and the effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit guidelines.

Most service members file their tax returns electronically at their tax centers and, by selecting direct deposit, receive their refunds in as little as one week. This combined effort ensures that service members receive free tax assistance from well-trained and equipped military tax preparers.

Read more:  DODLIVE
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3 militants killed at southern Helmand province

According to local officials in southern Afghanistan, at least 3 militants were killed following clashes with the Afghan security forces in southern Helmand province.

The officials further added, the incident took place on Saturday while Afghan police forces were destroying opium farms at Nari-Manda area in Nad-e-Ali district of southern Helmand province.

Nad-e-Ali district police chief Omar Jan Haqmal said, at least 3 militants were killed following an air raid by ISAF forces and another militant was detained.

Mr. Haqmal further added, Afghan security forces also seized a weapon and 2 improvised explosive device following the clashes.

At least 4 Afghan farmers were also detained for growing opium on their fields, Haqmal said.

In the meantime, a Taliban commander in Kajaki district of Helmand province on Saturday surrendered to Afghan government and joined the reconciliation program.

The Taliban commander also handed over at least 7 AK-47 assault rifles, a communication device, a rocket launcher and a motorcycle to Afghan security forces.
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DND censors Taliban photos over privacy, ‘national security’

The Defence Department is prepared to go to Federal Court and spend whatever it takes to prevent the public from seeing government photos of Taliban hairdos because it believes the captured insurgents have a right to their privacy.

The department’s decision, outlined in newly released documents obtained by the Citizen, is the result of a test of the Access to Information law by two Ottawa lawyers, Paul Champ and Amir Attaran.

To see how far DND would go to prevent the release of information about captured Afghan insurgents, Attaran requested copies of photographs the military took of such individuals but asked that the faces of the prisoners be completely blacked out and that only the hairdos of the detainees shown.

By David Pugliese

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3 Afghan police arrested over kidnapping charges

According to local authorities in eastern Afghanistan, at least three Afghan police service members have been arrested with the charges of kidnapping Afghan teenager boys at Pul-e-Alam district of eastern Logar province.

Provincial counter-criminal chief Mohammad Jan Abid said, one of the detained police officer used to work at eastern Paktia province and the two others were working in Logar province.

Mr. Abid further added, the suspects were detained in capital Kabul and were introduced to attorney general office in Logar province.

In the meantime, the detained police officers confessed to their crimes and said that the main motive behind the child abduction was to charge ransom against the freedom of the hostages.
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One dead as Afghan soldiers open fire on NATO troops

Kandahar, Afghanistan (dpa) – Three Afghan army soldiers opened fire on NATO troops in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing one and wounding six, a security officials said.

The shooting took place during a sports game at a joint military base in the southern province of Zabul. “One of the (Afghan) soliders was killed when coalition forces returned fire, but the other two fled,” the official said.

The NATO-led military alliance confirmed one of its soldiers had died in a clash with Afghan army soldiers in Zabul, saying it had launched an investigation into the incident.

NATO troops have been training Afghan security forces ahead of a planned pullout. A classified document said in June attacks by Afghan troops on NATO soldiers were a “rapidly growing systemic threat” that could undermine the coalition’s efforts to defeat the insurgency.

Taliban insurgents have often managed to infiltrate the ranks of the Afghan security forces. Attacks by Taliban infiltrators have caused more than five dozen NATO deaths since 2007.
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Combine operations kill 18, detain 2

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Afghan and Coalition forces killed 18 insurgents and detained two suspected individuals in eastern Afghanistan during operations throughout the past 24 hours, Jan. 8.

A Coalition air strike killed 14 insurgents after Coalition Forces were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms during operations in Sharan District, Paktika province.

Afghan and Coalition forces killed two insurgents handling weapons and building a fighting position in Watahpur District, Kunar province.

Coalition Forces killed two insurgents holding AK-47s in Alishing District, Laghman province.

Coalition Forces detained two suspects found with materials used to make improved explosive devices in Khugyani District, Nangarhar province. The detainees were transported to a nearby base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.
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