Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Unknown gunmen assassinate tribal elder in Kandahar

Map of Afghanistan with Maidan Wardak highlighted
Image via Wikipedia
Unknown gunmen in southern Kandahar province on Tuesday morning assassinated tribal elder and member of Dund district reform council.

According to a press release issued by Kandahar provincial governor media office, Haji Mohammad Naeem was assassinated around 6 am local time by unknown gunmen at 10 district of southern Kandahar city while he was in a mosque for the prayers.

The source further added, the assailants managed to flee the area and Afghan security forces have launched a search operation to arrest those involved behind the assassination of Haji Mohammad Naeem.

In the meantime Afghan Interior Ministry following a press release announced, Afghan security forces killed at least three armed militants and arrested three others following military operations during the past 24 hours.

The source further added, the operations were conducted by Afghan Police in conjunction with the Afghan National Army, Afghan Intelligence and NATO-led coalition forces at Greshk district of southern Helmand province and Syedabad district of Maidan Wardak province.

Afghan Interior Ministry officials also said, Afghan security forces seized some weapons and explosives including 3 AK-47 assault rifles, 4 pistols, 16 hand grenades, 11 kgs of explosives and 1 vehicle which was used by the militants.
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Gunmen Kill VOA Reporter in Pakistan

Map of Pakistan
Image by Omer Wazir via Flickr
Gunmen in northwest Pakistan have shot and killed a reporter working for the Voice of America.

Mukarram Khan Atif, who filed reports for VOA's Deewa Radio, was attacked Tuesday at a mosque near his home in Shabqadar. The town is located roughly 35 kilometers from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Local police say two assailants on motorcycles arrived at the mosque during evening prayers. One of the men entered the mosque and shot Aatif in the head before fleeing.

Aatif was hospitalized in critical condition, before succumbing to his injuries.

Friends of the journalist, who was in his 40's, tell VOA that Aatif had received threats from militants in the past. He and his family had been forced to move to Shabqadar from their home in Mohmand agency due to the threats.

Aatif also worked for the private Pakistani Dunya TV.

Media right activists in Pakistan are condemning Aatif's killing and criticizing the government for not doing enough to protect journalists.

Reporters Without Borders named Pakistan as the deadliest country for journalists for two years in a row, with 10 killed in the country in 2011.

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Taliban local leader killed in E Afghanistan

GHAZNI, Afghanistan, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- An Afghan Taliban local leader was killed in a search operation in the country's eastern province of Ghazni, a provincial security official said on Tuesday.

"Based on intelligence, a special unite of Afghan Directorate of Security (NDS) launched a search operation to capture a Taliban local leader in Gilan district of Ghazni province Monday night," head of provincial department of NDS, Amir Shah Sadat, told reporters in provincial capital of Ghanzi city.

He said upon arrival of the forces in a compound in Autala area of Gilan district, a gunfight was broke out leaving the Talian leader namely Malawi Noor Ahmad dead.

He said two other insurgents were also killed in the incident, adding that no civilian or NDS personnel were injured in the raid in the province 125 km south of capital city of Kabul.

He said the deceased insurgent leader was operating in Gilan district and surrounding areas and has been involved in carrying out several attacks against security forces over the past few years.

The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the militant group announced to launch a rebel offensive from May 2011 against Afghan and NATO-led troops stationed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban militants have not to make comments yet.

(today morning ISAF Op update is here)

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6 security members killed in attacks in Iraq's violence

BAGHDAD, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Six security members were killed and another wounded Tuesday in separate gunfire and bomb attacks in western and eastern Iraq, the police said.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, unidentified gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in the town of Rutba, some 375 km west of Baghdad, killing five policemen, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Iraqi security forces cordoned off the scene and carried out operation in the area, while the police were investigating the incident, the source said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a member of a government- backed Awakening Council group was killed and his brother wounded when a sticky bomb attached to their car detonated in the western part of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

The Awakening Council group, or Sahwa in Arabic, consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups which fought al-Qaida militants in the Sunni Arab areas after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Also in the province, Iraqi security forces carried out search operations across the province over the past 24 hours and arrested 12 suspects, including seven wanted individuals, the source added.

Insurgents continue daily attacks including suicide bombings across Iraq since the U.S. troops pulled out of the country earlier last month.

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Dozens of militants join peace process in Afghanistan

According to local authorities in easern Ghazni province, at least 20 armed militants surrendered to Afghan government and joined peace process in this province.

Provincial governor Musa Akbarza said, the insurgents group under the leadership of Mullah Khadmul Furqan was plotting and carrying out insrugency activities in Dayak district of eastern Ghazni province.

In the meantime Afghan Intelligence Department, National Directorate for Security on Monday announced the reconciliation of at least 8 armed militant groups across the country.

Afghan Intelligence spokesman Lotfullah Mashal while speaking during a press conference said, around 8 armed militants groups including 93 armed militants joined the peace process.

Mr. Mashal further added, the reconciled militants were actively plotting and carrying insurgency activities in Herat, Badghis, Kandahar and Kunar provinces.

He also said, the militants that joined peace process have vowed to prevent taking part in any insurgency activities.

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R.I.P. - Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin B. Wise

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin B. Wise, 34, of Little Rock, Ark., died Jan. 15 in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of injuries sustained on Jan. 9 in Balkh province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

            For more information please contact Lt. Col. Olsen at april.olsen@ahqb.soc.mil or by phone at 910-689-6187.

Jan.17., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Jan. 17) — A combined Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Haqqani leader in Manduzai district, Khost province, today.
The leader operates an insurgent cell in Nadir Shah Kot district and plans roadside bomb attacks throughout the area.
During the operation, the security force observed a group of insurgents burying a 100 pound (45 kilogram) bomb alongside a road. The security force assessed the threat and called for a precision airstrike, killing two insurgents.
Three additional insurgents were detained following the air strike.
The security force confiscated a rocket propelled grenade, multiple firearms and bomb-making materials during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

In Baghlan-e Jadid district, Baghlan province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban facilitator today. The facilitator makes homemade explosives, constructs roadside bombs and supplies bomb-making materials to insurgent groups throughout Baghlan-e Jadid district. The security force confiscated bomb-making material, multiple weapons and ammunition and detained multiple suspected insurgents during the operation.

An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani leader during an operation in Nadir Shah Kot district, Khost province, today. The leader trained insurgent fighters and directed roadside bomb attacks. Two additional suspected insurgents were detained during the operation.
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Jan.16., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Jan. 16) — A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during an operation in Now Zad district, Helmand province, yesterday. The cache consisted of approximately 880 pounds (400 kilograms) of opium, 1,562 pounds (710 kilograms) of drug-producing chemicals and miscellaneous equipment used in drug manufacturing.

During the operation several insurgents displayed hostile intent, responding to the immediate threat, the security force engaged and killed the insurgents.

The drugs were destroyed on site without further incident. In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

In Panjwa'i district, Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during a routine patrol today. The cache consisted of approximately 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms) of hash. The drugs were confiscated and will be destroyed at a later date.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a weapons and drug cache during an operation in Washer district, Helmand province, yesterday. The cache consisted of approximately 2,530 pounds (1150 kilograms) of opium, several firearms and ammunition. The security force detained several suspected insurgent fighters during the operation. The cache was destroyed on site without incident.
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