Sunday, January 29, 2012

Haqqani Network facilitator detained in Logar province

Afghan and Coalition security forces following a military operation on Sunday captured a Haqqani Network facilitator in eastern Logar province.

According to NATO-led International Security Assistance Force officials, the facilitator of the Haqqani Network was detained in Pul-e-Alam district of eastern Logar province.

The officials further added, the acilitator produced explosives and emplaced roadside bombs throughout the region.

According to ISAF officials, multiple suspected insurgents were detained during the operation.

Meanwhile Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Haqqani network facilitator in Sharan district of eastern Paktika province.

The facilitator distributes explosives and conducts attacks against Afghan forces, ISAF officials said.

Multiple suspected insurgents were detained during the operation.
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Taliban, US negotiators meet in Qatar

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Taliban negotiators have begun meeting with US officials in Qatar, where they are discussing preliminary trust-building measures aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Citing several former Taliban officials, the newspaper said these measures included a possible prisoner transfer.

The Afghan government is expecting a delegation from the Qatar government to visit Kabul to explain its role in the talks, said High Peace Council secretary Aminundin Muzaffari.

The former officials said that four to eight Taliban representatives had traveled to Qatar from Pakistan to set up a political office for the exiled Afghan insurgent group, the report said.

The comments suggested that the Taliban, who have not publicly said they would engage in peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan, were gearing up for preliminary discussions, the paper said.

US officials would not deny that meetings had taken place, and the discussions seemed to have at least the tacit approval of Pakistan, which has thwarted previous efforts by the Taliban to engage in talks, The Times noted.

from DAWN
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50 more militants surrender in Baghlan, Afghanistan

PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Fifty more militants surrender to the government in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan, a provincial police source said Sunday.

"A total of 50 anti-government militants, including several group commanders, have renounced violence and joined the government in Baghlan-e-Markazi district late on Saturday," provincial police chief of Baghlan, Asadullah Shirzad, told Xinhua on Sunday morning.

He said the former group of militants belonged to Hizb-i-Islami.

Hizb-i-Islami, with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as its leader, is the second largest militant group fighting the government.

With these people joining the peace process, the security situation will be further improved in Baghlan province, police chief Shirzad said, adding with the mediation of local elders, more militants would give up militancy and join the peace process in near future.

Police chief Shirzad also said more than 100 militants, with a majority of them Taliban, have joined the peace process in the province, some 160 km north of Kabul over the past couple of days.

Local media reports recently said peace talks between the Afghan government and Hezb-i-Islami militants are heading towards a positive direction.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Jan. 21 confirmed that he personally held peace talks with a delegation of Hizb-i-Islami recently.
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12 militants killed by Pakistan army in NW Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Pakistani army has killed 12 militants and took control of a highly volatile area in the country's northwest tribal region of Kurram Agency on Saturday, local media reported.

According to a report by local Urdu TV Channel Dunya, troops attacked militants' hideouts and killed at least 12 of them in Jogi area of Kurram Agency, one of the seven tribal agencies along Pak-Afghan borders.

The Pakistani army had cleared most of the Kurram region from the Taliban militants earlier last year, however, some of the areas including Jogi were still under the control of militants from where they carried out attacks on the army and pro-government tribal people.

After a successful five-day operation against militants, government troops took control of the area on Friday afternoon.

Earlier on Saturday, 11 militants were killed and two hideouts destroyed in a security forces action in the same area.

During the last five-day operation, 52 militants and six soldiers got killed while 23 soldiers sustained injuries in clashes between militants and government soldiers in Kurram Agency.
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2 women killed in attack on house of anti-Qaida leader in western Iraq

RAMADI, Iraq, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Two women were killed in a gunmen's attack on the house of a local Awakening Council group leader in Iraq's western province of Anbar on Saturday, a provincial police source said.

The attack occurred in the morning when gunmen stormed the house of Shiekh Dhiyab Mahmoud, leader of the government backed Awakening Council group in the town of Grama near the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, the source from Anbar's provincial operations command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The attackers shot dead Mahmoud's wife and daughter, while Mahmoud himself escaped the attack unharmed as he was not at home at the time of the attack, the source said.

The Awakening Council group, also known as Sons of Iraq movement or Sahwa, consists of mostly anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent militant groups, who turned their rifles to fight al-Qaida network after Sahwa's leaders became dismayed by al-Qaida's brutality and religious zealotry in the country.
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4 al-Qaida militants, one government soldier killed in clashes in southern Yemen

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ADEN, Yemen, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- At least four al-Qaida militants and one government soldier were killed early Saturday in fresh fighting in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a security official said.

The fierce fighting took place in the eastern suburbs of Zinjibar city, the provincial capital of Abyan, after the al-Qaida militants attacked an army barrack with rocket-propelled grenades, leaving one soldier killed, the local security official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Soldiers of the 25th Mechanized Brigade exchanged fire with the al-Qaida militants, killing four terrorists, including an African, the official said.

"The body of the army soldier along with some injured have been moved to Aden's military hospital," he said.

Meanwhile, a police officer told Xinhua that five unknown gunmen fired three rocket-propelled grenades early Saturday, targeting the headquarters of the local government in the southern province of al-Dhalea, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa, has been the scene of daily fierce fighting after hundreds of militants from the Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) captured Zinjibar and at least three other towns in May 2011.

The AQAP, entrenching itself mainly in Yemen's southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, is on the terrorist list of the United States which considers it as an increasing threat to its national security.

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American Hostage Released in Nigeria

An American worker kidnapped in Nigeria's oil rich southern Delta region has been released after being held a week.

The U.S. embassy said Friday the 50-year-old man is in a safe location. The circumstances surrounding his release have not been announced.

During the kidnapping in Nigeria's Warri State, the man's driver was shot and killed. The suspects then contacted the man's employer demanding more than $300,000. There has been no word if a ransom was paid.

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to citizens to avoid travel to the Delta region of Nigeria because of the risk of kidnappings, robberies and personal attacks. The State Department announced in its most recent warning that five U.S. citizens were kidnapped in Nigeria last year.
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Radio journalist gunned down in Mogadishu

Gunmen in Somalia have shot dead the director of a major radio station in front of his home in Mogadishu, colleagues and witnesses said.

Hassan Osman Abdi, who headed Radio Shabelle, was stopped by two men as he was entering his gate on Saturday. He was shot several times, according to Mohamed Moalim, a relative who stayed in the area.

"We don't know who they are, but they shot him mercilessly in the head and shoulders," he said.

Mu'awiye Ahmed Mudey, a producer at Shabelle radio confirmed the attack.

Radio Shabelle interrupted its programmes to broadcast several verses from the Koran as an expression of mourning for Abdi, the 29-year-old father of three.

Somalia, which has been devastated by 20 years of civil war, is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.

Media rights campaigners, Reporters Without Borders (Reporteurs Sans Frontieres, RSF), reported in December that 25 journalists had been killed there since 2007.

"(Hassan Osman) Abdi is the first journalist to be killed in 2012 in Somalia, Africa's deadliest country for media personnel," RSF said in a statement.

"Our thoughts go out to his family and fellow journalists, who are yet  again mourning a colleague's death," it added.

He was the third director of the network to be killed, the group said, recalling the killing of Bashir Nur Gedi in 2007 and Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe in 2009.

"Violence against journalists in Somalia is sustained by impunity for those responsible," RSF said.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has some 10,000 troops in the Somali capital Mogadishu to protect the fragile Western-backed Somali government.

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Jan.29., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Jan. 29) — An Afghan led and coalition supported security force conducted an operation in search of an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader in Taloqan district, Takhar province, today.
The leader, Ilhom, was responsible for the Dec. 25, 2011, suicide bomb attack that killed an Afghan official in Takhar province. Additionally, Ilhom facilitated the training of suicide bombers for attacks throughout the area.
During the operation Ilhom and one other armed insurgent engaged the security force with fragmentation grenades.
The security force responded to the immediate threat and returned fire, killing Ilhom and the insurgent.
One additional insurgent was detained during the operation.
In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, today.

The leader operated in Yak Chal village where he participated in direct-fire attacks and distributed ammunition and explosives to insurgent fighters throughout the area.
The security force detained multiple insurgents during the operation.


In Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban facilitator today. The facilitator transports insurgents to Pakistan for training and conducts attacks against Afghan forces throughout the province. The security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during the operation.
An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani Network facilitator during an operation in Pul-e ‘Alam district, Logar province, today. The facilitator produced explosives and emplaced roadside bombs throughout the region. Multiple suspected insurgents were detained during the operation.
In Sharan district, Paktika province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Haqqani Network facilitator today. The facilitator distributes explosives and conducts attacks against Afghan forces. Multiple suspected insurgents were detained during the operation
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R.I.P. - Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung

Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung [Picture: via MOD]

Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

28 Jan 12
It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung of 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 27 January 2012.


Serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North), the soldier was a member of an International Security Assistance Force foot patrol to disrupt insurgent activity in the Khar Nikah region of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, when he received a fatal gunshot wound.

Lance Corporal Gurung was born in Majthana, Nepal, on 16 October 1985, and was brought up and educated in Pokhara. Before being selected for the Brigade of Gurkhas, he was a full time student, studying Maths and English in Pokhara.

He joined the Brigade of Gurkhas on 18 December 2004 at British Gurkhas Pokhara, Nepal. He completed recruit training in Gurkha Company, 3rd Battalion, Infantry Training Centre Catterick in October 2005. On completion of his basic training he joined 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles and served both in Brunei and the UK.

Known as 'Gaj' to his friends in the Army, LCpl Gurung served three times in Afghanistan during his military career. He previously deployed there in 2006 on Operation HERRICK 4 as part of D Company (Gurkha Reinforcement Company) with 7 Royal Horse Artillery. He deployed again in October 2008 on Operation HERRICK 9.

On 14 July 2009, he was posted to C Company, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in Münster, Germany. Over the summer of 2010 he deployed to the British Army Training Unit in Suffield, Canada, and spent time on exercise with both the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment Battle Groups. Upon his return to Germany he became immersed in preparation for Operation HERRICK 15, during which he completed the basic Pashto language course.

On deploying to Afghanistan C Company was renamed D (Delhi) Company. After completing his in-theatre training, he moved forward to Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah where his Company, under command of Combined Force Nahr-e-Saraj (North), were to be based for the duration of Operation Herrick 15. His Company were tasked with holding the contested and critically influential area north east of Helmand's second city, Gereshk. On the afternoon of Friday 27 January 2012, Lance Corporal Gurung's patrol came under small arms fire. During the short exchange of gunfire that ensued, he was fatally wounded.

He leaves behind his wife Manisha, father Gum Bahadur, mother Lekh Maya, his brother Buddha and sister Junu.

Read more:
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Jan.28., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban commander during an operation in Nad-e Ali district, Helmand province, Thursday.

The Taliban commander was responsible for supplying weapons, explosives and directing insurgent fighters in this area.

During the operation several insurgents were also detained by Afghan security forces for further questioning and processing.

No civilians were harmed during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during a patrol in Panjwa‘i district, Kandahar province, today. The cache consisted of approximately 11,000 pounds (5,000 kilograms) of marijuana. Security forces destroyed all drugs on site without incident.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban commander and facilitator during an operation in Saraj district, Helmand province, yesterday. The Taliban commander is suspected of operating an insurgent cell in Upper Gereshk Valley and for planning roadside bomb attacks in Helmand province. During the operation the security force seized a quantity of improvised explosive device components. The insurgent was detained by Afghan security forces for further questioning and processing, the IED components were safely destroyed on site. No civilians were harmed during the operation.
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Act of Valor - Real Bullets Featurette 1080p HD

Act of Valor - Real Bullets Featurette

Opens: Feb. 24, 2012
Cast: Emilio Rivera, Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Nestor Serrano, Jason Cottle
Director: Scott Waugh

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