Tuesday, February 14, 2012

1 suspect arrested after explosions in Bangkok(+photo&video)

BANGKOK, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Tuesday urged the public not to panic over three explosions in Bangkok related to three Iranians.

According to the latest report from Nationa News Agency (NNA), one suspect has been arrested at the international Suvarnabhumi Airport.

On Tuesday afternoon, three consecutive explosions occurred in downtown Bangkok's Sukhumvit road. The explosions injured four Thais and one Iranian suspect.

Yingluck said police and intelligence agencies are investigating the case.

"I would like to ask the people not to panic. The authorities have now arrested an attacker," Bangkok Post online quoted Yingluck as saying.

The Thai Foreign Ministry has sought cooperation from Iran Embassy to check backgrounds of the Iranian suspect(s), said Deputy PM's Secretary-General Thitima Chaisaeng said, according to The Nation online.

At about 2 p.m. local time, a first bomb went off in a rented house in Soi Pridiphanomyong 31-33 on Sukhumvit 71 road. Three foreigners were reportedly living in the house, one of them confirmed as a Iranian national. The rest, of unidentified nationality, left the house un-injured, according to Thai media.

After the explosion, the Iranian housed renter called a taxi at Soi Pridi Panomyong 33.

The taxi driver did not pull over to pick him up. The man was angry and threw an explosive device at the vehicle. Taxi driver Sanchai Boonsungnoen and passenger Apichart Khamlue were injured. Two Thai passer-bys also wounded in the explosion, according to Thai News Agency. The Iranian man then walked to Kasem Pitthaya School in Soi Sukhumvit 71 and saw the police, inspecting the taxi hit by the bomb. He then accidentally dropped an explosive device on the ground, causing it to go off, wounding him severely -- cutting off his two legs. Three sedans were damaged because of the explosion.

The explosion damaged public telephone booths and his bag was scattered. The police car and a pizza shop opposite the school were damaged.

The explosive device was initially believed to be hand grenades. Police later searched the rented house and found functional C-4 explosive.

The injured were sent to hospitals. Police is investigating.

Thai authorities have not yet commented whether the explosions were related to terrorism.
On January 13, the embassy of the United States warned their citizens in Thailand of the possibility of imminent terrorist attacks in busy tourist areas of Bangkok. The warning prompted other 20 countries to issued same warning for their citizens.  

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Suicide vests and weapons cache seized in Baghlan

Provincial Intelligence, National Directorate for Security in northern Baghlan province following a press release on Tuesday announced to seized 2 suicide bombing vests and some other ammunitions in northern Baghlan province.

The source further added, Afghan security forces seized at least 57 rounds of Rocket Launcher missiles, 23 rounds of mortar missiles, 3 rounds of artillery missiles, 1 BM-1 missile, 11 rounds of other missiles, 3 boxes of heavy machine ammos, 7 anti aircraft gun ammos, 4 improvised explosive device, 1 rocket launcher and a weapon from this province.

The statement also added, the weapons and ammunitions were seized from Baraka, central Baghlan and Khenjan districts of northern Baghlan province.

A suspected militant was also detained in connection to the arms and ammunitions caches, and is under the investigation of the Afghan Intelligence forces.

This comes as Afghan Intelligence forces seized more than 2 ton of ammunitions and weapons from various regions of northern Baghlan province during the past one month.

Ajmal Omeri, Baghlan province.
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Three dead, two dozen wounded in Iraq explosions

Baghdad (CNN) -- A car bomb exploded Tuesday outside a popular restaurant in eastern Mosul killing three people and wounding 19 others, a health official said.

Most of the dead and wounded were civilians, Salaheddin Thanoon, the head of the health directorate, told CNN. Three Iraqi soldiers were among the wounded, Thanoon said.

The incident happened about 12:30 p.m. on a busy commercial street near the University of Mosul.

Mosul is about 220 miles (350 kilometers) north of the capital city of Baghdad, where another bombing Tuesday left six people wounded.

The roadside bomb exploded in the al-Mashtal neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad, police officials said.

On Monday, gunmen killed Saad Abass, the head of an anti-al Qaeda Awakening Council, and his nephew as they drove in Falluja, health and police officials there said.

Saad Abass was the head of the Awakening Council in Al-Karma.

Such councils, also known as the Sons of Iraq, mainly consist of Sunni Arab fighters who turned against al Qaeda in late 2006. The U.S.-backed movement is credited as one of the main factors that contributed to a drop in violence.

Despite such attacks, officials say overall violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically since the peak of the sectarian conflict between 2005 and 2007.
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Nigerian army kills 12 suspected Islamic militants

Location of the four cities in north eastern N...
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MAIDUGRI, Nigeria, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian army killed 12 suspected Boko Haram members after a gun battle in the early hours of Monday in the restive city of Maidugri in northeast Nigeria, according to a statement issued on Monday.

The spokesman of the Joint Task Force on Operation Restore Order (JTF) in the state Hassan Ifijeh said in the statement that two JTF members also sustained injuries during the battle with the Islamic fundamentalists.

Several suspected militants were also arrested, it said.

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Six militants and two police killed in Paktika clash

At least six insurgents and two police were killed and four wounded when they engaged in clash in Khoshamand district Paktika province.

A media release from Paktika governor say that police were busy of patrolling in Khoshamnd district while they ordered a car to stop but the driver tried to run away from the area toward Ghazni province.

Afterward police from Khoshamand and Jani Khel districts of Paktika followed the car into Ghazni province and later engaged in clash with them.

According to the press release six Taliban fighters including their famous commander Fida Mohammed were killed two police have also been killed and four more were wounded.

The fighters land cruiser car destroyed in the attack and police recovered an amount of ammunition and weapons from it.

Taliban did not express their view regarding the incident.

Moreover Taliban claims to have blown up a NATO vehicle killing all personnel on board in Sabari district khost on monday but Sabari sub governor Dawlat Khan Qayumi.

NATO press office in eastern Afghanistan confirms the incident but denies the allegations of Taliban regarding the casualties.

Ismail Haqmal/ Khost province

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Two al-Qaida fighters killed in fresh battles in S. Yemen

Yemen division 2011-10-23
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SANAA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- At least two al-Qaida fighters were killed in fresh battles with the Yemeni army in the southern province of Abyan, a provincial security official told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The fighting took place on the western outskirts Abyan's provincial capital city of Zinjibar, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa.

A spokesman of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan, known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, confirmed in a text message that two militants were killed in overnight battles and around 10 others were seriously wounded.

The AQAP which allegedly have 12,000 fighters in south Yemen took advantage of the anti-government protests that have been rattling the impoverished Arab country since late January 2011 to increase its presence in the southern provinces.

The resurgent terrorist group seized Zinjibar in May 2011, and then took control over other neighboring towns including al-Koud and Jaar, as well as Azzan city in the southeastern province of Shabwa.

The Yemeni government forces supported by the U.S. and Saudi intelligence have been combating the terrorist group since 2009.

The fresh battles came four days after the AQAP said in a statement obtained by Xinhua that it agreed to start negotiations offered by the Yemeni government to reach a ceasefire deal in Abyan.

However, security officials in Abyan said Tuesday that mediation in Jaar city to reach a truce has apparently failed because of the unreasonable conditions laid down by al-Qaida group.

Al-Qaida's conditions included a complete withdrawal of the government troops from Abyan, compensation to displaced people, reconstruction of Abyan's cities, and that Ansar al-Sharia will take responsibility of the province's police and judiciary affairs.

Last week, Yemen's acting President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the sole presidential candidate nominated by Saleh's ruling party and the opposition coalition for the Feb. 21 polls, pledged that his government "will continue battles against terrorist groups to eliminate them with all possible means."

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6 Taliban militants killed in eastern Ghazni province

According to local authorities in eastern Ghazni province, at least 6 Taliban militants were killed following armed clashes with the Afghan security forces in this province.

A spokesman for the 505 Spinghar Zone Security Brigade Gen. Hamidullah said, at least 6 Taliban militants were killed and 4 Afghan National Police service members were injured during the cashes.

Gen. Hamidullah further added, the clashes took place between the Taliban militants and Paktika police forces at Ghozi village in Ab-Band district of eastern Ghazni province.

He also added, 4 Afghan police service members were critically injured during the clashes.

In the meantime a spokesman for the Taliban militants group Zabiullah Mujahid said, at least 5 Afghan police were killed and 6 others were injured during the clashes.

He also confirmed the death of 3 Taliban fighters during the clashes.

Ab-Band district is considered to be one of the volatile regions in eastern Ghazni province.

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Feb.14., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Feb. 14) – An Afghan and coalition security force captured two Taliban leaders during an operation in Maidan Shar district, Wardak province, today.

Both captured leaders directed attacks against Afghan government officials, as well as, acquired and built improvised explosive devices for use in attacks.

One additional suspected 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 Musa Qal’ah district, Helmand province, today. The captured leader coordinated direct-fire and roadside bomb attacks in Musa Qal’ah and Sangin districts. No civilians were injured during the operation.

In Shinwar district, Nangarhar province, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation today. The facilitator distributed explosives, firearms and ammunition to insurgents throughout the province. No civilians were injured during the operation.
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Six-tonne Afghanistan hash to Toronto...

Six-tonne Afghanistan hash shipment disguised as chocolate drink intercepted en route to Canada

Feb 13, 2012 – 3:36 PM ET

A close-up of the gold embossing stamp on each slab of pressed hash from Afghanistan promises "Super Quality"
TORONTO — The RCMP says a massive shipment of hvash, disguised as “specially formulated” chocolate drink flavouring and hidden in hollowed-out particle board before being shipped out of Afghanistan for Toronto, likely would have seen profits returned to the troubled region to fund militants if not for an international police effort.

Five men — four Canadians and a Dutch national — were arrested in Toronto when they tried to pick up the 500 wood boards from the sea container. Another man was arrested earlier in the Republic of Tajikistan, where the load was first discovered before its wending, international journey.

To the shock of the men in Canada, police say, most of the expected cargo — 5.7 tonnes of hash, with an estimated street value of $69-million— had not even made it out of Asia.

After the load was discovered in the mountainous country of Tajikistan, one of the former Soviet republics that shares a border with Afghanistan, local police contacted the RCMP, starting a complicated international effort, said RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.

Just 10 kilos of the drug, a sticky cannabis resin, were allowed to continue on its journey by rail through a dozen countries before being loaded onto a ship to Montreal where the sea container was loaded onto a flatbed truck for the drive to Toronto, police said.

Once in Toronto, police monitored it until men came to collect it, police said.
“It was quite a logistical challenge,” said Comm. Paulson.
Adrian Humphreys / National Post
Each slab of pressed hash from Afghanistan was pressed into the hollowed out press board, in background, with another board glued over top to conceal them, police said

“Through strong national and international partnerships, the RCMP continues to root out these criminal elements wherever they are located. Organized crime compromises the safety and security of us all. By disrupting their drug trade, the RCMP is reducing their capacity to threaten communities’ health and well being.”
It likely would have been a threat to more than just Canada’ citizens, said RCMP Superintendent Rick Penney — a chunk of that money would inevitably have been fed back to the Afghanistan source of the hash, he said.
“We have soldiers over there fighting for liberty and freedom and the profit from these crimes will end up back there,” said Supt. Penney.
The arrests in Canada occurred in October but officers kept it quiet while its investigation continued. More arrests could come, Comm. Paulson said, but none are imminent.
The RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency officials also announced a separate seizure of 2,900-kilos of Gamma-Butyrolacton, an intoxicant sometimes used as a precursor to make a date rape drug.
The GHL was seized at Toronto’s Pearson international airport on Jan. 25 after it arrived in air cargo hidden in a shipment from China labelled “kitchen grease remover,” police said. Some of the drug had leaked onto food supplies sharing the cargo container.
The oily liquid is enough to make about 4.8-million doses with an estimated street value of $48-million, police said.
Three Toronto-area men were arrested in that case.
Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, heralded the federal policing efforts.
“These arrests and seizures are welcome news for families and communities across Canada. The production and trafficking of illicit drugs is one of the root causes of violent crime,” Mr. Toews said.

National Post
The slabs of hash were found pressed into cavities cut into particle board, police said

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RAF Regiment airman killed in Afghanistan

A Royal Air Force Regiment airman has been killed during an insurgent attack in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand.

The airman, whose next of kin have been informed, was shot dead while on a routine patrol of the Western Dashte area, said the Ministry of Defence.

British forces spokesman Lt Col Gordon Mackenzie said "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

British military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 now stand at 398.

The airman had been on a partnered patrol and so would have been interacting with civilians while accompanying an Afghan officer.

His death comes after Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment was also killed by gunfire, in Helmand's Khar Nikah area on 27 January.

Some 500 of around 9,500 British servicemen and women in Afghanistan are due to be brought home in 2012 and Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that more will leave in 2013.

He has said he wants British forces to end combat operations in the country by 2014.

from BBC
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Three armed insurgents killed in Kandahar province

The Central Unit is a Quick Reactionary Force ...
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According to local authorities in southern Afghanistan, at least three Taliban militants were killed following armed clashes with the Afghan police in southern Kandahar province.

Provincial governor media office for southern Kandahar province following a statement said, at least 2 armed insurgents were also detained during Afghan police operation at Arghistan district of southern Kandahar province.

The statement further added, 3 armed insurgents were killed at Arghistan district on Sunday evening after they ambushed an Afghan National Police vehicle at Mosh Giran area.

Afghan National Police and Afghan civilians did not suffer any casualties during the clashes, officials confirmed.

In the meantime Afghan police forces killed at least 2 insurgents at Maroof district while they were planting roadside bombs after crossing the border from Pakistan.

Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the reports.

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R.I.P. - Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
 Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, of North Arlington, N.J., died Feb. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at 910-450-6575.

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R.I.P. - Pfc. Cesar Cortez

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Cesar Cortez, 24, of Oceanside, Calif., died Feb. 11, in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Cortez was assigned to 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss, Texas.
For more information, the media may contact the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command public affairs office at 915-568-3328.
CORRECTION:  Feb. 13, 2011 -- The theater of operations is corrected from United States Mission Iraq to Operation Enduring Freedom.
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AQAP's Ansar al Sharia executes 3 US 'spies'

Images of the three "spies" executed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Image from the SITE Intelligence Group.

Ansar al Sharia, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's political front, has released a videotape of the confessions of three Yemenis who were accused of spying for the US and placing tracking chips on vehicles that resulted in the deaths of 10 AQAP fighters in US-led airstrikes. The video, along with an accompanying statement by AQAP on the charges against the men and others also accused of spying for the US and Saudi intelligence, was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The three men who confessed were reported yesterday to have been beheaded.
Below is a sample of AQAP/Ansar al Sharia's "charges" against one of the slain spies:
The accused, 'Abu Abdul Rahman al-Maribi Salih Ahmed Salih al-Jamili' admitted in front of the judicial committee to the accusations directed at him, and he received his just punishment. The following people are wanted for justice in this case: the one named Ali bin Saeed bin Ma'ili, the one named Ma'id bin Nasser bin Qamad, and the one named Khamis al-Mashi'i, for their participation in recruiting the one named Abu Abdul Rahman Salih Ahmed Salih al-Jamili and aiding him with money, techniques, and constant contact with the command center that is directing the American air force through the national security.
For more information on Ansar al Sharia, see LWJ report, US 'drones' kill 15 al Qaeda fighters in southern Yemen.

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2012/02/aqaps_ansar_al_sharia_executes.php?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#ixzz1mJ5hYPnX
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15 Afghan civilians and kids killed in NATO air raid

At least 15 Afghan civilians were killed following NATO air raid at eastern Kapisa and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan.

Afghan Presidential Palace in a statement said, the latest investigation findings reveal 15 Afghan civilians including Afghan kids were killed during NATO air raid in these two provinces.

The statement further added, the commission which was appointed by Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Sunday presented their findings report at the security council meeting.

Chief of the investigations committee Mawlawi Shahzada Shahid who visited Kunar said, at least 7 Afghan civilians most of them from a single family was killed during NATO air raid at Soki district in eastern Kunar province.

Meanwhile the committee members who visited eastern Kapisa province also said 8 Afghan kids were killed in NATO air raid at Nejrab district.

Residents of eastern Kapisa and Kunar provinces urged Afghan president Hamid Karzai to prevent NATO air raids, the statement added.

However NATO officials said they are investigating the two incidents.

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