Friday, February 24, 2012

General Allen Visits Attacked Base

The Commander of ISAF and US troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, has been to visit the base in the east of the country where two US soldiers were killed yesterday by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform.
General Allen was accompanied on his trip by General Sher Mohammed Karimi, the Afghan National Army's Chief of Staff. At the time of the incident, the base was under attack by protestors demonstrating against the burning of Koran at the detainee facility in Parwan.

Produced by Alessandro Pavone.

English subtitled/close-captioned version is here
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Qur'an burning protests rage as death toll reaches 23 in Afghanistan

Afghan National Army soldiers fire towards
protesters during a protest
in Kabul February 24, 2012. - photo: Omar Sobhani
Twelve people killed Friday as anti-US sentiment spreads for fourth straight day in wake of holy book burning at Nato base

Twelve people were killed on Friday in the bloodiest day yet in protests that have raged across Afghanistan over the desecration of copies of the Muslim holy book at a Nato military base with riot police and soldiers on high alert braced for more violence.

The burning of the Qur'ans at the Bagram compound earlier this week has deepened public mistrust of Nato forces struggling to stabilise Afghanistan before foreign combat troops withdraw in 2014.

Hundreds of Afghans marched towards the palace of Afghan president Hamid Karzai in Kabul, while on the other side of the capital protesters hoisted the white flag of the Taliban.

Chanting "Death to America!" and "Long live Islam!", protesters also threw rocks at police in Kabul, while Afghan army helicopters circled above.

Friday is a holy day and the official weekly holiday in Afghanistan and mosques in the capital drew large crowds, with police in pick-up trucks posted on nearby streets.

Armed protesters took refuge in shops in the eastern part of the city, where they killed one demonstrator, said police at the scene. In another Kabul rally, police said they were unsure who fired the shots that killed a second protester.

Seven more protesters were killed in the western province of Herat, two more in eastern Khost province and one in the relatively peaceful northern Baghlan province, health and local officials said. In Herat, around 500 men charged at the US consulate.

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US adds Indonesian group, 3 leaders to terrorism list

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JUNE 16: A supporter of M...
A supporter of Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir wears a jacket with a portrait of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as they gather after Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir's hearing verdict at the South Jakarta District Court on June 16, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. --- --- Image by Getty Images via @daylife
from Bill Roggio - February 23., 2012. - LWJ

The US government has added an Indonesian group and three of its leaders who are responsible for attacks in the country to the list of terrorist organizations and individuals.

Today the State Department added the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), or the Partisans of the Oneness of God, to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities. The Treasury Department added Mochammad Achwan, the terror group's emir; Son Hadi bin Muhadjir, its spokesman; and Abdul Rosyid Ridho Ba'asyir, a JAT leader involved in recruiting members and financing operations, to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

"JAT is responsible for multiple coordinated attacks against innocent civilians, police, and military personnel in Indonesia," the State Department said in its designation of the terror group. "JAT seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in Indonesia, and has carried out numerous attacks on Indonesian Government personnel and civilians in order to achieve this goal," the State designation continued.

Among the attacks carried out by JAT are the Sept. 25, 2011 suicide bombing at a church in Central Java that wounded dozens of worshipers, and a suicide attack at a mosque in West Java on April 15, 2011 that wounded 28 policemen.

The US government said that JAT was founded in 2008 by Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader and cofounder of Jemaah Islamiyah, an al Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia that has been behind numerous terror attacks in Indonesia. Bashir was arrested by Indonesian police in August 2010 on terrorism charges. In June 2011, a court found Bashir guilty of "committing a criminal act of terrorism" by founding and supporting a terrorist group known as al Qaeda in Aceh. One year later, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
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Explosion kill and injure at least 7 in Khost province

Districts of Khost (not showing the Shamal Dis...
Image via Wikipedia
According to local authorities in eastern Khost province, at least 7 people were killed and injured following a roadside Improvised Explosive Device explosion in this province.

The officials further added, the incident took place at Spin Jomat area at eastern Khost city.

According to eyewitnesses at least 1 civilian was killed and 6 others were injured following the explosion.

In the meantime provincial public health chief for eastern Khost province Dr. Hedayatullah said, at least 7 civilians who were injured during the explosion were brought to the hospital so far.

He also said, an Afghan woman was also among those who was injured following the incident.

Provincial security chief for eastern Khost province Gen. Yaqoub Mandozai said, at least 3 civilians were injured following the incident.

No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Local officials blamed the Taliban group for such incidents as the Taliban militants frequently use Improvised Explosive Device to target Afghan and coalition security forces which normally leads to civilian casualties.

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Suicide bombers kills four Pakistan police in Peshawar


The Sheikh Abdullah Azzam faction has claimed the responsibility of Peshawar police station attack that killed four policemen including an SHO Friday morning, Geo News reported. The brigade has avenged the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Badar Mansoor in recent drone attack.

According to head of bomb disposal unit IG Shafqat, the ammunition used in today’s attack and Thursday’s Kohat bus stop blast are similar in nature. Finger prints and body remains of the attackers have also been obtained for DNA tests.

IG Shafqat told that three suicide attacks were conducted on the police station each using 7 kg of high quality explosive material including ball bearings. He told that the earlier bus stand blast and police station attack are connected in nature.

KP Minister of Information Mian Iftikhar told that two attackers resemble each other and could possibly be brothers while they could have affiliation with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

At least four policemen were killed and six others injured in a pre-dawn attack by the armed militants on Kotwali Police Station in interior Peshawar on Friday, police said.

City police Chief Imtiaz Altaf said, three suicide bombers exploded themselves as they were enclosed by the police inside the police station. However militants' precipitate attack with firing and hand grenades and three policemen including a sub inspector were killed. The attack also inflicted heavy damage on the police station building.

Pakistani volunteers carry the body of a policeman following a bomb blast at a police station in Peshawar on February 24, 2012. - photo: A. Majeed

***GRAPHIC CONTENT*** - Pakistani policemen inspect a damaged room and the remains of a suicide bomber following a bomb blast at a police station in Peshawar on February 24, 2012. - A. Majeed

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