Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pirates raid ship in Nigeria, abduct two crew

LAGOS, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Suspected pirates have attacked and robbed a cargo vessel at a Nigerian port, a spokesperson for the International Maritime Bureau said on Wednesday.

Eight pirates armed with machine guns fired at a Curacao-flagged vessel anchored at southeast Nigeria's port Harcourt before boarding the ship Tuesday night, Micheal Howlet told Xinhua, adding that the chief engineer and the ship master were taken hostage.

The vessel has 14 crew members, he added, noting that one crew member was injured and another was reported missing.

The attack came only two weeks after armed pirates attacked a Panama-registered Chinese cargo ship near the port of Lagos in the early morning of Feb. 14.

The pirates stole goods and escaped when a nearby foreign naval ship came to the crew's rescue.

Piracy and armed robbery in the gulf have been increasing in recent years, drawing the attention of the international community.
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India Arrests Two Suspected Terrorists

English: India's Minister of Finance Palaniapp...
Image via Wikipedia
Indian officials say they have detained two men who were planning to carry out attacks in New Delhi.

Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters Wednesday that the men were affiliated with the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.  "Our agencies, working together with police forces of three states, have busted an important LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba] sponsored terrorist module," he said. "Persons were arrested in Delhi and are being produced before the magistrate, shortly.''

Lashkar is blamed for the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai that killed 166 people.

Chidambaram did not give details of the arrests, but said the men organizing attacks in India's capital. "They were planning to detonate bomb or more than one bomb in a crowded locality," he stated. "That is the information.''

New Delhi has been the frequent target of terrorist attacks.  A bomb blast outside a courthouse in the city last September killed 12 people.  Earlier this month, an explosion in the capital seriously wounded an Israeli diplomat.
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6 Taliban militants killed in eastern Nangarhar province

According to local authorities in eastern Nangarhar province, at least 6 Taliban militants were killed following armed clahes with the international coalition security forces in this province.

The officials further added, the Taliban militants were killed in Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday night.

Provincial governor spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said, the incident took place after a number of armed Taliban militants attacked a coalition forces military base in this district.

Mr. Abdulzai further added, Afghan and coalition security forces did not suffer any casualties during the clashes.

In the meantime a spokesman for the Taliban militants group Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed the death of its fighters in the clashes and claimed at least 10 US and Afghan soldiers were also killed during the clashes.

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At Least 20 Injured In Afghan Attacks

KABUL -- At least 20 people have been reported injured in two explosions in Afghanistan -- one targeting a supply convoy for NATO-led forces, and the second targeting a bank in the northeast.

The Interior Ministry said a suicide car bombing on February 29 targeted nonmilitary vehicles of a NATO provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand Province.

Seven people, including two children and a policeman, were injured. A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said no one in the convoy was injured.

Also on February 29, a bomb exploded outside the private Kabul Bank in Taluqan city, the provincial capital of northern Takhar Province.

RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports that 13 civilians were injured, including five in critical condition.

from RFE/RL
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Danish Navy rescues 16 hostages from pirates, 2 more captives killed

English: Danish navy Absalon (L16) with a West...
Danish navy Absalon (L16) with a Westland Lynx. - Image via Wikipedia
The Danish Navy said on Tuesday it had freed 16 hostages held by pirates off the Somali coast the previous day, but that two more captives were killed in the rescue operation.

During a rescue operation by the Danish navy, two people that were being held hostage by alleged Somali pirates were killed. The mission did, however, successfully free 16 other prisoners off the Horn of Africa. Seventeen pirates were arrested.
Danish warship, the Absalon, fired shots onto the suspicious boat after it ignored orders to stop. The ship is a part of NATO’s counter-piracy mission Ocean Shield.
They had the boat under surveillance for some time, and stopped it when they attempted to sneak into open waters away from the coast.

After locating the severely wounded hostages, the ship’s doctor provided immediate aid, but was unable to save their lives. The other hostages have not reported any injuries, and there were also no killed or wounded pirates.
The warship Absalon fired on and intercepted a pirate mother ship as it tried to sneak away from the Somali coast Monday, according to a Danish Navy statement.

It says Absalon crew members boarded the ship and found 17 suspected pirates along with 18 hostages from the ship's original crew.  It says two of the hostages were found badly injured and died, despite medical attention.
The Absalon follow proper protocols when engaging with the pirate boat; direct fire to parts of the vessel was a last resort in the attempt to halt the pirates. The Navy will still conduct a thorough investigation into this situation nonetheless.
Reuters reports that the captured pirates would be held aboard the Absalon until Denmark could determine if it could hand them over to a country in the region to be prosecuted.

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Nigeria's Boko Haram sect razes another school

MAIDUGURI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The militant Boko Haram sect responsible for the bombings in northern Nigeria on Tuesday razed the Gomari Costain Primary School in Borno State.

The sect was linked to the razing of the Maiduguri Experimental School, a private institution in the state capital, on Monday.

Pupils of the Gomari Costain Primary School woke up on Tuesday to discover that their school had been destroyed by fire.

According to residents, the school was razed by an overnight fire suspected to be done by the dreaded sect members.

Some teachers of the school told a Xinhua reporter in the state that a group of persons, mainly teenagers, drove away the security guard in the night before setting the school ablaze.

Ismaila Gambo, one of the teachers who lives near the school premises, said he heard a loud noise in the school at night and thought it was a minor thing.

"But when we reported for duty in the morning we discovered that fire had burnt the school," he said.

State police spokesperson Samuel Tizhe, who confirmed the incident, said the police had opened investigation to unravel the masterminds of the act, but no arrests have been made.

On Monday, a section of the Maiduguri Experimental School was burnt by unknown persons.

Last week, the Budum and Kulo Gomna Primary Schools were set ablaze, forcing hundreds of pupils to remain at home, according to reports.
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IED explosion kill Taliban leader and fighters in Helmand

A local Taliban commander was killed along with his three fighters in southern Helmand province, Afghan interior ministry said on Tuesday.

According to a press release issued by the interior affairs ministry, the Taliban commander was killed along with his three fighters while he was planting improvised explosive device.

The source further added, the incident took place at Nawzad district of southern Helmand province after the improvised explosive device went off.

This comes as 7 members of an Afghan family were killed after an explosive device went off in their home at southern Kandahar province.

Local security officials said the explosion possibly took place as a result an explosive device which was kept by them inside their house.

The officials also said a member of their family had links with the Taliban group.

Improvised Explosive Device and roadside mines are the key weapons used by the Taliban group to target Afghan and coalition security forces.

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