Saturday, March 10, 2012

Somali Al-Shabaab says killed over 70 Ethiopian soldiers in surprise attack

MOGADISHU, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Somali Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abu Musab said on Saturday in a statement that his fighters killed more than 70 Ethiopian troopers in a surprise attack on their army base in southern country, but local residents put the number at 10.

Musab also acknowledged the deaths of five of his group's fighters in the battle. His claim could not be immediately independently verified.

The Islamist militants launched an attack on the military base in the village of Yurkud in the southern Gedo region on Saturday.

But local residents put the toll at 30, including 20 Islamist fighters, and said scores of others were injured in the attack.

"This is the fiercest battle launched by the Islamists against the Ethiopians since they entered Somalia. I can tell you 20 of the Islamists fighters got killed and the rest included government forces and Ethiopian troops," local resident Hashi Yarow told Xinhua by phone from the area.

Islamist fighters have lost the two key towns of Baidoa in the south and Beledweyne in the north to Ethiopian troops backing Somali government forces.

Al-Shabaab has lost a number of key areas in the south and centre of the country as the radical group faces concerted offensive from Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers and armies from neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya.

Somalia which has been embroiled in civil conflict for the past two decades has not had a central government in control in whole country since the collapse of former strongman Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Turkish jets strike north Iraq: rebels

Arbil, Iraq: A Kurdish rebel group said on Friday that Turkey's air force carried out air strikes on border areas of north Iraq, but gave no details about casualties or damage.

"On March 8, between 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) and 8:00 pm (1700 GMT), F-16 jet fighters belonging to the occupation army of Turkey launched air raids" against the Jabal Mattine area, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said in a statement.

It gave no further details.

The air strikes were the first reported raids in around a month on north Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, where the PKK maintains rear bases.

Fighting between Turkish forces and PKK rebels has escalated in recent months.

In October, Turkey launched a major air and land offensive against the rebels in the southeast of the country and in neighbouring northern Iraq after 24 of its troops were killed in a night-time ambush by rebels.

The PKK took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed about 45,000 lives. It is labelled a terrorist outfit by Ankara and much of the international community.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Officials: Yemen forces target militant hideouts, killing 36

Yemen governorates map
Image via Wikipedia
(CNN) -- Yemeni air forces targeted militant hideouts in the south, killing at least 18 suspected al Qaeda insurgents, security officials said Saturday.

In a separate action, 18 additional militants were killed in airstrikes, officials said.

The first airstrikes occurred in the Yemen province of al-Baitha in areas used as launching pads for militant attacks, the officials said.

"Al Qaeda is trying to build a stronghold in al-Baitha and it is in the beginning stages. We are trying to eliminate their presence while it is still possible and easy," one of the officials said.

Both officials did not want to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Smoke from the air raids covered the skies of al-Baitha hours after the attack. Security forces also formed new checkpoints in nearby districts.

Residents said military aircraft roam the skies of the province around the clock.

In a separate action, the air force carried out five airstrikes in the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar in Abyan province, killing 18 suspected Ansar al-Sharia militants, Yemeni security officials toldf CNN.

The attacks targeted caches of weapons and equipment seized by the militants earlier this week, the officials said.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Militant hideouts pounded in Orakzai; 21 killed

KHADEZAI – Pakistani fighter jets bombed four militant hideouts in the Khadezai and Mamozai areas of the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, killing 21 militants and wounding 23 military officials said.    

There was no way to independently confirm the death toll. Militants often dispute official death figures.
Orakzai is one of seven ethnic Pashtun tribal areas where the Pakistani military has carried out offensives to root out insurgent groups.

from DAWN
Enhanced by Zemanta

Hostage Rescue Operation in Nigeria Stresses Italian-British Relations

Italy and Britain are trying to smooth over a diplomatic tension caused by a failed attempt to rescue two hostages in northwest Nigeria by saying it's urgent that Britain share information about the mission.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi discussed the issue with his British counterpart William Hague at an informal meeting Friday in Copenhagen.

Italy has been incensed that it was not advised by Britain ahead of the operation to rescue an Italian and a British hostage from their captors. Italian national Franco Lamolinara and his British colleague Chris McManus were both killed Thursday during the British-Nigerian rescue operation in Sokoto.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said Britain's decision not to consult or inform Italy was “inexplicable” and asked for an explanation.

“They did not inform or consult with Italy in respect of this forceful action, which could have – and in the end did have – this unfortunate consequence. A political and diplomatic clarification is necessary.''

Hague defended his country's decision. He told reporters in the Danish capital that there was no time because of the urgency of the situation.
“Because it was a very quick decision yesterday, that we had to make a decision very quickly, had to go ahead with this operation, we had very limited time, that constrained how much we were able to consult others. We were able to inform the Italian government as the operation got underway, but not to do more than that. But I think everybody understands the constraints involved, the rapid timing involved in a case like this, and I will be able to discuss it, of course, with my Italian colleague here at this meeting today.”

Hague is in Copenhagen for an informal meeting of European Union ministers.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday he approved the operation after getting information of the men's location and that their lives were in “imminent and growing danger.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has blamed the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram for the kidnappings and said that some kidnappers have been arrested. But Boko Haram on Friday denied any involvement in the kidnapping of the two hostages who were killed during the deadly rescue operation.

British and Nigerian officials say they believe the captors were from an al-Qaida-linked splinter cell of Boko Haram, rather than from the group's main leadership.

The hostages were kidnapped in May in northern Nigeria, where they were working for an Italian construction company. They later appeared in an Internet video with armed gunmen who claimed to be with the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Kidnappings are not uncommon in Nigeria's delta region, where tensions over oil profits run high, but they are rare in northwestern Nigeria where Sokoto is located, near the border with Niger.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Banning of Largest Islamic Extremist Group in Pakistan

Pakistan’s government has issued orders banning Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat Islamist group. The group was first banned in 2002 by the former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharaf. The organization’s activists, after the last ban, began to function underground and carry out attacks across Pakistan.

The pro-Alqaeda group was formerly known as the Sipah-e-Sahaba (Soldiers of the Companions of the Prophet) who has been convicted of attacks on Pakistan’s minor communities, mainly the Shia Muslims. Pakistani officials allege that SSP has been behind several militant attacks on Pakistan, including the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The group has recently renamed itself Ahle Sunnah Wal Jammat and trying to act like a mainstream political party.

The group has held rallies in major cities of Pakistan against the US and the West, calling on the government to cut off ties with them. The US summoned the Pakistan government to ban the group, after the group’s largest anti-US rally in Karachi.

The activists find the ban outrageous and see it as an orchestration of America and its supporters, enforcing their will on Pakistan.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Commandos battle insurgents in Badghis

BADGHIS PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan commandos from the 9th Commando Kandak, assisted by coalition special operations forces, were attacked by insurgents during a routine presence patrol near Sakharai village, Murghab district, March 6.

The commando-led force was providing security on the village outskirts when approximately two insurgents opened fire on them with a medium machine gun from a remote position in the mountains.

After positively identifying the attackers as insurgents, the commando patrol leader made the decision to respond. Coalition aircraft then engaged them with a precision-guided munition.

Shortly after, six more insurgents returned to the same position to attempt to re-engage the commando force. Coalition aircraft once again engaged with precision-guided munitions, and killed the remaining six insurgents.

The commandos, along with coalition SOF, took extreme precautions when neutralizing the attackers, ensuring that no civilians were harmed and no property damage resulted. The closest village structures were over 2,000 meters away from the insurgent fighting position.

The commando leaders met with Sakharai village leaders after the incident to inform them of the situation and discuss options for further assistance. During the shura, village elders confirmed that no villagers had been killed by coalition forces.

However, a Taliban spokesman contacted Badghis provincial governor Delbar Jan Almar shortly after the incident, claiming that three children and two women had been killed by the coalition aircraft. Murghab district governor Hashem Habibi, said that this information is verifiably false, and was designed by insurgents to discredit the positive gains of the Afghan government.

Murghab district chief of police Israil Ibrahim Khan said that insurgents are simply attempting to strike fear into the people of Murghab through rumors.

“Insurgents have demonstrated a tendency to make audacious claims of civilian casualties,” said Maj. Ryan Bolling, a spokesman for Special Operations Task Force – West. “They are resorting to increasingly desperate tactics in an attempt to win favor with a population that no longer wants to support them.”

According to a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan spokesman, the 9th Commando Kandak and its coalition SOF partners are resolved to protecting local communities in the Badghis province from insurgent attempts to gain ground through violence, fear and intimidation of the Afghan people.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mar.10., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – In Pul-e ‘Alam district, Logar province, an Afghan and coalition security force captured two Haqqani leaders and five additional suspected insurgents during an operation today.

One leader oversaw the construction of roadside bombs and the other directed the emplacement of those bombs for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the district.

The two are also suspected in plotting the assassination of an Afghan National Army Division commander.

The security force seized a suicide vest, bomb-making materials and multiple mortar rounds during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Kunduz district, Kunduz province, today. The Taliban facilitator provided weapons and supplies to insurgents operating in Khanabad district. The captured facilitator is also suspected in a plot to conduct a prison break to free an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorist. The security force detained two additional suspected insurgents during the operation.

An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation In Kunduz district, Kunduz province, today. The leader coordinated roadside bombing attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout Kunduz and Chahar Darah districts. He is also suspected in planning suicide attacks. The security force detained one additional suspected insurgent during the operation.


In Nad ‘Ali district, Helmand province, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation today. The leader directed attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout central Helmand. The security force detained one additional suspected insurgent during the operation.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered several small caches while conducting a routine patrol in Tarin Kot district, Uruzgan province, today. The caches consisted of an AK-47 rifle, 800 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of home-made explosives and various improvised explosive device-making components. All of the materials were confiscated by the security force to be destroyed at a later date.


An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban leader in Gelan district, Ghazni province today. The leader directs roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces along Highway 1. The security force detained five suspected insurgents during the operation.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered an explosives cache during routine operations in Ghazni district, Ghazni province, yesterday. The cache consisted of 10,890 pounds (4,950 kilograms) of explosive materials, which were destroyed on site.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog