Monday, March 12, 2012

14 Killed in Iraq Robbery, Attacks

BAGHDAD, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Up to 14 people were killed and 11 wounded in attacks against government office and jewelry stores in central Iraq on Monday, the Iraqi police said.

One of the attacks occurred before midday when gunmen stormed a jewelry store in al-Shaab district in northern Baghdad, killing two jewelers inside, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The attackers robbed unknown amount of jewels and cash and fled the scene, the source said.

Afterwards, the attackers also traded fire with security forces in the vicinity, killing up to four policemen and two passers-by, the source said.

Ten people, including four security members, were wounded during the clash, the source added.

Despite the presence of Iraqi security forces in the area, the robbers escaped the scene in a waiting car, he said, adding that reinforcement troops from the Iraqi security forces rushed to the area and immediately started a probe into the heist.

Earlier, the source put the toll at a total of six killed and 10 wounded by the attack.

In addition, Lieutenant General Hassan al-Baidhani, spokesman of Baghdad Operations Command, responsible for security of the capital, confirmed in a statement by his office that a total of eight were killed by the attack, adding that his troops also killed one of the attackers and captured another.

"Iraqi security forces killed one of the gunmen and captured another from the group which attacked the jewelry store in northern Baghdad, and the security forces obtained photos for the attackers who were filmed on a security CCTV camera," the statement quoted Baidhani as saying.

In an earlier incident in the day, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua that up to five policemen were killed and another injured when gunmen in a car threw a hand grenade and opened fire on the guards of the municipality of the town of Tarmiyah, some 30 km north of Baghdad.

The source earlier put the toll at four policemen were killed and two others wounded, but later in the day one of the injured was announced dead.

In the day before, Tarmiyah was the scene of another deadly attack when gunmen broke into the house of a bodyguard of the mayor of the town and shot him dead with his wife, sister and two daughters.

The attackers then planted bombs into the house and blew them up before they fled the scene.

Iraqi cities have been plagued by deadly attacks, including suicide bombings, as the country is preparing to host the Arab League summit slated for March 29.

Baghdad said it has completed its preparation for the summit and is ready to receive the Arab leaders. But recent violence across the country is seen as a setback to the Iraqi efforts to restore normalcy ahead of the summit.

Iraq sees the summit as a significant milestone in its history that would lead the country to play a powerful and positive role in the Arab world.
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Mar.12., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan Provincial Response Company with coalition mentors detained an improvised explosive device manufacturer during an operation in Nerkh district, Wardak province, Saturday.

The targeted individual was responsible for a roadside bombing attack against Afghan and coalition forces in Shinwar district, Parwan province. IED components were linked to the suspect and led to Afghan judicial officials issuing a warrant for his arrest.

The detained individual was arrested on an Afghan warrant without incident and was taken by Afghan forces for further questioning.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


Afghan and coalition forces seized weapons and narcotics and destroyed a narcotics production facility in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Saturday.

During the Afghan-planned and led operation, the combined security force discovered a compound with narcotic-processing equipment and 110 lbs. (50 kilograms) of opium. The drugs press and narcotics production material were destroyed on site. Subsequently, a weapons cache comprising several rocket-propelled grenades and detonation cord was discovered. This cache was also destroyed.

An Afghan Provincial Response Company supported by coalition forces captured a senior Taliban leader in Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province, Friday. The leader was responsible for distributing improvised explosive devices and directing insurgent attacks against coalition forces and supply convoys.

An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani leader during an operation in Sabari district, Khost province, yesterday. The leader directed attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in Bak and Sabari districts. He also supplied insurgents with weapons and bomb-making materials. The security force detained three additional suspected insurgents during the operation.

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Senior Taliban leader detained in western Herat province

Afghan Intelligence (National Directorate for Security) on Monday announced, Afghan security forces detained a Taliban leader appointed as district chief for Keshk district in western Herat province by this group.

According to a press release issued by the Afghan Intelligence (National Directorate for Security), the detained Taliban leader was recognized as Mullah Padshah originally resident of Gulran district in western Herat province and was operating as the district chief of Keshk after being appointed by the Taliban group.

The source further added, the detained leader was heading a group of 30 insurgents and was plotting insurgency activities, kidnappings, roadside bomb planting and other terrorist linked activities at Gulran district and on Torghondi and Herat highways.

Afghan NDS officials also added, Afghan security forces seized a weapon along with its 200 ammunitions and a laptop from the detained Taliban leader.

The Taliban leader confessed to its crimes during the preliminary investigations.

Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the report.

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2 killed, 20 injured in roadside bomb blast in northwest Pakistan

Two persons were killed and nearly 20 others injured when a bus was targeted with a roadside bomb in the restive Kurram tribal region of northwest Pakistan today, security officials said.

The incident occurred in Pir Qayyum area of the tribal district.

The bus was going from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa capital Peshawar to Parachinar, the main town of Kurram Agency.

Two persons were killed instantly and 17 injured persons were taken to a hospital in Parachinar, security officials told TV news channels.

Hundreds of people have lost their lives in sectarian violence between rival Shia and Sunni tribesmen in Kurram Agency over the past four years.

No group claimed responsibility for today's attack.

from deccanherald

from DAWN:

SADDA: Two people were killed and 17 others wounded when a homemade bomb exploded next to a bus on the outskirts of the town of Sadda in the northwestern Kurram tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, local government officials said.

The Pakistani military has been conducting offensives against militant hideouts in Kurram, and dozens have been killed in intense fighting since the start of the year.
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Six militants killed and injured in Afghan military operations

Afghan Interior Ministry on Monday announced, at least 6 insurgents were killed and injured and 16 others were arrested by Afghan security forces.

According a statement issued by Afghan Interior Ministry, the militants were killed, injured and detained by Afghan National Police forces during the past 24 hours in 6 separate operations.

The operations were jointly conducted by Afghan Police, Afghan Army, Afghan Intelligence and International Coalition Security forces at Nangarhar, Kunar, Kandahar, Helmand, Khost and Farah provinces of Afghanistan.

At least 3 armed insurgents were killed, 3 militants were injured and 16 others were arrested during operations, officials added.

Joint security forces also seized at least 900 Kgs of drugs and weapons including fire arms, rocket launchers, improvised explosive devices, hand grenades, 59 Kgs of explosives, ammunitions, 2 vehicles and a motorcycle during the operations.

In separate military operations at Logar and Herat provinces of Afghanistan on Sunday Afghan National Police forces seized 2 improvised explosive devices and 3 rounds of warheads, officials said.

Anti-government armed militants yet to comment regarding the reports.

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Death toll rises to 11 after suicide attack hits church in Nigeria

JOS, Nigeria, March 11 (Xinhua) -- At least 11 people have been confirmed dead after a suicide bomb blast rocked a church in central north Plateau State, sources said on Sunday.

State police spokesperson Samuel Dabia and the Medical Director, Plateau Specialist Hospital Matawwal Bitrus, confirmed this to Xinhua on phone from Jos, the state capital, adding that 22 other people were injured.

The deaths included the two suicide bombers and two motorcyclists who were mobbed at the scene.

The Red Cross said it had taken 22 people injured in the blast to various hospitals in Jos metropolis.

Suicide bombers on Sunday attacked St. Finbar's Catholic Church in Jos by ramming a vehicle into the fence of the Church.

The Church Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Peter Umorem said the attack happened 10 minutes into the 10:00 a.m, local time. "I was at the altar when I heard a loud explosion. Suddenly things were falling all over, and there was pandemonium in the Church," he said.

"Some members grabbed me and rescued me to a safe place. I later learned that it was a suicide attack and that the bomber tried to enter through the gate but was prevented," he added.

There is no immediate claim of responsibility from any group. National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has cordoned the scene where the explosion occurred.

A military spokesperson Capt. Markus Mdahyelya said they are responding to emergency issues.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the suicide bombing, saying the government would continue to progressively destroy terrorists' ability to unleash murderous attacks on peaceful and law-abiding Nigerians.

The Nigerian leader also conveyed his sympathies and condolences to the victims of the odious acts in a statement reaching Xinhua in Abuja.

The president urged Nigerians and friends of the country to keep faith with the government, assuring them that the Federal Government is doing everything possible to end the spate of mindless attacks and killings in parts of the country.

Churches have been repeatedly targeted in Nigeria since late last year, occasionally triggering flare between the Christians who mostly live in the south and the Muslims in the north. The militant Boko Haram sect responsible for the bombings in northern Nigeria burnt down some local assembly churches, a police station and a local government secretariat in an overnight raid early in the month in the west African country's northeastern state of Borno.

In July, Boko Haram gave a three-day ultimatum to Christians to leave the Muslim-dominated north, threatening further bloodshed if otherwise.
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4 policemen killed in attack on government building in north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Four policemen were killed and two others injured Monday in a bomb and gunfire attack on a government building in a town in north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

The attack took place at dawn when gunmen in a car threw a hand grenade and opened fire on the guards of the municipality of Tarmiyah, some 30 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The day before, the town was the scene of another deadly attack when gunmen broke into the house of a bodyguard of the mayor of Tarmiyah and shot him dead with his wife, sister and two daughters.

The attackers then planted bombs into the house and blew them up before they fled the scene.

Insurgents continue daily attacks including suicide bombings across Iraq since the U.S. troops pulled out of the country late last year.
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U.S. drones bomb al-Qaida posts in southern Yemen, 3 militants killed

ADEN/SANAA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. drones bombed an army base seized by al-Qaida militants in Yemen's southern province of Abyan as well as several hideouts of the terrorist group on Sunday night, killing three militants, witnesses and senior army officers told Xinhua

Three al-Qaida militants were confirmed killed in the air raid, an al-Qaida spokesman told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"At least five missiles hit the posts of the terrorist group stationing at Khanfar Mountain in al-Qaida-held city of Jaar this night," a witness told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.

"Thick white smoke is rising from the targeted area, and al- Qaida militants are moving to the mountain to check if there are any casualties," said the witness.

After destroying several ammunition stores seized by al-Qaida militants during battles with the army forces, various hideouts and fortifications of the terrorist group in the mountainous area in Jaar city, Abyan's second largest city, were pounded, with no immediate reports of casualties amongst the insurgents, a local army officer said on condition of anonymity.

"The U.S. drones fired missiles targeting the army outpost, which was overran by the extremists last Sunday. All the heavy weapons inside the base were completely damaged," the officer said.

"Huge explosions rocked the al-Qaida arms caches following the air bombing," he added.

However, the al-Qaida spokesman denied any explosion in their weapon stores.

A source close to the militants said they spotted a U.S. drone and two F-16 warplanes when they fired the missiles. He also said that they watched a U.S. warship faraway in the Gulf of Aden and they believed the jet fighters took off from it.

"We are afraid that the shelling could target the place near the Khanfar Mountain where we kept captive 73 soldiers who were captured last week in battles with the Yemeni government troops," said the source, who talked to Xinhua by phone from the coastal city of Jaar, which was seized by the militants in March 2011.

Meanwhile, a security officer in the southern port city of Aden said that "Yemeni armed forces in nearby coastal town of Dovas, off the Gulf of Aden, are attacking targets of al-Qaida after the terrorist group fired a Katyusha rocket on a camp of the troops."

Earlier in the day, the Yemeni army forces in the southern restive province of Lahj captured five Somali militants suspected of belonging to a Somali-based al-Qaida wing known as al-Shabaab.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Sunday that it had information that 300 armed Somalis had been sent by al-Shabaab insurgents in the Somali capital of Mogadishu to fight alongside the al-Qaida group in Yemen.

More than 48 terrorists were killed during the past few days in U.S. drone attacks and Yemen air force's raids against their strongholds in al-Bayda and Abyan provinces, according to government officials.

However, al-Qaida said in a statement obtained by Xinhua that only 17 of its fighters were killed in al-Bayda and no one was injured. It also said that it lost nobody in the air raid in Abyan two days ago.

The Yemeni army and security forces have recently been attacked by the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). After fierce battles last week in the flashpoint province of Abyan, nearly 200 soldiers were killed and 73 others were held captive by the militants.

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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