Thursday, March 15, 2012

Afghan dies in attempted attack near Panetta

ISAF Statement on U.S. Secretary of Defense Arrival in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (Mar. 14, 2012) — ISAF is aware of a stolen vehicle incident today at Camp Bastion, which resulted in the injury of one coalition service member. The alleged perpetrator was apprehended by base security personnel. We are currently investigating to determine more facts.

This incident took place this afternoon around the same time U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was arriving in Afghanistan. At no point was the Secretary or anyone on the aircraft in any danger from this incident.
An Afghan man who crashed a stolen truck at an airfield as U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's plane was landing there died Thursday of extensive burns, a top U.S. general in Afghanistan said.

U.S. Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparotti, the deputy commander of American forces in Afghanistan, told reporters traveling with Panetta in Kabul that the driver was an interpreter working for the foreign forces.

The man apparently had a container of fuel in the car, which ignited during the crash Wednesday at the British airfield in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.

"There was a puff of smoke and he came out engulfed in flames," Scaparotti said. He said the truck was headed toward a group of U.S. Marines assembled at the ramp.

"My personal opinion, yes, he had an intent to do harm," Scaparotti said.

But he said he did not think the incident was related to Panetta's arrival because it would have been difficult to know which plane the defense secretary was aboard.

No one in Panetta's party was hurt. The defense secretary was told about the incident after he got off the aircraft.

Authorities were not able to talk to or get any information from the driver before he died.

A U.S. military official said a British soldier was injured when he tried to stop the driver from stealing the truck on the base. The Afghan man hit the British soldier with the truck as he was driving away.
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Swiss pair free after Taliban ordeal, Pakistan army says

A Swiss couple held hostage by the Pakistani Taliban are free after an eight-month ordeal, the army says.

The man and woman were kidnapped last July in Balochistan province.

They turned up at a military checkpoint in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border on Thursday, the army says.

Unconfirmed reports say the pair may have escaped from their captors, but it is not clear if a ransom was paid or they were part of a prisoner swap.

"The couple reported this morning at a military checkpoint in Tull area, just on the border with North Waziristan. They have now been flown to Peshawar in a helicopter," Pakistan's military said.

There is no word yet from the Swiss embassy in Islamabad.

The couple were last seen pleading for their lives in a militant video released in October.

They were abducted by unidentified gunmen from the Loralai area of Balochistan in July last year.

It is reported they were travelling by road from the town of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province to the Balochistan capital, Quetta.

from BBC
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Mar.14., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Evening Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader and detained an additional suspected insurgent during an operation in Baghlan-e Jadid district, Baghlan province, today.

The leader directed roadside bombings and suicide attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout the district. He is also suspected in a kidnapping plot.

The security force also found and destroyed a motorcycle with 55 pounds (25 kilograms) of homemade explosives and multiple insurgent weapons.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Pashtun Kot district, Faryab province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader today. The leader coordinates large-scale insurgent attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in the province, supervises Taliban finances, and distributes weapons and ammunition. The security force detained several suspected insurgents. They also found and destroyed multiple weapons and hand grenades.


An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader in Maiwand district, Kandahar province, today. The leader provides weapons and ammunition to insurgents throughout Kandahar province. He also directs attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in Maiwand district. The security force detained multiple suspected insurgents as a result of this operation.

Finally, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, today. The leader directed roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the province.

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Boko Haram sect has agreed to cease fire on two conditions

from allAfrica

After years of frequent bomb attacks on security formations, religious houses and killings of innocent citizens within the northern states, the Boko Haram sect has agreed to cease fire on two conditions.

The group has named the president of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, Sheik Ahmed Datti, as their mediator. It said the choice of Datti was based on the fact that its former leader, the late Mohammed Yusuf, served as a member that represented Borno State in the council of Sharia in Nigeria, the cleric could be trusted not to betray the confidence reposed in him to speak for the sect, a source close to the group told LEADERSHIP yesterday.

The source added that the group was ever ready to stop the bombings in the next four weeks only if the federal government would release all its arrested members as well as guarantee the security and safety of all members whose names would be given to the federal government through Datti.

The source said, "What the sect is asking the federal government now is to give them the assurance that once they come to the public after the hostilities, their safety and security would be guaranteed.

"The sect members have also agreed that once the two conditions are met, within four weeks, they will put an end to the hostilities. I am afraid, the members of the sect may resume to more action should the federal government fail to heed the conditions."

Army chiefs begin security meeting over sect

However, senior army officers made up of lieutenant generals, brigadier generals and colonels yesterday began a security meeting in Abuja mainly to smoke the Boko Haram sect out of its hidden places.

The programme is the maiden Nigerian Army Transformation Stakeholders' Conference with the theme, "Enhancing the Implementation Strategy for the Nigerian Army Transformation Agenda".

Chief of army staff Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika in his opening address said transformation is needed to enable the army adapt to the ever-changing security environment and better be able to deal with contemporary challenges.

He said about 2,000 troops are in Jaji and Kachia undergoing training on counter-terrorism and that monitoring forces have been set up to move around the country to monitor the conduct of troops on civil duty.

On the use of army uniforms by Boko Haram bombers for easy passage in their bombing campaigns, the chief of army staff said the problem has existed for long and called for a law that would outlaw its use by unauthorized persons.

This, he said, is more so as the army has no control over how they come into the country, especially with the porous nature of the country's borders. While describing last Sunday's Jos incident as unfortunate, he said all officers have been directed to subject themselves to searches. He called on prominent citizens to cooperate with soldiers by doing likewise.

He listed areas that require transformation to include change of attitude, de-politicization to professionalism, and modernization with a purpose, change of ideas rather than just modernization and adaptation to changing security environment.

read the full article here
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Bomb kills five anti-Taliban fighters in Bajaur

Seven agencies of Federally Administered Triba...
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KHAR: A bomb killed at least five people and wounded three others on Wednesday in Pakistan’s northwest tribal badlands bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

The deaths occurred in Gatcheena village, 30 kilometres northwest of Khar, the main town of lawless Bajaur district, after a bomb planted at a village meeting place was detonated remotely.

“At least five people were killed after a bomb exploded at an elders meeting,” local government official Tariq Khan told AFP.

“Three others were wounded in the blast and there were about a dozen people present,” Khan said, adding that the people might have been targeted because they supported government efforts against Taliban-linked militancy.

Another government official and an intelligence official confirmed the bombing and casualties, but the precise identities of the dead were unclear.

Bajaur was the scene of major anti-Taliban offensives in August 2008 and in February 2009, and the military has repeatedly declared the district secure.

from DAWN
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Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Mogadishu Blast

Mogadishu Somalia's Al Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels claimed responsibility for a suicide attack Wednesday at the presidential compound, saying it has killed 16 soldiers and wounding 30 others.

One of Al-shabab top commanders told a pro-militants radio station in Elasha-Biyaha, south of Mogadishu that a bomber has targeted a main TFG compound and frequented by senior government officials.

On the other hand, Cabdull Hassan Barise, the spokesman of Somalia police told reporters at the scene that they are examining the deadly incident that claimed the lives of at least three people and six others injured, including soldiers.

A presidency official, who declined to be named, said he had heard the death toll from the explosion was four, with five wounded.

from allAfrica
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8 Afghan civilians killed in southern Helmand province

According to local authorities in southern Helmand province, at least 8 Afghan civilians were killed following a roadside bomb explosion in this province.

Provincail governor spokesman Daud Ahmadi said, the incident took place around 1 pm local time at Marjah district in Regi roundabout after a civilian vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

Mr. Ahmadi further added, at least 8 Afghan civilians were killed following the incident a hutch back type vehicle was totally damaged as a result of the incident.

He blamed the anti-government armed militatns group for the incident and said the bomb was planted by them.

No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident. Taliban militants frequently use Improvised Explosive Device and roadside bombs as the weapon of their choice to target Afghan and coalition security forces which normally leads to civilians casualties.

The wave of insurgency have been rampant in southern Helmand province during the recent months.

Author: Ahmad Javeed Tanveer, Kandahar province.

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Explosion kill and injure 4 in Kandahar province

According to local authorities in southern Kandahar province, an heavy explosion rocket southern Kandahar city on Wednesday afternoon.

An Afghan security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, the explosion took place after explosives packed inside a motorcyle went off at Shahidan roundabout in Kandahar city.

The official further added, the main target of the explosion was a convoy of the Afghan police forces.

At least 3 Afghan civilians were injured during the incident, the official added.

Parveez Najeeb head of the provincial governor office said, the incident took place at the second district of Kandahar city near the Afghan Turk High School.

He also added, a convoy of the Afghan Intelligence forces was targeted killing at least 1 intelligence officer and injuring 3 others including 2 intelligence officials and an Afghan civilian.

This comes as Afghan security forces discovered and seized a motorcyle packed with explosion in this province on Wednesday morning.

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

The incident followed by the assassination of 16 villagers by a rogue US soldier at Panjwai district in this province.

Taliban militants group vowed to take revenge for each of the martyred civilians who were killed by US soldier.

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