Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two policemen killed, 5 injured in Peshawar bomb attack

PESHAWAR: At least two policemen was killed while five others including three policemen were injured in bomb attack on police mobile van near Qamar Din Ghari area here on Tuesday. 
According to reports, Station House Officer (SHO), Hazrat Ali and a police constable died in the explosion which targeted the police van. Five others including three policemen were injured in the attack. The injured were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.
A bomb planted in a rickshaw, targeted a police patrol vehicle in the Kohat Road area of Peshawar and also damaged two other vehicles. “At least two policemen were killed and two others were wounded,” said Dr. Rahim Jan of state-run Lady Reading Hospital. Two civilians were also wounded and brought to hospital, he said.
Senior police official Tahir Ayub confirmed the attack and the death toll.
Bomb disposal officials said the bomb weighed up to 12 kilograms. “The bomb was planted in a rickshaw parked on a roadside and was detonated remotely when police patrol vehicle arrived,” said Shafqat Malik, bomb disposal squad chief.
Last week a suicide bomber assassinated a prominent police commander in Peshawar after he took a leading role in anti-Taliban operations in the troubled northwest.
According to SP City Asif Iqbal, a vehicle from the Banamari police station was on routine patrol when a bomb detonated. Due to the blast sub-inspector Ali Hazrat was killed while three other officials were injured.
The injured included Shahid, Imtiaz and Mir Zali. A passerby, 12 year old Zaman too was injured by the blast.
The injured had been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital. Two of the injured, Imtiaz and Mir Zali were said to be in critical condition.

compiled from several news sites: tribune,khybernews,newsweekpakistan
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Somalia: 100 Shabaab 'Dead' in Battle

Nairobi — More than 100 Al Shabaab militants were killed during intense fighting Tuesday with fighters of the Ahlusunna Waljamaa in the town of Dhusamareb in Central Somalia.

The Head of the Political Section of Ahlusunna Waljamaa, Abdisalan Adan Hussein told Capital FM News in Nairobi that at least ten of their members were killed during the fighting, and thirty more wounded.

"There a lot of Al Shabaab bodies littered in the town as we speak," Hussein said in an interview in Nairobi.

Hussein said "the fighting started at 5am when the Al Shabaab raided our town, but we were prepared and our forces were able to defend the town and our people."

"The casualties on our part are very minimal, but the Al Shabaab have suffered major casualties, they have left behind a lot of their fighting equipment," he added.

Tension remained high in the town of Dhusamareb which was littered with bodies by late Tuesday.

Al Shabaab however, tweeted claiming that their forces had not suffered major casualties during the Tuesday fighting.

Their claims were immediately dismissed by officials of Ahlusinna Pajama as "propaganda."

"They are not telling the truth, they are the ones who have been beaten, we were well prepared and we knew they were coming. Our forces were prepared," Hussein said.

The fighting occurred when Al Shabaab fighters on pickup trucks mounted with machine guns stormed Dhusamareb town at dawn.

They were aiming to drive out the pro-government militia Ahlusunna WalJamaa, an Ethiopia-backed force who follow Somalia's traditional Sufi branch of Islam.

Dhusamareb is a strategic town in the central Galgadud region controlling a key road.

The Shebab face increasing pressure from pro-government forces and regional armies, and last month lost control of their strategic base of Baidoa to Ethiopian troops, the second major loss in six months after abandoning fixed bases in capital.

Kenya sent its troops into southern Somalia to fight them in October, blaming the Al Shabaab for the abductions of several foreigners. Its troops have now been incorporated into the AU force.

Ethiopian forces entered Somalia a month later in the west, as international diplomatic, military and relief efforts focus on ending the conflict in the south.

The Shabaab and other militia groups have tried to exploit the power vacuum in Somalia, which has had no effective central authority since plunging into war 21 years ago when president Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled.

from allAfrica
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Afghan army detain 2 suicide bombers in Farah province

According to a statement issued by the Afghan defense ministry, Afghan national army soldiers detained 2 suicide bombers in western Farah province.

The source further added, the two suicide bombers were detained following a military operation based on an intelligence report.

The operation was conducted on Monday evening by 207 Zaffar Afghan National Army commandment, Afghan defense officials said adding that the two suicide bombers were looking to carry out suicide bomb attack during the new year celebration in this province.

Afghan security forces also seized a Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher, 3 AK-47 rifles, 23 hand grenades, 5 Afghan Police uniforms and some other explosives.

This comes as Afghan intelligence few days earlier detained a group of insurgents including suicide bombers in northern Balkh province.

The group was also plotting insurgency and suicide bombing attacks during the new year celebration and assassination of northern Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor.

Anti-government armed militant groups yet to comment regarding the report.

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Taliban militants ambush NATO oil tankers in Farah

According to local authorities in western Afghanistan, Taliban militants in western Farah province torched nine NATO oil tankers.

A spokesman for Afghan national police in western regions Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said, the incident took place at Bala Bolok district of western Farah province after Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of the NATO oil tankers.

Mr. Ahmadi further added, heavy clashes continued between the Taliban militants and the private security company which was escorting the NATO oil tankers.

He also added, at least 2 Afghan security guards were killed and 4 others were injured during the clashes.

Taliban militants frequently attack the transportation convoys carrying fuel and other equipments for NATO troops in this region.

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Explosions across Iraq kill at least 43

(Reuters) - Car and roadside bombs killed at least 43 people in cities and towns across Iraq on Tuesday, police and hospital sources said, extending a spate of violence ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad.

The meeting is seen as the country's debut on the regional stage following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December and Iraq's government is anxious to show it can reinforce security to host its neighbors.

The deadliest attack on Tuesday occurred in the southern Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Kerbala, where twin explosions killed 13 people and wounded 48, according to Jamal Mahdi, a Kerbala health department spokesman.

"The second explosion caused the biggest destruction. I saw body parts, fingers, hands thrown on the road," 23-year-old shop owner Murtadha Ali Kadhim told Reuters.

"The security forces are stupid because they always gather at the site of an explosion and then a second explosion occurs. They become a target."

Security forces are frequently targeted in Iraq, where bombings and shootings still occur on a daily basis and Sunni Muslim insurgents and Shi'ite militias are still capable of carrying out lethal attacks.
Although overall violence has declined since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, many Iraqis worry whether their government has the wherewithal to impose security nine years after the U.S.-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded near a police headquarters, killing nine people and wounding 42, police and health sources said, while in Baghdad, a car bomb near the provincial council building killed four and wounded 11.

Blasts also occurred in Baiji, Samarra, Tuz Khurmato, Daquq and Dhuluiya, all north of Baghdad, in Ramadi in the west, and Hilla, Latifiya and Mahmudiya in the south.

Police in the northeastern city of Baquba said they had also found and defused eight bombs and police in Falluja in the west said they had defused a roadside bomb.

The toll from all the bombings stood at 43 killed and 232 wounded.
On Monday evening, bombers struck five times in the northern province of Diyala, killing at least three people and wounding more than 30, police said.

The Arab League summit is due to be held in Baghdad on March 27-29, the first time Iraq will host the event in more than 20 years.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem and Aseel Kami in Baghdad, Mustafa Mahmoud in Kirkuk, Imad al-Khuzaie in Diwaniya and Habib al-Zubaidi and Ali al-Rubaie in Hilla; Writing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Afghan Forces & Hungarian NATO military clear roads & rescue motorists from avalanches in Salang Pass

By PRT PEK Public Affairs

SALANG PASS, Kunduz Province – Multiple avalanches along the Salang Pass, which is a highly traveled road connecting northern of Afghanistan with Kabul, stranded hundreds of vehicles and left 3 people dead and more than 25 injured. The route of the pass reaches to elevations 4000 meters above sea level in the Hindu Kush Mountains. Days of snowfall and the subsequent avalanches blocked the Salang Tunnel, leaving motorists trapped.

Courtesy photo, RC-North Public Affairs
After Afghan guards of Salang Pass worked day and night to clear the road, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) were called in to help. The ANSF partnered with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Hungarian PRT to free the trapped motorists.

On Mar. 12, the guards of the Salang Pass, in coordination with the PRT arranged a bulldozer to help the clear the roads. A convoy from the PRT delivered several tons of humanitarian aid consisting of food packages, blankets and drinking water to the workers and the victims on the scene. In addition, ISAF Soldiers delivered mountain rescue equipment.

After three days of hard work in the snow and freezing low temperatures, the Salang Pass was opened in the early hours on Mar. 15. The quick and effective rescue and clearing operations were conducted by the Afghans with assistance of ISAF.

Read more: http://ntm-a.com/wordpress2/archives/10125

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Pakistani Islamist warlord Mangal Bagh rumored killed in Khyber


Pakistani police claimed that Mangal Bagh, the leader of a Taliban-linked terror group based in the tribal agency of Khyber, was killed during an operation there last weekend. The report is unconfirmed and a spokesman for the group denied Bagh was killed.
"The leader of the banned outfit is dead," the chief of police in Peshawar told reporters in the city today, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. The police chief did not say how he knew Bagh was killed.
Lashkar-e-Islam leader Mangal Bagh. Click to view images of the senior leaders of the extremist groups operating in the Khyber agency.
Mohammad Hussain, a spokesman for the terrorist leader, denied the reports of Bagh's death, according to the news agency. Hussain said that Bagh is "alive and well," Pajhwok reported.

Pakistani security forces launched a six-day-long operation from March 12-18 in the Tirah Valley in Khyber, a known stronghold of the Lashkar-e-Islam. The military claimed that 25 Lashkar-e-Islam fighters were killed during the operation. After the operation ended, the bodies of 14 people, whose faces were burned with acid, were found in nearby Bara, Pajhwok reported. Locals accused the Pakistani military of executing those killed.

Elsewhere in Khyber, the tribal lashkar, or militia, run by the Zakhakhel executed three suspected members of the Lashkar-e-Islam, according to The News. The Zakhakhel turned against the Lashkar-e-Islam last year after the tribe accused the terror group of kidnapping and executing its tribesmen.
The Pakistani military has allied with the Zakhakhel, despite the fact that the tribe has allied with Ansar-ul-Islam, another enemy of the Lashkar-e-Islam. The Ansar-ul-Islam is another local Islamist group in Khyber that supports jihad in Afghanistan and has used suicide attacks against the Lashkar-e-Islam.

The Lashkar-e-Islam is a Taliban-linked group run by Mangal Bagh [for more information, see LWJ report, A profile of Mangal Bagh]. Based in Khyber, the Lashkar-e-Islam has established its own Taliban-like government in large areas of the tribal agency, including in Bara, Jamrud, and the Tirah Valley. The group provides recruits to battle US and Afghan forces across the border, and has attacked NATO's vital supply line which moved through Khyber before it was shut down by the Pakistani government in November 2011. The Pakistani military has targeted the Lashkar-e-Islam during five operations over the past two years, but has failed to dislodge the group from power.

The Tirah Valley is a known haven for the Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Islam, al Qaeda, and other Pakistani terror groups. These safe havens enable these terror groups to launch attacks inside Pakistan as well across the border in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. In December 2010, the US killed Ibn Amin, a dual-hatted Taliban and al Qaeda military commander who operated in the Swat Valley, in a drone strike in the Tirah Valley. The Lashkar-e-Islam avenged his death by executing suspected four of its members who were thought to have betrayed Amin.
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