Saturday, March 24, 2012

Attack on Italian base in Afghanistan, 1 dead & 5 injured

Herat - An Italian soldier has died and 5 have been injured in an attack with mortar shells against a military base in Herat.

The attack took place at around 6 pm local time (2:30 pm Italian time) against the "ICE" FOB (Forward Operative Base) in Gulistan, in the South-Eastern sector under Italian jurisdiction assigned to the South-East Task Force, and specifically to the 1st Regiment of the Bersaglieri.

The news was reported by the Defence Chief of Staff.

The injured troops were immediately rescued and airlifted by helicopter to the Coalition's closest makeshift military hospital.
The soldiers' families are being updated on the attack
ISAF following a statement on Saturday announced, a NATO service member was killed following insurgents attack in western Afghanistan today.
The statement did not disclose further information regarding the exact location of the incident and nationality of the deceased soldier.

Enhanced by Zemanta

5,000 anti-personnel mines seized in Kandahar

KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Nearly 5,000 anti-personnel landmines were seized by border police in the Shorabak district of southern Kandahar province, an official said on Saturday.

The mines were received from two tractors in the Zali area of the district, the governor’s spokesman, Zalmai Ayubi, told Pajhwok Afghan News. The drivers were killed during a clash with police.

He said 200 firecrackers and 2,000 kilograms explosives were also seized from the vehicles.

from Pajhwok News

Enhanced by Zemanta

Somalia: Kenyan Jets Kill 2, Wound 3 Civilians in South Somalia

Bardere — At least two innocent civilians were killed and three others injured late on Friday in an aerial attack by Kenyan fighter jets in Gedo region of southern Somalia, residents said.

New reports say the Kenyan jets bombed on Takarre village, 55 Km away west of Baredere district of Gedo region, under the control of Al-Shabab militants, killing more than two people, including woman and children.

Witnesses told Shabelle Media Media that the injured people were rushed to a hospital in the town of Bardere where one of the victimized died later from his injury sustained in the Kenyan air raids.

The Traditional elders of Gedo region have immediately condemned in their strongest terms the Kenyan air strikes hit civilian residential areas in the region stating as 'civilian genocide'.

Kenyan military officials in the region have not commented about the attack so far.

Air strikes targeting frequently areas controlled by the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab in southern Somalia regions became common, causing uncountable civilian casualties.

from allAfrica
Enhanced by Zemanta

Pakistani suicide bomber detained in Kandahar province

Provincial Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate for Security officials in southern Kandahar province announced to detain a Pakistani suicide bomber along with a Taliban militant in this province.

The officials further added, the detained Pakistani suicide bomber is the resident of Karachi city and was appointed by insurgents group to carry out suicide bomb attack in this province.

He was recongized as Khanzala and was detained by Afghan security forces at Spin Boldaklast week, officials said.

Khanzala the detained suicide bomber told reporters he was trained by Taliban militants in Queta city and was told by them to carry out suicide bomb attack at Kandahar city.

The other detained insurgent was recognized as Bashir Ahmad and is the resident of Arghandab district and was carrying out insurgency activities at the 9th district of Kandahar city, intelligence officials said.

Bashir Ahmad the detained insurgency confessed to his crimes while speaking during a press confernece.

According to provincial intelligence officials, the two insurgents were detained by Afghan security forces based on an intelligence report.

This comes as Afghan intelligence forces arrested two insurgents disguised in Burqas last week. The two insurgents were looking to attack Afghan police forces at Panjwai district.

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Al-Qaida militants overrun town in southeastern Yemen

ADEN, Yemen, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch seized a town on Saturday in Yemen's southeastern province of Shabwa, local officials told Xinhua.

Dozens of the terrorists armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles swept into the coastal town of Radhoum, 30 km east of the al-Qaida-seized city of Azzan in Shabwa province and took full control of the region after throwing up a tightened security ring around the entrances of the town, a local official said on condition of anonymity.

"The al-Qaida fighters have raised their black flag over the local buildings and began handing out pamphlets calling for Jihad (holy war) against the supporters of Christianity, " the official said.

"A number of fake checkpoints were set up by the al-Qaida members in the city and many foreign militants are in the neighborhoods," he added.

The terrorists belong to the al-Qaida-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), who have captured at least two other towns in the al-Qaida key stronghold of Shabwa, according to the official.

Witnesses told Xinhua anonymously that "some local residents are from the al-Qaida wing and accept the terrorists to enter their town without any resistance."

Al-Qaida militants who took advantage of the conflicts in the country have seized several towns in Abyan and Shabwa provinces after severe fighting with government troops backed by U.S. drones.

In January 2009, al-Qaida affiliates in Saudi Arabia and Yemen officially merged and formed Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The group, mainly entrenching itself 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.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Teenage bombers among 10 detained

KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Eight insurgents and two teenage suicide bombers have been detained in Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces, officials said on Saturday.

Fifteen-year-old Hanzala, who belongs to Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, confessed to his plans for suicide attacks during preliminary investigations, an intelligence official revealed.

Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, the source a rebel -- Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Arghandab district -- wanted to attack government officials in Kandahar. Ahmad said he had been encouraged to wage a jihad by a Taliban commander in the Nalgham area of Kandahar two years ago.

“My name is Hanzala, son of Mir Hatam and resident of Karachi. I was working as vehicle mechanic. While fixing his car, Ghulam Hazrat encouraged me to go with him to Kandahar.

“I received a suicide vest after I accompanied him to Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. After crossing the border into Afghanistan, I was detained in the Spin Boldak border town of Kandahar”, Hanzala said.
He added: “I am an orphan, having a sister and a mother. I hope the government will forgive me.”

Another teenage suicide bomber, Ataullah, was detained in the Mehrabad area of Tirinkot, the capital of Uruzgan, said police spokesman Farid Ayel. He added the 12-year-old visited his office a week ago and sought help in being reunited with his family.

Ataullah said: “I did not want to conduct a suicide attack and surrendered to police.” He wanted to meet his family members as soon as possible.

Another seven militants were detained during separate operations by intelligence operatives in Kajaki, Khanshin and Sangin districts of Helmand province, said the governor’s spokesman, Daud Ahmadi.

from Pajhwok News
Enhanced by Zemanta

Roadside bomb planter killed in Baghlan province

According to local authorities in northern Baghlan province, an insurgent was killed at Chawk-e-Pashtunistan in central Baghlan district while he was planting a roadside improvised explosvie device.

Gen. Asadullah Shirzad provincial security chief for northern Baghlan province said, the incident took place on Friday night while the insurgent was planting a roadside bomb at Chawk-e-Pashtunistan in central Baghlan province.

Gen. Shirzad further the insurgent was fragmented into pieces as a result of the explosion and there was no civilian casualties reported.

In the meantime Gen. Burhanuddin commander of the 3rd Battalion at the 6th Bridget public protection forces said, he was the main target of the bomber since he was frequently travelling from Chawk-e-Pashtunistan.

Gen. Burhanduddin also said, the body pieces of the insurgent was found from remote areas of the incident site adding that he believed two insurgents were involved in planting the improvised explosive device.

In a separate operation at least 2 Taliban militants were killed following a joint military operation by Afghan and coalition security forces at central Baghlan district.

Enhanced by Zemanta

2 killed, 5 injured in attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Two policemen were killed and five people injured Saturday in separate bomb and gunfire attacks in central and eastern Iraq, while the Iraqi security forces captured a suicide bomber in Baghdad, the police said.

In central Iraq, a roadside bomb went off near a police vehicle in southern of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killing one policeman aboard and wounding two others, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Also in Fallujah, gunmen planted bombs in the house of Shiekh Khaldoun Eliwi, a leader of the government-backed Awakening Council group, and blew them up in the town of Saqlawiyah northern of the city, injuring three members of his family, the source said.

Eliwi himself escaped the blast unharmed as he was not at the house when the attack occurred, the source added.

The Awakening Council group, also known as Sons of Iraq movement or Sahwa, consists of mostly anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent militant groups, who turned their rifles to fight al-Qaida network after Sahwa's leaders became dismayed by al-Qaida's brutality and religious zealotry.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, gunmen using assault rifles opened fire on a policeman in front of his house in the town of Baladrouz, some 95 km northeast Baghdad, shot him dead before they fled the scene, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

Also in the province, police forces raided a safe house of an insurgents cell in an area located just west of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, arresting three suspects, the source said.

In Baghdad, Iraqi security forces arrested a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest at a checkpoint in the capital's northwestern district of Hurriyah, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Troops deployed in the district were looking for a female suicide bomber who believed to be split from the bomber before his arrest, he said.

The attacks came a few days ahead of the Arab League summit as Baghdad is preparing to host the leaders of the Arab nations on March 29.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Former Afghan senator killed in Uruzgan province

According to local authorities in southern Uruzgan province, a former Afghan senator was killed along with a tribal elder following a roadside improvised explosive device explosion in this province.

The officials further added, the incident took place around 1 pm local time on Saturday after the vehicle of a former Afghan senator Haji Khairullah Aqa struck with a roadside bomb.

Provincial police chief spokesman Farid Ayel confirming the report said, the explosion took place in De-Yak area while former Afghan senator Haji Khairullah Aqa was on his way towards his home.

Mr. Ayel further added, Haji Khairullah Aqa was killed along with a tribal elder Sharafuddin Khan and 2 Afghan national police service members.

No suspect has been detained in connection to the incident and Afghan police forces have launched a search operation to detain those involved behind the explosion, Farid Ayel said.

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

Taliban militants and other insurgents groups frequently use improvised explosive device and roadside bombs to target Afghan and coalition security forces and Afghan government officials.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Silver Star awarded to Army captain for heroism under fire

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, Regional Command East and 1st Cavalry Division commander, awards the Silver Star Medal to Capt. Ivan Torres, an infantry commander from Killeen, Texas, assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division’s Headquarters Services Company at Combat Outpost Red Hill in Parwan Province, March 18. Torres was awarded for his actions during Operation Thunderdome, a combat operation conducted in the Qowl-e Her Valley Sept. 21, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Steele, Regional Command East Public Affairs)
Written by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Steele, RC-East PAO 

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan—U.S. Army Capt. Ivan Torres, a soldier who finds calm in the chaos of combat, was awarded the Silver Star for placing himself in the line of fire to try to save his squad members and protect wounded Afghan Soldiers.

Torres, a native of Killeen, Texas, and commander of the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters Services Company at Combat Outpost Red Hill, was involved in a fire fight last fall, while leading a company of U.S. and Afghan Soldiers during Operation Thunderdome, a mission to clear Taliban insurgents from the Qowl-e Her Valley in western Parwan Province. Before the operation, the area was known as a Taliban stronghold.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, Regional Command East and 1st Cavalry Division commander presented the award March 18, and praised Torres’ quick thinking and ability to maintain composure in a situation that could have ended very badly for coalition forces.

“At the end of the day, he lived up to the legacy that is the 1st Cavalry Division,” Allyn said.

Torres and his company of about 85 Soldiers ran into trouble as they were making their way south on the main road through the village of Khoshkak. Khoshkak is considered the most forested and steeply-sloped village in Qowl-e Her, and this is where a large Taliban force ambushed them.

Information gathered before the start of the operation led Torres and his planners to believe that if the Taliban were to strike, they would most likely wait until night time, and that enemy strength would be anywhere from 50 to 80 at most. Instead, they met a force that was twice that size and dug into several defensive strongpoints on three dominating mountain ridgelines. They were armed to the teeth. When the Taliban opened fire, at about 7:30 a.m., there was total chaos.

“After maybe 15 seconds of the first shot being fired, the tree line essentially evaporated,” Torres recalled. “We had obviously walked into a kill zone.”

Within minutes, one Afghan National Army soldier lay dead. Several Taliban were also killed.

Pinned down by withering Taliban machine gun and sniper fire, punctuated with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, Torres’ lead platoon became isolated south of the main element.

What happened over the next eight hours earned Torres the U.S. military's third highest combat decoration for valor, and four of his fellow Soldiers Bronze Stars.

As Taliban fighters maneuvered into hand grenade range, Torres ran to the front and organized the first of three counterattacks. Pulling together five of his men—three Army specialists, a medic and a linguist—he made his way toward the cut off platoon.

Running into the open, with bullets and rounds coming from three different directions, they reached the isolated platoon of 20 U.S. and Afghan National Army Soldiers about 500 yards away. Their only protection was a clump of trees and a fast-moving stream between themselves and the Taliban. Here they set up a defensive position and began the first counterattack.

Using close-air support, they took out a mortar and RPG team, killing eight insurgents and driving them back onto the mountainside. Another Taliban squad maneuvered on their position and was repelled. Three more fighters were killed.

Torres initially wanted to pull his platoon back to the main element, but realized that by drawing so much Taliban fire they were acting as an effective decoy. Running back through the kill zone to reach his main element, he worked with his ANSF commander to organize the second counterattack, this time planning to cross the stream with a small force to surprise the enemy. Instead, they got pinned down out in the open.

Risking his life, Torres ordered his men to run back 100 meters to join some Afghan Soldiers while he went in the opposite direction with only his M4 rifle to attack a Taliban machine gun nest. He was immediately hit by RPG fire and knocked down, though he says he has no recollection of it. Meanwhile, two ANA Soldiers were wounded. Torres ran to their aid and put himself in the direct line of enemy fire to protect them while they were dragged out of the kill zone. He then again ran to get medical supplies that saved the wounded soldiers’ lives.

“Rounds literally whizzed by the head,” Torres said. “We had so many close or near misses that I’m actually surprised that we walked out with the casualties that we did.”

Aside from the two ANA Soldiers, only one U.S Soldier was seriously wounded in the battle.

Torres led the final counterattack that drove Taliban forces from a casualty collection point, eventually allowing a helicopter to land and medevac the wounded. When the dust settled, 45 insurgents had been killed in the operation, including a senior Taliban commander and two team leaders.

“We ended up chasing them all out the valley,” Torres said. “[The battle] was the turning tide.”

The Taliban have since tried to re-seed themselves back into the community, he says, but have so far been unsuccessful.

“Our hope was that if the village elders saw a large commitment from coalition forces it would encourage the fence sitters to stand up to the Taliban,” Torres said. “Evidently, it worked.”

After receiving the Silver Star, Torres was asked why he would risk his own life, even after his platoon sergeant at one point begged him to stay behind. He replied, “I’d been in combat actions before. Most of my guys hadn’t. I figured it was the right thing to do.”

Torres, a 13-year Army veteran who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan twice, admits that combat has become ingrained in his DNA to the point where it feels completely natural to him.

“It’s kind of like I’m in the moment,” he says. “For many people it’s chaotic, but for me it makes sense. I’m able to focus.”

His executive officer, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Mark Mayor, of Kenosha, Wis., agrees.

“His leadership is very direct, very clear,” Mayor said. “He doesn’t freak out under fire.”

Torres’ deployment ends in April, and he will move on to his next assignment in January. But no matter what happens for the rest of his Army career, Sept. 21, 2011 will be a day he’ll never forget.

“That day for us that were on the ground, it will be burned in our memory forever,” he said.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Mar.24., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Mar. 24) — An Afghan National Security Forces Crisis Response Unit conducted an operation in Surobi district, Kabul province, yesterday.

Afghan forces recovered a number of explosive devices, components and weapons to include: two mortar fuzes, IED-detonators, rocket propellants, various IED components and small arms. The material was confiscated by ANSF for further investigation. During the operation, the CRU positively identified multiple armed insurgents displaying hostile intent. Responding to the immediate threat, the security force engaged and killed the insurgents.

In other ISAF news throughout Afghanistan: 
An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Archi district, Kunduz province, today. The leader directed roadside bomb attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout the district. The security force detained an additional suspect and destroyed several grenades and fuses. No shots were fired and no property was damaged during the operation. 
In Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation today. The leader directed attacks against Afghan security forces and civilians in the Nahr-e Saraj and Nad ‘Ali districts. No shots were fired and no property was damaged during the operation.An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of a Taliban facilitator in Shah Wali Kot district, Kandahar province, today. The facilitator supplies weapons and money to insurgents throughout the Shah Wali Kot and Khakrez districts.

He also coordinates suicide bombers for attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. The security force detained two suspected insurgents during the operation.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog