Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 4, Robs Bank in Maiduguri

Suspected members of extremist Islamist sect, Boko Haram killed four people yesterday in Borno State when they robbed a bank and stormed a police station.

The gunmen killed two people during a raid on a bank in Askira town in the early hours of the day before attacking the local police station, where an officer and a civilian were shot dead, local government spokesman Malam Yuthama said.

The strikes come less than two days after suspected sect members freed 14 people in a prison break in neighbouring Yobe State and attacked a nearby police station. Three members of BokoHaram died during those attacks, the local police said.

Months of gun and bomb attacks blamed on the sect have killed hundreds since it launched an uprising more than two years ago to try to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria.

Nigerian forces have been carrying out house-to-house searches this week in the sect's home town of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Similar crackdowns in the past have pushed attacks into neighbouring states, including Yobe.

One of BokoHaram's primary demands is that its members are freed from prison. While the government has refused any releases. There have been several jail breaks in the northeast in the last year.

from allAfrica
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Bombs kill 7, injure 70 in S. Thailand

Deutsch: Lagekarte der Provinz Yala, Thailand ...
Locator map of Yala Province, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
BANGKOK, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Three bomb explosions killed seven people and wounded about 70 on Saturday in the heart of the restive southern province of Yala, the Bangkok Post online reported.

The blasts took place just minutes apart from the Ruam Mitr intersection in the main business center of Yala municipality around noon on Saturday.

Colonel Pramote Promin, a spokesman for the southern army region, told media that seven people are confirmed dead, more than 70 others were wounded, some of whom were in critical condition.

The colonel said there were three bombs that exploded. The first is a car bomb and the second and third bombs were hidden in motorcycles.

The first bomb was hidden in a motorcycle parked outside a karaoke shop. Insurgents detonated the second and third bombs, which had been hidden in cars, when the authorities rushed to check the first explosion.

Several shophouses near the blast sites were on fire and many parked cars and motorcycles were damaged by the powerful explosions.

The injured were sent to the Yala hospital.

Meanwhile, a policeman was wounded in a separate motorcycle bomb attack in Mae Lan district of neighboring Pattani province on Saturday afternoon, local media reported.

Authorities were investigating and blamed separatist militants for the attacks.

Since the resurgence of insurgency in 2004, around 11,000 violent incidents instigated by secessionists in the Muslim- dominant southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat happened, with almost 5,000 people killed and nearly 8,000 injured.

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Al-Qaida militants seize military site in Yemen's restive south, 28 killed

Yemen division 2012-3-11
Yemen division 2012-3-11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ADEN, Yemen, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch seized a military site after deadly confrontations with government troops, leaving at least 20 army soldiers and eight militants killed in the volatile southern province of Lahj on Saturday, an army officer told Xinhua.

Up to 20 militants stormed an army barrack of the 201st Mechanized Army Brigade in the northwestern suburbs of the insurgents-controlled town of Jaar in Lahj province, killing at least 20 soldiers and setting off two explosions at the military site after the retreat of the army troops, the local army officer said on condition of anonymity.

During the fighting, at least eight al-Qaida militants were killed and dozens of others from both sides injured, the officer said.

After three hours of fierce fighting, Yemeni army forces left the army base and retreated from the region, he said.

In a text message sent to Xinhua on Saturday, an al-Qaida spokesman said the terrorist group killed a total of 30 soldiers in the attack that targeted the army site.

"During the battle, our holy war fighters attacked an army base, killing more than 30 soldiers and many others surrendered... we managed to seize the base along with its heavy weaponry, tanks and armored vehicles," the message said.

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 ( AQAP).

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.

The AQAP underscores the challenges faced by Yemen's new President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who won support from major Yemeni political forces, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

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Grenade attacks rock Rwanda's capital city

KIGALI, March, 31 (Xinhua) -- Grenades exploded early Saturday Morning in two different places in Rwanda's capital city of Kigali, resulting in six people injured, this was confirmed by the spokesman of Rwanda's National Police Theos Badege.

The first blast occurred within Kigali City, close to a newly constructed eight-story complex building, injuring three people.

The second one went off about three minutes later after the first attack, in a high-class commercial and residential center called Nyarutarama, also injuring three people.

According to Radio Rwanda, Badege confirmed that all together six were injured and two people were in serious condition, and four suspected people have been arrested for questioning.
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5 militants killed in eastern Afghanistan

Kamdesh District in the Nuristan Province in A...
Kamdesh District in the Nuristan Province in Afghanistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
KABUL, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Five militants were killed by police in a clash after the Taliban launched an attack on a check point in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, the country's Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

"Five Taliban militants, including a senior commander of the insurgents namely Mullah Abdul Rahim, were killed after the Afghan National Police (ANP) repelled their attack on a police check point in Kamdish district of Nuristan province Friday night," the ministry said in a statement.

Four militants were also injured in the clash while there were no casualties on the ANP, the statement added.

Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO troops have yet to make comments.

Afghan forces and NATO-led coalition troops have intensified cleanup operations against the Taliban and other militant groups across the country recently as spring and summer, known as " fighting season", are drawing near. Over 350 insurgents have been killed and more than 840 others detained during military operations in the country so far this year, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.
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Children killed in Ghazni acid attack

Map of Afghanistan with Ghazni highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Ghazni highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Security forces discovered the dead bodies of two children, their faces badly disfigured with acid, in the southern province of Ghazni, officials said on Saturday.

Deputy Governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadzai said the Afghan National Army (ANA) found the bodies of a 10-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl in the Nani area of Andar district.

“ANA soldiers were patrolling the area when they found the corpses of the children and handed them over to the area people,” he told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Ahmadzai said acid had been thrown at the children’s faces. Identities of the victims and motive for the murders were yet to be ascertained, but security personnel had launched a search for the killers, he added.

Public Health Department spokesman Safiullah confirmed that two dead children with burn marks on their faces had been brought to the Ghazni Civil Hospital.

A resident of the area, Eid Mohammad, said he took the children’s bodies to hospital. “I saw the scene where the children were killed. There was an acid jerry can near the corpses and footprints of men and tyre tracks were seen."

So far no one has claimed responsibility for the murders.

from Pajhwok

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R.I.P. - Pfc. Johnathon F. Davis

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Pfc. Johnathon F. Davis, 20, of Griffin, Ga., died Mar. 29, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire.

            Davis was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

            For more information, the media may contact 82nd Airborne public affairs at 910-432-0661.

Pfc. Davis is a graduate of Griffin High School. He and his wife are expecting their first child in May.

Prominent Taliban leader detained in Wardak province

According to local authorities in central eastern Maidan Wardak province a prominent Taliban leader was detained along with the 2 other Taliban fighters following a joint military operation by Afghan and NATO-led international coalition security forces in this province.

The officials further added, the Taliban leader recognized as Saif-ur-Rahman was detained following a joint operation conducted at Jamad Khel area in Syedabad district on Friday evening.

The detained Taliban leader carried out a number of insurgency attacks in this province last year and murdered a number of Afghan civilians over espionage charges and assisting the Afghan government.

In a separate military operation at Jaghato district Afghan and coalition security forces killed an insurgent and seized an AK-47 rifle along with some explosives, the officials added.

Afghan and coalition security forces also seized 4 landmines, 15 mortar missiles, a bag of explosives and some other explosives during an operation at Nerkh district in Zaman Khel area.

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

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34 militants killed and detained in Afghan operations

Afghan Interior Ministry following a press release on Saturday announced, at least 9 insurgents were killed and detained and following military operations by Afghan national police during the past 24 hours. At least 25 insurgents were also detained by Afghan police forces during the military operations.

The source further added, the operations were conducted jointly with the Afghan national army, Afghan intelligence and international coalition security forces at Kabul, Kunduz, Kandahar, Helmand, Nimroz, Logar, Ghazni, Khost and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan.

Afghan security forces also seized 1,390 kilograms of drugs and some weapons, ammunitions and explosives during the operations, Afghan interior ministry officials added.

Afghan security forces also discovered and seized 7 landmines during a separate military operations at Kandahar and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

In the meantime local security officials in eastern Paktika province announced Afghan security forces have launched a search operation to detain an Afghan local police officer who killed 9 of his colleagues in this province.

Gen. Gul Nabi Ahmadzai a commander of the Afghan police forces in eastern regions said, the incident took place on Friday night at Yahia Khel district of eastern Paktika province.

Yahia Khel district Bahawal Khan said, the assailant local police officer was recongized as Asadullah and one of his brother was also killed during the incident.

According to local security officials, the assailant local police officer fled the area with a Ranger police vehicle after killing his mates.

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Mar.31., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – In Maidan Shahr district, Wardak province, an Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation today.

The facilitator provided roadside bombs and other weapons to insurgents for attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the district.

He is also suspected in the January 2 attack along Highway 2 against a convoy escorted by Afghan security forces. Three Afghan soldiers were wounded.

The security force detained one additional insurgent and seized an Afghan National Police uniform as a result of 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 Charhar Darah district, Kunduz province, today. The facilitator managed the insurgent financial network in the province and provided funds that enabled attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. The security force detained three additional insurgents and no shots were fired during the operation.


In Shah Wali Kot district, Kandahar province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban facilitator today. The facilitator supplies insurgents with weapons, ammunition and equipment for attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in Kandahar city. The security force also detained one suspected insurgent.


An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani leader during an operation in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, today. The leader directed kidnappings and other insurgent operations against Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces and coalition security forces throughout the province. The security force detained two additional insurgents and destroyed multiple AK-47s and grenades on site.

In Bak district, Khost province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Haqqani leader today. The leader organizes roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the district. The security force also detained several suspected insurgents.

An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban facilitator in Gardez district, Paktiya province, today. The facilitator supplies insurgents with roadside bombs, weapons and ammunition for attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the district. The security force also detained three suspected insurgents and seized multiple weapons during the operation.

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Somalia: European Naval Forces Help Somali Fishermen Off Mogadishu Coast

On Thursday 29th March Spanish warship ESPS INFANTA ELENA, operating as part of the European counter piracy force (EUNAVFOR), came to the aid of a Somali fishing vessel, adrift off the coast of Mogadishu.

INFANTA ELENA was patrolling the waters off the coast of Somalia as part of its mission to deter piracy and protect vulnerable shipping when the crew noticed a Somali whaler adrift.

After obtaining permission to send a team aboard the vessel the EU forces ascertained that the fisherman had suffered an engine failure and some of the crew were in need to medical assistance.
Somali Whaler adrift off the coast of Mogadishu. European naval forces assisted the fishermen, and provided them with food and water. (Photo Courtesy EUNAVFOR)

Engineers from the EUNAVFOR ship were able to quickly fix the mechanical problem with the engine, allowing the ship to sail back to shore. Whilst repairs were underway the ships doctors also provided medical assistance to two injured Somalis and gave the whaler's crew food and water.

This encounter once again shows the utility and versatility of the EUNAVFOR mission which not only counters piracy but is committed to assisting the Somali people and promoting the growth of law abiding activities in Somali waters.

from allAfrica
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US drone strikes kill 5 AQAP fighters, 1 civilian in southern Yemen

by - LWJ

Unmanned US strike aircraft killed five Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters in a pair of strikes in a province in southern Yemen known to serve as a haven for the terror group.

The first strike targeted a vehicle as it was traveling in the city of Azzan in Shabwa province. Four AQAP fighters were killed and three were "critically wounded," Yemeni officials told The Associated Press. Reuters reported that five AQAP fighters and one civilian were killed.

The vehicle is said to have been transporting senior AQAP leaders who had left a mosque in Azzan after Friday prayers, but the identity of those killed has not been disclosed.

In the second strike, the unmanned Predators or Reapers fired missiles at a building in Azzan that is thought to be used by AQAP. Four civilians were said to have been wounded in the strike.

Azzan is one of several cities and towns in southern Yemen that are under the control of AQAP and its political front, Ansar al Shariah. AQAP took control of Azzan in early June 2011, after seizing Zinjibar, the provincial capital of neighboring Abyan province. The cities of Al Koud, Ja'ar, and Shaqra are currently run by AQAP. The terror group also seized control of Rada'a in Al Baydah in January but later withdrew after negotiating a peace agreement with the local government.

Read more:
AQAP top leader might have been killed in the US drone attack 

By Nasser Arrabyee,30/03/2012
Four Al Qaeda operatives were killed in a US drone attack on a vehicle moving between two Al Qaeda strongholds in the southern province of Shabwa, said sources in AlQaeda-controlled  hospital late Friday.

"Only four dead bodies arrived here the hospital of Azzan, " the sources said.
" It is very difficult who these bodies are, they are very black."

Other sources said the top leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAQ), Nasser Al Wahaishi, and Saad Bin Atef, and a Syrian expert on making bombs and explosives, were among those who were in the car.

Meanwhile, armed tribesmen loyal to the Islamist party, Islah, are preparing to control the international airport of the Yemeni capital Sana'a, said local sources Friday.

The militants of Islah, in cooperation with Al Qaeda fighters    in Arhab area, about 30 km north of Sanaa,started early Friday  to attack the 63 brigade (republican guards) with heavy, medium and small size weapons, said the local source from Arhab,

Four armed vehicles  with dozens of militants are positioning now in the area of Asda,about 500 meters away from the 63 brigade, in addition to  similar other positions from two directions of  Assama  mountain which overlooks the airport, the sources said.

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