Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nigeria: Two Boko Haram Suspects Killed in Maiduguri

Two suspected Boko Haram militants were shot dead on Friday after a raid on their meeting point near the NNPC station, Abbaganaram, a statement by Joint Task Force (JTF) has said.

The statement was signed by Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, the Spokesman for the JTF on 'Operation Restore Order' (ORO) and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri.

It said that the militants were marshalling out plans to cause havoc in the city before they were raided.

"Following a tip-off, the JTF troops today attacked Boko Haram meeting point at Abbaganaram near the NNPC station, Maiduguri, where about 10 suspected terrorists were holding a meeting.

"The gathering was with a view to cause mayhem in the city."

It said that immediately they sighted the JTF troops the suspects attempted to escape.

"One of them was sporadically shooting at the troop's direction. In an exchange of fire, two of them got shot while one was arrested alive."

According to the statement, two AK 47 rifles, rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunitions and Nokia cell phones were recovered from them.

"A local car washing shade and a shop in the area suspected to belong to the members of the sect were destroyed by the troops," the statement said.

It added that patrol had been intensified to avoid any break down of law and order.

from allAfrica
Enhanced by Zemanta

Main Yemen airport closed ‘after threat by military’

SANAA: The airport in Yemen’s capital was shut down on Saturday after forces loyal to a general close to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh threatened to attack landing and departing aircraft, an airport source said.


The airport has been surrounded by forces loyal to air force chief General Mohammed Saleh
al-Ahmar, Saleh’s half brother, who has refused to step down after being sacked by President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the source said.

“No aircraft has taken off or landed since these forces made their threat late on Friday,” the source said, adding that the troops surrounding the airport were backed by members of the Hamdan tribe that supports former strongman Saleh.

These men were led by Naji Jamaan, a Hamdan tribal chief, the source added.

Ahmar has refused to step aside unless several senior defense ministry officials, including the minister himself, also leave, a military source said on Saturday.

In a message to his troops, Ahmar said that Hadi’s presidential decree would not be “implemented” until Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and chief of staff Ali al-Ashwal left their posts.

He also demanded that several members of the powerful Hashed tribe be forced into exile. The tribe backed defectors such as General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar during last year’s anti-regime protests.

On Friday, Hadi sacked the air force chief and the head of the presidential guard General Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – the former president’s nephew.

There had already been calls from within the air force for Ahmar to go.

The military source said Saleh had turned down the command of the 37th battalion of the Republican Guard based in the southeast province of Hadramawt.

President Hadi took over from Saleh in February after the veteran leader, who had ruled for 33 years, handed over power as part of a Gulf-brokered settlement to end a bloody government crackdown on an Arab Spring-inspired uprising.

In a televised speech on February 19, Hadi stressed the need to reunify the army as he pledged “radical reforms” and to fight Al Qaeda as he outlined a two-year transition plan.
But critics of Saleh say he has been interfering in the smooth transition of power, and the reorganisation of the army is seen as being a key part of that transition.

Enhanced by Zemanta

One killed, 15 wounded in bus shooting on Lebanon-Syria border

BEIRUT, April 7 (Xinhua) -- One Lebanese civilian was killed and 15 others were wounded Saturday when a bus carrying pilgrims on its way to Iraq was attacked by gunmen on the border between Lebanon and Syria.

According to a Lebanese security source, the shooting took place on the Syrian side of Masharih al-Qaa in the Bekaa, after the bus passed through the Jouesiyeh checkpoint, Lebanon's official border crossing in the east, and made its way into Syria.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported that "dozens of the passengers were injured and transferred to hospitals in the region," adding that the gunmen fired on the bus from the Syrian side of the border.

The NNA report did not elaborate any further.
Meanwhile, LBC television reported that seven people--six of them Syrian and one Lebanese--were killed in the attack, adding that at least 21 people were wounded.
Syria crisis: Clashes spill over Lebanese border

Enhanced by Zemanta

New Zealand sends fresh troops to Afghanistan

More than 70 New Zealand soldiers left Saturday on the country's 20th rotation of its forces in Afghanistan.

The first group of 36 soldiers left from Ohakea Air Force Base in the lower North Island and a second group of 41 left later from the Burnham Military Camp, near Christchurch in the South Island, Radio New Zealand reported.

Together they made up more than half the 140-strong contingent in the 20th rotation for the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) working in Bamyan province.

The rest would go later this month, said the report.

It would be the first deployment to the war-torn country for 90 percent of the personnel, although they would be in "a relatively peaceful area," according to Radio New Zealand.

With the deaths of two PRT soldiers in three years, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has boosted its pre-deployment and in- Afghanistan training, Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Hall told Radio New Zealand.

The focus of the new team was security and training the Afghan National Police, said Hall.

A third New Zealand PRT soldier died last week, but the NZDF has said the death was not combat related.

The PRT was deployed to Bamyan province in 2003 and the government has said it is committed to maintaining the force until 2014.

The province was the first to return to the control of Afghan forces last year.

Two New Zealand special forces soldiers were killed in attacks in Kabul last year, bringing the total NZDF losses in Afghanistan to five.

from globaltimes
Enhanced by Zemanta

'We do jihad,' says Lashkar-e-Taiba emir Hafiz Saeed

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (

During a Friday sermon in Lahore, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the emir of the al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Taiba who is wanted by the US and protected by Pakistan, called on Muslims to wage jihad against America. Saeed's speech took place the same day a Pakistani intelligence official claimed that Saeed was involved in a de-radicalization program.

Saeed called on Pakistanis and Muslims to join with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba, to fight the US to preserve Pakistan and Islam, AFP reported. Saeed gave the speech at the Jamia Markaz al-Qadsia, a mosque run by the Lashkar-e-Taiba. A collection box for donations for jihad was placed at the exits of the mosque. He was accompanied by armed guards who were "carrying weapons with silencers," the news agency reported.

"Come to us," Saeed said, calling on Muslims to join Lashkar-e-Taiba. "We will teach you the meaning of jihad.... The time to fight has come."

"This is the same jihad which caused the USSR to break [in Afghanistan] and now America is failing because of it. Analysts and journalists don't realise why America is failing, the only reason is jihad," he continued. According to the AFP report, he also accused the Western press of being biased against Muslims and jihad.

Saeed said the US targets Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa because the group wages jihad and because the US fears Saeed. The US put out a $10 million bounty for information leading to Saeed's arrest and prosecution just days ago.

"There are many parties in Pakistan, but America has only sent a message to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, because we do jihad," Saeed said. "They [US] are even scared of my name."
Saeed also implied that his terror organization is involved in attacking US forces in Afghanistan.

"America should leave Pakistan and Afghanistan peacefully. Then, we will not come to you with guns but will instead invite you to Islam," he said. The Lashkar-e-Taiba is known to send fighters in Afghanistan to attack NATO and Afghan forces. In 2010, the US military noted that Lashkar-e-Taiba was working with the Taliban in Nangarhar province.

Saeed's inflammatory sermon was delivered the same day a Pakistani intelligence official and a police official both claimed that Saeed was involved with "de-radicalization and rehabilitation of former jihadis" in Pakistan's Punjab province.

"Jamaat-ud-Dawa were consulted, and they approved the de-radicalization plan. They assured us of their intellectual input and resource materials. They also offered teachers," a Punjab police official told Reuters.

Saeed's terror organization has been directly linked to numerous terror attacks in South Asia, including the November 2008 terror assault on the Indian city of Mumbai that resulted in the deaths of 165 people. The US and Indian governments have accused Saeed and other Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives and leaders of plotting, financing, and executing the Mumbai attack. A former adviser to President Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan recently stated that evidence seized at Osama bin Laden's compound linked the slain al Qaeda emir to the Mumbai attack and Saeed. [See LWJ report, Osama bin Laden helped plan Mumbai attacks.]

Saeed, who formed the Lashkar-e-Taiba at the behest of Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden's mentor and co-founder of al Qaeda, praised bin Laden after US Navy SEALs killed the al Qaeda emir at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011.

"Osama bin Laden was a great person who awakened the Muslim world..... Martyrdoms are not losses, but are a matter of pride for Muslims," Saeed proclaimed.

"Osama bin Laden has rendered great sacrifices for Islam and Muslims, and these will always be remembered," Saeed continued, as his followers chanted "Down with America" and "Down with Obama."

The Pakistani government has protected Saeed, despite his complicity in terror attacks. Saeed is favored not only by Pakistan's military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which provides Lashkar-e-Taiba with direct support, but also by a wide swath of Pakistani civil society. The Pakistani government has refused to arrest Saeed and has claimed the US and India have not provided evidence linking him to terror attacks.

For more information on Hafiz Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, and its links to al Qaeda and other terror groups, see LWJ report, US offers $10 million bounty for capture of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed.

Read more:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Civilians killed and injured in military operation in Kapisa province

Hesa Duwum Kohistan District (in Orange)
Tagab District (in Green) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to local officials in eastern Kapisa province, at least 6 Afghan civilians were killed and injured following military operation in this province.

The officials further added, at least 2 Afghan civilians were killed and 4 others were injured during the operations in Tagab district of eastern Kapisa province.

Tagab district chief Abdul Hakim Akhoon confirming the report said, at least 6 Afghan civilians were killed and injured during the military operations conducted during the past few days to clear militants from the area.

This comes as three security guards of Tagab district police chief were killed following a roadside bomb explosion three days back.

Tagab district is considered to be one of the volatile regions of eastern Kapisa province where militants are frequently carrying out insurgency activities.
Enhanced by Zemanta

IEDs killed and injured six people in eastern Afghanistan

(archive photo)
According to local security officials in eastern Afghanistan, at least 6 people were killed and injured following roadside bomb explosion.

The officials further added, the incidents took place in eastern Paktia and Khost provinces of Afghanistan on Saturday morning.

At least 3 people were killed and another one was injured during the first landmine explosion at Dowamand district in eastern Khost province, while 2 others were injured during the second explosion at Khatawi area in eastern Gardez city.

Gen. Hamidullah Dowamand district police chief said, the incident took place at syed Khel area killing at least 3 private security guards of a private security company and injuring another individual.

He also said, the individual who was injured during the explosion is in a critical condition and was taken to provincial hospital for treatment purposes.

At least 2 Afghan national police officers were injured during the second explosion at Khatawa area in Gardez city.

An official at the provincial hospital Dr. Haya Gul said, at least 2 people who were injured during the explosion were taken to the hospital and are in a better health condition.

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

In the meantime 3 Afghan civilians were shot dead and another civilian was by unknown gunmen in eastern Laghman province, provincial officials said.

The incident took place on Friday night at Maidan Shahr area in Mehtarlam city.

According to a statement released by the provincial governor media office, unknown gunmen on motorcycle opened fire on civilians, killing at least 3 people and injuring another.

The source further added, the assailant gunmen managed to flee the area after attacking the civilians and the Afghan security forces have launched a search operation to detain those involved behind the incident.

Enhanced by Zemanta

10 militants killed in Afghan police operations

Afghan Interior Ministry officials following a press release on Saturday announced at least 10 armed militants were killed following military operations by Afghan national police forces.

The source further added, the miliants were killed during 8 separate military operations conducted by Afghan national police in coordination with the Afghan army, Afghan intelligence and international coalition security forces.

The operations were conducted at Nangarhar, Badakhshan, Kandahar, Helmand and Paktia provinces of Afghanitan, interior ministry officials added.

Interior Ministry officials also said at least 1 militant was injured and 14 others were also detained during the military operations.

Afghan security forces also seized some weapons, ammunitions along with explosives during the military operations. Anti-government armed militatn groups yet to comment regarding the operation.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Apr.07., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force captured an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator during an operation in Almar district, Faryab province, today.

The facilitator provided funds for attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the province.

During the operation, the security force was engaged by multiple insurgents. Responding to the immediate threat, the security force killed the insurgents, detained another and destroyed several AK-47s and bomb making materials.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


A coalition security force discovered a weapons cache during a routine patrol in Shindand district, Herat province, today. The cache consisted of 15 mortars, two rocket-propelled grenades and several rockets. All of the items were destroyed on site without incident.

An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader in Zharay district, Kandahar province, today. The leader directs roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in Zharay and Panjwa’i districts. He also coordinates for weapons, ammunition and equipment for insurgent operations. The security force detained multiple suspected insurgents as a result of this operation.


An Afghan led and coalition supported security force conducted an operation to capture a Haqqani leader in Khost district, Khost province, today. The leader conducts roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the province. The security force detained several suspected insurgents and destroyed multiple weapons and grenades as a result of this operation.

Enhanced by Zemanta

R.I.P. - Cpl. Alex Martinez

Cpl. Alex Martinez was killed in Afghanistan on April 5, 2012. (Family photo / April 6, 2012)
DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

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

            Cpl. Alex Martinez, 21, of Elgin, Ill., died April 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

            For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-725-8766.


from chicagotribune
by Peter Nickeas

A 21-year-old Marine from Elgin died Thursday during his second deployment to Afghanistan, according to his family and the United States Department of Defense.

Cpl. Alex Martinez, assigned to the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California, died “conducting combat operations in Helmand province” the department said.

Martinez enlisted in the Marines in January 2009 when he was 18 years old and deployed to Afghanistan not long after graduating form the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, his stepfather Jim Bethke said.

“He surprised us,” Bethke said late Friday night. “He took summer school and graduated in the middle of the year. “

Martinez’s mother was greeted by four Marines who brought news of her son’s death about 6 p.m. Thursday night, Bethke said.

“It’s been pretty hard for her,” he said. “She chokes up talking about it.”

Martinez turned 18 in December 2008, married his fiancee Juliana and shipped out to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego in January 2009.

The two wed in a courthouse ceremony. Martinez had been talking about it and came home one day with the news, Bethke said. Julianna moved to California with her husband and was living there at the time of his death, he said.

Martinez’s mother and siblings made the trip to San Diego in 2009 to see his transition from a recruit to a Marine and the family held a big picnic before his first deployment to Afghanistan, Bethke said.

Martinez deployed to Afghanistan a second time on February 28 after a brief visit at home with family, his stepfather said. His first deployment lasted 7 months.

Bethke, his wife and other family members are scheduled to leave with other Marines for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware at 5:30 a.m. Saturday to receive his remains, he said. His funeral arrangements haven't been finalized.

Bethke said he considered the prospect of his stepson’s death when he joined – “but it’s in the back of your mind, especially when you know what’s going on over there,” he said.

“I don't know what to say really. It’s tough, you know?”
Enhanced by Zemanta

Local Taliban leader killed in NE Afghanistan

Districts of Badakhshan.
Districts of Badakhshan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
FAIZABAD, Afghanistan, April 6 (Xinhua) -- A local Taliban leader was killed on Friday by police in Afghan Badakhshan province, 315 km northeast of capital Kabul, a spokesman of provincial government said.

"Police launched a search operation to capture a Taliban local leader in Wardoj district, but upon their arrival at a compound, a gunfight erupted resulting in the killing of a Taliban leader named Qari Shamsuddin,"spokesman Abdul Maruf Rasikh told Xinhua.

He added a bodyguard of the Taliban leader was also killed but no policeman was injured in the raid.

Three policemen were killed following a Taliban attack on a police checkpoint on Wednesday in Wardoj district in the mountainous province.

Taliban militants have yet to confirm the death of their leader.

Afghan forces and some 130,000 NATO-led coalition troops have recently intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militant groups across the country as spring and summer, known as "fighting season" draw near.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Yemeni al-Qaida claims responsibility for suicide bombing against intelligence center

ADEN, Yemen, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that targeted a center of the military intelligence agency in the southern port city of Aden on Friday morning.

"Two Fighters of Partisans of Sharia were martyred before reaching the main target in Aden because of a mistake in timing the explosives," the al-Qaida spokesperson said a statement obtained by Xinhua.

"The two holly warriors were on their way to carry out a jihadist attack against an intelligence office belonging to the Yemeni government in Mansoura district," it said.

Two suicide bombers riding an explosives-laden motorbike blew themselves up on Friday morning outside the headquarters of the military intelligence agency in the Mansoura district in Aden, killing themselves only at the scene, a police officer told Xinhua.

The officer said that the al-Qaida suspects appeared to be in their early 20s.

The suicide attack came just a few hours after the country's interior ministry announced that Yemeni Government troops have killed more than 100 al-Qaida fighters during fierce battles with the terrorist group in the neighboring southern provinces of Lahj and Abyan in the past two days.

The southern port city of Aden, a main stronghold of the pro- secession groups in southern Yemen, has been plagued by violence since al-Qaida militants overran several towns in neighboring Abyan province last May. Explosions and assassinations conducted by pro-secession militants and al-Qaida fighters were frequently seen in the city during the past year.

Local observers and analysts fear that security situation in Aden may worsen as the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch threatens to overrun the port city, despite the tightened security measures adopted by Yemeni authorities.

Enhanced by Zemanta

2 killed, 5 injured in Azerbaijan's antiterror operation

Map of the existing and planned oil and gas pi...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
BAKU, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Secret services of Azerbaijan crushed a terrorist group on Thursday, 2 men, including a secret service agent, were killed and 5 were injured in the operation, the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan said on Friday.

The anti-terror operation was conducted in Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit and several other regions of Azerbaijan, leading to the arrest of 17 suspects. The ministry said the armed group planned to organize terrorist actions in Azerbaijan.

In the second largest Azerbaijani city of Ganja, 375 km west of Baku, agents of the special secret unit "Gartal" (Eagle) faced armed resistance in the operation. Several terrorists opened fire on agents, and threw a hand grenade at them. As a result, one agent was killed and three were injured. In return one of the terrorist group members was killed, 2 were wounded.

The operation led to the seizure of four AKM-type submachine guns, a RPK-type machine gun, two Makarov pistols, one revolver- type pistol, one Stechkin pistol, a rifle, six full pistol clips, 300 cartridges of various calibers, 31 hand grenades, 15 explosive devices with remote control, and other ammunition, as well as the publications and promotional materials on terrorism, the ministry said.
Enhanced by Zemanta

R.I.P. - Spc. Jeffrey L. White, Jr.

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

            Spc. Jeffrey L. White, Jr., 21, of Catawissa, Mo., died April 3, in Khost province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

            For more information the media may contact the U.S. Army Alaska public affairs office at (907) 384-1542.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog