Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Suicide bomber kills one in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU, April 17 (Xinhua) -- A suicide bomber killed a Somali soldier after blew himself up at a police station in Somalia's southern town of Baidoa, witnesses and police said.

The bomber was stopped twice by a soldier at the gate of the police station before he detonated his explosives, killing himself and the soldier, Abdishakur Ali, a police officer told Xinhua by phone from the town of Baidoa.

The town of Baidoa, 250 km southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu, had been under the control of the militant group of Al- Shabaab before they were ousted by Ethiopian and Somali government forces in February, said the police officer.

The radical group has since been carrying out guerilla attacks against Somali government and Ethiopian troops in the area, he said.

Ethiopian troops backing Somali government forces have retaken a number of towns and villages in the south and the center of Somalia, while African Union peacekeeping troops based in the capital Mogadishu managed to oust the Al Qaeda-allied group from the city, added the police officer.

Al-Shabaab who have been losing ground to African armies from neighboring countries as well as AU peacekeeping forces known as AMISOM have vowed to change its tactic to guerilla warfare and staged a number of high profile suicide car bomb attacks and roadside explosions.

AMISOM deployed 100 of its soldiers in Baidoa as an advance team for 2,500-strong peacekeeping force in the region.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but the Al-Shabaab group which carried out deadly attack at a market in Baidoa early in the month often takes credit for such attacks.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since the overthrow of late ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

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Iraq Al-Qaeda militant kills self, family during raid

BAQOUBA, Iraq: An alleged Al-Qaeda member blew up his house in Iraq’s Diyala province during a raid Monday, killing himself and four family members, while five people died in other attacks, security sources said.Just before Iraqi soldiers entered the home “of an Al-Qaeda member in Saadiyah, he blew up the house and killed himself, his wife, and three children,” who were between 5 and 15 years old, Iraqi army First Lieutenant Abbas al-Tamimi said.

The suspected Al-Qaeda member, Hussein Abdul-Sattar, destroyed the house northeast of Baqouba, the capital of Diyala in central Iraq, about noon (0900 GMT), Tamimi said.

Iraqi army Major Ahmad al-Juburi confirmed that “the terrorist was killed with his family, which consisted of his wife and his children.”

Juburi said that no soldiers were wounded as they had not yet entered the garden of the house when it was blown up.

Gunmen meanwhile shot dead five people in two other attacks Monday.

In the deadliest attack, gunmen killed four young people who worked in a date palm orchard in Rashidiya, northeast of Baghdad, and then fled, an Interior Ministry official said.

Three other people were wounded in the attack, the official said on condition of anonymity.

An official in the Sheikh Dari hospital in the area confirmed the toll.

Meanwhile, a policeman who was riding a motorcycle was shot dead in Tuz Khormatu, 175 kilometers north of Baghdad, a police colonel said.

Violence in Iraq has fallen sharply from a peak of 2006 and 2007.

Read more: The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb
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Explosion in hospital injure 6 at eastern Khost province

According to local authorities in eastern Khost province, an explosion took place inside a hospital belongint to Medecins Sans Frontieres in this province.
Reports suggest at least 2 kids and 4 other have been injured following the incident.
In the meantime provincial security chief Gen. Yaqoub Mandozi said, the incident took place after a mine which was planted inside the hosptial went off.
Gen. Mandozi further added, at least 2 kids and 4 men have been injured following the explosion.
No group including the Taliban militants have claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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4 fighters killed in poppy eradication drive

Jalalabad District is located in the north-wes...
Jalalabad District is located in the north-west of Nangarhar Province. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
JALALABAD/ KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Four militants were killed and seven people, including Afghan security personnel, were injured in a clash during a poppy eradication campaign in eastern Nangarhar province, officials said on Tuesday.

The clash erupted on Monday evening when Taliban fighters opened fire on security personnel during a poppy removal drive in the Mimla area of Khogyani district, the deputy police chief, Col. Ebadullah Talwar, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Four Taliban fighters were killed, three more Taliban members, a border policeman and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier wounded during the clash, he said.

Meanwhile, two bodyguards of Sherzad district chief also sustained injuries, but civilians suffered no casualties in the gun battle, said Khogyani district chief, Hajji Syed Rahman.

Two civilians, including a nine-year-old child, were also hurt in the clash and were taken to Nangarhar Civil Hospital, a resident of the Mimla area, Ataullah Khogyani said.

In another incident, seven more Taliban fighters suffered casualties during a clash with police on Monday evening during an anti-poppy drive in the Zherai district of southern Kandahar province.

The governor’s spokesman, Javed Faisal, confirmed the fighters suffered casualties but did not provided the exact number of dead or wounded insurgents.

Afghan security personnel suffered no casualties in the clashes in the Sangsar and Nadi deserts of the district, he said.

from Pajhwok

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Eight armed insurgents killed and arrested by Afghan National Police

Eight armed insurgents killed and arrested by Afghan National Police

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched three joint clearance operations in Ghazni, Khost and Kandahar provinces.

As a result of these operations, one armed insurgent was killed and seven others were arrested by Afghan National Police.
Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated 24 AK-47 assault rifles, one PKM machine gun, 10 anti-vehicle mines, 100 kilograms of explosive materials, one suicide vest and one motorbike.
During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused three different types of mines and nine heavy rounds as a result of security operations in Faryab and Ghazni provinces.

The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained 10 individuals accused of murder, assault and theft in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 8th Districts of Kabul-City.
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Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack

Districts of Takhar Province
Districts of Takhar Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Reuters) - About 150 Afghan schoolgirls were poisoned on Tuesday after drinking contaminated water at a high school in the country's north, officials said, blaming it on conservative radicals opposed to female education.

Since the 2001 toppling of the Taliban, which banned education for women and girls, females have returned to schools, especially in Kabul.

But periodic attacks still occur against girls, teachers and their school buildings, usually in the more conservative south and east of the country, from where the Taliban insurgency draws most support.

"We are 100 percent sure that the water they drunk inside their classes was poisoned. This is either the work of those who are against girls' education or irresponsible armed individuals," said Jan Mohammad Nabizada, a spokesman for education department in northern Takhar province.

Some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition, while others were able to go home after treatment in hospital, the officials said.

They said they knew the water had been poisoned because a larger tank used to fill the affected water jugs was not contaminated.

"This is not a natural illness. It's an intentional act to poison schoolgirls," said Haffizullah Safi, head of Takhar's public health department.

None of the officials blamed any particular group for the attack, fearing retribution from anyone named.
The Afghan government said last year that the Taliban, which has been trying to adopt a more moderate face to advance exploratory peace talks, had dropped its opposition to female education.

But the insurgency has never stated that explicitly and in the past acid has been thrown in the faces of women and girls by hardline Islamists while walking to school.

Education for women was outlawed by the Taliban government from 1996-2001 as un-Islamic.

(Reporting by Mohammad Hamid; Writing by Jack Kimball, Editing by Rob Taylor and Sanjeev Miglani)

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Apr.17., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Apr. 17) — An Afghan and coalition security force conducted a security operation in Nerkh district, Wardak province, today.
During the operation, multiple insurgents were observed setting up a heavy machine gun in the vicinity of a village while preparing to attack Afghan security forces.
After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the security force called for a precision airstrike killing multiple insurgents. A follow-on assessment of the area after the strike determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged.
In other ISAF news throughout Afghanistan:
Combined Afghan and coalition security forces discovered several weapons caches during routine patrols in Tarin Kot district, Uruzgan province, yesterday. The combined caches consisted of 12 anti-personnel mines, 90 mine detonators, 73 rocket propelled grenades, 65 RPG fuses, 51 rocket propelled grenade fuel cells and approximately 9,500 7.62 mm rounds. All of the items were destroyed on site without incident.
In Khakrez district, Kandahar province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader today. During the operation, several insurgents fired on the security force. After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the security force called for a precision airstrike, killing multiple insurgents. A follow-on assessment of the area determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged. The security force also detained one suspected insurgent and seized multiple AK-47s and grenades as a result of this operation.
An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Zurmat district, Paktiya province, today. The leader directed roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout Gardez district. He is also suspected in supplying bombs for a suicide attack against an Afghan military commander. The security force detained two additional insurgents and seized a pistol as a result of this operation.
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R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. David P. Nowaczyk

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Staff Sgt. David P. Nowaczyk, 32, of Dyer, Ind., died April 15, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device.

            Nowaczyk was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

            For more information related to this release, media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office at 719-526-7525 or at 719-526-5500, if after normal business hours.

A Fort Carson soldier died in a roadside bombing and his comrades in the post’s 4th Brigade Combat Team repelled two more attacks Sunday as insurgents launched an offensive in eastern Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. David P. Nowaczyk, 32, of Dyer, Ind., died after his vehicle was bombed in Kunar province. He was assigned to the brigade’s 2nd Battalion of the 12th Infantry Regiment.

In neighboring Nangarhar province, insurgents took aim at two bases manned by the brigade, which left Colorado for war in March.

The attacks in eastern Afghanistan came as insurgents lanched an 18-hour battle in the Afghan capital, Maj. Christopher Thomas, a brigade spokesman, said in a telephone interview from his base in Jalalabad.

Afghan officials on Monday blamed the brazen attacks on the Haqqani militant network, an insurgent faction tied to the Taliban and al-Qaida that includes an estimated 10,000 fighters — one of the most lethal threats to America and its allies in Afghanistan.

In Nangarhar province, insurgents either missed their target or were repelled by Afghan forces during two bombings, Thomas said.

In the Nangarhar attacks, one bomb detonated prematurely. Another insurgent “mis-timed” an bomb attack on Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields, reducing damage to the post.

No U.S. troops died in those blasts, though some were wounded by shrapnel, Thomas said.

The attacks highlighted the growing capabilities of the Afghan police, who were largely responsible for security near Jalalabad, a commercial hub near the famed Khyber pass, which leads to Pakistan, he added.

An Afghan guard was killed in the second Nangarhar attack while holding the insurgents at bay as Afghan police responded. Three insurgents died during that bombing. Another was wounded and captured.

Thomas said the Afghan guard’s “actions prevented a bad situation from being worse.”
While the insurgents were turned back in Nangarhar, they claimed one of the brigade’s soldiers in Kunar.

Nowaczyk joined the Army in 2005 and has served in Afghanistan three times. He joined the Fort Carson brigade in 2010.

He was killed by a roadside bomb, the favored insurgent tool in Iraq and one that has gained deadly popularity with the Taliban and other Afghan groups.

The infantryman was highly decorated, having earned one Bronze Star Medal for Valor and two Army Commendation Medals. He had also earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge and was a qualified parachutist.

Nowaczyk was the second 4th Brigade soldier killed since the unit went to war this year.
Commanders of the brigade have said they expect heavy fighting this summer as American forces work to stamp out the insurgency before the planned American pull-out in 2014.

The provinces controlled by the brigade sit along the Pakistan border and troops with the Fort Carson unit have been working to make sure insurgents can't cross that line into comparative safety.
The brigade has fought in the area before and paid a heavy price. In a yearlong deployment that began in 2009, the 3,500-soldier unit lost 39 soldiers. Eight of those soldiers died in a single battle.
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US Predators strike again in southern Yemen

US drones killed five al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters in a strike today in an area that is currently under the terror group's control.

The unmanned and heavily armed Predators or the more deadly Reapers targeted an AQAP vehicle as it was traveling near the town of Karma in the Azzan district in Shabwa province, according to The Yemen Post. Five AQAP fighters, but no senior leaders, are said to have been killed in the strike.

Azzan is one of several cities under AQAP control. The city was one of the first to fall to AQAP in early June 2011 after the terror group seized control of Zinjibar in neighboring Abyan province in late May 2011.

The family of slain AQAP ideologue and operational commander Anwar al Awlaki is from Azzan. Anwar's son, Abdul Rahman al Awlaki, was killed in October 2011 in Azzan. One month earlier, Anwar al Awlaki had been killed in a drone strike in Al Jawf province.

The US has carried out four drone strikes in Azzan. The two other strikes took place on March 30 this year, when drones targeted a vehicle and a compound in separate attacks that killed nine AQAP fighters and one civilian.

US strikes in Yemen

The US has carried out at least four airstrikes in Yemen this month; the last strike took place on April 14 in Baydah province. The US launched at least six strikes against AQAP in Yemen in March.
The CIA and the US military's Joint Special Operations Command are known to have carried out at least 27 air and missile strikes inside Yemen since December 2009, including today's strike in Azzan. Other recent airstrikes are believed to have been carried out by the US also, but little evidence has emerged to directly link the attacks to the US. [For more information on the US airstrikes in Yemen, see LWJ report, Charting the data for US air strikes in Yemen, 2002 - 2012.]
Since the beginning of May 2011, the US is known to have carried out 21 airstrikes in Yemen. Eleven of those strikes have taken place so far in 2012. This year, the US appears to be targeting AQAP foot soldiers in an effort to support Yemeni military operations against the terror group. AQAP has taken control of vast areas in southern Yemen and has been expanding operations against the government with raids on military bases in locations previously thought to be outside the terror group's control.
Only one of this year's 10 strikes has killed a senior AQAP operative in Yemen. On Jan. 31, US drones killed Abdul Mun'im Salim al Fatahani near the city of Lawdar in Abyan province. Fatahani was involved in the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden that killed 17 US sailors, as well as the bombing that damaged the Limburg oil tanker in 2002. AQAP said that Fatahani had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The pace of the US airstrikes has increased as AQAP and its political front, Ansar al Sharia, have taken control of vast areas of southern Yemen. AQAP controls the cities of Zinjibar, Al Koud, Ja'ar, and Shaqra in Abyan province. The terror group also controls Azzan in Shabwa province. AQAP seized control of Rada'a in Baydah province in January but later withdrew after negotiating a peace agreement with the local government.
US intelligence officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula poses a direct threat to the homeland. The terror group has plotted multiple attacks against targets in the US. A strike in Yemen last year killed Anwar al Awlaki, the radical, US-born cleric who plotted attacks against the US, and Samir Khan, another American who served as a senior AQAP propagandist. Abdul Rahman al Awlaki, Anwar's son, was killed in a separate strike in the country.

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/04/us_predators_strike_35.php#ixzz1sFSwYL79
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