Friday, April 27, 2012

R.I.P. - Spc. Jason K. Edens

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Spc. Jason K. Edens, 22, of Franklin, Tenn., died April 26, in Bethesda, Md., of wounds sustained April 15, in Laghman province, Afghanistan, when the enemy attacked his unit with small arms fire.

            Edens was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

            For more information related to this release, media may contact the First Armored Division public affairs office at 915- 744-8406 or 915-744-8492, or via blackberry at 915- 203-3769 or 915-781-3143.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder respectfully announce the loss of Tennessee soldier, Specialist Jason K. Edens of Franklin.

Edens died on April 26, in Bethesda, Maryland from wounds he sustained during an enemy attack on his unit in Laghman province in Afghanistan on April 15.  The 22-year old Williamson County native was an Infantryman assigned to 1st Squadron, 13th Calvary Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

“The state of Tennessee joins the Edens family in mourning the loss of Jason,” Haslam said.  “We also offer our condolences to all who knew Jason, grew up with him in Franklin and served with him in the United States Army.”

Edens graduated from Franklin High School in 2007 and enlisted in the Army in January 2009.
Edens is survived by his wife Ashley Edens of Elizabethton, his mother Janet Crane of Phoenix City, Alabama and his father James Edens of Franklin.

“He was a hero,” Ashley Edens said while describing her husband.
“Our sympathy goes out to the family of Specialist Jason Edens as they mourn during this difficult time of loss,” Grinder said.  “I join Tennesseans in remembering the ultimate sacrifice of Specialist Edens and we are committed to honor our fallen Tennessee heroes.”

Edens will posthumously receive the Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal during a private service.  Arrangements are pending; however, the Edens family expressed a desire for privacy for Spc. Edens’ funeral and burial.

Spc. Edens previously received the Purple Heart, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge.

from bluecollarmuse
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Hostage taker killed by police in South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal Durban Map
KwaZulu-Natal Durban Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
JOHANNESBURG, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The hostage taker had been shot dead, and the trapped people were rescued at a hospital in Durban, South African media reported on Friday.

The suspected man was killed by police snipers after the man shot several people at a hospital in Durban, the newspaper City Press reported on its website, citing hospital authorities.

The man arrived at the hospital at about 07:30 a.m. by hijacking a taxi, and took a reception woman hostage.

A large contingent of police rushed to the scene to control the situation, and some snipers were positioning themselves at main points surrounding the hospital kitchen.

As the woman managed to escape, the man fired several shots, leaving a nurse and two others injured, according to the report.

The snipers opened fire to stop the suspect from shooting at innocent people.

The three injured persons are still receiving treatment at the hospital, and they are in a stable condition, said the hospital.

At noon, the access to the hospital is still blocked, and police are probing into the cause of the incident.

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Serial blasts wound 13 in eastern Ukrainian city (+video)

KIEV, April 27 (Xinhua) -- At least 13 people were injured in four blasts in eastern Ukrainian city Dnepropetrovsk on Friday, local authorities and media said.

One woman was wounded when an explosion occurred in front of Globa Park, and another explosion took place near the Opera, causing no injuries, local media reported.

Earlier, Ukrainian emergency authorities said 12 people were injured in two blasts in the city.

According to the Emergencies Ministry, the first blast occurred at a busy streetcar station at 11:50 a.m. local time (0950 GMT), injuring five people and causing panic among the people at the site.

The second blast took place half an hour later, when an unknown object exploded in a garbage can near the central cinema, injuring seven people, the ministry said.

The injured were transported to local hospitals, and a probe was already under way, authorities said.

Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Vitaliy Zakharchenko and his assistants were on their way to Dnepropetrovsk.

from RT:

Four explosions have shaken the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk injuring at least 27 people. The blasts struck a series of locations in the city center. Local authorities have begun a terrorist investigation into the incident.

The first explosion went off as a crowded tram pulled into a stop injuring five passengers. Local authorities say it was caused by a bomb planted in a nearby rubbish bin.

“The explosion was at a tram stop. The shockwaves smashed the tram’s windows, and the doors buckled on two cars passing by. In one car, the airbags popped out. Police were there in a minute, fire fighters arrived in about five minutes,” writes Master_Tyre, a city web forum user.

Forty minutes afterwards a second explosion was reported close to the city’s railway station, wounding seven while the third hit a park injuring one woman.

Authorities say that the fourth blast struck near the opera house close to the site of the first explosion.
It has been reported that some of the explosions were caused by “incendiary devices” planted in rubbish bins. As a consequence police are systematically removing bins and checking them throughout the city.

Authorities have reportedly begun the full evacuation of the Dnepropetrovsk train station causing a stampede of people towards the exits. Local media says sniffer dogs and members of the bomb squad have arrived at the scene after receiving an anonymous call saying there was a threat of an explosion at the station.

Train services have stopped running until further notice.

Local Ukrainian site reports widespread panic in the city where people are afraid where the next explosion will occur. Traffic has reportedly ground to a halt in the city center as people flee their offices in an attempt to get home. The city’s police have warned citizens to stay indoors.

Telephone networks are down in the city after being inundated with calls of people fearing for the safety of their friends and family. Some news agencies have also suggested authorities may have shutdown networks to curtail possible terrorist activity.

It is unclear exactly how many explosions have hit the city with some local media outlets reporting up to ten.

Ukrainian president Viktor Yankovich has announced the creation of group of specialists that will investigate the blasts.
“Our best investigators and detectives will be looking into the incident,” said Yankovich.


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7 killed, 20 wounded in blast in Damascus

Damascus Governorate on Syria Map with Governo...
Damascus Governorate on Syria Map with Governorates.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
DAMASCUS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- At least 7 people were killed and 20 others injured when an explosion occurred Friday near a mosque in the heart of the Syrian capital Damascus, the latest in a string of explosions that rattled the city on the weekend, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

The blast ripped through al-Midan neighborhood near Zain al- Abidin mosque, said the report.

Preliminary speculations indicated that a suicide bomber detonated himself near a security agent's bus, pro-government media said.

After the explosion unknown gunmen opened fire at people who gathered around the scene, said SANA.

Al-Midan area was hit by a deadly explosion on Jan. 6. The explosion ripped through a busy intersection in the neighborhood and killed at least 25 people.

Friday's blast came following a number of explosions that occurred Friday morning in Syria.
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1-25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team returns to Fort Wainwright

FAIRBANKS — They’re almost all home now.

Planeloads of returning soldiers from the more than 4,000-member 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division from Fort Wainwright have been returning to Fairbanks on an almost daily basis. Most of the remaining soldiers are scheduled to return from their year-long deployment to Afghanistan in the next few days.

from newsminer
by Sam Friedman/

Pfc. Ernesto Bravo kisses his daughter Jessalyn, 4, left, as he is greeted by his family including Jessalyn's twin brother Griffin, top right, and 11-month old sister Natalyn, back right, as well as friend Bella Needham, 3, front right, as another flight of soldiers with the 1-25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team returns to Fort Wainwright Thursday morning, April 26, 2012 after serving a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. Eric Engman/News-Miner
A flight that arrived Thursday morning returned another 100 soldiers, including a large contingent from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment.

Samantha Baker, wife of Sgt. Damon Baker, took it to the next level preparing for her husband’s arrival. She carried a sign that towered over the crowd with her husband’s name and a light-up arrow pointing to where she stood. The folks at Denali Industrial Supply helped her build it, she said.

The sign did its job.

“Somebody came up to me and said, ‘I think that’s you over there,’” Damon Baker said after he was reunited with his wife.

Baker has been to war before on two previous overseas deployments, but this homecoming is different because it’s his last. Now that he’s home from this deployment, he plans to leave the Army and settle more permanently in the Interior where he’s planning to work for a civilian construction company.

With the brigade members just about all back at Fort Wainwright, attention turns to a community welcome home event scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. May 12.
Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Delozier helps his son Korbin, 4, carry his pack as another flight of soldiers with the 1-25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team returns to Fort Wainwright Thursday morning, April 26, 2012 after serving a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. Eric Engman/News-Miner

A military parade, including a majority of the Stryker Brigade’s members, will pass through downtown Fairbanks and head to Pioneer Park, where a picnic is planned. Organizers of the Salute To Our Military Parade — S.T.O.M.P. — hope to have thousands of people lining the route.

A reviewing stand and bleachers for dignitaries and the families of service members killed or wounded in the wars will be set up on Second Avenue.
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Four militants killed near Turbat

QUETTA: At least four militants were killed and seven others were detained on Friday by Frontier Corps (FC) personnel near Balochistan’s Turbat region in retaliation of an ambush, DawnNews reported.

The incident took place 20 kilometres from Turbat in the province’s Gaban area, a spokesman of the FC said.

FC’s assault was in retaliation to an ambush by militants on their convoy, the spokesperson added.
In two separate crackdown operations in Nushki and Naseerabad, FC officials recovered weapons and ammunition in large quantities.

The weapons and ammunition included 11 SMGs, three LMGs, 14 rifles, nine short guns, five rocket launchers and 100 rounds of SMGs.

However, no arrests were made in the operations in Nushki and Naseerabad.

from DAWN
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3 Paktika local policemen detained with suicide vest

Districts of Paktika Province
Districts of Paktika Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SHARAN (PAN): Three local policemen and a resident were arrested for carrying a suicide vest in a police vehicle in southeastern Paktika province on Thursday, an official said.

The four were arrested with the suicide belt in Barmal district, local police commander, Gen. Azizullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the detained local policemen belonged to security checkpoint in Musa Nika area.

Although it remained unclear what for the policemen carried the vest which seemed to be brought from Pakistan, he said.

The governor's spokesman, Mukhlis Afghan, confirmed the arrests, but stopped short of giving details.

from Pajhwok

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Suicide attacker killed in police firing in Quetta

QUETTA :  A suicide attacker was killed in police firing on the outskirts of Metropolis Thursday evening.

According to details, some miscreants were trying to commit suicide blast near Mumtaz Petrol Pump situation along Kirani road in the suburb of City early tonight.

People spotted them and informed the police. Police opened the fire in which a suicide attacker was killed. Two others managed to escape the spot.

Suicide attacker appears to be Afghan nation aged between 20 to 22 years. Dead body was shifted to BMC Hospital.
Suicide jacket weighing 10/12 Kg he was wearing could not be exploded. It had ball bearings, prime card three detonators and a 9- volt battery.

from OnePakistan
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Apr.27., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Haqqani leader during an operation in Nadir Shah Kot district, Khost province, today.

The leader planned and directed roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout the district. He also coordinated with Haqqani leaders in Pakistan for weapons, ammunition and newly-trained insurgents.

The security force detained several additional suspected Haqqani members and multiple AK-47s as a result of the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Washer district, Helmand province, today. The leader directed roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. He is also suspected in the attempted assassination of multiple Afghan government officials participating in a shura last month. The security force detained several additional insurgents as a result of this operation.

In Panjwa‘i district, Kandahar province, an Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during a routine patrol yesterday. The cache consisted of approximately 15,400 pounds (7,000 kilograms) of hashish. The security force destroyed the drugs on site without incident.

Finally, in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, Afghan forces planned and led a counter-narcotics operation supported by coalition forces, Wednesday. During the operation, the force discovered a vehicle carrying approximately 2,288 pounds (1,040 kilograms) of opium. The opium was destroyed and several suspects were detained.

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R.I.P. - Spc. Benjamin H. Neal

82nd Airborne Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
82nd Airborne Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Spc. Benjamin H. Neal, 21, of Orfordville, Wis., died April 25 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

            For more information the media may contact 82nd Airborne Division public affairs at 910-432-0661 or 910-587-0217.

A 2009 graduate of Parkview High School in Orfordville, Neal deployed to Afghanistan a few months ago. He was serving a nine-month tour.
Neal was a wrestler in high school, and family members said he was the type of guy that was friends with everyone.
His parents are traveling to Dover Air Force Base to be with their son's body when it returns to the U.S.
The family thanked everyone for their support but asked for privacy as they continue to grieve.

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