Sunday, April 29, 2012

3 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, April 29 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed and two others were injured when U.S. drones fired two missiles at a government-run girls high school in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of North Waziristan on Sunday afternoon, reported local Urdu TV channel ARY.

other sources said 2 or 6 killed, several injured
no confirmed reports yet
updates coming up here, as its available

According to the local media reports, the strike took place in Miranshah, a main town of North Waziristan which borders Afghanistan.

Four U.S. drones were seen hovering over the strike area, local media quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

Militants in the area have cordoned off the area following the strike, said local media.

Identities of the victims are not known at this point.

Militants often use schools, even government buildings as hideouts, said local media.

Sunday's U.S. drone strike is the 11th of its kind (counted on daily basis) in Pakistan since this year. Up to date, at least 83 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes in 2012.

The latest strike came at a time when there were reports saying that the talks between Pakistan and the United States to ease the tension between the two countries failed due to differences between the two sides.
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Kidnapped British aid worker found dead in Pakistan

Khalil Dale (
The Red Cross says a British national working for the organization has been killed by his captors in southwestern Pakistan.

The body of a British employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who was kidnapped in January, was found by police in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan on Sunday.

Khalil Dale, a 60-year-old Muslim convert, was working for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan, one of the most troubled of Pakistan’s regions, when he was snatched. Dale was managing a Red Cross health program in the city when he was seized in January by gunmen.

Media reports said unidentified gunmen had demanded a ransom for the release of Dale but the ICRC had refused to pay.

Local officials said his bullet-riddled body was found on a road outside the city in a bag addressed to the police chief. A note said he had been killed because a ransom had not been paid.

Yves Daccord, Director-General of the ICRC, condemned the killing. He said, “All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.”

By Sadaf Shinwari
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7 key rebel commanders killed in Helmand

LASHKARGAH (PAN): Seven key Taliban commanders were killed during a police operation in the Washer district of southern Helmand province, an official said on Sunday.

The operation was conducted by the quick reaction police unit in Folad and Sarfolad areas of the district last week, the governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the dead included Maulvi Abdul Ahad Fazli, brother of the Taliban-designated district chief for Washer, and Maulvi Hamidi, the rebel military commission chief for the district.

Maulvi Abdul Haq, the group’s judge, a mine maker named Zabit and Mullah Abdul Khaliq, a local guerrilla leader, were also killed in the security operation.

Ahmadi said seven Arab and Pakistani militants were also killed and three others detained. A large cache of weapons and ammunitions was seized.

Dozens of militants were killed in another recent offensive by Afghan and foreign troops in the district. However, he did not reveal the exact causality figure.

from Pajhwok

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R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Brittonmihalo

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

                Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Brittonmihalo, 25, of Simi Valley, Calif., died April 25, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

                For more information related to this release, the media may contact Special Forces public affairs at 910-689-6187.

A Green Beret from Simi Valley, Andrew Britton, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan. Craig Mathias, who with his wife, Danette, cared for him during his senior year at Royal High School, confirmed the news Thursday.
The Department of Defense has so far not released any information or confirmed Britton's death. Britton — known as Andrew Mihalo when he lived in Simi Valley — was 25. He was raised in Simi Valley and stayed on to complete high school there after his mother and stepfather moved out of state.
His mother now resides in North Carolina, while his sister, Michelle Caranza, lives in Simi Valley.
Britton last visited Ventura County in November with his fiancee, Jesse, also a soldier believed to now be serving with the Army in Afghanistan. The couple married in December and they were based at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Craig Mathias said Britton, who was a champion CIF wrestler at Royal and an Eagle Scout, joined the Army Special Forces right out of high school and advanced quickly. He was always fighting for the underdog and very patriotic, fearless but not reckless he said. He was very humble, just a great, great person. We were as close as friends could be. We were like brothers, said Travis Mathias, 24, who knew Britton since he was 9 years old. He was the smallest guy but the hardest worker, he said. He was just the nicest guy in the world and he loved to protect others.

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5 insurgents killed, 1 wounded and 21 others arrested by ANP

Five armed insurgents killed, one wounded and 21 others arrested by Afghan National Police

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched 10 joint clearance operations in Nangarhar, Kunar, Kapisa, Kandahar, Helmand, Khost, Ghazni, Logar, Zabul and Farah provinces.

As a result of these operations, five armed insurgents were killed, one wounded and 21 others were arrested by Afghan National Police.
Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated seven different types of weapons, one PKM machine gun, 174 heavy rounds, 300 light rounds, 14 anti-vehicle mines, 16 hand grenades, 10 magazines, 14kg of opium, two motorbikes and three vehicles.
In the meantime, Afghan National Police arrested one armed insurgent with 16 mortar rounds in the Zazai Aryoub District of Paktiya province, yesterday.

The Afghan National Police dedicate their lives to protecting the people.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained 11 individuals accused of murder, theft, trafficking and assault in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 17th Districts of Kabul-City.
The ANP encourages all citizens to report suspicious activities and criminal acts.
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Apr.29., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Apr. 29) — An Afghan-led security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban leader in Baraki Barak district, Logar province, today.

The leader organized roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the province.

As the Afghan portion of the force moved into the area and conducted a call out, the insurgent leader and an additional insurgent attempted to fire on the force. The Afghan soldiers returned fire, killing the attackers. Multiple weapons and several blasting caps were also confiscated.

In other ISAF news throughout Afghanistan:


In Qalat district, Zabul province, an Afghan and coalition security force detained a senior Taliban leader during an operation today. The leader organized attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat provinces. He also coordinated with Taliban leaders in Pakistan to supply the weapons, ammunition and equipment to insurgents. The security force detained one additional insurgent as a result of this operation.


An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a senior Haqqani facilitator in Muhammad Aghah district, Logar province, today. The facilitator provides weapons, ammunition and equipment to insurgents for attacks in Kabul City. He also works with the Haqqani leadership to coordinate resources for attacks similar to the April 15 attack in Kabul. The security force detained multiple suspected Haqqani insurgents as a result of this operation.

In Qarah Bagh district, Ghazni province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban leader today. The leader plans and directs roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout the district. The security force detained two suspected insurgents as a result of this operation.

Finally, in Paghman district, Kabul province, an Afghan patrol supported by coalition forces conducted an operation to disrupt insurgent weapons trafficking Friday. During the operation, the force discovered a 122 mm rocket. An Afghan explosive ordnance disposal team disarmed the rocket and transported it to a secure location for examination.
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Gunmen kill 15 in attack in Nigeria's Kano

KANO, Nigeria, April 29 (Reuters) - Gunmen killed 15 people and wounded many more when they attacked a lecture theatre used by Christian worshippers in Nigeria's second largest city of Kano on Sunday, a university worker told Reuters.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he saw 15 bodies being carried from the site and many more being treated for injuries.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but Islamist sect Boko Haram has killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks this year, some of which have targeted churches.

(Reporting by Bala Adamu; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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R.I.P. - Guardsman Michael Roland

Guardsman Michael Roland killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Michael Roland, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. He died on Friday 27th April 2012 as a result of a gunshot wound sustained in Afghanistan.
Guardsman Michael Roland
Guardsman Michael Roland
[Picture: via MOD]

Guardsman Michael Roland deployed to Afghanistan on 3rd April 2012 as a Rifleman in Number Three Platoon, part of The Queen’s Company Grenadier Guards. He was based in Main Operating Base Price near Gereshk in the Nahr-e-Saraj North District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

On 26 April 2012 Guardsman Roland deployed with his Company on a three day operation to disrupt insurgent activity in a contested area in the north of Nahr-e-Saraj District. On the morning of 27th April 2012 he was fatally wounded during an exchange of small arms fire. He was extracted back to the hospital in Camp Bastion but sadly he died of his injuries.
Guardsman Roland was born on 5th August 1989 in Worthing, Sussex. After joining the Army, Guardsman Roland attended the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. Upon completion of his training in November 2009 he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards in London. He spent a year conducting public duties at the Royal Palaces and participating in state ceremonial tasks. Guardsman Roland joined 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in November 2010 and was placed in The Queen’s Company. His first year in the Battalion included field training in the UK and an exercise in Canada. From September 2011 he undertook six months of preparatory training for his first tour of Afghanistan, before deploying in early April 2012.
Guardsman Roland’s family paid the following tribute:
“Michael was a loving and caring son loved by his huge extended family and friends who are devastated by their loss. We are still coming to terms with losing him. Michael always wanted to join the Army and was so proud to be part of Queen’s Company Grenadier Guards. Michael loved us all so much; with us he was not big and tough just gentle. We will miss him so much.”
Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder MBE, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said:
“Guardsman Roland’s death is a tremendous loss to a close Battalion. Sparky, diligent and super-fit, he was a terrific soldier with a bright future. That he achieved so much in his short life is testament to his drive and ambition. He was an absolute pleasure to command and will be missed hugely by the Battalion and the Regimental family as a whole.
"We are all extremely proud of Guardsman Roland’s selfless commitment to this important mission. Moreover, we are resolved to finish the job that he so bravely started. Finally, our prayers are with his parents, girlfriend and broader family; we share their great sense of loss and will never forget this most extraordinary of Guardsmen.”
“Michael was a loving and caring son loved by his huge extended family and friends who are devastated by their loss."
Guardsman Roland’s family

Major Piers Ashfield, The Captain of The Queen’s Company, said:
“Guardsman Roland was one of the leading lights of The Queen's Company. His stoic devotion to duty and the generous friendship he offered to all those he met epitomised the man for whom no hardship was worthy of complaint. Guardsman Roland leaves behind a Company who will continue to cherish memories of shared laughter and happiness. The Queen's Company offers its most heartfelt condolences to Guardsman Roland's family and friends.”
Lieutenant Alex Budge, Platoon Commander, 3 Platoon, said:
“Guardsman Roland epitomised a Grenadier Guardsman. Fit, tenacious and a character; he was liked by all for his sense of humour and respected by all for his skill as an infantry soldier. I would say he was one of the best Guardsman in the Company. His passing brings sorrow to us all, but we can take comfort that he died doing a job that he loved.”

Sergeant Archer, Platoon Sergeant 3 Platoon, The Queen’s Company, said:
“Guardsman Roland was a young and dedicated soldier who put his job before anything else. A fit, keen soldier and loyal to the end, Guardsman Roland was the template to which all Guardsmen should aspire. Never in trouble and never late, he was a model Guardsman who will truly be missed within the platoon. My deepest sympathies go out to his loving parents, who we are all thinking of at this difficult time.”
Lance Sergeant Hendy, Section Commander, The Queen’s Company, said:
“Guardsman Roland was a character to say the least, forever talking about himself in the third person which always made me laugh. He was my point man in the Section during pre-tour training, and was point man in the multiple out here. He was given this position for good reason. He was one of the fittest men in the platoon, very trustworthy and brave. He did everything to the best of his ability and would surely have gone a long way in the Grenadiers.”
Lance Sergeant Mooney, Section Commander, The Queen’s Company, said:
“Guardsman Roland was part of both my platoon and the Company Search Team. He knew he would be at the front of patrols and searching compounds. Even knowing the tasks he would be given would place him in danger, he never complained or even mentioned it for that matter. He was an integral part of the team and the platoon. He will be sorely missed by all members of The Queen's Company. Gone, but never forgotten.”
"(Guardsman Roland) was an integral part of the team and the platoon. He will be sorely missed by all members of The Queen's Company. Gone, but never forgotten.”
Lance Sergeant Mooney, Section Commander, The Queen’s Company

Lance Corporal Clarke, Fire Team Commander, The Queen’s Company, said:
“Mike was a caring bloke. He had so many ambitions. He took part in so many activities and was always up for a good laugh and a fair few beers with the boys. He was never afraid to lead the way, and we had a lot of good times together.”
Guardsman Wates, Guardsman in The Queen’s Company, said:
“Guardsman Roland was always happy to help and give good advice. He made me feel very welcome on joining the platoon, and I'm going to miss him very much.”
Guardsman Churchill, Guardsman in The Queen’s Company, said:
“Guardsman Roland was a pleasure to work with, as well as being a good friend. Everything he did, he did to the best of his ability. A true soldier who will be missed.”
The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Guardsman Michael Roland. It is clear that he was a brave man and highly professional soldier. The circumstances of his death by all accounts sum up his army life: in the thick of the fight and looking out for his comrades. I can only endorse the tributes paid to him by his family, for whom he was a hero. They have my deepest sympathy."
"Everything he did, he did to the best of his ability. A true soldier who will be missed.”
Guardsman Churchill, Guardsman in The Queen’s Company
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10 policemen dead in roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan

Districts of Wardak.
Districts of Wardak. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
MAIDAN SHAR, Afghanistan, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Ten Afghan policemen were killed late Friday in a roadside bombing in the country's eastern province of Wardak, said a provincial official on Saturday.

"A unit of Afghan Local Police (ALP) force was traveling along a road in the Ambukhar area of Chak-i-Wardak district Friday evening but their van touched off a roadside bomb, leaving 10 ALP members dead," Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for provincial government, told Xinhua.

The bomb went off when a line of vehicles passed by the area after an inauguration ceremony of a development project, he said, adding "Only one vehicle was blown up causing the casualties but other officials from the district escaped unhurt."

Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack.

Afghan Local Police, set up by the government in the summer of 2010, is a community police force defending their villages against Taliban attacks and influence.

Afghan and NATO military officials said recently that impressive Taliban-led attacks would occur in the coming weeks and months as spring and summer, known as "fighting season", are drawing near.

Three women were killed and four other women injured when a mortar round hit a house in the same district on Thursday.
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