Monday, April 30, 2012

One killed, 15 injured in Nairobi grenade attack (+video)

NAIROBI, Kenya – One person was killed and fifteen others wounded after a grenade was hurled inside a church in Nairobi’s Ngara area on Sunday morning.
Police said the incident occurred at about 9 am shortly after the Sunday service kicked off at the God’s House of Miracles International Church.


Witnesses interviewed told Capital FM News they heard a loud blast before they saw smoke billowing out of the church that is located near Ngara Girls High School.
“I was in my kiosk then I heard a loud blast and smoke coming out of the church. I rushed there immediately and found people screaming for help,” Samuel Kimani who runs a kiosk near the church said.
He said his children attend a church service there but they had not arrived at the time of the attack.
“What came in my mind immediately is my children because they go to church there, but when I arrived there I didn’t find them but there were other people who had been injured and we started helping them out,” he said.
Those wounded are people who had gone for the first service that starts at 7 am and runs up to 9 am.
Worshippers interviewed said they saw a man walk in and sat in their midst.
“He clearly appeared a stranger to me and most of us because the people who attend the morning service are known to each other, but we had no reason to suspect him,” one worshipper who identified himself as Kim said.
Moments later, he said, the man walked out and came back that is when he threw the grenade and ran out.
Some of the people who attempted to pursue him said he whipped out a pistol and pointed it at them.
“He ran very first and kept brandishing a pistol to scare away people, no one could go closer to him,” Elijah Mwangi, who was part of the people who chased the attacker said.
Those injured were admitted to the Guru Nanak and Kenyatta National Hospitals, some with critical injuries.

Nairobi Deputy Police chief Moses Nyakwama said they were working closely with crucial witnesses and church members to get the proper description of the attacker.
“We are confident he will be found, the public is assisting us,” Nyakwama told journalists at the scene
He did not immediately link the attack to the notorious Al Shabaab terror group but said “we cannot rule out anything.”
No suspect had been arrested by Sunday afternoon but detectives involved in the investigation revealed there were crucial leads they were pursuing but they did not give details.
Some of the officers told Capital FM News they will also investigate if the attack was linked to a land dispute.
The incident comes a week after the American Embassy in Nairobi warned of an impending terrorist attack in the capital city.
The Embassy had warned of an attack on government buildings and hotels, warning its nationals to be extra vigilant.
Nairobi has been hit by a series of unclaimed attacks since late 2011. The deadliest blast, on March 10, struck a bus terminal, killing nine people and injuring roughly 60 others.
Kenyan police have blamed the strikes on Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab Islamists or their sympathisers, claiming the attacks are a response to the Kenyan army’s incursion into Somalia, launched in October.
Nairobi sent troops into neighbouring Somalia following a spate of kidnappings in Kenya, which it blamed on the Islamists.
The operation aimed to curb the Al Shabaab influence in Somalia, where they control much of the south and central region in a country that has lacked a stable government for two decades.

Enhanced by Zemanta

German jihadist killed by US in March drone strike

A German jihadist is thought to have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US drones on March 9 in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of South Waziristan.
The German, a known "Islamist" from Aachen, has been identified at Samir H., according to a report in Der Spiegel. Samir was one of 13 Taliban and "foreign fighters" who were killed in the March 9 strike in Makeen, South Waziristan. In that strike, the remotely-piloted US strike aircraft fired missiles at a pickup truck transporting Taliban fighters.
Samir was the "son of a Tunisian father and a German mother" and was "born and raised in East Germany," according to Jih@d, a website that tracks European jihadists. Samir "traveled to Pakistan in October 2009 with his wife and two children, and joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). In November 2009 Samir´s sister, at the age of 18, followed her older brother and made her way to the Waziristan tribal region."
The town of Makeen is in an area under the control of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which is closely allied to al Qaeda. The US has struck targets in Makeen four other times, in 2008 and 2009. One strike in June 2009 killed Khwaz Ali Mehsud, a top aide to Baitullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Baitullah himself was killed shortly thereafter by a drone strike in August 2009 in nearby Ladha.
In a controversial follow-up strike in Makeen at the funeral for Khwaz Ali, US drones killed 83 Pakistanis, including 30 "militants." Senior terrorist leaders, including Haqqani Network commander Mullah Sangeen Zadran, and Baitullah and his deputy Qari Hussain Mehsud, were thought to be attending the funeral.

Read more:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Boko Haram kills four in Nigeria church attack: police

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Mon Apr 30, 2012(Reuters) - Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram killed four people in an attack on a Sunday church service in the northeast town of Maiduguri, police said on Monday, adding to the death toll from a separate shooting in the country's second largest city Kano.

Gunmen killed at least 15 people and wounded many more at a Christian service in Kano on Sunday, the latest round of violence which has seen hundreds killed in the mostly-Muslim north of Nigeria this year.

No group took responsibility for either attack and it was not clear if they were coordinated. But both strikes bore the hallmarks of the Boko Haram sect, which has used bomb and gun attacks in its push to carve out an Islamic state in Africa's most populous nation.

"Boko Haram who were six in number came in a Volkswagen Golf car and shot the pastor and three others while they were about to administer the Holy Communion to worshippers," Maiduguri police spokesman Samuel Tizhe said.

Maiduguri is the capital of northeast Borno state, Boko Haram's home region and the location of the majority of its attacks, which mostly target the police and military but have also hit churches and drinking spots.

In the attack in Kano on Sunday, gunmen arrived on motorbikes at a university lecture theatre used for Christian services and threw small homemade bombs into the building before shooting fleeing worshippers.

"President Goodluck Jonathan condemns the murderous terrorist attack on the Bayero University Campus in Kano yesterday and the brutal killing of innocent worshippers at the University by vicious assailants," a presidency statement said.

Jonathan has been criticized by Nigerians and foreign diplomats for failing to get a grip on the sect's wave of violence, which has gained momentum since his presidential election victory a year ago.

Most of Boko Haram's attacks focus on authority figures it believes have wronged the group by arresting or killing its members.

Nigeria's more than 160 million population is split roughly equally between a largely Christian south and a mostly Muslim north.

(Reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza; Additional reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja; Writing by Joe Brock; editing by Patrick Graham)
Enhanced by Zemanta

US drone strike kills 4 'militants' in North Waziristan

Today the US launched its first drone strike in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency in nearly a month. The strike in North Waziristan targeted an abandoned school that is known to be used by foreign fighters.
The unmanned Predators or the more heavily armed Reapers fired a pair of missiles at the abandoned high school for girls that is located in the bazaar in Miramshah in North Waziristan. Four "militants" were said to have been killed in the strike, SAMAA reported, but their identity was not disclosed.
"We don't know about their identity and nationality but those living in the girls' school were mostly Arabs," the official said, according to SAMAA. Another Pakistani official told AFP that the school was occupied by Uzbek and Tajik militants, which is likely a reference to the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The IMU is closely allied with the Haqqani Network and is known to conduct operations with the group in eastern Afghanistan. During a raid in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak on April 25, Coalition special operations forces attempted to capture a senior Haqqani Network operative linked to the IMU's leadership cadre in Pakistan.
A Pakistani security official said today that intelligence officials intercepted communications between the militants that included a request for "four coffins for the slain men." More than two dozen fighters were believed to be occupying the school before it was struck.
Miramshah serves as the headquarters of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, a powerful Taliban subgroup that operates in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and is supported by Pakistan's military and its Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. The Haqqani Network is one of four major Taliban groups that joined the Shura-e-Murakeba, an alliance brokered by al Qaeda late last year. The Shura-e-Murakeba also includes Hafiz Gul Bahadar's group; Mullah Nazir's group; and the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which is led by Hakeemullah Mehsud and his deputy, Waliur Rehman Mehsud. The members of the Shura-e-Murakeba agreed to cease attacks against Pakistani security forces, refocus efforts against the US, and end kidnappings and other criminal activities in the tribal areas.

Read more:
Enhanced by Zemanta

14 armed insurgents killed, 2 wounded and 16 others arrested by ANP

14 armed insurgents killed, two wounded and 16 others arrested by Afghan National Police

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched five joint clearance operations in Kabul, Nangarhar, Zabul, Logar and Ghazni provinces.

As a result of these operations, 14 armed insurgents were killed, two wounded and 16 others were arrested by Afghan National Police.
Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated six AK-47 assault rifles, one rocket launcher, two PKM machine guns, three anti-vehicle mines, 7kg of opium and two motorbikes.
During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused 25kg of explosive materials as a result of security operation in the Popalzai region, Nahar Saraj District of Helmand province.

The Afghan National Police dedicate their lives to protecting the people.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained six individuals accused of murder, theft, trafficking and assault in the 5th, Bagrami and Saroubi Districts of Kabul-City.
The ANP encourages all citizens to report suspicious activities and criminal acts.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Apr.30., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Apr. 30) — An Afghan led and coalition supported security force detained a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Daman district, Kandahar province, today.
The facilitator provided vehicles for suicide attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the province.

The security force detained two additional insurgents and seized multiple weapons as a result of this operation.

In other ISAF news throughout Afghanistan:


In Sabari district, Khost province, an Afghan-led security force detained a Haqqani leader during an operation today. The leader directed roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition troops. He also supplied weapons and ammunition to insurgents in the area. The security force detained one additional insurgent as a result of this operation.


An Afghan security force, supported by coalition troops, captured a Taliban leader during an operation in Bala Boluk district, Farah province, Saturday. In addition to directing insurgents, the leader is suspected of using intimidation and threat techniques to force locals into aiding the Taliban.
Enhanced by Zemanta

17 shun militancy, turn a new leaf in Nuristan

(file photo)
JALALABAD (PAN): Seventeen rebels laid down their arms and joined the government-initiated peace process in eastern Nuristan province, officials said on Monday.

Lead by Qari Abdul Khalil, the insurgents surrendered five weapons, a rocket launcher, some explosives and remote-controlled bombs, Governor Tamim Nuristani told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Khalil, an influential Taliban member who was also involved in attacks against government and foreign troops in Waigal district, gave up the insurgency and joined the reconciliation drive. 

Provincial peace process head, Haji Abdul Alim, said Khalil’s decision would help improve the security situation in the province, bordering Afghanistan.

Nuristani added the implementation of socio-economic programmes and   development projects had encouraged the insurgents join the peace process.

from Pajhwok

Enhanced by Zemanta

Paktika: IED Blast Kills 2 Children

Districts of Paktika Province
Districts of Paktika Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two children were killed by an explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) buried in the ground in southern Paktika province, the provincial governor's office said Monday.

Two other children were wounded, one seriously, by the blast which happened around at 10:00 am Sunday while the children were playing in the Surobi district.

The seriously-wounded child has been transferred to Bagram Military Base for more intense treatment, while the other who was wounded remains in a provincial hospital, the statement from the governor's office said.

The two children who died in the blast were about 12 years old, according to the governor's office, but no gender was given.

Insurgents frequently use IEDs to target the Afghan and Nato security forces, but most of the victims are civilians.

More than 3,021 Afghan civilians have been killed in the past year's violence, according to a UN report.

Taliban-affiliated insurgents were responsible for the majority of the deaths.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Explosion wounds 20 in eastern Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, April 30 (Reuters) - A bomb blast wounded at least 20 people in the eastern Nigerian city of Jalingo on Monday, one day after two deadly attacks in other parts of the country, an emergency agency and a witness said.

"The blast was between the state ministry of finance and police headquarters," Ibrahim Farinloye, local head of the National Emergency Management Agency, told Reuters.

A witness told Reuters the blast could have been targeting the police commissioner who drove past shortly before. He said he saw dead bodies and that at least 20 people were taken to hospital.

Jalingo is the capital of usually peaceful Taraba state.

On Sunday, at least 19 people were killed in two attacks on Christian worshippers elsewhere in Nigeria. A university theatre used for services in the northern city of Kano and a church in northeast Maiduguri, Boko Haram's home town, were attacked by gunmen.

Boko Haram has been fighting against President Goodluck Jonathan's government for more than two years. Its attacks usually target police and government in the mostly Muslim north of Africa's most populous nation.

(Reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog