Thursday, May 17, 2012

Civilian killed, 17 people wounded in bomb attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 17 (Xinhua) -- A civilian was killed and 17 people wounded in a roadside bomb and a car bomb attacks in central and eastern Iraq on Thursday, the police said.

A civilian was killed when a sticky bomb attached to his car went off in Baghdad's western district of Ameriyah, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a booby-trapped car went off in the afternoon at a parking lot near the provincial government complex in central Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, wounding 17 people, a source from the Diyala's operations command anonymously told Xinhua.

A senior government official and four policemen were among the wounded by the blast, which also destroyed several nearby cars and caused damages to surrounding buildings, the source said.

The incident is under investigation as the area is only opened for government vehicles and a few other cars who have special permission for parking, the source said.

Sporadic attacks are still common in the Iraqi cities despite dramatic decrease in violence since its peak in 2006 and 2007 when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.
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30 suspects detained, weapons seized

KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Local officials in the southern province of Kandahar on Thursday said nearly 30 people were arrested for involvement in criminal activities -- ranging from drug smuggling to having links with militants.

Speaking at a news conference, deputy police chief Col. Rahmatullah Atrafi said a man with an explosives-laden rickshaw was arrested in Kandahar City Thursday morning. The triwheeler was found in the fourth police district.

One militant was killed and another eight suspects were arrested during operations in several districts of the province this week, the police official said.

During the offensive, police also seized 171 walkie-talkies, 150 sacks of ammonium nitrate used in making roadside bombs, 17 bombs, mortar, Kalashnikov, five motorcycles and four boxes of bullets.

Atrafi added another nine people were arrested on charges of criminal activities and six motorbikes and two cars seized from the group.

Thirteen people, in possession of 41 kg of heroin and 106 kg of hashish, were also detained, he added. Atraif hoped the security situation would further improve with cooperation from local people.

from Pajhwok

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4-23 Infantry Battalion 5-2 SBCT (Afghanistan 2009-2010) (video)

Where do deployed military personnel do their laundry?
Eat their meals?
Where do your care packages go?
As a thank you to the supporters of the 4-23 Infantry Battalion 5-2 SBCT (Afghanistan 2009-2010), their chaplain answers these questions.
Video includes captivating footage of Afghanistan and our military personnel serving there, followed by a tour of a Forward Operating Base.

video from youtube, Uploaded by on Dec 27, 2010

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Two policemen killed, one injured in Quetta firing

QUETTA: In another incident of target killings, two policemen were shot dead and two others wounded on Quetta’s western bypass, here Thursday.

According to a police official, the deceased – both police constables – were identified as Murtaza and Sanaullah, while ASI Muhammad Hussain and Constable Deen Muhammad were injured.

The injured were shifted to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital.

Police and security forces cordoned off the area after the attack.

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45 militants killed in battles between Yemeni troops, al-Qaida

SANAA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni troops killed 45 al-Qaida militants on Wednesday during battles in the southern province of Abyan, the defense ministry said.

"The armed forces advanced across Lauder town and al-Koud area on Wednesday, killing a total of 45 militants, as the troops, backed by local tribesmen, intensified attacks on the terrorist elements in Dovas and al-Harour regions," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

Meanwhile, a military official in the southern port city of Aden told Xinhua anonymously that 15 soldiers were killed earlier Wednesday in battles around Yasouf Mountain, a strategic mountain overlooking Lauder town that has been captured by the troops on Tuesday after heavy fighting with al-Qaida fighters.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi vowed to launch an all- out war against the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Earlier in the day, military officials said at least 16 terrorists were killed and five others wounded in air raids in Lauder, where AQAP militants have been fighting local tribesmen and the government forces for weeks in bid to seize the town.

Yemeni local human rights groups urged all sides to rapidly evacuate civilians from the war areas after eight civilians were killed in a botched air strike on Tuesday.

According to the defense ministry, more than 160,000 persons have so far arrived in camps in neighboring provinces of Aden and Lahj, fleeing their homes in Abyan after battles raged a few days ago.

Recently, U.S. drones have carried out more strikes in Yemen, particularly in the southern regions seized by al-Qaida. The group has tried to tighten its grip by exploiting the unrest and security disorders in Yemen.

Hadi took office in February, pledging to carry out reforms during his two-year transitional term, launch a national dialogue, and combat the resurgent al-Qaida off-shoot.

However, Hadi faced challenges from some political forces which refused to participate in the reconciliation dialogue that aims to restore security in the country.

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Mali: Terrorists and Uncertainty Flourish in North

There’s been no peace in northern Mali since Tuareg rebels took control of the area and declared independence earlier this year. Radical Muslim fighters came in their wake and introduced Islamic law. Meanwhile, terrorists from all over the world are reportedly coming to Mali. Yet no one really has a hold on the region.

Boubacar Traore lights a cigarette. The other exiles crouching under a baobab tree in Mopti laugh at him. “This is no longer allowed in northern Mali,” Traore explains. “Drinking beer is also haram, forbidden by the Muslim radicals, who have taken over my town, Hombori. And the women have to wear veils.”

In March Hombori fell into the hands of Tuareg rebels. They belong to the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), who began a revolt in the north at the year’s start. The Ansar Dine rebels quickly followed. They took measures to stop the plundering of MNLA fighters and – much to the local population’s alarm – introduced sharia law.

“Our only weapon is Islam”
Along the bank of the Niger River, Mopti used to be the crossroads between Mali’s north and south. Now it is on the frontline of a country divided into two. Fearing the Ansar Dine rebels, banks have closed, aid organizations have removed their computers and frightened residents have fled.

Unlike the Tauregs, the Ansar Dine do not want an independent republic in the north, a so-called Azawad state. They want the whole of Mali to become an Islamic state. And they want to expand into West Africa.

Ansar Dine Muslim extremists make no secret of their ideals. Traore shows a video on his mobile phone, which he took in Hombori before fleeing last month. An Ansar Dine leader known as Oumar speaks to the people. A rifle and an ammunition belt are slung over his shoulders.

“Our only weapon is Islam,” the bearded leader proclaims. “There are no limits, we are united by Allah. Fighters from Nigeria and other countries have joined us and we want to introduce sharia law in the whole of Mali. Introducing Islamic law will solve all our problems.”

Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb
At the rebellion’s onset, the Ansar Dine and the Tuaregs had joined forces. But reports from the north now indicate the Ansar Dine has taken control together with the Algerian group known as the al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

“The Tuaregs cause panic, they rape women and steal from everyone,” shouts the Ansar Dine leader in Traore’s video. “We have arrested them and executed them when necessary. The MNLA has betrayed us. We don’t want the independent state of Azawad. We are fighting in the name of Allah.”

The AQIM has become rich in recent years by kidnapping Western tourists and taking over drug and weapon smuggling routes across the Sahara. The money is used to buy the support of tribal and clan leaders. Gaddafi’s fall in neighbouring Libya meant that weapons flooded into northern Mali. They were either bought or seized in battle, thus profiting the region’s numerous rebel groups, Muslim radicals and Tuaregs.

The Malian government army was too weak to retaliate when the rebels went on the offensive. After March’s coup d’état against President Touré, government soldiers deserted en masse as rebels attacked them in the north.

Cultural looting
Muslim radicals now control an extensive area. Their rigid form of Islam is being imposed on northern Mali. In the history-rich city of Timbuktu, they have destroyed images of Islamic icons. Ritual masks and ancestral statues in the Dogon region have been smashed to pieces.

“Mali has a long history and the various populations have always shared cultures and traditions,” says Samuel Sidibe, managing director of the Musée National du Mali. “The Malians follow a tolerant form of Islam. The radical form does not fit in with our culture.”

A divided Mali
Nobody knows how things will go in a divided Mali. In the capital, Bamako, military coup leader Amadou Sanogo refuses to relinquish power for a civilian interim government. Regional union ECOWAS threatens more military intervention and sanctions.

“Every day of instability and uncertainty in Bamako is to the advantage of the extremists in the north,” says a diplomat there. “More and more reports arrive of terrorists being flown into the north from all over the world. Europe has failed to acknowledge the danger of terrorism flourishing in Mali."

from Radio Netherland Worldwide

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Afghan officials discover nine tons of explosives

Afghan personnel from Helmand’s National Department of Security and the Bost 170 counter-terrorism unit successfully captured nine tonnes of explosives in Khoshkaba area, Lahkar Gah, yesterday, 15 May 2012.

As a result of operation in total nine tons ammonium nitrate and T.N.T explosives was captured, insurgents use the named explosives for the Motor bombs and suicide jackets.

The explosives was brought form Pakistan’s Gardijangle area to the Nar-e-Seraj and Lashkar Gah areas by the military commander of insurgents named Mula Agha wali.

Sacks containing some of the nine tonnes of explosives captured by the Afghan National Department of Security, in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province. Picture: 2nd Lieutenant Scott Murdock, US Marine Corps/ISAF
The insurgents wanted to distribute the explosives to other insurgent’s parties in several areas for the destructive acts in Helmand province, but before the reaching to the goal security forces bravely stopped the schemes of the insurgents.

Neither fires were open nor casualties to any one as result of the operation, and also no one has been captured for the possession of the explosives, but searches are going on for capture.

Also three insurgents wanted to improvise IED (improvised explosives device) on the main road in Fatieh Mohammad paich of Sangin district of Helmand on Tuesday.

As a result the mine improviser’s insurgents were killed by ISAF airstrike in the area while they were improvising the IEDs.
The IEDs were also detonated as a result of the airstrike and also two women were superficial injured in the nearby house.

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Overnight U.S. drone strike kills 2 al-Qaida leading members in Yemen

ADEN, Yemen, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Two leading members of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were killed when a U.S. drone pounded their vehicle in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout, a security official said Thursday.

The U.S. drone fired two missiles on a moving pick-up truck which was passing through a main road near Shibam area, in Hadramout's valley late Wednesday night, the local security official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The two militants were on the Yemeni government's most wanted list for involvement in several terrorist attacks against domestic facilities, the official said.

A witness told Xinhua anonymously that "rockets landed on a small vehicle last night in Shibam area ... we later saw two burned bodies lying next to the damaged car."

The al-Qaida group has no comment on the attacks yet.

On May 6, a U.S. drone attack killed Fahd al-Quso, a prominent al-Qaida figure who was wanted for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

In recent months, U.S. drones have increased air raids in Yemen 's southern regions, after the White House announced that a plot by the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to blow up a U.S. airliner had been successful thwarted.

Hundreds of the al-Qaida group still hold several cities in southern Yemen, but they have pulled out of some strategic bastions after fighting with government troops in the southern Abyan province.

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Taliban leader detained in eastern Paktika province

Districts of Paktika Province
Districts of Paktika Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Afghan and coalition security forces captured a Taliban leader following a joint military operation at eastern Paktika province.

NATO-led International Security Assistance Force following a statement on Thursday announced fghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban leader during an operation in Zurmat district, Paktika province.

The statement further added, the leader who is an explosives expert, planned and conducted roadside bombings, suicide attacks and indirect fire attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. He also owned an electronics shop where he held Taliban meetings and built remote-detonated improvised explosive devices.

The security force detained one additional insurgent and recovered several IED components as a result of this operation, ISAF added.

In a separate military operationg Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during a 10-day operation that ended Sunday in Khake Safayd district, Farah province. During the operation, the combined force searched a suspicious location and detained the suspected insurgents without incident.

The force also recovered 21 IEDs, four rocket-propelled grenades, one mortar, seven AK-47 rifles, one machine gun, more than 8 pounds (4 kilograms) of opium and 30 motorbikes during a subsequent search of the area. The suspected insurgents were taken in for questioning and the weapons cache was destroyed.

Anti-government armed militant groups yet to comment regarding the reports.

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Nigeria: JTF Uncovers Terrorists Hideout in Kogi

A Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising Police, State Security Service (SSS), Navy, Air-force and Army recorded a major breakthrough Wednesday in Kogi State as a key hideout of terrorists was discovered and dismantled with different kinds of dangerous items recovered.

The state Director of SSS, Mr. Mike Funbara, said the discovery was a "turning point in the security situation in the state," adding that security operatives had been able to get to the root of crime perpetration in the state.

He added that: "It is now clear that there is a terrorist group in the state but we are dismantling all their arsenals."

While briefing journalists on the discovery, Funbara said the command was able to recover 14 locally made hand grenades, eight anti-tank improvised explosive devices (IEDs), one firing cable, three 9 volts power sources, ten AK 47 rifles, two revolver pistols, one bareta pistol, one sub machine gun, one SMG magazine, 545 live ammunition, 55 rounds of 9mm ammunition for pistols, four bondalia bags for carrying magazines, a Nissan Pathfinder with registration number Lagos LF 98 AAA and 57 empty magazines among items recovered from the hideout.

He however urged the Federal Government to redeploy capable hands to the state in order to assist in the protection of lives and property. "The combination of the agencies has hit the bull's eyes. We have the details of their whereabouts and we will continue to go after them. The intelligence we are getting in the state is as clean as a whistle," he assured.

Though details of causalities on both sides and the number of arrest made were not made public due to security reasons, the leader of the operation, Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi, said the hideout was located in Okenwen, a border town between Kogi and Edo States where items recovered were said to have been dug out from the ground where they were buried.

Olorunyomi noted that the cache of arms recovered during the operation was capable of wrecking significant proportion of havoc on the state except for the timely intervention of the security agents, which he said was made possible by intelligence reports coming from the public.

He therefore urged the people to continue to collaborate with security agencies in the state by giving prompt and reliable information about criminals, in the quest to ensure that criminals are stamped out in the state.

from thisday
By Shola Oyeyipo
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Pakistani Taliban releases video of Bannu jailbreak


The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan released a propaganda video that details the April 15 jailbreak in Bannu that freed 384 prisoners, including an estimated 200 Taliban members and an al Qaeda-linked terrorist who attempted to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf. Two of the top leaders of he Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, who are often reported to be at odds with each other, are shown organizing the attack and mustering more than 150 fighters.

The 34-minute-long video, which was produced by Umar Studio, the propaganda arm of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, was originally being sold in bazaars in North and South Waziristan, according to the International News Network. The videotape was then published in three parts on YouTube by the Khyber News Channel (see parts 1, 2 and 3).

Hakeemullah Mehsud (right) as he organized the attack on a prison in Bannu.

Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the group's leader in South Waziristan both appear in the video. Both men give speeches, and Hakeemullah vows to fight the Pakistan government and military to "the last bullet and the last man." Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman are routinely reported to be in violent opposition to each other, and were even wrongly reported to have killed each other during a shura meeting in August 2009 to select Baitullah Mehsud's successor.

In the video, both Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman are shown directing an estimated 150 fighters who are gathering to conduct the attack. The Taliban leaders are organizing the large Taliban group in the daylight out in the open. The location of the meeting place is not clear.

The Taliban appear to have had good intelligence on the layout of the Bannu prison. A Taliban leader, whose face is digitally blurred, uses a detailed hand-drawn map to brief the Taliban commanders and fighters on the plan of attack.

The fighters are then shown eating and praying before being put into vans and driven to the Bannu prison. The tape shows the nighttime assault as the Taliban attack the prison with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine-guns, and assault rifles. The Taliban are then shown opening the jail cells and releasing the prisoners.

The video then shows interviews of the freed commanders and prisoners. Adnan Rasheed, a Pakistani terrorist who was involved in the Dec. 14, 2003 assassination attempt against then-President Pervez Musharraf and has been sentenced to death, was among those interviewed. Rasheed was a member of the Pakistani Air Force and has been sentenced to death for his role.

Rasheed worked for Amjad Farooqi, the Pakistani terrorist who engineered the two assassination attempts against Musharraf in December 2003 at the behest of al Qaeda leader Abu Faraj al Libi; Farooqi is suspected of involvement in other terror attacks as well. Farooqi was a member of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan; the Harkat-ul-Ansar and its successor, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen; Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami; and Jaish-e-Mohammed. He served as a close aide to Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. Farooqi also served as the group's representative to al Qaeda's International Islamic Front.

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Afghan special force seize 1 ton explosives in Baghlan

According to local authorities in northern Baghlan province Afghan special forces discovered and seized more than 1 ton of explosives and various weapons and ammunitions following a military operation in this province.

Commander of 124 Afghan national army special forces in northern Baghlan province said Afghan special forces following a military operation at Jangal Bagh village discovered and seized at least 1 ton explosives and various other weapons and ammunitions.

He also said the weapons cache include heavy machine guns, mortars, RPG rocket launchers and other machine guns.

The weapons and explosives were seized in central Baghlan district and Afghan security forces detained a suspected militant in this regard.

Anti-government armed militant groups yet to comment regarding the report.

Report by Ajmal Omeri, Baghlan province.

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

KABUL, Afghanistan (May 17) — An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Haqqani leader in Jaji district, Paktiya province, today.

As the security force approached the leader’s suspected compound, Afghan soldiers conducted a call out asking those inside to exit the building. Insurgents inside opened fire on the security force while another group of insurgents moved outside the compound and also engaged the force with small arms fire.

The Afghan and coalition troops returned fire and called for close air support.

Following the engagement, the security force conducted a follow-on assessment and determined that multiple insurgents were killed and no civilians were harmed. The security force detained several additional insurgents and recovered multiple weapons and grenades.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

An Afghan and coalition security force confirmed that one of multiple insurgents detained during an operation on Tuesday in Aliabad district, Kunduz province, is a Taliban leader. The leader planned and organized roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He also provided weapons and ammunition to insurgents in the area and attempted to recruit new fighters from throughout the province.

In Dand district, Kandahar province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban facilitator today. The facilitator distributes weapons and ammunition to insurgents for attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. He is also suspected in a plot to infiltrate Afghan National Security Forces. Multiple suspected insurgents were detained.

An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban leader in Nad ‘Ali district, Helmand province, today. The leader conducts roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition troops throughout Marjeh. He also supplies weapons, ammunition and explosives to the insurgents under his control. Several suspected insurgents were detained during the operation.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during a routine patrol in Nawah-ye Barakzai district, Helmand province, yesterday. The cache contained more than 2,480 pounds (1,130 kilograms) of opium. A portion of the cache was confiscated for analysis and the remainder was destroyed on-site without incident.

In Zurmat district, Paktika province, an Afghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban leader during an operation today. The leader, who is an explosives expert, planned and conducted roadside bombings, suicide attacks and indirect fire attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. He also owned an electronics shop where he held Taliban meetings and built remote-detonated improvised explosive devices. The security force detained one additional insurgent and recovered several IED components as a result of this operation.

Finally, a combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during a 10-day operation that ended Sunday in Khake Safayd district, Farah province. During the operation, the combined force searched a suspicious location and detained the suspected insurgents without incident. The force also recovered 21 IEDs, four rocket-propelled grenades, one mortar, seven AK-47 rifles, one machine gun, more than 8 pounds (4 kilograms) of opium and 30 motorbikes during a subsequent search of the area. The suspected insurgents were taken in for questioning and the weapons cache was destroyed.
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7 people killed following suicide blast & clashes in Farah

According to local authorities in western Farah province, a number of armed gunmen on Thursday morning attacked the provincial governor compound in this province.

The officials further added the incident took place around 10:30 am local time after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the governor’s compound.

Provincial police chief for western Farah province Shams-ul-Rahman Zahir said a number of gunmen managed to enter the provincial building and are resisting the Afghan security forces.

In the a spokesman for the Afghan police forces in western regions of the country Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said the clashes between Afghan security forces and armed insurgents ended after 2 hours, leaving at least 7 people dead including 6 Afghan police and 1 Afghan civilian.

Mr. Ahmadi further added, provincial governor for western Farah province was also in the compound during the incident but however he survived the incident unharmed.

Provincial public health hospital officials in Farah province said at least 9 people including 2 women and three Afghan police who were injured following the incident have been taken to the hospital so far.

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

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