Thursday, May 24, 2012

One dead, five wounded in S. Philippines grenade blast

Map of the Philippines with Zamboanga Sibugay ...
Map of the Philippines with Zamboanga Sibugay highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
COTABATO, Philippines, May 24 (Xinhua) -- A grenade attack staged by an unknown man on Wednesday night left one dead and five others wounded in the restive southern Philippines, local police said on Thursday.

Senior Supt. Ruben Cariaga, police commander of Southern Philippine province of Zamboanga Sibugay, said Thursday that a man tossed a grenade into a crowd of villagers in the township of Imelda on Wednesday night, which left one dead and five other civilians injured who were rushed to the hospital.

"We are still investigating the motive as well the personalities behind the blast," he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast yet, but the police suspected that members of the Special Operations Group, a rogue faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were responsible for it.

The 12,000-strong MILF is the largest separatist rebel group which seeks to separate Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines and establish an Islamic state in the region.
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2 Afghan police killed following suicide blast in Helmand

According to local authorities in southern Helmand province at least 2 Afghan national police forces were killed following a suicide bomb blast in this province.

Provincial security chief spokesman Farid Farhang confirming the report said the incident took place around 10 am local time at Musa Qala district.

Mr. Farhang further added the incident took place after a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle detonated his explosives.

He also said at least 2 Afghan national police forces were killed however Afghan civilians did not suffer any casualties following the explosion.

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

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4 militants blown up by own explosives

Sangcharak District in Sar-e Pol Province.
Sangcharak District in Sar-e Pol Province. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SAR-I-PUL CITY (PAN): Four mine planters were killed after the explosives they were trying to plant went off prematurely in the Kohistanat district of northern Sar-i-Pul province, an official said on Thursday.

The four were killed in the Kala Khana area of the district on Wednesday night, police spokesman Lt. Sulaiman told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Local police commander Farooq acknowledged the incident and said the individuals belonged to the Mullah Shafiqullah group -- the Taliban-designated district chief.

Local resident Mohammad Juma said: “We heard an explosion at about 8 pm."  Taliban are yet to comment on the incident.

from Pajhwok

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17 Taliban rebels killed, 54 detained in Afghan raids

KABUL, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Up to 17 Taliban insurgents have been killed and 54 others detained as Afghan forces and NATO-led coalition troops launched military operations in different provinces within the past 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

"Afghan police, army and international coalition forces launched nine cleanup operations in nine provinces, killing 17 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 54 other suspected insurgents over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement providing daily operational updates to media.

The joint forces also found and seized weapons including 10 AK- 47 guns besides defusing six anti-vehicles mines and discovering explosive materials, the statement said without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces.

They also confiscated six motorcycles which have been used by insurgents, it said.

However, the Taliban insurgent group, which announced the launching of a spring offensive from May 3 against Afghan and NATO forces, has not to make comments yet.

Afghan forces and some 130,000 NATO-led coalition troops have recently intensified cleanup operations against Taliban and other militant groups throughout the country as spring and summer, known as "fighting season" draw near.

Over 800 insurgents have been killed and more than 1,450 others detained in the country so far this year, according to the figures released by the Afghan Interior Ministry.
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5 killed, 29 injured in attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 23 (Xinhua) -- A total of five people were killed, including three Lebanese Shiite pilgrims, and 29 others injured in separate gunfire and bomb attacks in eastern and central Iraq on Wednesday, the police said.

The deadliest attack occurred in Iraq's western province of Anbar when a roadside bomb struck a bus carrying Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, killing three pilgrims and wounding seven others, a source from Anbar's operations command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The bus came from the Syrian border in western Iraq and headed to the Shiite holy sites in central the country, the source said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, gunmen with their assault rifles opened fire against a bus carrying construction workers in an area located some 90 km of Baghdad, killing two workers aboard and injuring six others, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In a separate incident, four policemen were wounded when gunmen attacked their patrol in an intersection in northeastern of Diyala 's capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said.

Also in the province, a civilian was wounded when a roadside bomb went off near his house in a town some 17 km northwest of Baquba, the source added.

Meanwhile, seven people were wounded when a booby-trapped car detonated at a marketplace in the city of Samarra, some 110 km north of Baghdad, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

In addition, a roadside bomb detonated in al-Qadisiyah district in western Baghdad, wounding four civilians, an Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua.

Violence is still common in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease since its peak in 2006 and 2007 when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.

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US drones kill 10 in Mir Ali strike

The US launched another drone airstrike in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The strike is the second in two days.
The unmanned Predators or the more heavily armed Reapers fired a pair of missiles at a compound in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan in the middle of the night, Geo News reported. Pakistani intelligence officials said that 10 "militants" were killed in the strike, according to Reuters.

No senior al Qaeda, Taliban, or members of allied terrorist groups operating in the area have been reported killed in the strike. Mir Ali is known to host a variety of foreign and domestic Pakistani terror groups.

Today's strike in Mir Ali is the second in two days, and the third strike this month. The US launched the two latest strikes just one day after it failed to convince Pakistan at a NATO summit in Chicago to reopen the supply lines to Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the supply lines following the Mohmand incident in November 2011, in which US troops killed 24 Pakistani troops. The Pakistani soldiers were killed after they opened fire on US troops operating across the border in Kunar province, Afghanistan.
The US has carried out just 15 strikes so far this year. Three took place in South Waziristan, and 12 in North Waziristan. Eight of the strikes in North Waziristan have been executed in or around Miramshah, and two have been in Mir Ali.

The program has been scaled down from its peak in 2010, when the US conducted 117 strikes, according to data collected by The Long War Journal. In 2011, the US carried out just 64 strikes in Pakistan's border regions. With only 13 strikes in the first five months of 2012, the US is on a pace to carry out just 36 strikes in Pakistan this year.

The US has launched more strikes in Yemen (21) against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula than in Pakistan so far this year. The US only launched 10 airstrikes in Yemen in 2011, versus 64 in Pakistan last year.

Read more:


other sources:

The CIA’s drones returned to the attack for the second time in 24 hours, killing ten ‘suspected militants’ in an attack on a house, according to Pakistani intelligence officials. ‘The drone fired two missiles at the compound. We believe it was being used by militants,’ one official told Reuters. A number of civilians were seriously wounded when a nearby mosque was also struck during the attack, according to AFP. Associated Press’s sources said that ‘most of those killed were Uzbek insurgents,’ although KUNA reported tribal elders as saying that all of those killed were ‘innocent local tribesmen.’

Location: Khassokhel near Mir Ali, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, Reuters, KUNA, Pakistan Today, Associated Press, AFP, BBC

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8 Yemeni soldiers, 25 al-Qaida militants killed in Abyan

ADEN, Yemen, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Clashes broke out outside the al-Qaida stronghold of Abyan in Yemen's southern regions on Wednesday, leaving about eight government soldiers and 25 terrorists killed, a military official said.

The armed forces were advancing inside Zinjibar, Abyan's provincial capital, which has been under siege for about two weeks, and met with strong resistance from al-Qaida fighters, the local military official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Several army barracks of the 25th Mechanized Brigade and 201st Armored Brigade repelled two al-Qaida groups overnight in Zinjibar, he added.

"We captured three pick-up trucks full of ammunition and two anti-aircraft guns," the army commander said.

A military intelligence officer told Xinhua anonymously that " al-Qaida militants are trying to flee Zinjibar front after they suffered heavy losses in recent days."

On the eve of Yemen's National Day, the al-Qaida group launched a suicide bombing attack against a military parade in Yemen's capital of Sanaa, leaving at least 90 soldiers killed and more than 200 others injured, in retaliation for the U.S. backed offensive against its bastions in Abyan.

Yemen is struggling to combat rampant inflation of the Yemen- based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which has seized and controlled several cities in the south, exploiting security vacuum during last year's unrest.

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May 24., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – In Kajaki district, Helmand province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted a security operation Monday.

As a result of the operation, the Afghan and coalition security force discovered several narcotics production facilities and destroyed 1,410 kilograms (3,102 pounds) of poppy seed, 220 kilograms (484 pounds) of wet opium, 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of ammonium nitrate and drug production equipment.

During the operation, the security force was engaged by multiple insurgents. The force returned fire and killed several of the insurgents.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Argo district, Badakhshan province, an Afghan-led security force, supported by coalition troops, detained an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator and several other insurgents during an operation today. The IMU facilitator was responsible for acquiring and transporting explosive materials and improvised explosive devices for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces throughout the district.


In Shorabak district, Kandahar province, coalition forces discovered an improvised explosive cache consisting of 2,273 kilograms (5,000 pounds) of homemade explosives and several main charges today. All materials were destroyed on site without incident.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in Zharay district, Kandahar province, yesterday. During the operation the security force discovered an explosives cache that consisted of 12 IEDs, two mines and seven jugs filled with homemade explosives.


An Afghan and coalition security force detained a Haqqani leader during an operation in Jaji district, Paktiya province, today. The leader coordinated roadside bombings and indirect fire attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the district. He also provided weapons and IEDs to the insurgents under his control. During the operation, multiple armed insurgents engaged the security force. The security force returned fire and after determining there were no civilians in the area requested a precision airstrike. A follow-on assessment of the area determined several insurgents were killed, and there were no civilian injuries or damage to civilian property.

In Baraki Barak district, Logar province, an Afghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban facilitator and one other insurgent during an operation today. The facilitator supplied weapons, ammunition and equipment to insurgents for attacks against Afghan and coalition troops.

An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a Taliban leader in Wali Muhammad Shahid Khugyani district, Ghazni province, today. The leader plans and conducts roadside bombings against Afghan and coalition security forces along Highway 1. The security force detained several suspected insurgents as a result of this operation.

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May 23., 2012. - RC-East Operational Update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces killed six insurgents and detained 12 during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, May 23.

Logar province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces killed six insurgents during a small arms engagement in Pul-E Alam district. An assortment of small arms and a radio communication device were recovered from the insurgents.

Khowst province
ANA soldiers and coalition forces detained eight insurgents in Terezayi district. The detainees were taken to a base for questioning. ANA soldiers and coalition forces also detained four insurgents in Sabari district after finding three improvised explosive devises and four loaded AK-47s in their vehicle. The detainees were transferred to a nearby base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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