Friday, May 25, 2012

Car bomb blast kills 12 in northern Yemen

A suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden car killed at least 12 people and injured many more 

Sana'a: A suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden car killed at least 12 people and injured many more on Friday in Shia-held province of Jawaf, northern Yemen, hours after another suicide bomber failed to reach a Shiite protest in the same province, ministry of defense said.

The news website of the ministry reported that a woman and child were among the dead as the suicide bomber targeted a rally of Shiite rebels in the province bomber.

Earlier on Friday, a man wearing IED belt killed himself after failing to detonate himself inside the same protest, Huthi a rebels who control many province in the north of the country said.

In statement, the rebels said that a brainwashed suicide bomber sent by the US and Israel blew himself up in protest in order to stop them protesting against the "policies of injustice and tyranny."

The rebels protests was part of nation-wide protests that forced the former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave office in November last year.

from GulfNews
By Saeed Al Batati, Correspondent
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Deadly 'suicide bomb' outside Turkish police station

A policeman has been killed in a suspected suicide bombing outside a police station in the central Turkish province of Kayseri.

Two attackers, who also died, tried to ram a car into the building in the town of Pinarbasi, Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said.

A bomb in the vehicle went off shortly after clashes with security guards.

Ten civilians and another police officer were also injured, some seriously, Mr Sahin added.

Some of the people who were hurt were the children of officers staying in nearby police lodgings, he said.

He also described how the car had earlier sped through a police check point 90km (55 miles) away in neighbouring Kahramanmaras province, ignoring police calls to stop.

Television footage showed frantic scenes outside the police station, with fire engines and ambulances on site. Local media described an exchange of gunfire just before the bomb exploded.

It is not clear if the device was detonated deliberately or as a result of the shooting.

Hasan Gumus, a civil servant who was working near the scene, said he and his colleagues had heard a "huge blast".

"We saw a big cloud of smoke rising," he told Reuters news agency.

Kayseri province is in the centre of Turkey, about 325km from the capital, Ankara.

Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing. But in an apparent reference to the separatist Kurdish PKK movement, Mr Sahin said: "The crazy attacks of the terrorist organization are continuing."

Clashes between the PKK and the Turkish armed forces have increased in south-eastern Turkey over the past year, and the PKK has in the past carried out bombings in other parts of the country.

In September a powerful bomb in Ankara killed three people and wounded 15. That blast was blamed on the PKK.

from BBC

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R.I.P. - 2nd Lt. Travis A. Morgado

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            2nd Lt. Travis A. Morgado, 25, of San Jose, Calif., died May 23 in Zharay, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his patrol with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

            For more information the media may contact the Joint Base Lewis-McChord public affairs office at 253-967-0152 or 0148.

2nd Lt. Travis A. Morgado, 25, of San Jose was killed in Afghanistan in May 2012 by an improvised explosive device. This photo was taken by family members at a party held before he left for the Army. Courtesy of Andrea Velasquez Kessler
from mercurynews
By Eric Kurhi:

Growing up, Army 2nd Lt. Travis A. Morgado often traveled from his mother's home in Washington state to spend summers with his father in San Jose. But this time, it was his father's turn to make a journey, a painful one, to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware -- to wait for his son's body.
Morgado, 25, was killed Wednesday by a roadside bomb in the Zhari district of Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his patrol.
Speaking tearfully from her Washington home, Morgado's mother, Andrea Kessler, said she had last spoken to her son just before Mother's Day. He told her they were going on a few patrols that could be dangerous and tense at times. Since then, they had swapped emails, as recently as Tuesday.
"We were just saying silly stuff, you know," said Kessler, who is remarried.
Kessler found out about her son's death when two soldiers showed up at her front door Wednesday.
"It was the most horrible sight I have ever seen," she said. "How could you not know why they were there?"
Kessler said Morgado's father, Joe, on Thursday was waiting for her son's body to be flown in. She said Morgado had large, loving families in both Washington and San Jose, where he spent his first five years.
"We all get along and like each other," Kessler said.
According to the Defense Department, Morgado was slain while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Though Morgado earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of
Washington, he decided to enlist in the military because he was eager to help people by giving "back something to his country," his mother said. "He said he felt like he was so lucky and so many people weren't," Kessler said. "He wanted to do something to help, to contribute."
She said he excelled on the Army track, and completed Officer Candidate School, Army Airborne School and the course to become a Ranger. Morgado's tour in Afghanistan was his first deployment. He was attached to a battalion with the 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
"Then he went there on March 20, seven days before his 25th birthday," she said. "Just two months he was there."
At her home on Thursday, where Morgado grew up, Kessler was surrounded by Morgado's many friends.
"People are telling stories, remembering him, crying, looking at photo albums," she said. "They're talking about how they would get together and play basketball tournaments. They would have games, all their friends would come to play right here at the local park.
"He was just the best person growing up," she said. "He was growing up to be such a good person."
In addition to his parents, Morgado is survived by his younger brothers Eric, 24, and Carlos, 22, as well as a stepbrother and two stepsisters.
"He was the oldest," Kessler said. "Everybody loved him and looked up to him."

from lakewoodpatch:

(Editor's note: This comes from the Department of Defense and Joint Base Lewis-McChord)

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Second Lt. Travis A. Morgado, 25, of San Jose, CA, died May 23 in Zharay, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his patrol with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.
According to unit records, 2nd Lt. Morgado entered the Army in November 2010, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) in May 2011. Following OCS, 2nd Lt. Morgado went on to attend the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Benning, Ga., as well as the U.S. Army Airborne School, and the Ranger Course.
He was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in March 2012, and upon arrival 2nd Lt. Morgado was assigned to 5-20 Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. The unit deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December. This was 2nd Lt. Morgado’s first deployment.
2nd Lt. Morgado’s civilian and military education includes two years of college, and the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course (2011), U.S. Army Airborne School (2011), and the Ranger Course (2011).
His awards and decorations include National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.
On behalf of the entire Joint Base Lewis-McChord military and civilian community, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of 2nd Lt. Morgado.

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49 al-Qaida militants killed in fighting with Yemeni troops

ADEN, Yemen, May 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of 49 al-Qaida militants were killed in fighting with Yemeni troops on Thursday in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a local military official said.

Government troops shelled al-Qaida militants in Abyan and managed to foil their attack against an army base west of the terrorists' stronghold at Abyan's second largest town of Jaar, leaving at least 49 terrorists killed and dozens of others injured, the local military official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Fierce fighting lasted for several hours after the al-Qaida attack, the official said, adding that air force planes had bombed militant positions in the mountain regions in Jaar town, where smoke could be seen rising.

Shelling on Jaar began Wednesday night and was intensified on Thursday afternoon, residents said.

In recent weeks, the Yemeni armed forces, with the support of U. S. military advisers, have attacked several bastions of the Yemen- based al-Qaida branch in Abyan province.

Hundreds of al-Qaida militants have built up main strongholds in the mountains in Abyan and Shabwa provinces since last year.

Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, who took office in February, pledged that large-scale attacks would continue to strike al-Qaida bastions "until we have eradicated their presence in every village."

Government troops fighting al-Qaida militants have gained ground in current battles and advanced towards al-Qaida strongholds in Abyan, the Yemeni military said.

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Police commander killed in Uruzgan blast

TRINIKOT (PAN): Two policemen, including a commander killed in mine explosion in central Urozgan province on Friday morning, an official said.

Farid Aayel, a spokesman of provincial police headquarters told Pajhwok Afghan News that the incident took place in Khwaja Ahmad area of provincial capital Trinikot city while a commander of a police post and his bodyguard were killed in the attack.

Police vehicle was also destroyed in the incident, Aayel added.

No one has claim responsibility for the attack so far but Taliban have said they had carried out attack on security forces on Thursday in Darwishan area of the city. Two vehicles were destroyed and a number of policemen were killed in Thursday’s attack, Taliban claimed, but security officials have denied it.

from Pajhwok

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ISAF captures IMU facilitator in northeastern Afghanistan

file photo

Coalition and Afghan special operations forces captured an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) facilitator during a raid today in Badakhshan province. The raid took place just one day after two foreign and two Afghan aid workers were among five people kidnapped in the province.

The combined special operations team captured the IMU facilitator and "several other insurgents" during a raid in Badakhshan's Argo district, the International Security Assistance Force stated in press release. ISAF said 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."

Students in the province are protesting the raid, and claimed that their fellow classmates as well as teachers were among those detained, according to Pajhwok Afghan News.

Today's raid occurred just one day after two female foreign aid workers, whose nationalities have not been reported, and three Afghan males, including two aid workers, were kidnapped in the same province. The aid workers are employed by Medair, a Swiss relief agency, according to Reuters.

ISAF has conducted four raids against the IMU in Badakhshan since September 2011, and another in August 2010 that targeted a Taliban operative who aided "foreign fighters," according to ISAF press releases compiled by The Long War Journal. The IMU is known to have a presence in the districts of Argo, Faizabad, and Kishim.

The IMU continues to maintain a close working relationship with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Haqqani Network. The Pakistan-based terror group has integrated into the Taliban's shadow government in the north, and conducts operations with the Haqqani Network in the east. In addition, the IMU has been involved in several high-profile suicide attacks and assassinations in Kabul and in the north.

ISAF has stepped up its targeting of the IMU's leadership cadre over the past several months. Coalition and Afghan commandos have targeted top IMU leaders and associates in 18 raids in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Faryab, Kunduz, Takhar, Logar, and Wardak provinces since Jan. 29. Two of those raids have taken place this month, nine occurred in April, and four in March. In the course of those raids, special operations forces have killed the IMU's past two commanders for Afghanistan; the raids have also resulted in the capture of three senior facilitators and the death of another.

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