Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nigeria: Gunmen and suicide bomber attack churches on Sunday

Gunmen in Nigeria have attacked two churches during Sunday services, killing and wounding a number of worshippers.

Five gunmen opened fire in Biu in Borno state, killing one woman and injuring three other people.

In the central city of Jos, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church, causing a number of casualties.

No-one has admitted the latest attacks, but radical Islamic sect Boko Haram has targeted churches before.

One witness at the church in Biu said that "gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings", Reuters news agency reported.

"Many people have been killed and wounded," witness Hamidu Wakawa was quoted as saying.

Moments after the suicide bombing in Jos, Christian youths set up roadblocks and had to be dispersed by police, according to one witness.

"Angry youths have gone wild, even attempting to prevent the security personnel from getting to the scene of the incident. They had to force their way out by shooting in the air to disperse them," Emmanuel Davou was quotyed by Reuters as saying.

The explosion killed two worshippers and the suicide bomber, while wounding more than 40 others, a police officer was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

Boko Haram has carried out numerous attacks in northern Nigeria, killing hundreds of people since 2009.

The group - whose name means "No to Western education" - wants to impose Sharia law across Nigeria.

It has targeted churches, schools, police stations, and other government buildings.

The group has said it was behind the suicide bombing of a church last weekend which left at least 12 people dead in Bauchi City.

from BBC


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4 Taliban killed by their own IED in Paktika province

Districts of Paktika Province
Districts of Paktika Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Four Taliban terrorists killed in Paktika province
Publish Date: Jun 10, 2012

Four mine planters were killed by their own explosives while they attempted to plant an anti-vehicle mine in the main road of Babo Khil village, Jani Khil District of Paktika province, last night.

The mine planters’ bodies were lying at the scene.

Mines and Improvised Explosive Devices planted by insurgents are the number one killer of innocent civilians in Afghanistan.

Armed insurgents continue to completely disregard innocent civilian lives with their indiscriminate tactics.


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Somalia: Pirates Release Ship After Ransom Payment

MOGADISHU, Somalia Jun 7 2012 (Garowe Online) - A Greek owned vessel that was captured by pirates was released after the pirates reportedly took a ransom, Radio Garowe reports.

The MT Liquid Velvet was captured by Somali pirates last October as it traveled to India. The 22 member crew - 21 of whom are Filipino and 1 Greek - was released unharmed and are now heading to Oman.

Reportedly the pirates demanded 8 million dollars for the 17 year old Japanese built tanker. After prolonged negotiations sources say that the pirates settled for much less than there initial demand.

There were reports earlier this year that the vessel was used as mother-ship for pirate operations.

According to sources the vessel was being held in the Harardheere area and was moved along the coast periodically.

Some media outlets are reporting that the owners paid an 4 million dollar ransom for the vessel but those reports are unconfirmed as of yet.

Ships captured by pirates have declined in the year 2012 after the increased presence of international naval ships patrolling Somali waters.

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45 militants killed in Afghanistan within 24 hours

KABUL: At least 45 Taliban militants have been killed in operations carried out by Afghan and NATO-led troops, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

The forces launched 10 "clean-up" operations in Kabul, Laghman, Parwan, Helmand, Uruzgan and Farah provinces, in which, 33 militants were killed, Xinhua reported citing a ministry statement.

Six militants were injured and nine were captured during the raids. The statement, however, did not say if there were any casualties among the security forces.

Eight Taliban militants were killed in a special force operation in Bati Kot district of eastern Nangarhar province Saturday night, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial government.

Four militants were killed when an anti-tank mine blew up prematurely in Jani Khil district of Pakitka province, the ministry said.

According to figures released by the interior ministry, around 430 militants have been killed, 130 wounded and over 450 others detained since May 1.

from GEO.TV
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France to being troops pull out from Afghanistan in July

France will begin to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in July, French President Francois Hollande said Saturday afternoon. The pullout will be completed by the end of this year, Hollande said after four French soldiers were killed Saturday morning during an operation in eastern Afghanistan.

“This operation will begin in July, it will be put into place and completed by the end of 2012. Until then, everything should be done to make sure that our troops fulfil their obligations, but with the highest level of security and the utmost vigilance for the lives of our soldiers,” he said.

Hollande said France would pay a “national homage” to the men killed in a suicide bombing and that five wounded soldiers would be repatriated rapidly. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will head to Afghanistan Sunday.

The president promised to get those wounded repatriated quickly, saying that “a plane has already left and will ensure them back as soon as possible.” “I asked Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, accompanied by Chief of Staff of the Army, to go to Afghanistan tomorrow to show the nation’s support to our forces,” Hollande said.

Some 3,500 French soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan, mainly in Kabul and in Kapisa, the fifth largest contingent in NATO’s 130,000-strong US-led force.

Since January’s attack, France has begun accelerating the withdrawal of its troops, and French soldiers have been given instructions to minimise their exposure.

The four killed on Saturday were the first French soldiers to be lost in Afghanistan since January 20, when an Afghan soldier shot dead four unarmed soldiers and wounded 15 others.

By Khushnood Nabizada - Sun Jun 10, 12:05 pm
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R.I.P. - Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Kessler Jr.

DOD Identifies Navy Casualty

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

            Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Kessler Jr., 47, of Gulfport, Fla., was found deceased in his berthing compartment June 8 on board USS Enterprise (CVN 65).  He was assigned to Enterprise as a logistics specialist.  Enterprise is currently deployed to the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility conducting operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

            For further information related to this release, contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. Fifth Fleet Public Affairs at 011-973-1785-4027.

from TBO:
By HOWARD ALTMAN | The Tampa Tribune

A sailor from Gulfport was found dead in his berthing compartment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the Middle East on Friday morning, according to a ship spokeswoman.

Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Kessler, 47, was found dead in his compartment at 7 a.m. local time, according to Lt. Com. Sarah Self-Kyler.

The cause of death is under investigation, said Navy Lt. Greg Raelson.

"The Navy is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our shipmates," Raelson said. "Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family during this difficult time."

Kessler was the leading chief petty officer for the supply department and oversaw about 500 sailors, according to Self-Kyler.

He was in charge of making sure the Enterprise was fully stocked with food and supplies, said Self-Kyler.

"He was well known on the ship and very well liked by the sailors who reported to him and everyone else," she said.

Despite the death, morale on the ship is strong, said Self-Kyler.

"We are carrying on the way he would have wanted us to," she said.

Kessler joined the Navy in 1984 and has been on the Enterprise since April 2011.

The Enterprise is supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. About 4,800 sailors and Marines are aboard the Enterprise. 

Kessler received several awards during his time in the service:

Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (2), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achieve Medal (4), Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy "E" Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/Bronze Star, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal, Rifle Marksmanship, Pistol Marksmanship
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R.I.P. - Cpl. Anthony R. Servin

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

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

            Cpl. Anthony R. Servin, 22, of Moreno Valley, Calif., died June 8 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

            This incident is under investigation.

            For more information media may contact the 1st Marine Division Public Affairs Office at 760-725-8766.

Servin enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 19, 2008.

This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.

His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze star device, and the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.
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June 09., 2012. - RC-East Operational Update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces killed seven insurgents during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, June 9.

Nangarhar province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces killed seven insurgents during a small arms engagement in Bati Kot district.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

ISAF Regional Command East
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R.I.P. - Pfc. Brandon D. Goodine

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Pfc. Brandon D. Goodine, 20, of Luthersville, Ga., died June 7 in Maiwand, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

            For more information the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661/0662 or 910-813-3891.


McDonough, GA-  The parents of  Pfc. Brandon D. Goodine, 20, are in the process of bringing his body back to his home town for burial.

According to the Department of Defense, Goodine  died June 7 in Maiwand, Afghanistan of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

11Alive's Duffie Dixon met with some of Goodine's family members in McDonough Saturday afternoon.

His aunt, Denise Goodine Hock, said Brandon joined the Army so that his life would have a greater purpose.

"He had his daughter Katie at a young age.  She is three now and he wanted to make sure he made something of his life and of himself.  He has. He is a hero," said Goodine Hock.

Goodine's older brother, Christopher, enlisted with him.  He has been serving in Texas and said he talked to his brother just about a month ago.

"It was so good to hear his voice.  I was scared when he got sent over the Afghanistan, but also so proud of him.  I will miss him for the rest of my days," said Christopher Goodine.

Among others, Goodine leaves behind a wife and his daughter.
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Al-Qaida assassinates senior official in Yemeni capital

SANAA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida gunmen assassinated a senior Yemeni official in the capital of Sanaa, an official of the Interior Ministry told Xinhua on Saturday.

"Two al-Qaida gunmen on a motorbike intercepted the convoy of Sheikh Abdulrahem al-Humaikani on Friday afternoon on Khulan Street in the southern neighborhood of the location of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. Al-Humaikani was killed and several of his bodyguards were injured," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Sheikh al-Humaikani, a senior member of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's party, was a high-ranking security official and a member of the local council in the southeastern province of al- Bayda, where al-Qaida militants have strong presence.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi described the incident as a "terrorist act" in a letter of condolence to al-Humaikani's family, which was carried by the Defense Ministry's website.

The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, known locally as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) seized parts of al-Bayda's largest city of Radda, some 170 km southeast of Sanaa, in mid- January, but they left the town after reaching a deal with the central government.

Last month, a U.S. drone strike raided a convoy of al-Qaida local leaders in al-Bayda while they were travelling across Radda city. The al-Qaida leaders survived the airstrike but three of their bodyguards were killed.

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13 rebels killed in 24-hour operation: Afghan MoI

KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Interior said 13 insurgents were killed during joint operations by Afghan and coalition forces in six provinces in the last 24 hours.

The anti-militant operations were conducted by Afghan and foreign troops in Helmand, Zabul, Ghazni, Paktia, Herat and Farah provinces.

A ministry statement said a machine gun, two AK-47 assault rifles, along with eight magazines, 33 heavy shells, 325 bullets, 14 anti-vehicle mines, hand grenades, a vehicle and four motorbikes were also seized.

In southern Helmand, two land mine planters were killed after their concealed bomb went off in the Cestani area on the periphery of Marja district.

However, the Taliban claimed killing 10 policemen and Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers in several provinces.

Their spokesman, Qari Yosuf Ahmadi, said five policemen were killed during a clash in Zabul’s capital Qalat.

While, another Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, said five ANA soldiers were killed in the Khairkot district of Paktia, after their Ranger vehicle struck a roadside bomb.

Meanwhile, governor’s spokesman Farid Ayal told Pajhwok Afghan News that 11 Taliban fighters and a local policeman were killed during a six-hour clash that erupted on Friday in Khas Uruzgan district, in southern Uruzgan province.

But, Ahmadi rejected the claim and said a police commander was among the five killed in the clash.

On the other hand, a suspect allegedly killed four members of a family was arrested in Nimroz, while a man rescued from his kidnappers in northern Kunduz.

The suspect shot dead four people, including two women, along Khashrod-Zaranj highway, before fleeing with their stolen cash and two motorbikes with his friends.

During interrogation the individual confessed to his crime and his case had been referred to the General Attorney Office. 

In another crime -- a person kidnapped for ransom by unidentified gunmen was rescued on Friday during a security operation in Kunduz province.

The victim, a resident of Kabul was working for a non-government organization and was in the Imam Sahib district along with his family, said Syed Sarwar Hussaini, the provincial police spokesman.

from Pajhwok

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