Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Three smugglers killed and arrested in Nimroz province by ANP

Districts of Nimruz.
Districts of Nimruz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Publish Date: Jun 13, 2012

Three smugglers killed and arrested in Nimroz province

As a result of conflict between Afghan National Police and smugglers in the Jahanum region, Chahar Borjak District of southwestern Nimroz province, yesterday.

During the conflict, one smuggler was killed and two others were wounded and arrested.

Also, during this conflict, Afghan National Police confiscated 716 kilograms of opium, 24 kilograms of heroin and one vehicle.

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North Waziristan drone strike kills 4 'militants'

The US launched the first Predator drone strike in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan since al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al Libi was killed there in an attack nine days ago.

Today's strike, which was carried out by the unmanned Predators or the more deadly Reapers, targeted a vehicle in the village of Isha near Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan, according to AFP. The drones fired two missiles at the vehicle, killing four "militants," The Associated Press reported.

The target of the strike has not been disclosed, and at this time no senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders are reported to have been killed.

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 town serves as one of the "ground zeros" of terror groups based in North Waziristan, the US intelligence official told The Long War Journal. Other main centers of terror activity in North Waziristan include Datta Khel, Mir Ali, and the Shawal Valley.

The Haqqani Network is one of four major Taliban groups that have 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.

Today's strike is the first since June 4, when the US killed Abu Yahya al Libi, one of al Qaeda's top leaders, propagandists, and religious figures. Abu Yahya was killed in a strike on a compound in Mir Ali. Uzbek, Tajik, and Turkmen fighters belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were reportedly among the 14 terrorists killed along with Abu Yahya.

Yesterday, al Qaeda released a video of Abu Yahya that was produced sometime after November 2011. The video, which appears to have been taped long ago, addressed the Syrian revolution. Abu Yahya did not address reports of his death in the video.

As Sahab, which released the video on jihadist forums, used the term "may Allah protect him" when referring to Abu Yahya. This term is used for leaders who are alive; al Qaeda will say "may Allah have on mercy him" when referring to a leader who is dead. However, in the past, al Qaeda has released a video of a senior leader after he was killed but before his official martyrdom statement was released. This happened with Atiyah Abd al Rahman, Abu Yahya's predecessor. [See Threat Matrix reports, As Sahab releases video of Abu Yahya al Libi, and Al Qaeda suggests Abu Yahya al Libi is alive, promises video, for more details.]

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16 armed insurgents killed and 14 others arrested by ANP

Publish Date: Jun 13, 2012

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

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched seven joint clearance operations in Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand, Nimroz and Zabul provinces.

As a result of these operations, 16 armed insurgents were killed and 14 others were arrested by Afghan National Police.
Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated 1482 kilograms of opium, 17 AK-47 assault rifles with 21 magazines, one rocket launcher, one PKM machine gun, 13 different types of mines, two hand grenades, 1900 light rounds, 11 heavy rounds, three radio handsets, 11 motorcycle and two vehicles.

During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused three anti-vehicle mines and two mortar rounds as a result of security operations in Kabul, Uruzgan and Daikundi provinces.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained five individuals accused of theft and assault in the 7th and 17th Districts of Kabul-City.

In the meantime, Afghan National Border Police arrested a man accused of using fake passport in the Kabul International Airport.
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U.S. drone bombs al-Qaida bastions in southeast Yemen, 10 killed

ADEN, Yemen, June 13 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 members of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch were killed when U.S. drones hit their bastions in Yemen's southeastern province of Shabwa early Wednesday, a security official told Xinhua.

The U.S. drones carried out two air strikes on bastions and checkpoints of al-Qaida militants in the insurgents-controlled town of Azzan in Shabwa province, killing at least 10 terrorists, the local security official said on condition of anonymity.

"High-ranking commanders of the al-Qaida group believed to have been killed in the air strikes," the security official said.

from Xinhua
2012-06-13 15:18:42

UPDATE from LWJ by Bill Roggio:

The US launched an airstrike against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters who have fled the two major strongholds in southern Yemen.
The unmanned Predators or Reapers fired missiles at a compound and a vehicle in the town of Azzan in Shabwa province earlier today, AFP and The Associated Press reported. Nine fighters were killed in the strike.
The exact target of the strike is unclear. No senior AQAP leaders or operatives are reported to have been killed in the strike.
Today's drone strike took place one day after the Yemeni Army liberated Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan province, and Jaar. The two cities have been under AQAP control for more than a year. AQAP fighters are reportedly regrouping in Azzan in Shabwa province, and the Yemeni military is pursuing the AQAP force.

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Civilians killed and injured following explosion in Paktiya

According to local authorities in eastern Paktiya province at least 21 Afghan civilians were killed or injured following an explosion in this province.

The officials further added the incident took place on late Tuesday evening at Gardiz city near the branch of Kabul Bank.

An official at the provincial hospital said at least 1 person was killed and 20 others were injured following the explosion and were taken to the hospital for the treatment purposes.

He also said at least 4 civilians who were injured during the explosion were in a critical condition, and two others who were seriously injured were taken to capital Kabul for treatment.

In the meantime provincial security officials said one Afghan civilian was killed and four others were injured.

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

By Sajad - Wed Jun 13, 11:57 am
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Iraq attacks kill at least 53, pilgrims targeted

(Reuters) - Bombings and shootings targeting Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in Baghdad and police across Iraq killed at least 53 people on Wednesday in apparently coordinated attacks during a major religious festival.

from Reuters,

BAGHDAD | Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:00am BST

photos here from Reuters

Violence in Iraq has eased since the height of the war, but Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda are still potent, often targeting Shi'ite pilgrims to try to reignite the sectarian tensions that drove Iraq close to civil war in 2006-2007.

In Wednesday's attacks, at least 18 people were killed when four bombs hit pilgrims across Baghdad as they gathered to mark the anniversary of the death of Shi'ite imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of Prophet Mohammad.

One of those blasts killed at least nine people as pilgrims passed through a police checkpoint in central Baghdad.

"A group of pilgrims were walking and passed by a tent offering food and drinks when suddenly a car exploded near them," said Wathiq Muhana, a policeman whose patrol was stationed near the blast in Karrada district.

"People were running away covered with blood and bodies were scattered on the ground," he said.

Extra security and checkpoints have been in place this week as thousands of pilgrims arrive in Baghdad to meet at a shrine in the capital's northern Kadhimiyah district for the Shi'ite religious festival.

In a separate attack on Wednesday in the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Hilla, police said two car bombs, including one detonated by a suicide bomber, exploded outside restaurants used by security forces, killing 22 people and wounding 38.

"When a minibus packed with policemen stopped near the restaurants, a car exploded near the bus," said Maitham Sahib, owner of a restaurant in Hilla near the blast. "It's heart breaking. It is just sirens, and screams of wounded people."


Two more car bombs killed four people in the Shi'ite city of Balad, a car bomb in Kerbala killed 3 and wounded 17, and another car bomb in Haswa, 50 km (30 miles) south of Baghdad, killed one person, and wounded four.

Five soldiers were also killed by gunmen in an attack on an army checkpoint in the south of the capital, police said.

Wednesday's attacks came at a sensitive time.

On Sunday, at least six people were killed and 38 wounded when two mortar bombs struck a square packed with Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in Baghdad's Kadhimiyah district.

Earlier this month, 26 people were killed and more than 190 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-rigged car outside a Shi'ite religious office in the capital.

Al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack on the religious office.

Political tensions have been high in Iraq since the last American troops left in December, with the fragile government - split among Sunni-backed, Shi'ite and ethnic Kurdish blocs - feuding over their power-sharing accord.

Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is fending off attempts by Sunni, Kurdish and some Shi'ite rivals to organize a vote of no confidence against him. Critics accuse him of trying to consolidate his position and failing to fulfil promises to share power among the blocs.

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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R.I.P. - Pfc. Nathan T. Davis

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

            Pfc. Nathan T. Davis, 20, Yucaipa, Calif., died June 9, in Tore Obeh, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when his vehicle was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device.

            Davis was assigned to the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

            For more information related to this release, the media may contact the U.S. Army Alaska public affairs office at 907-384-1542.

A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson paratrooper died Saturday from injuries he sustained in Afghanistanwhen his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device. Three other soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

U.S. ArmyAlaska spokesperson Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll says Pfc. Nathan Tyler Davis, 20, was driving a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle that was hit in the city of Tore Obeh, in Afghanistan’s Khowst province.

Davis, of Yucaipa, Calif., served as an infantryman with the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

Davis joined the Army in 2010 and completed basic training, Advanced Individual Training, and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Ga. before arriving in Alaska in February 2011. Afghanistan was his first deployment.

The names of the injured soldiers were not released, in accordance with Department of Defense policy.

Davis’s next of kin have been notified.

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska, 2011 – Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Silvernale,
platoon sergeant, uses the combat net radio from Pvt. Nathan Davis, left, May 12,
both are of the Comanche Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment (Airborne).
The Soldiers took part in air assault training where UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters took
them into a section of Alaska’s Chugach Range
and they were tasked with engaging an opposing force.

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R.I.P. - Spc. Bryant J. Luxmore

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

            Spc. Bryant J. Luxmore, 25, New Windsor, Ill., died June 10, in Panjwai, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when he encountered enemy, small arms fire.

            Luxmore was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

            For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 3rd Infantry Division public affairs at 912-435-9869 or 912-435-9876.


The Third Infantry Division has confirmed the death of Spc. Bryant J. Luxmore from New Windsor, Ill., during combat operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Luxmore, 25, was assigned to Bravo Company, 1-64th Armor Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team and deployed in March 2012 for a nine-month deployment. Sunday, Luxmore and his fellow Soldiers were on a dismounted patrol with Afghan National Security Forces near Panjwai, Afghanistan when they came under enemy fire and he sustained a fatal gunshot wound, according to a 3rd ID spokesman.

Luxmore, an infantryman, had been in the Army for 14 months and is survived by his wife and stepson. This was Luxmore’s first deployment. Luxmore is posthumously promoted to corporal, awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge.

The 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, consisting of approximately 700 soldiers is conducting counter-insurgency operations and training Afghanistan National Security Forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Chaplain support and family assistance have been extended to the soldier’s family.
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