Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2 Taliban group leaders killed in Parwan

Districts of Parwan.
Districts of Parwan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
CHARIKAR (PAN): Two Taliban group leaders were killed and their three accomplices were injured during an ongoing search operation in the Ghorband valley of central Parwan province on Tuesday, an official said.

The operation is jointly conducted by Afghan and international troops, deputy police chief, Col. Ziaur Rahman Fayed, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The offensive was underway in Wazghar, Qamchaq, Sayedan, Tikhan, Sardara and Yakhdara mountainous areas, he added.

The slain rebels leaders were identified as Mullah Abu-Bakar and Rah Din. They were killed at the start of the operation, the police official said.

The Siagird district chief Mohammad Syed Siddiqui said the killed commanders as prominent members of the Taliban movement. They were involved in attacks on Afghan and foreign troops, he added.

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the fighters blew up an Afghan army vehicle in the Ghorband valley and them attacked the troops, killing seven of them, a claim rejected by local officials.

from Pajhwok
by Farid Tanha on Jun 26, 2012 - 20:14

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US drone strike kills 5 'militants' in North Waziristan

The US launched its first drone strike in Pakistan in nearly two weeks in Pakistan's tribal areas today. The latest strike took place in an area of North Waziristan that is known to harbor al Qaeda fighters.

The remotely piloted Predators or the more heavily armed Reapers fired two missiles at a compound in the remote Shawal Valley, according to AFP. Five "militants" were killed in the strike, Pakistani officials told the news agency.

No senior al Qaeda, Taliban, or allied jihadist commanders are reported to have been killed in today's strike.

Al Qaeda, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Taliban fighters under the command of Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the leader of the Taliban in North Waziristan, are all known to operate in the Shawal Valley, which is near the border with Afghanistan.

Bahadar administers the Shawal Valley. In 2009, Bahadar sheltered the families of of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the group's leader in South Waziristan, after the Pakistani military launched an offensive in the Mehsud areas of South Waziristan [see LWJ report, Taliban escape South Waziristan operation].

Bahadar, Hakeemullah, South Waziristan Taliban commander Mullah Nazir, and Sirajuddin Haqqani of the Haqqani Network, are members of the Shura-e-Murakeba, an alliance formed in late 2011. The four commanders agreed to cease attacks against Pakistani security forces, refocus efforts against the US and NATO in Afghanistan, and end kidnappings and other criminal activities in the tribal areas.

The deal was brokered by senior al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al Libi as well as by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the operational leader of the Haqqani Network, and Mullah Mansour, a senior Taliban leader who operates in eastern Afghanistan. An al Qaeda leader known as Abdur Rehman Al Saudi was also involved in the negotiations. Mullah Omar, the overall leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is said to have dispatched Siraj and Mansour to help negotiate the agreement [see LWJ report, Al Qaeda brokers new anti-US Taliban alliance in Pakistan and Afghanistan].

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/06/us_drone_strike_kill_8.php#ixzz1ywCPrtBF
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Somalia: Govt, AU Forces Seize a Strategic Town in South From Al Shabab

Balad — Somali soldiers along with African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces have taken full control of Balad, a town in southern Somalia, all without firing a shot, Witnesses and Officials said on Tuesday.

General Abdullahi Anod, one of TFG army chiefs who spoke with Shabelle Media by phone said the successful offensive, launched by our forces in the early hours on Tuesday, has enabled them to secure Balad district, which lies 36 kilometers northeast Mogadishu.

The seizure of Balad town came after Al shabab militants, who had been in control of the town for the last three years, moved out hours before troops from Somali government backing by AMISOM forces with their battle wagons rolled into the town,according to the residents.

"We are at this moment 10 Kilometers away from Jowhar, the provincial capital of Middle Shabelle region after taking over Bal'ad this morning peacefully from the militants and we are planning to secure the entire region soon," added Mr. Anod.

No al shaabab official has said any word about the take over of Balad town by Somali and African Union peacekeeping troops.

from allAfrica

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R.I.P. - Lance Cpl. Niall W. Cotisears

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

            Lance Cpl. Niall W. Cotisears, 23, of Arlington, Va., died June 23 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

            For more information media may contact the Twentynine Palms Public Affairs Office at 760-830-6213.

no further information available yet...

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IMU suicide bomber detained in Takhar province

file photo
According to local authorities in north-eastern Takhar province, Afghan security forces detained a suicide bomber having connection with the Jendullah Group of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate for Security (NDS) following a statement said provincial NDS forces in Takhar province arrested a suicide bomber in cooperation with the local residents in this province.

The source further added the detained suicide bomber was recognized as Tokhtar son of Khal Mohammad and is a resident of Eshkamesh district of northern Takhar province.

NDS officials following the statement confirmed the detained suicide bomber has connections with the Jendullah Group of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

He was detained along with a suicide vest containing at least 6.5 kilograms of explosives, NDS officials said.

According to reports the detained suicide bomber was looking to carry out a suicide blast in Takhar province.

By Sajad - Tue Jun 26, 1:35 pm

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6 militants, 3 guards killed in Maidan Wardak

Map of Afghanistan with Maidan Wardak highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Maidan Wardak highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
MADAN SHAHR (PAN): Six Taliban militants and three private security guards were killed in separate incidents in the central province of Maidan Wardak, officials said on Tuesday.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) carried out an airstrike at about 2 am on four bomb planters trying to plant roadside mines -- killing two militants and two other fighters detained in Salaro in Syedabad district on Kabul-Kandahar highway, said the district chief  Dr. Fazal Karim Muslim.

Some hand grenades, 25 kg of explosives and equipments for planting mines were recovered from the militants, he said.

A Taliban group leader Zia-ur-Rahmad and their deputy commander Amir Gul were among the dead in the airstrike, he added.

Separately, three Taliban fighters were killed on Monday evening during a clash with private security guards in Qutari area in the district, said Muslim, adding that three trucks supplying foreign forces were also destroyed in the gun battle.

Three security guards were killed and a fourth wounded in another clash with Taliban fighters in Mullahkhel, in Narkh district, said the governor’s spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.

A Taliban fighter was also killed and another detained in the clash, he added.

from Pajhwok
by Hakim Basharat on Jun 26, 2012 - 11:58

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IED planters blown again in Bahglan

Afghanistan-Baghlan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Publish Date: Jun 26, 2012

Two mine planters killed and wounded in Baghlan province

One mine planter was killed and one other was wounded by their own explosives while they were making IEDs in the Joi Now village, 2nd District of Baghlan province, last night.

Afghan National Police arrested the wounded mine planter.

Also, Afghan National Police confiscated amount of chemical and explosives materials in the scene.
Armed insurgents continue to completely disregard innocent civilian lives with their indiscriminate tactics.

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33 armed insurgents killed and 12 others arrested by ANP

Publish Date: Jun 26, 2012
33 armed insurgents killed and 12 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 Helmand, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost and Paktiya provinces.

As a result of these operations, 33 armed insurgents were killed and 12 others were arrested by Afghan National Police.

Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated 10kg of opium, 10 AK-47 assault rifles with 46 magazines, two PKM machine guns, 14 different types of mines, 250 kilograms of explosive materials, two hand grenades, seven motorcycles and one vehicle.

During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused five anti-vehicle mines as a result of security operations in Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained seven individuals accused of theft, using fake banknotes and assault in the 4th, 5th, 9th and 11th Districts of Kabul-City.

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Taliban attack Pakistan's Aaj TV station in Karachi

The Pakistani Taliban says it carried out the attack on Monday night on a private television station in the southern port city of Karachi.
Two people were injured when gunmen on motorbikes fired at Aaj headquarters.

A Taliban spokesman told the BBC it was a response to critical comments by Aaj about the militants and its failure to accommodate Taliban views.

Correspondents say this is the Taliban's first direct attack against a media group.

The Pakistani Taliban admitted killing a journalist in the volatile region of Mohmand in January.

Nevertheless, Pakistan ranks as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

Witnesses say gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on the station' s offices in the busy Karachi neighbourhood of Gurumandir and then immediately fled the scene.

Both of those injured were reportedly employees of Aaj.

Aaj TV is a privately owned Urdu-language television station that covers national and international news.

from BBC

Karachi: The terror group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the firing attack which left 2 people injured including a security guard in Karachi.

By: Bilal Khan, Uploaded: 26th June 2012 (15 hours ago)

In a sadistic statement issued over the phonecall to Aaj News, the TTP spokesperson said, “It is stated that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan accept the attack on Media Channel Aaj TV for the firing attack”. The spokesperson for TTP further said that this was due to the reason that the Jihadi Movement event was not given full coverage and they will continue further attacks if proper coverages are not provided.

The dreadful incident rattled the media industry on Monday when Aaj TV office was targeted by four armed men who opened fire and fled the crime scene. The terrible incident resulted in two employees of the office being injured.

The incident marked another attack on media with several questions raised. The attacks have been condemned by the President and the Primeminister. Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, along with his condemnation, stated that proper measure would be taken to provide protection to media personnel within the country. The PM further ordered the apprehension of the miscreants by the earliest possible time.
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Twin bombings claim 14 lives in Iraq: Officials

BAGHDAD: Two bomb blasts nearly 150 kilometers apart killed 14 people Monday night, officials said, as Iraq’s death toll continued to climb in the second bloodiest month since US troops withdrew late last year.

Officials and experts fear the surge in violence may signal Iraq’s potential descent into a failed state, despite its oil wealth, billions of dollars in foreign aid and years of security assistance from the US.

“This is chaos,” lamented Fadhil Mohammed, who was passing a youth football field in the city of Hillah when an approaching minibus exploded, killing six people. “Police are unable even to secure a popular field that has nothing to do with political parties.”

A political crisis that has gripped Iraq since the day after the American military left in December has heightened sectarian tensions and potentially fueled some of the attacks.

Another 26 people were wounded in the blast in Hillah, about 100 kilometers south of Baghdad and three of them succumbed to their wounds later. Hillah is a mostly Shiite Muslim city just outside the so-called Triangle of Death, an area controlled by al Qaeda during the darkest days of the nation’s bloodshed in the last decade.

Police said a bomb was hidden on the minibus, which was carrying soccer players to evening games. A medic at Hillah Public Hospital confirmed the casualties.

An hour earlier, police said a bomb hidden in a plastic bag exploded outside a pet store in Baqouba, killing five people and wounding three.

Among the wounded were two policemen who were standing beside their car, which was parked nearby, and were hit by the blast’s aftershock.

Baqouba, 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, is the capital of Diyala province, one of the last areas in Iraq where al Qaeda and its allies remain a strong threat.

The province, sandwiched between Baghdad and Iran, is divided among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds and has been a sectarian and ethnic flashpoint for years.

A Diyala health directorate confirmed the deaths. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Together, the attacks bring Iraq’s death toll for June to at least 175. Only January suffered a higher casualty rate, with at least 255 killed in attacks that were widely seen as al Qaeda’s attempt to shock the country immediately after the last American troops left.    Violence has dropped dramatically in Iraq since the peak of the sectarian fighting in 2006-2008 that nearly brought the nation into civil war.

Experts believe the recent increase is the result of government divisions, weak Iraqi security and the absence of international forces, factors that that have emboldened militants.

from DAWN

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June 26., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

Kabul, Afghanistan – The Ghazni Provincial Response Company, supported by coalition forces, conducted an operation in Ab Band district, Ghazni province, Monday. During the operation the combined force discovered two cache locations containing chemicals, weapons and improvised explosive device components.

The first cache contained more than 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) of chemicals used in the production of home-made explosives.

The second cache included 120 IED electronic control devices, along with 30 anti-personnel mines and five IEDs each containing 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of HME. All materials were destroyed on site without incident.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a senior Taliban leader in Kajaki district, Helmand province, Monday. The leader plans, directs and executes attacks against Afghan and coalition forces throughout the region.

The security force detained several suspected insurgents as a result of this operation.


Afghan and coalition security forces conducted an operation in Waygal district, Nuristan province, Monday. During the operation, the security force identified the insurgent leader Musa, also known as Baitullah and Qalam. After positively identifying Musa among an armed group of insurgents, the security force engaged the group with a precision airstrike. The security force conducted a follow-on assessment, after the strike, and confirmed Musa had been killed along with numerous other insurgents. Musa was associated with both al-Qaida and Taliban forces operating in Waygal district. He coordinated insurgent activities and funneled money to them for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The airstrike did not harm any civilians or damage civilian property.

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June 25., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces killed seven insurgents, detained six and located a weapons cache during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, June 25.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Army and coalition forces detained one insurgent during an engagement in Andar district. The detained suspect was found with improvised explosive devise making materials. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Khowst province

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained one insurgent during an engagement in Khowst district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Logar province
Afghan National Police and coalition forces detained three insurgents during an engagement in Muhammad Aghah district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Paktika province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed four insurgents during a small arms engagement in Giyan district. Coalition forces also killed one insurgent during an engagement in Bermal district.

Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Gardez district. The cache contained small arms ammunition.

Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces detained one insurgent in Gardez district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Wardak province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed two insurgents during a small arms engagement in Sayyidabad district.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

ISAF Regional Command East
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Another 'good Taliban' commander ends polio vaccinations

South Waziristan Taliban leader Mullah Nazir [bottom-center]
by Bill Roggio - June 25, 2012 - LWJ

An influential Taliban leader in South Waziristan who is favored by the Pakistani military and government has become the third Taliban leader to order a halt to polio vaccinations in areas under his control.
Mullah Nazir, the leader of the Taliban in the Wazir tribal areas who is known to shelter top al Qaeda leaders, said the polio vaccination program is being used by the US to spy against terrorist groups and conduct drone strikes in the tribal areas.
"Polio and other foreign-funded vaccination drives in Wana sub division would not be allowed until US drone operations in the agency are stopped," a pamphlet issued by Nazir stated, according to Dawn.
"In the garb of these vaccination campaigns, the US and its allies are running their spying networks in FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Agencies] which has brought death and destruction on them in the form of drone strikes," the pamphlet continued.
Nazir referenced Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who aided the US in finding and killing Osama bin Laden. Afridi is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence for charges of supporting the Laskar-e-Islam, an Islamist terror group based in Khyber.
The pamphlet called Afridi a "traitor" and said his use of the vaccination program to find bin Laden was evidence that "infidel forces are using media, education, and development as a tool to gag Muslims."
Nazir's edict banning polio vaccinations is very similar to a decree issued by Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the leader of the Taliban in North Waziristan, who also shut down the anti-polio program in his tribal agency. In mid-June, Bahadar issued a statement that linked the polio vaccination program to drone strikes and Dr. Afridi, and said the program would not resume until the US air campaign ceased. [See LWJ report, 'Good' Taliban commander halts polio vaccinations over drone strikes.]
Both Nazir and Bahadar now follow in the footsteps of Mullah Fazlullah, the erratic commander of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan's faction in Swat, who has also ordered a ban on polio vaccinations. Fazlullah claimed that the anti-polio campaign was a Western plot to sterilize Muslims.
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R.I.P. - Pfc. Steven P. Stevens II

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

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

            Pfc. Steven P. Stevens II, 23, of Tallahassee, Fla., died June 22 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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


A 23-year-old U.S. Marine had yet to meet his infant son born after his deployment to Afghanistan when he died Friday.

Private First Class Steven Stevens grew up in Detroit and went to Afghanistan on March 21—just days before his son was born March 29, family members said.

“I’m sorry that he never got a chance to see his son,” said his grandmother Dorothy Atkins, 85. “I wish he could have had that blessing.”

The officers who told Stevens’ family about his death said the preliminary report showed he was hit with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade, said Dwight Atkins, Steven’s uncle.

The U.S. Department of Defense had not released information on Stevens’ death on its website as of this morning.

“He's going to be sadly missed,” Atkins said. “But like my mother used to tell me, his work on Earth was done, and God called him home.”

Stevens’ body is scheduled to arrive at Dover Air Force Base today. His wife Monique, who lives in Florida, and parents Steve and Lois Stevens, both of Detroit, are there, relatives said.

“He leaves this world way too soon,” Dwight Atkins said.

The family’s faith is helping them through this time.

“We’re spiritual people,” Dwight Atkins said. “We just believe God will answer and God will take care of us.”

Stevens grew up in northwest Detroit, attended Detroit Technology High School and went to Florida A & M on a swimming scholarship, his uncle said.

As a baby, Stevens had asthma, so the doctor suggested finding a sport that would help him breathe, relatives recalled. Stevens’ mother put him in the swimming pool and he had been a swimmer since.

“He took to the water like a fish,” his uncle said.

Steven Stevens, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday, June, 22, 2012, who attended Detroit Technology High School in Detroit, is shown with his mother and father at a swim meet. Stevens family photo
After two years of college, he joined the Marines to serve his country. Family members say the thought of traveling the world and studying abroad was enticing to him.

“He quit college in order to join,” his grandmother said. “I guess he had the calling because he just went and joined.”

Stevens was good in art, wanted to be an architect, loved to laugh and was a jokester who was good at imitations, his family recalled.

“People who know him know he was a very funny guy,” Dwight Atkins said.

The Rev. Louis Forsythe II, pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Detroit, said he knew Stevens as a teenager and remembered him as polite, quiet young man who loved his family very much.

Forsythe said he told his congregation about Stevens’ death during the church’s two services Sunday.
He asked members to stand for a moment of silence in memory of Stevens.

“He was willing to give his all for his country,” Forsythe said. “It speaks to his commitment.”
Stevens’ funeral is to be held Saturday at Hope United Methodist Church, 26275 Northwestern Hwy. in Southfield. Arrangements are pending.
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R.I.P. - Lance Cpl. Hunter D. Hogan

Photo Courtesy: Facebook
DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

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

            Lance Cpl. Hunter D. Hogan, 21, of Norman, Ind., died June 23 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

            For more information media may contact the 2nd Marine Division Public Affairs Office at 910-450-6575.


YORK – Lance Cpl. Hunter D. Hogan, 21, a U.S. Marine with ties to York, was killed in action, on Saturday, June 23, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Hogan was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

A representative at the York National Guard Armory said Monday morning that he’d spoken with Hogan’s aunt and uncle, who live in York. While the armory personnel are not connected to the Marine Corps, they were able to say that Hogan’s death had been reported to his relatives in the York area.

Hogan was killed when his unit came under sniper fire, according to Scott Knudsen, Nebraska state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders, who has been in contact with Hogan’s relatives.

The News-Times has also learned that Hogan’s father works in York County, which would be another tie to the area.

Hogan graduated from Brownstone High School in Indiana and his current address was listed by the defense department as being Norman, Ind.

There have been suggestions that Hogan’s funeral will be held in York, as is being reported by outside media agencies. Metz Mortuary officials were unable to comment regarding pending arrangements, as of Monday.
Hogan joined the Marine Corps in October 2009 and was a rifleman assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, according to the release

He achieved the rank of lance corporal in December 2010 and has been awarded the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal, according to the release.
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R.I.P. - Warrant Officer Juan Manuel Medina Alvarez (Spanish)

The non-commissioned officer Juan Manuel Medina Álvarez, part of the ASPFOR XXXI contingent deployed in Afghanistan, died on the morning of 24 June from natural causes.

NCO Medina Álvarez, aged 54, collapsed on his way to work at the PSB (Provincial Support Base) of Qala-e-Naw, He was attended immediately and stabilised by the Role 1 medical services at the base, where he was diagnosed with a possible myocardial infarction.

He was then evacuated by helicopter to the Role 2 campaign hospital in Bala Murghab, from where it was decided to transfer him to the Heart Role 2 facilities. Although resuscitation techniques were attempted during the flight, he was dead on arrival at the FSB (Forward Support Base) of Herat.

The process of returning the body of senior NCO Juan Manuel Medina Álvarez to Spain has already begun.

Born in Jerez de la Frontera (province of Cadiz), Juan Manuel Medina Álvarez was married with one son.

from La Moncola

 from ISAF Regional Command West:

TCol. (OF-4) Francesco Tirino ITA ARMY
Regional Command-West Public Affairs

HERAT, Afghanistan – On June 25, 2012, at 8:00 a funeral honors act was held in Herat Forward Support Base “Camp Arena,” in the memory of Spanish Army Warrant Officer Juan Manuel Medina Alvarez, who deceased yesterday morning.

Regional Command West authorities that attended the ceremony were Gen. Luigi Chiapperini, RCW commander, Col. Gonzalo Sanchez Gamboa, Spanish Senior National representative, Col. Luis Cebrian Carbonell, Chief of Spanish Task Force, and Col. Carlos de Palma Arrabal, chief of Spanish Forward Support Base in Herat.

There were also present in the ceremony representatives of other Units hosted in RCW and about a hundred colleagues of the deceased.

After the ceremony, the coffin was carried shoulder high towards the T-22 Airbus of the 45th Group of Spanish Air Force that should bring him back to Spain.

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R.I.P. - Maj. Paul C. Voelke

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Maj. Paul C. Voelke, 36, of Monroe, N.Y., died Jun. 22 in Mazar E. Sharif, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

            For more information please contact the 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs at 912-435-9869 or 912-435-9876.

from nydailynews:

Gov. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, June 27 in honor of a New York soldier who died in Afghanistan on June 22.

Major Paul C. Voelke died in Mazar-i-Sharif while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Major Voelke was from the Town of Monroe.

"I join with all New Yorkers in mourning the loss of Major Voelke and I send my deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and fellow soldiers," Cuomo said. "We will be forever grateful for his service and his dedication to our nation."

Gov. Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state's service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.
Voelke had served in the Army for 14 years. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan, and he had been deployed twice to Iraq. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

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