Sunday, July 1, 2012

9 killed, 7 wounded in attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Nine people were killed and seven other wounded in separate bomb and gunfire attacks in central and eastern Iraq, the police said on Sunday.

In Iraq's northern central province of Salahudin, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint with bombs and gunfire late on Saturday night in western the city of Samarra, some 110 km north of Baghdad, killing three policemen and wounding three others, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

After the attack, a police vehicle took the three wounded policemen to a nearby hospital, but on the way collided with a civilian car, killing one policeman and three civilians, the source said.

On Sunday morning, three roadside bombs separately detonated outside three schools in central Salahudin's provincial capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, killing one policeman and injuring three others, the source added.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a member of al-Qaida militant group was killed while trying to plant a roadside bomb in the industrial area in the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.

In a separate incident, a roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol in al-Gatoun area, some 6 km west of Baquba, wounding a policeman, the source said.

Also in Diyala, Iraqi security forces carried out search operations across the province during the past 24 hours and arrested seven suspects, including three wanted individuals, the source added.

Violence and sporadic high-profile bomb attacks are still common in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease in violence since its peak in 2006 and 2007 when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.

2012-07-01 22:37:59

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Afghan kids arrested for transporting explosives in Kandahar

NATO officials in Afghanistan on announced Afghan police forces detained two Afghan kids and Afghan teenager who were transporting improvised explosive devices in southern Afghanistan.

International Security Assistance Force following a statement said the Afghan kids were transporting several hand made explosive devices along with explosives in this province.

Provincial governor spokesman Jawid Faisal confirming the report on Saturday said the detained Afghan kids and teeanger were 8, 12 and 17 years old.

Mr. Jawid further added the three Afghan kids and teenager were arrested in Zherai district of southern Kandahar province while they were transporting hand made remote controlled explosive devices.

He also said the three kids and teeanger boys were looking to explode an Afghan police check post in this province.

According to Jawi Faisal the fathers of the three Afghan boys will be summoned by Afghan police forces and will be decided whether the boys will be released or they will be introduced to attorney general.

This comes as United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) expressed concerns regarding the children who are being used by militants for war purposes.

A spokesman for UNICEF in Afghanistan Aziz Frotan said at least 1750 Afghan kids were killed or injured in Afghan war during 2011.

By Sajad - Sat Jun 30, 9:36 pm

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Haqqani Network leader detained in Wardak province

NATO-led International Security Assistance Force following a press release on Sunday announced, Afghan and coalition security force apprehended a Haqqani leader during an operation in Nerkh district, Wardak province, today.

The source further added, as the security force approached the Haqqani leader’s location, an insurgent with an AK-47 advanced on the security force. The security force engaged the armed insurgent, killing him.

ISAF following the statement also added, as a result of the operation, two suspected insurgents were detained and multiple grenades and one AK-47 were seized by the security force.

Anti-government armed militant groups yet to comment regarding the report.

By Sajad - Sun Jul 01, 12:05 pm

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US drones strike again in the Shawal Valley

The US launched its second straight drone strike in a remote valley in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today, killing six "militants."

The remotely piloted Predators or the more advanced Reapers fired a pair of missiles at a compound in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, according to AFP. Pakistani officials said six "militants" were killed in the strike while the compound was set afire, burning several of the bodies beyond recognition.

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

Today's strike in Shawal is the second in the valley this week. On June 26, a similar strike on a compound in Shawal killed five militants. So far this year, four of the 25 drone strikes in Pakistan hit targets in the Shawal Valley.

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 Afghan border. The area is used to launch attacks across the border in Afghanistan.

Bahadar administers the Shawal Valley. In 2009, Bahadar sheltered the families 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].

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Local al-Qaida leader killed, 9 arrested in Yemen

Map by Evan Centanni. (
ADEN, Yemen, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A local leader of the Yemen- based al-Qaida branch was killed and nine militants were arrested during armed clashes with government troops in the southern province of al-Dhalea early Sunday, the Defense Ministry said.

The armed forces backed by pro-government tribesmen clashed with al-Qaida militants, who were attempting to sneak into al- Dhalea province, the Defense Ministry said in a brief text message obtained by Xinhua.

"A local leader of the al-Qaida was killed and two others were injured in the clashes with the government soldiers in the mountainous area of Shaeeb in Dhalea," the ministry said.

"Army troops have also captured nine members of the al-Qaida terrorist group after the shootout and foiled their infiltration attempt," security chief of al-Dhalea province Ali Hamood al-Amry was quoted as saying by the defense ministry.

However, the ministry did not mention if there were any casualties of government forces.

A government official told Xinhua anonymously that "army troops confiscated three motorcycles which have been used by the al-Qaida insurgents and seized weapons."

Combating al-Qaida militants in restive south is one of the challenges confronting Yemeni President Abdul-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has launched months-long military offensive to uproot the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, which known locally as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law).

The United States-backed offensive managed to expel al-Qaida militants from their major strongholds in the southern province of Abyan, recapturing its capital Zinjibar, towns like Jaar, Shakra and several villages, which they had controlled for nearly one year during the political unrest in Yemen.

The al-Qaida militants still have a strong presence in the Mahfad town and some mountainous areas in Abyan province.

2012-07-01 19:28:28

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5 civilians killed, 18 injured in Ghazni bus blast

English: Map of the districts of Ghazni provin...
districts of Ghazni province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ghazni City (PAN): Five people were killed and 18 injured when a passenger bus hit a roadside bomb in the eastern Ghazni province on Sunday morning, official said.

The incident occurred at about 8 am in the Shabaz locality, along the Kabul-Kandahar highway in the province, the governor's spokesman Sabawon told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the five dead civilians and injured passengers were evacuated to the provincial civil hospital. He blamed the armed insurgents for planting the roadside bomb.

Public health director, Dr Baz Muhammad Himmat confirmed that five passengers died in the incident and 18 others wounded, which included women and children.

According to Himmat, some injured passengers are in critical condition.

A damaged passenger bus is seen after a roadside bombing in Ghazni province,
east Afghanistan, on July 1, 2012. A total of five civilians were killed and 18 others
injured Sunday morning when a roadside bomb blast hit a passenger bus
in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni, an official said. (Xinhua/Rahmat)
Eye witness, Abdul Basir, said foreign soldiers blocked the Kabul-Kandahar highway, forcing vehicles to divert from the main road. When the bus detoured and passed through a gravel path, it hit the bomb.

from Pajhwok
by Saifullah Maftoon on Jul 1, 2012 - 09:54

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Attacks on Kenyan churches kill 17

NAIROBI, July 1 (Reuters) - Masked attackers killed at least 17 people on Sunday in gun and grenade attacks on churches in a Kenyan town used as a base for operations against al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Somalia.

UPDATED 2 times,
By James Macharia
Sun Jul 1, 2012 7:07am EDT

* Two churches struck by simultaneous grenade blasts in Garissa

* Town is near border with Somalia

* Kenya hit by blasts since sending troops into Somalia (Adds quotes, details, Boko Haram)

At least 45 people were wounded in the simultaneous attacks on Garissa, in the north of the East African country which has suffered a series of blasts since sending troops into Somalia last October to crush Somalia's al Shabaab militants.

"We have 17 bodies at the mortuary so far," regional medical officer Abdikadir Sheikh told Reuters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police said they suspected the attacks could have been the work of al Shabaab sympathisers or bandits, but it was too early to say. Inside Somalia, al Shabaab declined comment.

"The goons were clad in balaclavas," regional deputy police chief Philip Ndolo told Reuters from Garissa.

He said a total of seven attackers hurled grenades inside the Catholic Church and the African Inland Church and then opened fire with guns. They struck the churches, which are 3 km (two miles) apart, at around 10.15 a.m. (0715 GMT)

Two policemen were among the dead.

They were the latest attacks on Christian worshippers in Kenya after two people were killed in grenade blasts in March and April.

But Sunday's coordinated attacks on churches resembled the tactics of Nigeria's Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has killed hundreds of people on the other side of the continent.

Other blasts in Kenya have hit nightclubs and bus stations in the capital Nairobi, the coastal city of Mombasa and areas near the Somalia border.

Although a majority of Kenyans are Christian, Garissa is more heavily Muslim.

The town of around 150,000, a market centre for the trade in camels, donkeys, goats and cattle, is largely populated by ethnic Somalis.

"You can imagine for such a small town how the police and medical services have been stretched trying to deal with this," the police's Ndolo said.

Garissa is about 100 km (60 miles) from Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, where gunmen kidnapped four aid workers and killed a driver on Friday before fleeing towards the border with Somalia.

Last Sunday, three people were killed in a grenade attack at a night club in the port city of Mombasa, a day after the U.S. embassy in Kenya warned of an imminent attack on the city. (Additional reporting by Noor Ali and Feisal Omar)
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July 01., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force apprehended a Haqqani leader during an operation in Nerkh district, Wardak province, today.

As the security force approached the Haqqani leader’s location, an insurgent with an AK-47 advanced on the security force. The security force engaged the armed insurgent, killing him.

As a result of the operation, two suspected insurgents were detained and multiple grenades and one AK-47 were seized by the security force.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


Afghan and coalition forces conducted a security operation in Sar-e Pul district, Sar-e Pul province, today. During the operation, the forces observed armed insurgents transporting illegal weapons towards a populated area. As the security force approached the group, the insurgents engaged the Afghan and coalition troops. The security force returned fire, killing several of the insurgents. A follow-on assessment of the area determined no civilians had been harmed and no civilian property had been damaged.


In Nad ‘Ali district, Helmand province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to detain a senior Taliban leader, today. The senior leader controls insurgents throughout Nawah-ye Barakzai, Washer and Nad ‘Ali districts. The security force detained multiple suspected insurgents and seized several weapons during the operation.


In Ahmadabad district, Paktiya province, an Afghan and coalition force conducted a security operation in search of a Haqqani leader Saturday. During the operation, the security force identified an armed group of insurgents at a Haqqani camp. After assessing that there were no civilians in the area, the security force engaged the insurgents with a precision airstrike. After the strike, the security force conducted a follow-on assessment which confirmed numerous insurgents had been killed and that no civilians had been harmed or civilian property damaged by the airstrike.

An Afghan and coalition security force detained a Taliban weapons specialist in Ghazni district, Ghazni province, today. The weapons specialist prepared improvised explosive devices and weapons for insurgent attacks throughout the region and was responsible for coordinating multiple shipments of heavy weapons and IED’s to be used in the area. The security force detained two suspected insurgents and seized explosives material during the operation.

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June 30., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces detained 13 insurgents during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, June 30.

Paktiya province
Afghan Border Police and coalition forces detained three insurgents during an engagement in Jaji Maidan district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces detained three insurgents during an engagement in Yousef Khel district. The detained suspects were 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.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces detained six insurgents during an engagement in Muqer district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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