Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Attacks Target Afghan Mosque, Tribal Elders

Districts of Khost (not showing the Shamal Dis...
Districts of Khost (not showing the Shamal District). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At least nine worshippers have been injured in an attack on a mosque in eastern Afghanistan.

Khost police chief Sardar Mohammad Zazai said three grenades were thrown into a mosque in the Baghi Sara area. He said one exploded in the mosque and another in the courtyard, while a third failed to detonate.

The attack comes after a series of attacks on August 14 that killed at least 41 people, most of them civilians.

Thirty of those people were killed in southwestern Nimroz Province; 11 were killed in Kunduz Province in the northeast.

The governor's office in the south-central Helmand Province reported on August 15 that four tribal elders were killed on August 14 by a roadside bomb.

from RFE/RL
August 15, 2012 

Two grenades exploded inside a mosque compound during morning prayers in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, wounding at least nine worshippers, an Afghan official said.

The attack in eastern Khost province came a day after a series of bombs around Afghanistan killed at least 50 people in the deadliest day for civilians this year as Taliban insurgents and their allies ramp up violence across the country. The Taliban summer offensive this year coincides with Afghan police and soldiers taking on more responsibility for security while international forces start to withdraw.

Three grenades were thrown into the mosque compound in Baghi Sara area, Khost police chief Sardar Mohammad Zazai said. One exploded inside the mosque itself, and one in the courtyard outside. The third failed to detonate.
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3 Al-Shabaab suspects killed in Kenya's coastal region

MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's security forces have killed three suspected Al-Shabaab militia from Somalia in the coastal region of Lamu as the East African nation enhances security along its borders with the Horn of Africa nation.

Coast Provincial Commissioner Samuel Kilele said they were killed on Tuesday night by a joint security operation conducted by Kenya Defense Force (KDF) and the police at Boni forest in the archipelago.

The regional administrator said three AK-47 rifles and 60 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the suspects in the raid.

"Our officers received a tipoff from members of public about the suspects and they responded immediately and gunned them down and made recovered the weapons," said Kilele.

According to police, the three were in a group of seven heavily armed militants who had crossed into the country through the Kenya- Somalia border.

He said four of their accomplices escaped with bullet wounds and that police have combed the forest to track them down.

Kenyan authorities have enhanced security in major cities and all entry points and called on residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious individuals in their midst to security personnel.

There has been a string of attacks by Al-Shabaab militants and their sympathizers since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October 2011 to subdue the insurgents who were blamed for a series of murders and kidnappings on the Kenya soil with Daadab district which hosts the refugee camps being one of the worst hit by the attacks.

The militant group has recently come under pressure from African Union peacekeepers, who pushed them out of the Somali capital Mogadishu while preparing to launch a major onslaught on the strategic port city of Kismayo.

According to police, the seven Al-Shabaab suspects were planning to carry out major attacks in the country and their killing is a major breakthrough in the ongoing war against terror.

Police say they suspect the four who were also armed might have managed to escape into Somalia through the vast Kenya-Somalia border.

Kilele said a combined team comprising the Kenya Army, General Service Unit, Regular and Administration Police has been set up along the Kenya-Somalia border in Lamu to deal with the Al-Shabaab threats.

"We are appealing to locals with any information to share the same with the security apparatus," Kilele said.

The killing came a few days after police arrested three Tanzania nationals on suspicion that they were members of the militant group in the same forest last week.

Kenya's anti-terrorism police identified the three as Jamani Ali Muswadiku, 30, Mbaruki Sharif Muswadiku, 26, and Harun Waziri Tinawa, 17, who were arrested as they attempted to sneak into Somalia through the porous border.

They were transferred to the Tanzanian consulate in Mombasa city awaiting deportation.

Divisional police commander Samuel Obara confirmed that they are making arrangements to have the Tanzanians deported to their country after they were arrested.

He said security had been beefed up along the border in anticipation of a major onslaught of AMISOM troops in the port of Kismayu, a hub of Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

He added that police officers have been dispatched to patrol the border road between Kiunga and Milimani with military officers stationed at the Dare Slam point at the border.

"The police troops comprise the GSU, regular police and Administration Police all of whom are manning the border zone through a series of patrols," said Obara.

Al-Shabaab has been blamed for the recent spate of grenade attacks in the country and has recruited foreign fighters in its ranks.

In May, two foreigners were arrested about 20 km from the Kenya- Somalia borders. The two, a German and a Belgian, were arrested at Basuba in Kiunga.

Lamu County is a popular route with foreigners attempting to cross into the lawless Somali territory to join Al-Shabaab.

2012-08-15 19:29:30

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Suicide bomber shot dead in northern Kunduz province

Districts of Kunduz.
Districts of Kunduz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to local authorities in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan, a suspected suicide bomber was shot dead in Dasht-e-Archi district in this province on Wednesday before he detonate his explosives.

District chief for Dasht-e-Archi Sheikh Sadruddin said the incident took place around 6:30 am local time and the suicide bomber was shot dead by US troops while he was looking to enter a military bus.

Mr. Sadruddin further added around 50 Afghan local police forces were due to be transported by bus.

This comes as a suicide bomber on Tuesday evening detonated his explosives at Taj-e-Guzar area where at least 60 Afghan civilians killed or injured following the blast.

Dasht-e-Archi district chief Sheikh Sadruddin said the motive behind increased militancy in Dasht-e-Archi district was lack of security forces.

He said at least 30 people including Afghan security forces have been killed since the beginning of the Afghan year in this district.

By Sajad - Wed Aug 15, 1:57 pm

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'Brigades of Osama bin Laden' forms in the West Bank

A new jihadist group calling itself the Brigades of Osama bin Laden has announced its formation, in a statement that was recently released on terrorist-linked web forums.

The Brigades of Osama bin Laden issued a statement, which was released on Aug. 10 by the Al Minbar Media Foundation and subsequently published on its Internet forum, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
The statement was subsequently "posted on other jihadist forums such as Ansar al Mujahideen," but then "deleted by forum administrators," SITE noted.

"We give you tidings, our people in the beloved West Bank, just as we give tidings to all the people of tawhid [monotheism] all over the world, of the declaration of the formation of the Brigades of Osama bin Laden in the bank of [monotheism], the West Bank," the new jihadist group said, according to SITE.

The Brigades of Osama bin Laden said its focus is on Jerusalem and it was formed to "support the one religion [Islam] under the pure banner of righteousness that is not besmirched by any factional or sectarian or secular mark." It did not overtly threaten to attack Israel or the Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank.

"What pushed us to go through with this matter was your love and the love of Jerusalem, and before it, the reason to raise Allah's word, which has been absent from Jerusalem under polytheistic and secular shrines," the statement said.

The statement was signed "Your brothers in the Brigades of Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him." Bin Laden was al Qaeda's founder and emir who was killed during a US special operations raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The Brigades of Osama bin Laden is the latest jihadist group to form in the Palestinian Territories, and the first to announce its formation in the West Bank. Six other jihadist groups -- the Jaish al Islam, Jund Ansar Allah, Jaish al Ummah, Jaish al Mu'minun, Tawhid and Jihad Group in Jerusalem, and Masada al Mujahideen -- have formed over the past several years in Gaza. These groups have clashed with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated terror group that rules Gaza and is supported by Iran and Syria. [For more information on the jihadist groups in Gaza, see LWJ report, Hamas frees al Qaeda-linked jihadist leader in Gaza.]

Across the border in the Egyptian Sinai, four jihadist groups -- al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula and its military arm, Ansar al Jihad, the Mujahideen Shura Council, and Jund al Sharia -- have all emerged since the Arab Spring. The terror groups have conducted attacks against Egyptian forces and a pipeline transporting natural gas to Israel. Just last week, one of these groups, likely with the help of one of the Gaza-based jihadist groups, attacked an Egyptian military base, killed 16 soldiers and seized two armored personnel carriers, and then attacked the Israeli border. One of the two APCs made it one mile inside Israeli territory before being destroyed by the Israeli Air Force [see LWJ report, 'Global jihadists' overrun Egyptian Army outpost on Israeli border].

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Aug. 15., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban weapons dealer during an operation in Sangin district, Helmand province, today.

The weapons dealer provided homemade explosives and other improvised explosive device material to Taliban fighters.

At the time of his arrest, he was involved in plans to smuggle a large quantity of HME into the region for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

The security force also detained two suspected insurgents during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in search of insurgents yesterday. Once the Afghan and coalition forces found the insurgents, they conducted a precision airstrike. After the strike the security force conducted a follow-on assessment and confirmed the strike had killed one insurgent. They also confirmed the strike had not harmed any civilians or damaged any civilian property.

An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to arrest a Taliban leader in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, today. The Taliban leader recruits fighters and provides them with weapons and explosives for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The security force detained numerous suspected insurgents as a result of this operation.

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Aug. 15., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces killed three insurgents, detained 11, located two weapons caches and cleared five improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Aug. 14.

Ghazni province
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces detained five insurgents during an engagement in Andar district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an improvised explosive device in Andar district.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Qarah Bagh district. The cache contained small arms ammunition.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained four insurgents during an engagement in Khowst district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed three insurgents during an engagement in Musa Khel district.

Laghman province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an improvised explosive device in Qarghah’i district.

Logar province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained an insurgent during an engagement in Pul-E Alam district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Nangarhar province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an improvised explosive device in Jalalabad district.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Mohmand Darah district. The cache contained improvised explosive device making materials.

Paktika province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two improvised explosive devices, one in Sar Rowzah district and one in Zerok district.

Paktiya province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained an insurgent who was found with illegal fire arms in Jaji district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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4 killed, 15 injured in clashes between Republican Guards, Yemeni troops

ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Four people were killed and 15 injured Tuesday in clashes between members of the Republican Guards and soldiers guarding the Yemeni defense ministry in the capital Sanaa, a medical source said.

The clashes erupted when members of the Republican Guards, led by the son of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, were protesting near the defense ministry against a recent military reorganization ordered by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Casualties were reported from both sides, and the killed include a woman and a children, the source said.

"About 250 soldiers of the elite Republican Guard forces protesting over military restructure tried to attack the defense ministry with machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades," a government official told Xinhua.

"Just few hours after the clashes, police reinforcements were deployed around the ministry headquarters... Situation (is) now under control," he added.

About 40 protesters were arrested for trying to storm the ministry building, a military source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"All roads leading to the ministry are completely blocked... Gunshots and clashes (are) raging out across Sanaa," a witness near the scene told Xinhua anonymously.

The armed clashes came a week after the current president, Hadi, issued a republican decree to restructure the army forces, including reducing the number of units under the command of Saleh' s son, and replacing several relative and loyalists to the former president.

Restructuring the armed forces remains a priority of Hadi, who seeks to ensure a successful political reconciliation and pave the way for a national dialogue expected in November to end disputes among all political forces, in order to focus efforts on fighting al-Qaida branch in the country.

2012-08-15 01:58:10

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Nigeria: Suicide Bombers Die While Heading For Kaduna Mosque

What could have possibly caused  another major havoc was yesterday averted when suicide bombers suspected to be heading to the famous Sultan Bello Mosque in Ungwa Sarki met their untimely death when the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) they were carrying exploded on them, killing two of the carriers with the third one is no where to be found.

According to an eyewitness, the bombers, who are three in number, rode on three different motorcycles heading to the Sultan Bello Mosque at Ungwan Sarki where thousands of Muslims assembled for the daily Ramadan Tafsir.

But the suspects could not beat the timing on the bombs, perhaps due to the series of security checkpoints along the route, thus they could not reach their alleged target before the bomb exploded.

The incident occurred at about 4pm at Abakpa directly opposite a bank and close to the NNPC Mega Station along Ali Akilu Road en-route Kawo.

WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGE! (Photo: Leadership)
Bodies of two of the suspected bombers were shattered by the strong explosive while the third accomplice could not be seen when our correspondents visited the scene. Eye witnesses confirmed that the suicide bombers were three, but our correspondents only confirmed the presence of three motorcycles.

A combined team of security men immediately cordoned off the area while making efforts to evacuate the remains of the bombers in spite of the presence of the bees which prevented them for almost an hour.

Although details of the suicide bombers’ mission could not be ascertained, correspondents observed that the suspects could have targetted the Islamic scholar that often gives the Tafsir at the Sultan Bello Mosque, Sheik (Dr) Ahmad Abukakar Gumi.

The scholar had, in a series of sermons during the Tafsir sessions, condemned members of the actions of the Boko Haram sect, which he had consistently described as un-Islamic.

Consequently, the sect members were said to have threatened to attack the said scholar. This perhaps explains why security was beefed up around the residence of the cleric for fear of the unknown.

The remains of the suspected bombers were evacuated to a nearby hospital.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police Kaduna State command Abubakar Muhammed Jinjiri, confirmed the death of two suspected suicide bombers, adding that the area had been condoned off.

“Two suspected bombers carrying explosives died when the explosives exploded on them.

“They were on motorcycles heading towards Kawo when they exploded along Ali Akilu road; no other casualty was recorded and no persons were injured,” he said.

Wed, 15/08/2012 - 1:58am | ISAIAH BENJAMIN and MIDAT JOSEPH
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Taliban suicide assault team kills 36 Afghans in western city

Districts of Nimruz.
Districts of Nimruz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Taliban suicide assault team fanned out across the western city of Zaranj today, killing 36 Afghans in several attacks before being gunned down by Afghan forces.

A suicide assault team consisting of 11 men armed with assault rifles and wearing suicide vests hit multiple targets in the city, including the governor's compound, at 3:30 p.m. local time. Three of the Taliban fighters detonated their vests; two of them detonated outside of a hospital in the city, and another detonated at a bazaar, according to TOLONews.

"Security forces killed two of the suicide attackers last night and detained three others this morning. Three managed to detonate themselves while three others were gunned down," Mujibullah Latifi, the deputy chief of police for Zaranj told AFP.

Four policemen were among the 36 Afghans killed during the assault, according to TOLONews.
Today's attack occurred three days after a Taliban fighter disguised as an Afghan policeman gunned down 11 police officers in Delaram in Nimroz. Afghan security personnel returned fire and killed him.

The Taliban have conducted several suicide attacks and assaults in Nimroz and neighboring Farah province in western Afghanistan over the past three years. In May, a suicide assault team attacked the governor's compound in Farah. Six policemen, a civilian, and four members of the suicide assault team were killed during the attack.

In April, a suicide bomber detonated a cart packed with explosives, killing a US Marine and wounding others in Zaranj. The Taliban then opened fire on the US and Afghan troops from nearby buildings.

In March, a large Taliban force ambushed an Afghan supply column in the Gulistan district of Farah province. Thirty Taliban fighters and seven security guards were killed during the clash.

In May 2010, a suicide assault team hit the government center and other sites in Zaranj. Suicide bombers fanned out and hit the governor's compound, the justice department, and the courthouse.

Three civilians and eight members of the assault team were killed.

And in November 2009, a suicide bomber driving a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a market in Farah City, killing 17 people and wounding 29.

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