Sunday, August 26, 2012

33 Taliban, 3 ANA troops killed in latest Afghan violence

Afghan defense ministry officials following a statement on Sunday announced, at least 9 Afghan national army soldiers were killed or injured following militants attack and improvised explosive device blasts across the country.

The source further added one Afghan soldier killed and five others were injured after an improvised explosive device went off in eastern Ghazni province.

In a separate incident in Shegal district of eastern Kunar province an Afghan national army soldier was killed in militants attack.

Meanwhile another Afghan soldier was killed and another was injured in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan.

Afghan national army soldiers also seized some weapons ammunitions during the military operations, Afghan defense officials said adding that Afghan soldiers seized at least 9 improvised explosive devices from Helmand, Kunar and Farah provinces of Afghanistan.

In the meantime Afghan interior ministry following a statement on Sunday announced at least 33 Taliban militants were killed in Afghan police operations during the past 24 hours.

Afghan interior ministry following the statement further added Afghan police forces conducted at 11 joint military operations in coordination with the Afghan army, Afghan intelligence and coalition security forces in Kabul, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Logar, Ghazni, Paktika and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan.

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

By Sajad - Sun Aug 26, 1:23 pm

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Sniper Competition: Vintage Sniper National Match (video)

from DODLive

Hundreds of civilians converged on Camp Perry, Ohio, to take part in the Vintage Sniper National Match.  Fred Gowen is a Marine Vietnam veteran, who is one of almost 500 civilians who came out for the competition.  He’s had experience with vintage rifles before…Using an M14 during his first combat engagement in 1968.  Check this out (HD video):

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Afghan uprising against Taliban expands in Ghor province

(photo: KHAAMA)
According to local authorities in western Ghor province of Afghanistan, widespread anti-Taliban campaigns by local residents have been witnessed in a number of districts in this province recently.

The officials further added, the campaigns have been launched under the leadership of former Mujahideen commanders and local residents in this province.

Former Mujahideen leaders said the campaigns have been launched in a bid to support the central government of Afghanistan and fight against the Taliban militants.

In the meantime observers and political analysts urged the Afghan government to strictly monitor the recently widespread anti-Taliban campaigns which have been witnessed across the country recently.

This comes as local residents in western Badghis province of Afghanistan announced to step up fight against the militants groups in this province.

Badghis provincial governor spokesman Sharafuddin Majidi said former Mujahideen leaders urged the government to equipment the local residents with arms in order to fight the Taliban militants.

Anti-Taliban campaigns started from eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan after local residents in this province picked up weapons against the militants.

By Sajad - Sun Aug 26, 2:59 pm

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2 senior al-Qaida operatives arrested by Yemeni police forces

ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni police forces arrested two senior al-Qaida operatives in the southern port city of Aden on Sunday, who sought to attack government targets in the province, the Defense Ministry said.

A special police action force and agents of the military intelligence agency raided a terrorist hideout in the Tawahi neighborhood in Aden, arresting two senior al-Qaida operatives, the country's Defense Ministry said in a brief text message obtained by Xinhua.

During the preliminary interrogation of the arrested terrorists, they revealed the location of other al-Qaida members in the same neighborhood, the statement said, adding that the arrested terrorists' IDs showed that they are not locals of Aden province; rather they came from southern neighboring province of Abyan.

A local resident told Xinhua anonymously that gunfire and hand grenade explosions could be heard following the storming campaign of the al-Qaida hideout in the Tawahi neighborhood.

Weapons confiscated from the raided house include automatic rifles, handguns, a sniper rifle and grenades, a security official said.

On Friday, a government official said that about seven suspected members of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot were captured by security authorities in Aden's neighborhood of Cerator.

Yemeni authorities have stepped up security measures in the strategic port city of Aden, following intelligence reports that al-Qaida could attempt to target government compounds with armed attacks and suicide bombings.

The Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, known locally as Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), claimed responsibility for several gun raids and deadly suicide attacks that took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

2012-08-26 16:05:39

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7 ANA soldiers killed in Kandahar attacks

KABUL (PAN): Seven Afghan National Army (ANA) troops were killed and as many injured in two separate roadside bombings in southern Kandahar province, officials said on Saturday.

The first blast that took place in the Panjwai district left five ANA soldiers dead and three others wounded, the 205th Atal Military Corps said in a statement.

The second roadside bomb attack happened in neighbouring Zheri district, killing two ANA service-members and injuring four others, the statement said.

Panjwai district chief Haji Fazl Mohammad confirmed the casualties suffered by the troops, who were on a patrol in the Nakhoni area when a mine tore through their vehicle at around 10pm on Friday night.

The 205th Atal Military Corps said that 10 mines were found and defused during an operation in Panjwai.

A day earlier, a roadside bomb ripped through a vehicle carrying civilians in the Spin Boldak border town, killing six people aboard.

According to police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq, the dead included two women, three children and the driver, all from the same family.

In neighbouring Helmand, armed insurgents opened fire at a passenger vehicle carrying civilians and a policeman in the Musa Qala district, an official said. The policeman travelling in the car and another person, a civilian, were killed in the attack.
the incident occurred in the Bughni Manda area near the district centre, the town’s administrative head, Nimatullah Khan, said

A Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said two policemen were killed in the incident.

On the other hand, the Greshk district police chief said that a policeman was injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the Sarband area late on Friday.

Col. Guli Khan said another police officer was injured during a clash with insurgents following the bomb blast.

He also said a child was killed and six of his family members were injured when a Taliban-fired rocket hit their house in the Haiderabad area.

The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital and they are said to be in a stable condition, the police chief said.

Meanwhile, the provincial intelligence department said three Taliban commanders and two Pakistani spies have been arrested from separate parts of the province.

In a statement, the National Directorate of Security office said the pair had set up a barber shop in Lashkargah and that documents recovered from them showed they spied for Pakistan.

from Pajhwok
by Pajhwok Report on Aug 25, 2012 - 20:09   

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

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation in Marawarah district, Kunar province, yesterday.

During the operation, the security force engaged a group of armed insurgents with a precision airstrike, killing several of them.

A post-strike assessment determined no civilians had been harmed and no property had been damaged.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

The National Directorate of Security and coalition forces confirmed today that the mid-level Taliban leader, Haji Padcha, was one of several insurgents detained during an operation in Spin Boldak district, Kandahar province, Aug. 23. Padcha was a weapons facilitator responsible for supplying insurgents with the rockets used in numerous attacks against Kandahar Airfield.

The Zabul Provincial Response Company, supported by coalition troops, conducted a search operation in Shah Joy district, Zabul province, yesterday. During the operation the security force was attacked by insurgents. The force engaged the attackers killing three of them. After the engagement, the Afghan-led security force seized 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of homemade explosive, three motorcycles, ammunition, and a number of weapons.

An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected Taliban insurgents in Pul-e ‘Alam district, Logar province, today. The detained individuals are suspected of being involved in an attack against an Afghan and coalition installation in Logar yesterday. During the operation, the security force also seized ammunition and military-related equipment.

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Aug. 26., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed two insurgents, detained one, located a weapons cache and cleared six improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Aug. 25.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Ghazni district.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Gurbuz district. The cache contained IED making materials.

Logar province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Pul-E Alam district.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed two insurgents during an engagement in Pul-E Alam district.

Paktika province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Yahya Khel district.

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

Wardak province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared three IEDs in Sayyidabad district.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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Taliban deny report of Badruddin Haqqani’s death

KABUL: A Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan rejected reports that the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani militant network has been killed, even as senior insurgents and members of the Pakistani government said they believe Badruddin Haqqani was dead.     

Zabiullah Mujahid said in an email sent to reporters late Saturday that Haqqani is alive and in good health in Afghanistan.

The statement conflicts with assertions by a senior Taliban commander that a US drone strike in Pakistan killed Haqqani.

Pakistani intelligence officials have also said they are 90 per cent certain he was killed in an American missile strike Tuesday in the North Waziristan region. They said their information was based on reports received from their agents in the field but acknowledged they haven’t spoken to anyone who has seen the body.

If confirmed, Haqqani’s death would mark a major blow to the organization founded by his father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, which is viewed by the US as a powerful enemy in Afghanistan. The son is considered the network’s day-to-day operations commander.

The Haqqani network has been blamed for a series of high-profile attacks and kidnappings in Afghanistan.

“A number of media have reported that Badruddin Haqqani has been killed. We would like to inform all media that this rumor is not correct,” Mujahid said in the email.

“Badruddin Haqqani is in the country and he is occupied with his operational responsibilities. He is alive and healthy. The rumor about him being killed is more propaganda of the enemy,” he said.

The senior Taliban commander’s assertion that Badruddin died in a drone strike has not been independently confirmed, and the US does not comment publicly on its drone program, which is widely reviled by the Pakistani public and has been a source of tension with Islamabad.

All except Mujahid spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the news.

The areas where the American drone strikes generally occur are extremely remote and dangerous, making it difficult for reporters or others to verify a particular person’s death.

Badruddin is considered a vital part of the Haqqani structure and is believed to have played an active role in kidnappings, extortion and high-profile operations in Afghanistan.

Replacing him would be a challenge but not impossible, said Daniel Markey, a Pakistan expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“The question would be whether anyone would be as trusted, as well-placed, would have forged the kind of longstanding connections and would have the kind of pedigree that he has,” said Markey. “This is a big hit if it’s true but it’s not going to put them out of business.”

The US State Department has designated Badruddin, along with his father and brothers, Nasiruddin and Sirajuddin, as terrorists.

The State Department said in May 2011 that Badruddin sits on the Miramshah Shura, a group that controls all Haqqani network activities and coordinates attacks in southeastern Afghanistan.

Badruddin is also believed to have been responsible for the 2008 kidnapping of New York Times reporter, David Rohde, the department said.

After their father effectively retired in 2005, Badruddin and his brother Sirajuddin expanded the network into kidnapping and extortion, both highly profitable for the organization, according to a recent report by the West Point, NY-based Combating Terrorism Center. Afghan intelligence authorities have released intercepts of Badruddin orchestrating an attack against the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in 2011, the CTC said.

The US has long viewed the Haqqani network as one of the biggest threats to US and Nato forces in Afghanistan as well as the country’s long term stability.

The group has shown little interest in negotiating with the Washington, and has pulled off some of the highest-profile and most complex attacks in Afghanistan, although not necessarily the most deadly.

from DAWN

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First man on moon Neil Armstrong dead at 82

(Reuters) - U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, who took a giant leap for mankind when he became the first person to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 82, his family said on Saturday.

Armstrong died following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month, the family said in a statement, just two days after his birthday on August 5.

As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he stepped on the dusty surface, Armstrong said: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Those words endure as one of the best known quotes in the English language.

The Apollo 11 astronauts' euphoric moonwalk provided Americans with a sense of achievement in the space race with Cold War foe the Soviet Union and while Washington was engaged in a bloody war with the communists in Vietnam.

Neil Alden Armstrong was 38 years old at the time and even though he had fulfilled one of mankind's age-old quests that placed him at the pinnacle of human achievement, he did not revel in his accomplishment. He even seemed frustrated by the acclaim it brought.

"I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work," Armstrong said in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" program in 2005.

He once was asked how he felt knowing his footprints would likely stay on the moon's surface for thousands of years. "I kind of hope that somebody goes up there one of these days and cleans them up," he said.

By Mary Slosson / REUTERS
Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:38pm BST


Statement by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta on the Passing of Neil Armstrong

            I was deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of Neil Armstrong, one of America's greatest heroes and Naval aviators.  On behalf of the Department of Defense, I express my condolences to the Armstrong family during this difficult time.

            We are bidding farewell to one of our own.  As a decorated Korean War veteran, as an astronaut for NASA, and as the first man to walk on the moon, Neil inspired generations of Americans to believe that as a nation we are capable of achieving greatness that only comes with determination, perseverance, and hard work. 

            As a true pioneer, his one small step showed all mankind the great feats we can accomplish when we set ourselves to the task.  While Neil is no longer with us, his spirit and his legacy of American achievement and national pride will live forever.
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