Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dangerous Pakistani Taliban commander thought killed

A Pakistani Taliban leader who has been responsible for numerous attacks and kidnapping in the tribal areas is rumored to have been killed by a family member. The report has not been confirmed.
Commander Tariq Afridi, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan's operations in Khyber, as well as in regions in Arakzai, Peshawar, Kohat, and Hangu, was supposedly gunned down by his brother-in-law as he "was riding a horse," according to Geo News. The motivation for the alleged shooting was not given.

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan or Tariq's spokesman, Mohammed Afridi, have not responded to the reports of his death.

Tariq was named the terror group's commander of Khyber in November 2009. He had been a member of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked terror group that routinely murders Shia in Pakistan and even conducted a suicide attack against Shia in Kabul, Afghanistan in December 2011.

Tariq also leads the Commander Tariq Afridi Group. This Taliban outfit is considered the most powerful terror group in Arakzai, and is based in Darra Adam Khel. The Tariq Afridi Group also conducts attacks on Pakistani security forces in Kohat and Hangu. His fighters were responsible for closing down the Kohat Tunnel twice in 2008.

He also has kidnapped and murdered Pakistanis and foreigners. In early 2009, the Commander Tariq Afridi Group claimed the murder and beheading of Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak. In early 2010, operating under the guise of an outfit named the "Asian Tigers," the group was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of former ISI officer and jihadist sympathizer Khalid Khawaja.
Additionally, Tariq's forces have attacked, looted, and destroyed NATO supply vehicles that pass through Khyber.

If his death is confirmed, Tariq will be the second senior emir Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan to have been killed in the past week. Maulana Mohammad Jamal, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan's branch in Bajaur, and Shakir, his deputy, were killed in an ISAF airstrike in Kunar province, Afghanistan on Aug. 24.

Additionally, two senior jihadist leaders are reported to have been killed last week, although their deaths have not been confirmed. Badruddin Haqqani, a top leader in the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, is thought to have been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan.

Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied reports that claimed Badruddin was killed in a drone strike, and said he "is in the country and he is occupied with his operational responsibilities." Afghan intelligence claimed Badruddin is dead.

Emeti Yakuf, who is also known as, Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, may have been killed in the Aug. 24 drone strike in North Waziristan's Shawal Valley that hit a training camp. Yakuf directs al Qaeda operations in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Read more:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Afghan in army uniform 'kills three Nato soldiers'

The Nato-led international force in Afghanistan says an Afghan in army uniform has killed three of its soldiers, the latest in a series of so-called "green-on-blue" attacks.

The attack took place in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, Nato said, but it did not give the exact location nor the nationalities of those killed.

Some 45 coalition troops have died in more than 30 such attacks this year.

Nato is training Afghan troops ahead of its pullout by the end of next year.

The Taliban has been actively recruiting members of the Afghan security forces, publicly announcing that insider attacks were a central part of their strategy against Nato forces.

'Vetting process'

A US defence official told Agence France-Presse the latest attack was in Oruzgan province.

The term "green on blue" comes from the colour-coding systems used by the US military.

Currently, approximately 130,000 (blue) Nato troops are fighting insurgents in Afghanistan alongside 350,000 (green) Afghans.

Most of the victims of the attacks have been American.

This month the most senior US military officer, Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Afghanistan to discuss the rising number of attacks.

He said: "We have an eight-step vetting process that's been in place in earnest for about a year, but we haven't turned the corner on the trend."

However, UN figures released this month did show that civilian casualties had fallen for the first time in eight years.

Those killed or injured fell by 15% in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year, the figures showed.

from BBC
29 August 2012 Last updated at 21:06 GMT

The AFP news agency is reporting that the latest insider attack in Afghanistan took place in the south central province of Uruzgan.

A US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity to the AFP news agency, said the attack occurred in the evening hours of Tuesday.

The official said the ISAF soldiers killed were not from the US but would not elaborate further on their nationalities.
Enhanced by Zemanta

U.S. drone strike kills 3 al-Qaida members in eastern Yemen

SANAA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed when a U.S. unmanned warplane targeted a car carrying al-Qaida suspects in Yemen's eastern province of Marib on Tuesday, a provincial security official said.

"An American drone fired a missile on a vehicle carrying al- Qaida members near Alabr region in the eastern part of Marib province on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least three people," the official told Xinhua by phone, asking not to be named.

"One of the killed was a wanted Saudi national who joined al- Qaida group in Yemen one year ago," said the official.

"The U.S. air raid was coordinated with the Yemeni intelligence agency," he added without elaborating further.

Marib, some 170 km east of the capital Sanaa, is the home to one of Yemen's major oil fields.

The United States has beefed up anti-terror cooperation with the Yemeni government since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, after a year of political upheaval that allowed al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to capture several cities in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

The militants were recently either captured or hunted by the security authorities after a U.S.-backed offensive in June routed the militants out of their strongholds in the southern province of Abyan.

Combating al-Qaida network is one of the challenges confronting Hadi, who has promised to reform the army, restore security and uproot the resurgent branch of al-Qaida, locally known as Ansar al- Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Four soldiers killed in checkpoint attack near Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a checkpoint attack near Baghdad Tuesday night, a police source said.

Unidentified gunmen using silenced weapons launched the attack on an army checkpoint in Ak Nibaie area, 50 km north of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release the information.

The assailants fled the scene after the attack and the police has launched a manhunt, the source added.

Security forces and government officials are top targets of insurgent attacks to undermine the government's efforts to stabilize the violence-ridden country.

Enhanced by Zemanta

10 Taliban insurgents killed and 17 others detained

KABUL, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Afghan police and army, backed by the NATO-led coalition forces, have killed 10 Taliban insurgents and detained 17 others in different provinces in the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

"Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan Army and NATO-led coalition forces launched nine joint cleanup operations in Kunar, Kunduz, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Logar, Paktia, Helmand and Nimroz provinces, killing 10 armed Taliban insurgents and detaining 17 others over the past 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

They also confiscated six AK-47 guns, one PKM machine gun, 22 heavy rounds, two hand grenades, 50 kg ammonium nitrate, four motorcycles and one vehicle during the above raids, the statement added.

The statement didn't say if there were any casualties on the side of security forces.

Separately, the ANP found and defused seven mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as a result of security operations in eastern Nangarhar and western Herat provinces in the same period of time, according to the statement.

The Taliban militants stepped up their attacks on Afghan and NATO-led troops since a spring offensive was launched in May in the war-ravaged country.

2012-08-29 13:11:20

Enhanced by Zemanta

R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing, 42, of Alexandria, Va., died Aug. 27, in Kuwait City, Kuwait in a non-combat related incident.  She was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, Bangor, Maine.

            For more information related to this release, media may contact the Maine Army National Guard public affairs office at 207-626-4390.


A soldier assigned to a Maine National Guard unit has died in Kuwait.
Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing, 42, of Alexandria, Va., died Aug. 27, in Kuwait City in a non-combat related incident, the Defense Department announced Tuesday.

She was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, Bangor, Maine.
She was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the Defense Department stated.
Further details were not available.
Wing was a helicopter crew chief assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment out of Bangor. The unit provides medical evacuation to patients and military personnel using medically equipped UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

“The untimely and tragic loss of SSG Jessica Wing has deeply saddened and shocked all of us in the Maine National Guard and across the state of Maine,” Col. James Campbell, the acting adjutant general of the Maine National Guard, said in a statement.

Wing served in the guard for eight years and was on active duty in the Army for 11 years before that, according to the Maine National Guard. She was deployed to Haiti and Bosnia while in the Army and was sent to the Middle East three times while with the Guard.

Wing was not married and had no children, officials said.
Gov. Paul LePage said Maine “has lost a great soldier and a great Mainer.”

“We are forever indebted to her for her service to her state and to her country,” he said in a statement.
Enhanced by Zemanta

R.I.P. - Sgt. Christopher J. Birdwell, Spc. Mabry J. Anders

DOD Identifies Army Casualties
            The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            They died Aug. 27, in Kalagush, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from enemy, small arms fire.  They were assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

            Killed were:

            Sgt. Christopher J. Birdwell, 25, of Windsor, Colo., and

            Spc. Mabry J. Anders, 21, of Baker City, Ore.

            For more information related to this release, media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office during normal business hours at 719-526-7525 or 719-526-4143; after normal business hours, call 719-526-5500.


Windsor High School graduate and Army Sgt. Christopher Birdwell, who planned to make the Army a career, was killed by enemy fire on his third tour in Afghanistan.

“He could make anyone smile,” Birdwell’s mother, Pam Birdwell, told The Denver Post on Tuesday. “There was just something about him that made him able to bring a smile to anyone’s face.”

Birdwell, 25, was one of two Fort Carson soldiers killed Monday in Kalagush, Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Tuesday. Birdwell was assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Spc. Mabry Anders, 21, of Baker City, Ore., also was killed.

While the circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation, The Associated Press reported two soldiers were killed Monday when an Afghan soldier turned his weapon on international allies in eastern Afghanistan. NATO said in a statement that international troops returned fire and killed the attacker.

read more:

 from oregonlive:
 by Richard Cockle

BAKER CITY -- Mabry James Anders, who died Monday of injuries from enemy small arms fire in Kalagush, Afghanistan, was a "bubbly, fun kid," a Baker High School administrator recalled Tuesday.

Spc. Anders, 21, the son of Troy and Genevieve Woydziak of Baker City, joined the Army on Jan. 5, 2010, and was deployed to Afghanistan this past March 10. He worked as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.

"He was a very likeable, social kid. He had an upbeat personality," said Baker High Assistant Principal Gundula O'Neal.

Anders' parents said they were proud of their son and his service to the nation. "Mabry always gave his all, and in the end he gave all he had," they said in a prepared statement. "We will miss his fearless spirit and love of life."

Anders was the 155th member of the military from Oregon and Southwest Washington to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iran.

Born in Yuma, Ariz., on July 22, 1991, Anders will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge and NATO Medal, in addition to the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and other awards, the army reported.

He left Baker High School before his senior year ended and transferred to the identically named Baker High School in the San Bernadino County town of Baker, Calif.

Also killed in the action that took Anders' life was Sgt. Christopher J. Birdwell, 25, of Windsor, Colo. They were assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Suicide bomber kills Muslim cleric as Putin urges unity

(Reuters) - A woman suicide bomber killed an influential Islamic cleric and six of his followers in Russia's southern Dagestan region on Tuesday as President Vladimir Putin visited another mainly Muslim province and called for an end to religious violence.

Said Atsayev, 74, a popular Sufi Muslim spiritual leader also known as Sheikh Said Afandi al-Chirkavi, was killed when the woman entered his home disguised as a pilgrim and detonated an explosive belt around her waist, police sources said.

In a separate incident in another part of Dagestan, a border guard shot and killed seven other servicemen at a frontier post and was killed by return fire, the federal Investigative Committee said.
Said Atsayev, a leading Sufi Muslim cleric in the mostly Muslim region, addresses the audience during the Dagestan Peoples Congress in Makhachkala in this December 15, 2010 file photo.
Credit: REUTERS/Sergei Rasulov/NewsTeam/Handout/Files
Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed law enforcement source as saying there were indications the gunman had been recruited by "bandits" - as authorities often refer to Islamic militants. The report could not be verified.

Russia is struggling to contain an Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus more than a decade after federal forces toppled a separatist government in a war in Chechnya, adjacent to Dagestan. The violence threatens to spread to other mainly Muslim regions.

Apparently by chance, the killings in Dagestan happened around the same time Putin delivered a call for unity and gave a tough warning to extremists during a visit to Tatarstan, a mostly Muslim region far to the north where senior mainstream Islamic leaders were attacked last month.

"We will not allow anyone to tear our country apart by exploiting ethnic and religious differences," Putin said, appealing for unity and calling Russia "our common home".

"Terrorists, bandits, whatever ideological slogans they use ... want to achieve only one thing: to sow hatred and fear," Putin said.

"They stop at nothing - they kill people of the same faith and religious leaders, bring evil and spill blood during religious holidays," Putin said in Bolgar, a settlement in Tatarstan where Islam is considered to have been adopted as an official religion for the first time in Russia in 922.

Putin called for religious tolerance, describing it as "one of the foundations of Russian statehood for centuries," before giving a state friendship medal to Tatarstan's chief mufti, who survived a car bombing last month, and a posthumous Order of Courage to the widow of a deputy mufti shot dead the same day.

It was not clear whether Putin knew of the violence in Dagestan before he made his comments. Atsayev, killed in the suicide bombing, was popular among many in Dagestan, including in the government. Like the deputy mufti slain in Tatarstan, he was an opponent of militant Islam.

Thousands of people streamed to the Dagestani cleric's funeral late on Tuesday and the regional leader declared a day of mourning on Wednesday.

The violence in Dagestan followed an attack on August 18 in which masked gunmen opened fire in a mosque in the province, killing one person and injuring several others, and a suicide bombing the following day that killed seven police in Ingushetia, another province in the turbulent North Caucasus.

Also on Tuesday, the Investigative Committee said security forces in Ingushetia killed four suspected militants. Itar-Tass news agency cited local Federal Security Service officials as saying they were involved in the assault on police and had been planning attacks on the first day of the school term on September 1.

Insurgents fighting to carve an Islamic state from the North Caucasus have attacked officials and law enforcement personnel almost daily and have also increasingly targeted mainstream Muslim leaders backed by the authorities.

Putin, who started a six-year term in May, is eager to prevent the militant Islam that fuels the insurgency in the Caucasus from gaining ground in long-peaceful Tatarstan and neighbouring Bashkortostan, which is also heavily Muslim.


The former KGB officer became president after directing the war against separatist Muslims in power in Chechnya in 1999 when he was prime minister.

Putin's rule has since been marked by violence in the Caucasus and attacks by insurgents from the region, including a suicide bombing at a Moscow airport that killed 37 people last year and subway bombings that killed 40 in 2010.

Muslims make up about 20 million of Russia's 143 million population. Attacks last week by racist soccer fans in Moscow and St Petersburg on Muslims from the Caucasus underscored potentially explosive ethnic tension.

Tatarstan, on the Volga 800 km (500 miles) east of Moscow, has not seen anything like the violence of the Caucasus regions about 2,000 km further south, but the attacks on its chief mufti and his deputy last month rang alarm bells across Russia.

Some Muslims in Tatarstan have expressed anger towards authorities and state-backed religious figures are restricting Islam in the name of fighting radicalism. Some moderate Muslims say radicals have arrived from outside the region.

"We are not the Caucasus. Two Tatars, even if they quarrel can sit down, drink tea and overcome their differences. We are northern people and we are more rational," said Kamil Samigullin, imam of the new White Mosque at the Bolgar settlement visited by Putin on Tuesday.

But Dzhaudat Kharrasov, imam of the Tukayev district of Tatarstan, said: "Radicalism is a problem. It cannot be denied, but it is frowned on by our people."

(Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage and David Stamp)

By Gleb Bryanski
BOLGAR, Russia | Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:48pm BST

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 ANA soldiers killed in Kunar suicide attack

ASADABAD (PAN): Five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed as a result of a suicide attack in the eastern province of Kunar, officials said on Wednesday.

The suicide attack took place after a roadside bomb on Tuesday evening in the Nangalam area of Manugi district, the deputy governor, Mohammad Amin Tokhi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Five ANA soldiers were killed and a sixth wounded in the incidents, he said adding the injured was in a stable condition.

Col. Noman Hatifi, the spokesman for the 201st Selab Military Corps, confirmed the incident but had no more details.

from Pajhwok
by Khan Wali Salarzai on Aug 29, 2012 - 11:07


29 Aug 2012, 4:38 pm

Five Afghan army soldiers have been killed in an insurgent roadside bombing and suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan.

Five Afghan army soldiers have been killed in an insurgent roadside bombing and suicide attack in an eastern Afghanistan militant hotbed.

The soldiers were attacked late Tuesday in Kunar province by a suicide bomber on foot after a smaller explosion caused by a roadside bombing, a tactic that Afghan insurgents use often, the officials said.

"First there was an improvised roadside bombing that hit an army convoy," Mohammad Amin Tokhi, the Kunar provincial deputy governor, told AFP.

"Some of the soldiers got out of their vehicles to check it out. A suicide bomber ran at them and detonated. Five of our soldiers were martyred and another was wounded."

The incident took place in Manogai district, a hotspot of the Taliban insurgency.

Dozens of the militants were killed in a NATO airstrike in the region earlier this month, the deputy governor said.

Mohammad Daud Barakzai, the Kunar deputy police chief, confirmed the Afghan army casualties and blamed the Taliban for the attack.

Afghanistan is plagued by an insurgency waged by the remnants of the Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamist group that ruled the war-shattered nation between 1996 and 2001 before being ousted in a US-led invasion.

NATO has some 130,000 troops in the country fighting the insurgency but they are due to withdraw in 2014 and Afghan forces are taking increasing casualties as they assume more responsibility for security.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Aug. 29., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban weapons supplier during an operation in Andar district, Ghazni province, today.

The weapons supplier provided Taliban leaders in Ghazni with improvised explosive devices, weapons and ammunition.

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

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force discovered a major explosives cache in Lashkar Gah district, Helmand province, yesterday. The cache included mortar rounds, two improvised explosive devices, bombmaking equipment, and 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds) of ammonium nitrate, a compound insurgents use to produce homemade explosive.

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader during an operation in Kandahar district, Kandahar province, today. The Taliban leader distributed weapons and explosives to Taliban fighters. He is also suspected of being involved in planning the assassination of an Afghan government official in Kandahar. During the operation, the security force also detained two additional suspected insurgents.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Taliban attack Pakistan army post, kill 9 troops

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani military official says Taliban militants attacked an army post near the Afghan border, killing nine soldiers.

The official says several other soldiers were wounded in the attack in the South Waziristan tribal area. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The group's spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, claimed they killed 12 soldiers and beheaded some of them.

The differing accounts could not be independently verified.

South Waziristan was once the main stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. The military launched a large offensive against militants there in 2009, but insurgents still operate in the area and periodically stage attacks.

from The Times of India
Aug 29, 2012, 12.45PM IST

Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog