Saturday, September 1, 2012

32 militiamen arrested in Malian capital Bamako

BAMAKO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- As many as 32 militiamen were arrested when taking training in the Malian capital Bamako, the West African country's security sources said at the weekend.

The trainees at Sokorodji belong to a self-defense militia group "the Youth Action to Save the North." They were taken to the National Police Training School for verification after detained by security personnel.

Mali's Security Minister Tiefing Konate on Friday said they were arrested at around 1:00 a.m. (local time).

"The security minister would wish to inform the public that the safety of people with their property as well as the defense of territorial integrity are a sacred duty of the state," a statement from the ministry said.

"In this regard, no parallel initiative which intends to substitute the armed and security forces will be tolerated," the statement added.

On Tuesday, the brothers and friends of Mahamadou Diouara, who is the head of "the Youth Action to Save the North", said he had been abducted on the night of Aug. 24 by a group of 30 armed men.

Northern Mali fell into the hands of rebels soon after the March 22 military coup.

2012-09-01 17:36:19

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Wardak governor condemns insurgent attack that kills 12 Afghans

Districts of Wardak.
Districts of Wardak. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Wardak Provincial Governor Mohammad Halim Fadai offered his condolences to the families of eight Afghan civilians and four Afghan Uniformed Police officers who he claimed were killed during an indiscriminate insurgent attack in Sayed Abad district center in Wardak province this morning.

The attack, which the Taliban claimed responsibility for and which occurred near a joint Afghan and ISAF base, also injured scores of other Afghan civilians and Afghan National Security Force personnel. In addition, the attack damaged the district center and a police station.

There were no ISAF fatalities. Those few ISAF soldiers who did suffer non-serious injuries were medically evacuated or were treated on site and are recovering or returned to duty.

There was no follow-on assault after the initial attack.

Fadai strongly condemned the horrific, un-Islamic and inhuman insurgent act and said, "Insurgents once again showed that they are against peace, stability and most importantly are enemies of people of Afghanistan."

ISAF and Afghan military and government officials are currently conducting a more thorough investigation of the attacks.

For information on Afghan casualties, please contact Afghan government and/or military officials.
ISAF Regional Command East
Courtesy Story
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Taliban release video of severed heads of Pakistani soldiers

Pakistani Taliban released a video showing what appeared to be the severed heads of a dozen soldiers on Friday as security officials said 15 troops were missing following fighting with militants.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Spokesman Sirajud Din sent AFP a video showing a militant commander posing with 12 heads arranged on the ground.

“Praise be to God that the mujahideen in Bajaur agency have managed to kill the infidel soldiers of Pakistan,” he says.

“Many of them were killed by bullets, 12 of them as you see have been beheaded, you see 12 heads here, and more heads are on the way.”

The sickening image shows armed Taliban militants standing over decapitated heads which they claim belong to soldiers they killed in clashes on the Pakistan border.

The Pakistan Army says Sirajuddin is operating from Pakistan and speaks for Mullah Fazlullah, the former commander of the Taliban in Swat Valley who is now believed to be based in a border region of Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s claim came hours after the Pakistan Army acknowledged that 15 of its soldiers went missing three days ago after clashes with the Taliban in Batwar area of Bajaur Agency, which borders Afghanistan.

The clashes on Tuesday came as part of a Pakistan army operation to repel Taliban militants who had crossed over from Kunar province in Afghanistan last Friday and occupied the village of Batwar in the Bajaur tribal district.

By Sajad - Sat Sep 01, 1:36 pm

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12 killed, 59 injured in Wardak double suicide attacks

KABUL (PAN): At least 12 people including four policemen were killed, 47 civilians and a dozen of security personnel wounded on Saturday as a result of two back-to-back suicide attacks in the central province of Maidan Wardak, officials said.

An explosives-laden van went up at 6am after a suicide bomber exploded his suicide vest on a road between police headquarters and the base of operational coordination centre in the Syedabad district of the province, the governor’s spokesman, Sahidullah Shahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Eight civilians and four policemen were killed, 47 civilians, seven policemen, three National Directorate of Security (NDS) agents and two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers wounded in the two consecutive suicide bombings, he said.

ISAF media office confirmed the incident, saying there were no ISAF fatalities in the suicide attack.

“There were a minor number of wounded,” the statement said without disclosing the identity and condition of the wounded soldiers.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed that dozens of Afghan and foreign soldiers were killed or wounded in the suicide attacks.

from Pajhwok
by Javed Hamim Kakar on Sep 1, 2012 - 07:16

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Six killed in drone attack in North Waziristan

PESHAWAR: Six people were reported killed in a suspected US drone strike in northwestern Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday, DawnNews reported.

Moreover, two people were also reported to have been injured in the attack.
The drone fired four missiles that targeted a vehicle and a compound in the tribal region’s Degan area.
A senior security official told AFP that several drones were flying in the area at the time of the attack.
Another security official confirmed the strike.
He said the area had been the target of US drone strikes in the past, which killed several foreign militants.
The district is a stronghold of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur militant group, he said, adding that militants from the Haqqani network also operated in Degan.
Attacks by unmanned American aircraft are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment, but US officials are said to believe the attacks are too important to give up.
Washington regards Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt as the main hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

from DAWN 

from KHAAMA:
By Sajad - Sat Sep 01, 1:54 pm

U.S. drones fired a barrage of missiles at a vehicle and a house in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan Saturday, killing at least four suspected militants, Pakistani officials said.
The strike took place in Degan area of North Waziristan, known as a bastion of Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
“US drones fired four missiles on a compound, killing four militants,” a senior security official told AFP.
The district is a stronghold of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur militant group, he said, adding that militants from the Afghan Taliban allied Haqqani network also operate in Degan.
Bahadur’s faction is alleged to have been involved in frequent attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but generally shies away from carrying out operations inside Pakistan. Several recent drone strikes have killed militants affiliated with Bahadur’s group.
Pakistan, on a number of occasions, protested and showed reservations over such attacks, terming them as the violation of its sovereignty and a big reason of collateral damage.
Pakistani parliament also passed a resolution against the drone strikes.
However Washington maintains the program is a necessary and effective tool in combatting militants.

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Sep. 01., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces confirmed the death of al-Qaeda senior leader Abu Walid during an operation which occurred Aug. 3 in Watahpur district, Kunar province.

Abu Walid, also known as Amru Mastur al-Ghamrawi, was a Saudi al-Qaeda leader and improvised explosive device expert who participated in numerous attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, particularly in Waygal district, Nuristan province.

Abu Walid worked with and trained Taliban insurgents on IED construction. He was killed in an Afghan and coalition force operation along with al-Qaida facilitator Fatah Gul and several other insurgents.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


Yesterday, a local national vehicle in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province moved over into the opposite lane of traffic, placing the passengers directly in the path of an ISAF armored vehicle. The local national's vehicle clipped the ISAF vehicle when it swerved to move out of the opposite flow of traffic, avoiding a head-on collision. This contact however, caused the local national vehicle to spin off the road. One local national was killed and four others were injured as a result of the accident. One of the seriously injured was taken to an ISAF facility for treatment and the remaining three were treated at an Afghan medical facility. There were no ISAF casualties.


In Nawah district, Ghazni province on Thursday, Provincial Response Company Zabul, enabled by coalition forces, confirmed they captured Taliban cell leader Ajmal Mohammad Alam. This Taliban leader is believed to be a facilitator of weapons and improvised explosive devices used for attacks in Shah Joy district, Ghazni province. The insurgent leader had a direct connection with senior Taliban leaders. In the same operation, combined forces found and destroyed 1,250 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in the production of homemade explosive.

Provincial Response Company Ghazni and coalition forces recovered 60 improvised explosive devices in a combined cache recovery operation in Deh Yak district, Ghazni province yesterday. The IEDs were located in an abandoned building 2.5 kilometers away from Shayer Buz village. Some IEDs were retained as evidence and the rest were destroyed.

An Afghan and coalition force killed several insurgents during an operation in Watahpur district, Kunar province, yesterday. During the operation, the security force observed several individuals engaging in insurgent activity. After ensuring there were no civilians nearby, the security force engaged with a precision airstrike. Post-strike assessments determined no civilians were harmed and there was no damage to civilian structures.

An Afghan and coalition security force killed one and detained numerous suspected insurgents and destroyed an explosives and weapons cache during an operation in search for a Haqqani leader in Sayyid Karam district, Paktiya province, today. The Haqqani leader
is believed to direct attacks and acquire weapons and funding for Haqqani terrorist attacks in Paktiya province. As the security force approached the Haqqani leader’s suspected location, an armed insurgent fired on the security force. The security force returned fire, killing the insurgent. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

In Wali Muhammad Shahid Khugyani district, Ghazni province today, an Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents during a search for a Taliban leader. The Taliban leader is believed to direct and lead improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.


An Afghan and coalition forces detained numerous suspected insurgents during an operation in search of a Taliban bomb-maker in Washer district, Helmand province, today. The Taliban bomb-maker is believed to acquire and manufacture various types of improvised explosive devices for Taliban leaders in Washer district.

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Sep. 01., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed three insurgents, detained three, located a weapons cache and cleared six improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Aug. 31.

Ghazni Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Andar District. The cache contained homemade explosives.

Khowst Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained three insurgents during an engagement in Sabari District. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two IEDs in Khowst District.

Logar Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two IEDs, one in Pul-E Alam District and one in Baraki Barak District.

Paktika Province
A coalition airstrike killed three insurgents in Giyan District in response to an imminent threat towards Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces.

Paktiya Province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Dzadran District.

Wardak Province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Sayyidabad District.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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US drones strike again in Yemen, kill 8 AQAP fighters

US drones carried out the second strike in Yemen in three days, killing eight al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters as they were traveling in a car in eastern Yemen today.

The unmanned Predators or Reapers fired several missiles at a car as it traveled in the Hawra district in Hadramout province, according to Reuters. The Yemeni Defense Ministry claimed it carried out the strike, but sources told the news agency that US drones fired the missiles.

US military and intelligence officials would not comment on today's strike, but in the past have told The Long War Journal that the Yemeni military is not capable of launching precision strikes on moving vehicles, particularly at nighttime. The time of today's attack was not disclosed.

The exact target of today's strike has not been disclosed; no senior AQAP leaders have been reported killed in the attack. According to The Yemen Post, the fighters "were with their personal guns and explosives and it was believed they had planned to carry out terrorist attacks."

US drones have zeroed in on Hadramout province over the past month. Of the five strikes that have been recorded in August, four have taken place in the eastern province. On Aug. 29, two AQAP fighters, including a Saudi "militant," were reported killed in Hadramout. On Aug. 7, the US carried out two strikes in Yemen. Yemeni officials said that Abdullah Awad al Masri, a wanted bombmaker who is also known as Abou Osama al Maribi, was killed in one of the strikes in Hadramout that also killed two Egyptians, a Tunisian, a Saudi, and a Bahraini. And on Aug. 4, the US conducted another airstrike in Hadramout province.

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