Friday, September 7, 2012

Multiple bombings kill 5, wound dozens in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- A total of five bombings rocked Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk on Friday morning, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more, most of whom were Shiite worshippers and security members, a local police source said.

The apparently-coordinated attacks seemed to target mosques as four of them happened near four different mosques, three Shiite and one Sunni, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The fifth attack was a car bombing targeting a police patrol.

"Our report says at least five people were killed and 65 others wounded in the five attacks which happened this morning," the source said.

Most of the dead were Shiite worshippers and a number of policemen were among the wounded, he added.

Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, is a major oil hub and a multi-ethnic community. It is part of the disputed areas between Kurds, Arabs and Turkomans. The area has long been a hotbed of insurgency since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

2012-09-07 20:28:38

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18 PKK members killed in military operations in southeast Turkey

Shows the location of the Şırnak province in T...
Shows the location of the Şırnak province in Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ANKARA, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Turkish security forces killed 18 members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in military operations in Beytussebap town of southeastern province of Sirnak, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported on Friday.

Turkish officials were quoted as saying that military operations have been ongoing in the region after simultaneous PKK attacks on military checkpoints in Beytussebap that killed 10 Turkish soldiers on September 2.

Sirnak governor's office said that one Turkish soldier was killed in clashes with PKK militants in the region early on Friday.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, over 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.

2012-09-07 16:23:01

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White House set to blacklist Haqqani terrorist Network

Badruddin Haqqani (photo:Khaama)
The United States is preparing to blacklist the Pakistan-linked Haqqani network, accused of some high-profile attacks, as early as Friday.

US officials have been debating the move for a month, with opponents fearing that it could pour more salt on the wounded alliance with Pakistan after months of turmoil in the delicate relationship.

Based in Washington, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its recent report that the Haqqani Network has been an effective fighting force and proxy of the Pakistani security services for the better part of 30 years.

The debate on the issue reached a peak in August under the pressure of a Congressional reporting deadline on September 10.

Designation by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization would bring sanctions such as criminal penalties for anyone providing material support to the group and seizure of any assets in the United States.

The network been accused of launching scores of cross-border attacks on US troops in Afghanistan from strongholds in Pakistan’s restive northwest, and Washington has demanded that Islamabad do more to deny them “safe havens.”US officials have linked the Haqqani network to some of the boldest attacks in Afghanistan, including a June assault on a hotel near Kabul that killed 18 people and a siege last year of the US embassy.

By Sajad - Fri Sep 07, 10:34 am

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Sep. 07., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces killed a Taliban cell leader during a security operation in Nad ‘Ali district, Helmand province, Thursday.

Ajmal, also known as Ahmed Shah, is believed to have commanded an attack cell and directed insurgent activity throughout western Helmand, including multiple attacks on Afghan security forces.

In the days prior to his death, Ajmal is believed to have conducted an attack wounding several Afghan soldiers.

During the operation, the security force positively identified Ajmal and one other individual engaged in insurgent activity. After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the security force engaged Ajmal and the other insurgent with a precision airstrike, killing both.

A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected insurgents during an operation to arrest a Taliban leader in Now Zad district, Helmand province, today. The Taliban leader is believed to direct insurgent activity throughout the district, including the acquisition of weapons and attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces. The security force also seized multiple assault rifles and illegal narcotics as a result of this operation.

Afghan commandos from the General Directorate of Police Special Units and coalition forces discovered a large cache of weapons and drugs during a vehicle interdiction in Reg-e-Khanishen district, Helmand province yesterday. The combined force seized more than 580 kilograms of dry opium, 100 kilograms of wet opium, multiple weapons, ammunition and night vision goggles. The force also detained three insurgents during the operation. The detained insurgents are suspected of enabling attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the area. Sales from illegal drugs are believed to fund insurgent activity throughout Afghanistan, according to Afghan and coalition officials.

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Sep. 07., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces killed five insurgents, detained five and cleared seven improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Sept. 6.

Ghazni Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared three IEDs, one in Ghazni District, one in Qarah Bagh District and one in Gelan District.

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

Kunar province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed five insurgents during an engagement in Bar Kunar district.

Laghman province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Mehtar Lam district.

Nangarhar province
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Mohmand Darah district.

Paktika province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Qarah Bagh district.

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

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

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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Boko Haram Threatens VOA Reporters

A radical Nigerian sect is again threatening reporters working with Voice of America.

The warning issued Thursday by Boko Haram came in the same statement in which it claimed responsibility for attacking and destroying mobile phone towers in the northern part of the country.

Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa said in the statement the group was going to target VOA, charging VOA "has undertaken the task of harming our religion."  He said the Boko Haram "will not leave any correspondent or staff of VOA alone."

Qaqa also defended the attacks on the mobile phone towers, saying the wireless phone companies were helping give Nigerian security forces information on Boko Haram members.  The group first warned of attack on mobile phone towers months ago.

This is not the first time Boko Haram has threatened journalists.  In May, the sect purportedly issued an 18-minute video on YouTube threatening VOA and other international news organizations.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation with about 160 million people.  It is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mainly in the north and Christians, mostly living in the south.

Boko Haram does not recognize the Nigerian government or constitution and says it wants to establish a strict Islamic state in the north.  Human Rights Watch says the group has been responsible for more than 1,000 deaths over the past three years, mostly in the north.

The U.S. government has designated three Boko Haram leaders as terrorists.

from VOA News
September 06, 2012

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R.I.P. - Pfc. Shane W. Cantu

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Pfc. Shane W. Cantu, 20, of Corunna, Mich., died Aug. 28, in Charkh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was hit by shrapnel.

            Cantu was assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.

            For more information pertaining to this release, media may contact the U.S. Army Europe public affairs office in Heidelberg, Germany at 011-49-162-271-6685.


CORUNNA — A funeral is planned at Corunna High School for a 20-year-old graduate who was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

The body of Army Pfc. Shane Cantu of Corunna arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last week, with a military honor guard on hand to carry the flag-draped coffin.

Visitation is 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Nelson-House Funeral Home in Owosso. The service is 5 p.m. Monday at the school's Nick Annese Field. Details of the funeral service were reported Wednesday by the Flint Journal.

Cantu's ex-football coach has said he died Aug. 28 after insurgents threw an explosive over a base wall.

Cantu had been stationed in Germany and Italy before transferring to Afghanistan a month before he was killed.

Community Holds Vigil for Pfc. Shane Cantu

link to the video:
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Heavy forces deployed at Pak nuclear facility after Taliban threat

Map of Punjab with Dera Ghazi Khan District hi...
Map of Punjab with Dera Ghazi Khan District highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Pakistan Army and Punjab Police have deployed heavy forces at one of Pakistan's largest nuclear facilities in Dera Ghazi Khan (DG Khan), following 'serious' security threats from the Pakistani Taliban.

Sources in the military and Punjab Police said the nature of threat at the nuclear installation is 'serious,' with an 80 percent chance of occurrence.

"DG Khan houses one of the largest nuclear facilities in the country, and has faced the first-ever serious security threat from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)," The Express Tribune quoted a high-ranking military officer, as saying.

Besides the deployment inside and around the nuclear installation, three divisions in South Punjab have also been asked to launch a crackdown against banned outfits, sources said.

According to an official who works at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, a key military and civilian fuel cycle site is located 40 kilometres from DG Khan. The site comprises uranium milling and mining operations, and a uranium hexaflouride conversion plant.

The Inter-Services Intelligence reportedly intercepted a telephone call from the TTP, wherein they were said to have been finalising their strategy for attacks on nuclear installations in DG Khan, sources said.

According to sources, the caller said that three to four vehicles carrying suicide bombers could strike the nuclear facilities at any time. Sources said that, according to precedents, threats intercepted via phone calls often materialised in the next 72 hours.

Sources said that a heavy contingent of military from the Multan cantonment has also reached the site and beefed up the inner cordon of the security. Military has also been deployed near the border with Balochistan. (ANI)

from AfghanistanNews
Thursday 6th September, 2012

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Al Qaeda operative confirmed dead

Kunar province (image:Pajhwok)
KABUL (PAN): Afghan and coalition forces on Thursday confirmed the death of an Al Qaeda operative during an airstrike in the Watapur district of eastern Kunar province.

Abu Saif, also known as Haidar Baba who worked with Kunar-based Al Qaeda leaders  Yusuf and Mufti Assad, was killed by Afghan and coalition forces on Aug. 31 along with two other insurgents.

The alliance said Abu Saif was a close associate of Al Qaeda leader Hanzallah, who was killed along with several of his fighters in a July operation in the province, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

Abu Saif is believed to have served as cross-border facilitator and was involved in leading Al Qaeda’s media operation into Afghanistan.

During the Aug 31 operation, the joint security force, after observing several individuals engaged in rebel activity, conducted a precision airstrike, killing the terrorists.

Meanwhile, an Afghan-coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader during an operation in Kandahar City on Friday, the statement said.

The detainee allegedly directed the distribution of weapons and explosives throughout an insurgent network in Kandahar. He is also believed to have planned several high-profile attacks in the region, including those against Afghan and coalition security checkpoints.

Prior to his arrest, the Taliban network leader was believed to be acquiring weapons and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for an imminent attack. The security force also detained several suspected fighters in the operation.

Afghan and coalition forces also verified the arrest of a Taliban explosives supplier during an operation in the Panjwai district on Thursday.

Multiple insurgents were detained and several kilograms of explosives seized during an operation in Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province. The operation targeted a Taliban network conducting attacks throughout western Helmand.

from Pajhwok
by Pajhwok Report on Sep 6, 2012 - 15:02   

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Nigeria: Navy Rescues Hijacked Oil Vessel, Crew

The Nigerian Navy says it has rescued the oil vessel, MT Abu Dhabi Star, hijacked by pirates off the Nigerian territorial waters early on Wednesday morning.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the vessel, which was carrying products belonging to Exxon Mobil when it was hijacked on Wednesday at about 3:00 a.m, had a 23-man crew.

Confirming the rescue, Lt.-Cdr. Jerry Omodara, spokesperson, Western Naval Command, Apapa, told NAN that the naval personnel had taken over the ship and were currently ferrying it to Lagos.

Omodara said the details would not be provided "until when the rescue team arrives".

He said that the navy had deployed a helicopter and two patrol vessels to search for the vessel and rescue the crew members in good condition.

The Nigerian Navy had last week chased another oil tanker allegedly hijacked within the country's territorial waters but was later found off the coast of Ondo State with the Russians crew heading for Cotonou.

Nigeria and Benin Republic last year commenced a joint patrol of their territorial waters. NAN

from allAfrica / Leadership
5 September 2012

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