Friday, September 14, 2012

Yemeni fighter jets bomb al-Qaida-held bases in restive south

ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni fighter jets launched two air strikes and bombed several hideouts of al-Qaida militants in the turbulent southern province of Abyan on Thursday night, an army officer told Xinhua without any reports of casualties.

Two military fighters jets screamed through the sky over the Mahfad town in Abyan, dropping bombs and rockets that shelled several hideouts of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot, the local army officer said on condition of anonymity.

"Initial reports that we are getting from military intelligence agents in the bombing area show that several arms caches and hideouts of al-Qaida were completely shelled," the army officer said.

No casualties have been reported so far in Thursday's air bombing, according to the army officer.

Media sources and members of the al-Qaida group could not be reached for comment.

A local resident told Xinhua anonymously that unknown warplanes dropped bombs on al-Qaida-held locations in the Mahfad town, causing a powerful blast that rocked the ground and sent up a huge gray cloud of smoke in the sky.

Meanwhile, two security personnel were injured due to a remote- controlled blast targeting a military patrol in neighboring southern province of Lahj, a security official said.

A string of high-level assassinations and suicide bombings struck Yemen's southern regions over the past two months, showing that al-Qaida militants have retained the capacity to attack despite that Yemen's military operations claimed victory in routing them out of their strongholds in the south.

On June 20, Yemen's military officials announced the seizing of al-Qaida's last bastion in the country's troubled south following the army's offensive backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.

However, local military and anti-terrorism experts said that the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch is still a major threat to the impoverished Arab country despite being driven out from its main southern bastions by U.S.-backed military assault.

2012-09-14 03:47:24

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Kenyan police seize suicide vests, say thwart attacks

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan police seized a cache of explosive-laden vests, grenades and automatic rifles in an overnight raid on a Nairobi apartment on Friday, thwarting an imminent attack by Somali Islamist militants, a senior police official said.

East Africa's biggest economy has been on a heightened state of security since Nairobi sent troops into Somalia to crush al Qaeda-linked insurgents who carried out a double suicide bombing in neighbouring Uganda in 2010.

Western embassies in Kenya have warned of potential attacks several times in the last nine months.

"Obviously these are al Shabaab items. This is a very organised team that is ready to cause big problems in the country," Moses Ombati, Nairobi's deputy police chief, told reporters at the apartment where the weapons were seized.

"They were about to start executing their mission," he said.

Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Crime Prevention Unit raided an apartment in the capital's Eastleigh district, dubbed "Little Mogadishu" because of its large ethnic Somali population, and arrested two men.

As the dawn call to prayer rang out from nearby mosques, police displayed the six suicide bomber vests, 12 grenades and four AK-47s with more than a dozen loaded magazines.

Wiring could be seen protruding from wrapped-up bundles stuffed into the vests. Police said the neatly arranged packages contained explosives and were ready to be used. They also seized several mobile phone they said would likely have been used to trigger the bombs.

The Kampala bombings that killed 79 soccer fans watching the World Cup final were al Shabaab's first on foreign soil and highlighted both their intent and capability to strike beyond Somalia's borders.

Al Shabaab have threatened to bring down skyscrapers in the Kenyan capital. Counter-terror experts have doubted their ability to wage such a large-scale strike, but say they would have the capacity to attack soft targets such as bars and hotels.

"We believe they were intending to attack (sites) where there are big crowds, such as super markets, bars, churches and bus stations," Ombati said.

Kenya has been dogged over the last year by a wave of explosions and gun attacks blamed on al Shabaab and their sympathisers in Nairobi, the port city of Mombasa and towns along its porous border with Somalia.

By Kariuki Maina
Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:30am GMT

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Sep. 14., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed five insurgents, detained four and cleared six improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Sept. 13.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two IEDs, one in Ghazni district and one in Qarah Bagh district.

Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces killed an insurgent, wounded one and detained two during an engagement in Dehyak district.

The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning. The wounded received medical care and then was also transferred to a base for questioning.

A coalition airstrike killed four insurgents in Muqer district in response to Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces receiving direct and indirect insurgent fire.

Khowst province
Afghan Border Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Khowst district.

Laghman province
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Qarghah'i district.

Paktiya province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Zurmat district.

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

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

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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Massive amounts of drugs seized in Afghanistan

Afghanistan-Badakhshan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Around 6,000 kg of various narcotics were seized and six drug manufacturing labs were destroyed in Afghanistan in a joint operation by Russian, US and Afghan law enforcement officers, RIA Novosti reported.

The operation conducted in Badakhshan province seized 180 kg of heroin, 1,500 kg of morphine, 1,200 kg of opium, 2,000 kg of opium poppy seeds and 700 kg of drug-making precursor chemicals, Russian narcotics agency FSKN said Thursday.

Flooded by heroin made in Afghanistan and smuggled through former Soviet republics, Russia has cooperated with NATO in fighting the drug business in Afghanistan for years.

Moscow remains highly concerned about the persisting threat of drug trafficking from Afghanistan, particularly after international troops leave in 2014.

According to Russia's federal drug control watchdog, heroin production in Afghanistan has risen 40-fold in the past decade. Opium poppy plantations currently cover 130,000 hectares in the country.

According to the UN's World Drug Report, Russia consumed an estimated 70 tonnes of heroin in 2010.

from Afghanistan News.Net
Thursday 13th September, 2012

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