Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pakistan: 15 killed, 12 injured in Lower Dir blast

A roadside bomb killed 15 passengers in a van and wounded 12 others in Lower Dir on Sunday morning, police said.

The vehicle was hit in the Jandol area when it was taking people from a border village to the town of Munda early in the morning, said Ejaz Abid, police chief in Lower Dir district where the attack took place.

He said the bomb was planted in a dirt road and apparently detonated by remote control. The injured were rushed to a hospital, where some remained in serious condition.

Local government official Mahmood Aslam said two children were among the dead. He said that the vehicle was not carrying any tribal elders, militia commanders, or others from the area frequently targeted by militants. ”I don’t understand why the passenger vehicle was targeted,” he said. Dilawar Khan, a survivor, said he heard a huge blast, and the passengers suddenly dived to the ground.

”There was a big bang and we all were lying here and there … I was listening to people’s cries but unable to see anything as dust and smoke engulfed the air … Then I found myself in the hospital with my leg and hand bandaged,” said Khan. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

from The Nation
Enhanced by Zemanta

Afghan police kill 4 NATO soldiers in Zabul

(Reuters) - Four soldiers fighting with the NATO-led alliance were killed in an attack believed to involve members of the Afghan police in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the coalition said.

The attack came a day after two British soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan policeman while returning from a patrol in southern Helmand province, one of the strongholds of the Taliban-led insurgency.

The shooting took place in Zabol, a southern province where U.S. forces are based, according to a local official, who said all four soldiers killed were American.

One attacker who was wearing an Afghan National Police uniform (ANP) was also killed in the fighting, the source said.

At least 51 foreign military personnel have been killed in "insider" attacks this year, attacks which have put a heavy strain on trust between the coalition and Afghanistan as they move towards handing security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

The rise in such attacks has led to the training of new recruits to the Afghan army and police being suspended.

With foreign combat troops withdrawing from the increasingly unpopular and expensive war, the enormous cultural divide that still separates Afghans and their allies after 11 years of conflict has become more of a concern than ever.

The NATO-led coalition and its Afghan counterparts have created a special Joint Casualties Assessment Team to investigate every attack, which number at least 37 this year.

In more than half of cases, attackers are either killed or escape and the motive never emerges, making it more difficult for the coalition to stem the surge.

Adding to the toll of coalition deaths caused by insider attacks over the weekend, two were killed and nine wounded in Friday's attack on Camp Bastion, one of the worst attacks on a NATO-operated base all year.

Six Harrier jets were destroyed and two were significantly damaged in the raid on the camp airfield, carried out by 15 insurgents wearing U.S. Army uniforms and split between three teams, a NATO statement said on Sunday.

Three refuelling stations were destroyed and six aircraft hangars were damaged. Britain's Prince Harry was at Camp Bastion at the time of Friday's attack, but was unharmed.

All but one of the attackers were killed, with the remaining fighter taken into custody by coalition forces.

In a separate incident on Sunday, NATO-led forces arrested a Taliban fighter responsible for killing two U.S. troops when they were downed in their Kiowa helicopter in eastern Afghanistan, according to a separate statement by the coalition.


KABUL | Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:19am BST
(Reporting by Jessica Donati in Kabul and Ismail Sameem in Kandahar; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sep. 16., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force today arrested the Taliban leader responsible for the death of two American service members following a Sept. 5 helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban commander was successfully taken into custody by the security force following a joint effort by Afghan and coalition forces to identify and track down the Taliban insurgents responsible for the Sept. 5 attack. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

The Taliban leader and his insurgent cell coordinated the attack that downed an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, killing both service members aboard.

The security force also detained one suspected insurgent and seized improvised explosive device components and Taliban-associated materials during this operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


An Afghan and coalition force killed several heavily armed insurgents during multiple operations in Asadabad district, Kunar province, Saturday. During the operations, the security force observed several militants carrying a mortar launcher and munitions toward a populated area. After ensuring there were no civilians nearby, the security force engaged the armed insurgents with multiple precision airstrikes.
Post-strike assessments determined no civilians were harmed and there was no damage to civilian structures.

An Afghan and coalition security force killed several armed insurgents during a security operation in Bar Kunar district, Kunar province, Saturday. During the operation, the security force positively identified a group of armed insurgents preparing to attack Afghan and coalition forces. After ensuring no civilians were in the vicinity, the security force engaged the armed insurgents with a precision airstrike. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and no civilian property was damaged during the operation.

An Afghan and coalition security force killed one armed insurgent during an operation to arrest a Taliban leader in Khugyani district, Nangarhar province, today. As the security force approached the Taliban leader's suspected location, an armed insurgent maneuvered on the Afghan and coalition troops. The security force positively identified the lethal threat and engaged, killing the armed insurgent. No civilians were harmed during the operation. The security force also detained one suspected insurgent and seized one assault rifle and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) components as a result of this operation.

Afghan and coalition forces conducted a security operation resulting in the death of an armed insurgent in Gardez district, Paktiya province, Saturday. During the operation, the security force observed an armed militant engaging in insurgent activity. After ensuring there were no civilians nearby, the security force engaged the insurgent with a precision airstrike. A post-strike assessment determined no civilians were harmed and there was no damage to civilian structures.


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested two suspected insurgents during an operation to arrest a Taliban leader in Qal'ah-ye Zal district, Kunduz province, today. The Taliban leader conducts attacks throughout the region, as well as facilitating the purchase and delivery of supplies and weapons for insurgent fighters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sep. 16., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed 10 insurgents, detained two and cleared six improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Sept. 15.

Ghazni Province
A coalition airstrike killed four insurgents who were emplacing an IED in Gelan District.

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

Nangarhar Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Behsud District.

Paktika Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed two insurgent and wounded one during an engagement in Bermal District. The wounded insurgent received medical care and was transferred to a base for questioning.

Paktiya Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Zurmat District.

Wardak Province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two IEDs, one in Maidan Shahr District and one in Sayyidabad District.

Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces killed four insurgents during an engagement in Nerkh District.

Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces detained an insurgent during an engagement in Sayyidabad District. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

Enhanced by Zemanta

ISAF provides additional details on Camp Bastion attack

ISAF provides additional details on Camp Bastion attack

KABUL, Afghanistan (Sept. 16, 2012) — Following the 14 September attack at Camp Bastion, in which two Coalition service members were killed when insurgents attacked the base’s airfield, the International Security Assistance Force provides the following additional details.  Because it is still early in the investigation of this attack, this information is subject to change as new details become available:

The attack commenced just after 10 p.m. when approximately 15 insurgents executed a well-coordinated attack against the airfield on Camp Bastion.  The insurgents, organized into three teams, penetrated at one point of the perimeter fence.

The insurgents appeared to be well equipped, trained and rehearsed.

Dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests, the insurgents attacked Coalition fixed and rotary wing aircraft parked on the flight line, aircraft hangars and other buildings.

Six Coalition AV-8B Harrier jets were destroyed and two were significantly damaged.  Three Coalition refueling stations were also destroyed.  Six soft-skin aircraft hangars were damaged to some degree.

Coalition forces engaged the insurgents, killing 14 and wounding one who was taken into custody.  In addition to the two Coalition service members that were killed, nine Coalition personnel – eight military and one civilian contractor – were wounded in the attack.  None of their injuries are considered life-threatening.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Afghan policeman kills 2 British soldiers in Helmand

British Soldiers patrol Helmand Province.
British Soldiers patrol Helmand Province. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Afghan policeman killed two British soldiers and wounded four more today before being killed himself in return fire in the southern province of Helmand. The attack is the latest in the long string of so-called green-on-blue incidents, or insider attacks, in which Afghan security personnel have killed or wounded members of the International Security Assistance Force. There have been nearly 60 such attacks reported since 2008.

"An individual believed to be an Afghan Local Police member turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing two," the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release. "An ISAF service member returned fire, killing the attacker."

ISAF did not state the nationality of the soldiers who were killed, but TOLONews reported that the troops were British. The attack took place in the Gereshk district.

At the beginning of September, training for more than 1,000 new recruits for the Afghan Local Police was suspended by the US's Special Operations Command after five of its soldiers were killed over the course of a week in August. The Afghan Local Police force is an initiative that provides support to Afghans so they can provide security for their own villages. The ALP have been described as vital to ISAF's strategy. The ALP are to provide security in key districts as foreign troops continue withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Today's green-on-blue attack, or insider attack, as ISAF has begun calling them, occurred close to Camp Bastion, where the Taliban executed a suicide assault last evening. A team of 20 jihadists penetrated the perimeter of Camp Bastion, killed two US Marines, and damaged several military aircraft, a hangar, and buildings.

Camp Bastion was also the scene of a green-on-blue attack in March, when an Afghan interpreter hijacked an SUV and then attempted to run down a group of US Marines, including a major general, at the airfield. The attack took place just before Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's plane was scheduled to land. The attacker crashed his truck and then set himself on fire; the attacker's brother and father, also interpreters, were both detained, as was another person also said to be an interpreter. One British soldier was wounded during the attack.

The last green-on-blue attack took place on Aug. 28 on a base in neighboring Uruzgan province. An Afghan soldier gunned down three Australian soldiers and wounded two more. The attacker, a recent recruit named as Sergeant Hikmatullah, climbed over the base's fence after the attack and ran away.
Helmand province has seen the greatest number of green-on-blue attacks. Of the 58 reported attacks since 2008 in Afghanistan, 16, or 28%, have occurred in Helmand. A significant number of green-on-blue attacks have also taken place in Kandahar province, where there have been nine attacks, or nearly 16% of the total number.

Read more:
Enhanced by Zemanta

R.I.P. - Sgt. Kyle B. Osborn

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

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

            Sgt. Kyle B. Osborn, 26, of Lafayette, Ind., died Sep. 13 in Muqer, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Camp Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.

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


ARMY Sgt. Kyle B. Osborn, 26, of Lafayette, IN, died Sep. 13 in Muqer, Afghanistan.

Several years ago Kyle Osborn, a McCutcheon High School alumnus and Clarks Hill native, returned to his alma mater to visit with a handful of his favorite teachers.

Having just made the decision to forgo a college wrestling career for a stint with the U.S. Army, the 2005 McCutcheon graduate was beaming with pride. "He was so enthusiastic about what he was doing," physics teacher Cheryl McLean said. "It was such a warm moment."

Osborn, who served in the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, was reported Friday as having been killed in Afghanistan. He is Greater Lafayette’s 12th member of the military to die in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since the conflicts began following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

According to the Associated Press, as of Tuesday at least 1,980 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan as a result of the US led invasion.

McCutcheon Principal John Beeker met with members of Osborn's family Friday and said he anticipates that the school will do something to commemorate Osborn's life and service. "We're going to do something, but we've got to let the parents guide that a little," Beeker said. "We're going to do something when the time is right." Beeker praised Osborn’s intelligence. He said he often chose Osborn for leadership roles due to his outspokenness. "He'd always give a nice perspective on things. Just a fun kid. Fun to be around."

Osborn was a member of the football and wrestling teams at McCutcheon. He was an individual state qualifier at 152 pounds as a senior and captain of the Mavericks' 2005 regional championship wrestling team. He planned to pursue wrestling in college until he shifted to the military. His teammates called him "Ozzy."

Kathy Dale, whose son Travis wrestled with Osborn at McCutcheon, remembered him as a great leader and positive person. "It's just a tragic loss," she said. "He was very close with both his parents. My thoughts go out to them. He was very loved here."

Graphic arts teacher Ed Tilley, who coached Osborn in football, said, "He's a short guy but, man, he played like he was 10 feet tall."  Tilley clearly remembers the day Osborn came strolling back into McCutcheon's hallways to update his teachers on his life. "He said, 'Hey, coach Tilley,' and (gave) that smile," Tilley recalled. "I said 'Just be careful. Keep your head down.' You always want to make sure they're safe. I’m sad he's gone, but I know he died doing something he loved to do."

Ryan Walden, director of athletics at McCutcheon, said Friday: "The McCutcheon Athletic Department is saddened by the loss of a great Maverick, outstanding leader from our community, and a true American. We are thankful for everything that Kyle has done for our community and country, and cherish the memories from when he wore a McCutcheon uniform."

McLean, who Osborn once identified as his favorite teacher, described Osborn as "mischievous" but inquisitive and brimming with contagious enthusiasm. Osborn, she said, kept her on her toes. "I am a better teacher because of his input in my classroom, and I am a better person because I knew him," McLean said.

In McLean's class, at least, Osborn's legacy will live on. "I will forever share stories of Kyle in my physics class," McLean said. "He knew how to strike a perfect balance between the hard work of learning and having fun"
Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog