Sunday, November 25, 2012

Car bomb rocks church in Nigerian military barracks

(Reuters) - A car bomb was detonated at a church inside military barracks in Jaji in Nigeria's Kaduna state on Sunday, two military sources said.

"A car drove into the church premises ... then detonated the bomb," one of the military officers told Reuters, asking not to be named.

The National Emergency Agency confirmed there had been an explosion inside the barracks and said it was "likely at a worship centre".

Kaduna state in northern Nigeria has been the target of several bomb attacks this year, including on churches. Some have been claimed by Islamist sect Boko Haram, a group which has killed hundreds in an insurgency this year.

(Reporting by Garba Mohammed and Isaac Abrak; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Alison Williams)
KADUNA, Nigeria | Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:22am EST

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Five killed in attack on Pakistan Shi'ite gathering, 90 hurt

(Reuters) - A bomb killed at least five people and wounded 90 near a Shi'ite procession in Pakistan on Sunday, police said, as the government struggles to stop a wave of attacks by sectarian Sunni militant groups determined to wipe out the minority sect and seize power.

Sunni hardliners threatened to strike hard this weekend, an important one in the Shi'ite religious calendar, prompting authorities to halt cellphone coverage in several areas to prevent bombings triggered by remote control.

Authorities have also restricted motorcycle travel, hoping to deprive suicide bombers of one mode of transportation.

photos on Reuters page here

The wounded were carried away in the north-western city of Dera Ismail Khan, where a bomb targeting Shi'ites killed at least seven people, including four children, on Saturday.

Pakistani police officials inspect the blast site in northwest Pakistan's Dera Ismail Khan on Nov. 25, 2012. At least five people were killed and 83 others injured when a blast hit a Shia Muslim procession to mark Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, in Pakistan's northwest district of Dera Ismail Khan on Sunday morning, said a senior official. (Xinhua/Stringer)
Pakistan's Taliban, who are focused on battling the state but are also allied with Sunni sectarian groups, claimed responsibility for both attacks.

"For Interior Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik, who blocked mobile phones across the country and banned motorbikes, you can't stop our activities against the Shi'ite community and security forces," Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehasan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"We will keep continuing our activities and this is a failure of security forces, police and army that we have made successful attacks in Dera Ismail Khan."

Past attacks during the religious event have killed large numbers of Shi'ites.

Sunday's bomb, planted in a shop near a street market, also wounded five security officials, said senior police official Malik Mushtaq.

Doctors at a hospital in Dera Ismail Khan said five people were killed and 90 wounded. "There is a lack of ambulances and not enough hospital beds," said one. "People brought many of the injured to the hospital on rickshaws."

Hardline Sunni groups, which are becoming increasingly dangerous, have vowed to carry out more attacks as the Shi'ite mourning month of Muharram comes to a climax on Sunday.

Security officials say organisations such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) are stepping up attacks on Shi'ites, who they regard as non-believers, in a bid to destabilise nuclear-armed, U.S. ally Pakistan and establish a Sunni theocracy.

Al Qaeda, which is close to LeJ, pushed Iraq to the brink of a sectarian civil war several years ago with large-scale suicide bombings of Shi'ites.

More than 300 Shi'ites have been killed in Pakistan so far this year in sectarian conflict, according to human rights groups. The campaign is gathering pace in rural as well as urban areas such as Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city.

Shi'ites account for up to 20 percent of this nation of 180 million.

The growing death toll has discouraged some Shi'ites from taking part in processions this year during one of their most sacred rituals, when people flagellate themselves with chains and other items to commemorate the martyrdom of the grandson of Islam's prophet, who was killed during the battle of Karbala.

"If I were to compare with last year, the fear has definitely increased," said Sadia Fatema, 28. "Just last night me and my mother were asking my father and brother if they really had to go to the procession. We are worried."

Others say the pressure has made Shi'ites stand up to Sunni hardliners.

"There is fear, but there is also anger and defiance among Shi'ites," said one, who asked not to be named.

"Shi'ites never felt like a minority in Pakistan but now they are slowly being turned into a real minority. And Shi'ites will not let this happen."

Washington, a critical source of financial aid for cash-strapped Pakistan, has been pressuring the South Asian nation to crack down on militants based in tribal areas who cross the border to attack American-led forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, meanwhile, faces major domestic security challenges from a wide range of groups, including the Taliban, who capitalise on issues such as unemployment, official corruption and poverty to boost recruitment.

A series of army offensives has failed to break the back of militant groups based along the border with Afghanistan.

"Our children are being killed but the government is powerless," complained Shi'ite Amina Bokhari. "What is the purpose of this security they claim to give us?"

By Saud Mehsud
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan | Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:38am GMT
(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in PESHAWAR and Mehreen Zahra-Malik in ISLAMABAD; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Somalia: Al Shabab Briefly Take Over Key Border Town

Beled-Hawo — Somalia's militants Al- Shabaab on Saturday briefly seized a strategic town in the southwestern of war-wrecked horn of Africa nation before they were pushed back by pro-government soldiers controlling the area, an official and residents said.

The rebel fighters from Al-Shabaab launched their attacks on the town of Belad-Hawo town in southwestern Somalia province of Gedo, which is controlled by Somali troops.

The radical group of Al-Shabaab took over the town following fierce battles with army who were forced out of the town, but government troops regrouped and launched a counter- attack on the militants in the strategic town of Belad-Hawo on the key road linking to the border zone with Kenya.

"We managed to push them (Al-Shabaab fighters) back. We are now in hot pursuit of them,"Diyad Abdikalil, military commander of Somali forces in Gedo, told Shabelle Media by phone from the town, adding that they have killed at least 13 Al shabab combatants during the raid.

Witnesses said the fighting has been heavy with both sides exchanging artillery and machine guns.

The Al-Shabaab fighters are currently facing major joint Kenyan and Somali government military offensive.

from allAfrica/Shabelle


from XINHUA:

MANDERA, Kenya, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Several people are reported to have been killed and scores of others injured on Saturday after fierce gun battle erupted in southern Somali border town of Bula- Hawa following an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militia.

The battle for the control of the Somali border town, which is less than 200 meters from Kenya's northern town of Mandera, has also left two Kenyans, including Mandera East Water Officer Mohamed Ali, injured.

The fighting which erupted at around 5 pm local time (1400GMT) was pitting suspected heavily armed Al-Shabaab militia and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) who were in control of the town which was taken over from the insurgents by Somali forces backed by Ethiopian soldiers.

Kenya's Mandera County Commissioner Micheal Ole Tialal said huge number of civilians, largely women and children, and Somali soldiers have crossed to Mandera side of the border after they fled from the heavy fighting.

"Many civilians and TFG soldiers have crossed to the Border Point One in Mandera town. The TFG soldiers and some civilians have now returned back after the fighting has subsided and the attackers repulsed," Tialal said.

"We still have a huge number of Somali refugees who fled from the fighting who are camping on the Border Point One, but we haven' t yet established the number and our chiefs are on the ground to do the count."

Hussein Mahat Abdulle, a resident of Bula-Hawa who spoke on phone, said at least he saw 3 killed persons, 2 with TFG uniform and other body who is believed to be the member of Al-Shabaab assailants.

Abdulle said the attackers also burnt down the entire town, which they held briefly after the overpowered TFG soldiers fled cross the border to Mandera before regrouping and mounted a hard fight back to reclaim the town.

He said 10 civilians were also injured in the fighting and those injured were been taken to Mandera district hospital and other private hospitals in Mandera town.

Tialal said the Mandera East water officer Mohamed Ali sustained slight injuries, after his house which is less than 200 meters from the border was stroked by a stray hand grenade, which completely destroyed the house.

Mandera have repeatedly suffered both loss of property and loss of lives through stray bullets and hand grenades whenever a fighting erupted in Bula-Hawa due to its proximity to the town.

There have also been rising fears among communities living along the porous border with Somalia that the Al-Shabaab group fleeing from the imminent military assault on their last bastion town of Kismayo was likely to turn their frustration on the innocent civilians in a series of revenge attacks.

Panic has gripped border town of Mandera, Liboi and Amuma over the past month as unconfirmed report from Somali indicates that the weakened Al-Shabaab members were withdrawing from port city of Kismayo heading toward southern part of the war-weary country which borders Kenya, a country whose military invasion to flush out Al-Shabaab had served recurrent terror attacks from the militia since October 2011.

Kenya said the deployment of its troops in the southern regions have so far helped to prevent the movement of explosives to the strategic towns of Husingo and Badhade, the conduit points for the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the counterfeit electronics and contraband sugar smuggling across the region.

Military officials said these regions are crucial to the stabilization of Kenya's coastal and northeastern provinces, which have been targeted by attackers preying on soft civilian targets.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
2012-11-25 06:09:43

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In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Four Armed Taliban Killed (25.Nov.2012.)

Publish Date: Nov 25, 2012
In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Four Armed Taliban Killed

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched three joint clearance operations in Kabul, Paktiya and Helmand provinces.

As a result of these operations, four armed Taliban were killed, two wounded and 15 others were arrested by Afghan National Security Forces.

Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated two PKM machine guns, one AK-47 assault rifle, two heavy rounds, one anti-vehicle mine, one radio handset and one motorcycle.

Additionally, Afghan National Police arrested a suspect carrying a BM-1 round in the Jaldak village, Kohistan District of Kapisa province, yesterday.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained two suspects accused of murder and theft in the Dah Sabz and 9th District of Kabul-City.
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5 dead in Takhar, Kunduz incidents

Map of Afghanistan with Takhar highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Takhar highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
KUNDUZ CITY (PAN): Five people were killed in two separate incidents in northern Takhar and Kunduz provinces, an official said on Sunday.

Robbers entered a house in the Sayab area of Bangi district on Saturday night, killing the owner, Takhar police spokesman, Abdul Khalil Aseer, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Before the house owner could fire at the robbers, they shot him dead, Aseer said, adding one of the guests also sustained injuries in the shooting.

The thieves managed to flee the area, but one of them was killed and a second injured as a result of infighting for unknown reason, the police spokesman said.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the fighters attacked a vehicle of the deputy district chief, damaging his car and killing Qayamuddin, an agent of the National Directorate of Security (NDS). However, officials rejected the claim as baseless.

Three robbers were killed and a fourth arrested when a group of robbers fled from the Bangi district of Takhar to the Khanabad town of Kunduz. The fleeing thieves clashed with a local illegal armed group, said the deputy head of Khanabad district, Kudratullah Safi.

from Pajhwok
By Hidayatullah Nov 25, 2012 - 14:19   

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Nov. 25., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Nangarhar province today who is suspected of facilitating attacks against coalition forces.

During the operation, the security force also detained four suspected insurgents.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Haqqani weapons facilitator in Logar province today. The detained facilitator managed and maintained control over weapons caches and was responsible for the movement and delivery of supplies and weapons to Haqqani fighters within the province. The security force also seized multiple firearms as a result of the operation.

An Afghan and coalition force arrested an insurgent improvised explosive device attack leader during a security operation in search of a Taliban leader in Wardak province today.

An Afghan and coalition force arrested three insurgents during a security operation in search of a Taliban operations adviser in Ghazni province today. During the operation, the security force killed one insurgent who fired at them, and seized a rifle with ammunition.

In a separate security operation in Ghazni province today, an Afghan and coalition force arrested an insurgent while searching for a Taliban improvised explosive device attack leader.

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Haqqani IED and direct fire attack leader in Khost province today. The detained leader is also believed to facilitate the transfer and delivery of IEDs and assorted weapons across the Afghan border into Khost province. During the operation, the security force seized multiple firearms with associated gear.


An Afghan and coalition security force detained an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan weapons facilitator in Takhar province today. The detained facilitator is believed to have purchased rifles, machine guns, mortar systems and fertilizer for building IEDs to conduct attacks on Afghan and coalition forces throughout the province.

An Afghan and coalition security force detained four insurgents during a security operation in search of a Taliban operations leader in Kunduz province today.


An Afghan and coalition force arrested two Taliban lethal aid facilitators during a security operation in Helmand province today.
Prior to their arrest, the detained facilitators were believed to be orchestrating an impending high-profile attack. The security force also detained two other suspected insurgents.

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Nov. 25., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed two insurgents and cleared 13 improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours Nov. 24.

Ghazni province

Afghan National Army soldiers found and safely cleared seven IEDs in Giro district.

A coalition airstrike killed two insurgents in Ghazni district in response to an imminent threat towards Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces.

Laghman province

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared three IEDs, two in Nurgaram district and one in Alingar district.

Logar province

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Baraki Barak district.

Nangarhar province

Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Achin district.

Paktiya province

Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Gardez district.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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