Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Al-Qaida suspects assassinate two senior army officials in Yemen's capital

map by Evan Centanni (www.polgeonow.com)
SANAA, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Two senior army officials were assassinated Tuesday by suspected al-Qaida gunmen in Yemeni capital Sanaa, an interior ministry official said.

Colonel Salem Ghorbani of the Republican Guards was shot dead near al-Sawad Military barracks in southern Sanaa early Tuesday.

Another official of the Defense Ministry, Brigadier Fadhel al- Zahairy, was gunned down 30 minutes later in Bab al-Yemen district in central Sanaa.

An interior ministry official said the attacks bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida militants.

Both assassinations were carried out by masked gunmen on motorcycles, according to the official, who spoke to Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The incidents in Sanaa occurred simultaneously with a massive offensive launched by the Yemeni army against tribal saboteurs accused of attacking an oil export pipeline in the neighboring province of Marib.

A senior local tribal official in Marib told Xinhua earlier Tuesday that hundreds of al-Qaida militants were fighting alongside the tribal saboteurs.

The al-Qaida wing confirmed on its official media that its militants are engaging in the fierce battles against the army in Marib. The militants said in a statement obtained by Xinhua that they killed 14 soldiers last week in several ambushes and claimed responsibility for killing a senior military officer along with 11 others in Marib on Dec. 8.

More than 15 army and security personnel have been assassinated in Sanaa since the beginning of this year by motor-riding attackers, for which the government authorities blame the local al- Qaida wing.

In October, unidentified gunmen in Sanaa killed an Iraqi counterterrorism adviser to the Yemeni Defense Ministry and a security coordinator between the Yemeni government and the U.S. embassy in Sanaa. The Interior Ministry's investigation reports blamed both assassination acts on al-Qaida.

Yemen has undergone a political transition led by President Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the stepping down of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier this year.

Restoring security has become Hadi's top priority after last year's unrest allowed the insurgent al-Qaida militants to control swaths of remote land and expand activities to major cities.

2012-12-25 19:22:35
Editor: Lu Hui

Enhanced by Zemanta

Nigeria: 15 Killed in Potiskum in JTF, Boko Haram Gun Duel

Bauchi — A shootout in North-eastern Nigeria between security forces and members of Boko Haram sect has left about 15 people dead including a local police chief, the Associated Press (AP) has said.

This came as gunmen attacked a supply tug boat in the Niger Delta, kidnapping four foreign sailors in the latest attack that is increasingly becoming dangerous for shippers and oil companies.

Also, an unknown gunman yesterday killed three persons and injured five others in Bigi village, a suburb in Bauchi in what was described as an unprovoked attack.

However, it was gathered that the shootings took place in the city of Potiskum, which has increasingly become the scene of violent attacks by the sect.

Army spokesman, Lt. Eli Lazarus, said the attack began late Sunday night in the city and went on for hours after suspected sect members bombed a local police station and attacked a bank branch.

Lazarus said the dead included a police chief and 14 suspected Boko Haram members. Civilians have been killed in such shoot-outs before and Nigeria's military routinely downplays such casualties.

The identity of those who died could not be independently verified, though Lazarus said those killed had been carrying weapons and ammunition.

Lazarus said authorities only collected four corpses of the suspected sect fighters, as the other 10 "were dragged away by other Boko Haram members in order to hide their identity."

It was unclear the motivation behind the attack, though analysts and local security officials believe Boko Haram has funded some of its attacks through bank robberies in which sect members blow open bank buildings to steal the money inside.

The kidnap of the four foreign sailors, according to Associated Press, happened 40 nautical miles off the coast of Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta on Sunday night, as the gunmen stormed the moving vessel, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said yesterday in a warning to other shippers.

The gunmen seized four workers and later fled, the bureau said.

It added that those remaining onboard safely guided the ship to a nearby harbor, the bureau said.

The bureau did not identify the shipper, nor the sailors.

However, a separate notice to private security contractors working in Nigeria and seen by AP identified the four hostages as foreigners.

In Rome, the Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping, saying the four hostages were members of the crew.

A foreign Ministry official said three of the four were Italian.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information publicly, said he didn't know the nationality of the fourth hostage.

Foreign Minister, Giulio Terzi, was following the case personally, and the ministry was working with Nigerian officials to secure the safe return of the crew, the official said.

The official and the private security notice seen by the AP identified the vessel attacked as the Asso Ventuno, operated by Augusta Offshore SpA, a Naples-based shipping company.

The company's website says itdoes business with oil companies Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp. in Nigeria.

A spokesman for Nigeria Navy, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, declined to comment on the issue.

Pirate attacks are on the rise in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, which follows the continent's southward curve from Liberia to Gabon.

Over the last year and a half, piracy therehas escalated from low-level armed robberies to hijackings and cargo thefts.

Last year, London-based Lloyd's Market Association - an umbrella group of insurers - listed Nigeria, neighbouring Benin and nearby waters in the same risk category as Somalia, where two decades of war and anarchy have allowed piracy to flourish.

Analysts believe many of the attackers come from Nigeria, whose lawless waters and often violent oil regionroutinely see foreigners kidnapped for ransom. Increasingly, criminal gangs also have targeted middle and upper-class Nigerians as well.

Sunday's kidnapping is just the latest attack in the region.

On December 17, gunmen kidnapped five Indian sailors on the SPBrussels tanker as it sat about 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the coast of the Niger Delta.

That came the same day gunmen abducted four South Koreans and a Nigerian working for Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. at a construction site in the Brass area of Bayelsa State.

Those workers were later released, though the Indians are still believed to be held by the abductors.

The gunman was said to have to have shot and killed the people at a local food joint.

A reliable security source told THISDAY that "the gunman entered a joint where people were eating and drink, he sat there and ate something and after, he shot three people. Some good Samaritans in the joint attempted to overpower him and arrested him. He used his gun to hit two people that also sustained injuries before he fled."

The source further disclosed that "all the five injured people have been taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital for medical treatment.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abbas Abdullahi, who confirmed the incident, said, "Yes it had happened but all the people shot did not die they are in the hospital I don't know the number but I saw the signal."

Security operatives have beefed up security in the area to prevent further attack or break down of law and order.

from allAfrica/This Day
By Segun Awofadeji with agencies, 25 December 2012

Enhanced by Zemanta

In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Six Armed Taliban Killed (25.Dec.2012.)

Publish Date: Dec 25, 2012
In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Six Armed Taliban Killed

During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces launched six joint clearance operations in Kunar, Nangarhar, Khost, Helmand and Nimroz provinces.

As a result of these operations, six armed Taliban were killed, one wounded and nine others were arrested by Afghan National Security Forces.

Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated some amount of light and heavy rounds, improvised explosive materials and 975 kilos of opium.

During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police during security patrols discovered and defused 19 anti-vehicle mines which were placed by the enemies of peace and stability in Helmand and Zabul provinces yesterday.
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained five suspects accused of trafficking, theft and using fake documents in the 3rd, 8th and 10th Districts of Kabul-City yesterday.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Dec. 25., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force killed the Taliban leader, Qadir, and three other insurgents, during an operation in Baghlan-e Jadid district, Baghlan province, yesterday.

Qadir led a small group of insurgents who conducted improvised explosive device attacks in the district. He was also responsible for the movement of weapons, ammunition and bombmaking materials for insurgents in the province.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, today, an Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader who acquired and coordinated the distribution of weapons, ammunition and explosives for use in attacks targeting Afghan and coalition forces. The security force also detained one suspected insurgent as a result of the operation.

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader and detained one suspected insurgent in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, today. The arrested leader coordinated direct fire and improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan government officials as well as Afghan and coalition forces.


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader and a Taliban facilitator in Rodat district, Nangarhar province, today. Both men were involved in planning the Dec. 2 attack on Jalalabad Airfield. They also organized and executed other attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and were involved in the acquisition of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. During the operation the security force detained several suspected insurgents and seized weapons and ammunition.

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Haqqani leader and detained three suspected insurgents in Jaji district, Paktiya province, today. The leader oversaw the execution of multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He also emplaced improvised explosive devices and organized the storage of insurgent weapons. During the operation, the combined security force seized more than 590 kilograms (1,300 pounds) of illicit drugs, multiple weapons and ammunition.

In Andar district, Ghazni province, today, an Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader who oversaw more than a dozen fighters in the district and planned and executed multiple ambushes and improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. During the operation, the security force also detained three suspected insurgents.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed one insurgent and cleared six improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Dec. 24.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED in Ghazni district.

Kunar province
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED in Khas Kunar district.

Laghman province
Afghan National Army soldiers killed one insurgent during an engagement in Mehtar Lam district.

Logar province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two IEDs in Pul-e Alam district.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED in Charkh district.

Nuristan province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED in Nurguram district.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 al-Qaida militants killed in U.S. drone strike in southeast Yemen

ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Missiles fired by a U.S. drone killed at least five al-Qaida militants in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Monday evening, a government official told Xinhua.

The U.S. drone fired several missiles at a gathering of al- Qaida militants riding on motorbikes in Shaher town in Hadramout, leaving at least five terrorists killed at scene, the local government official said on condition of anonymity.

"The deadly air bombing occurred in an area that is widely believed to be the main operating base of al-Qaida members in Hadramout," he added.

Earlier in the day, a U.S. air strike targeted a suspected al- Qaida group in Yemen's another southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing at least two people, including a Syrian national.

Militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch are blamed for scores of attacks and assassinations on security officials in the country's restive south.

The United States has beefed up anti-terror cooperation with the Sanaa government since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, after a year of political unrest that allowed the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to capture several cities in the south.

2012-12-25 02:27:14

from DAWN:
by Raza Ali Sayeed

SANAA: Two suspected US drone strikes killed six al Qaeda militants in Yemen on Monday, including a Jordanian, government officials said.

The first “drone strike targeted a vehicle killing two al Qaeda members, a Yemeni and a Jordanian” in Manaseh of central Bayda province, a local government official said, requesting anonymity.

A security official identified one of the militants killed as Abdullah Hussein al-Waeli, an al Qaeda member from Marib province who was wanted after he escaped from prison two years ago. No details were given on the Jordanian.

Tribal sources said three other militants were wounded in the attack.

Three missiles fired at motorbikes in Hadramawt province killed four more al Qaeda militants, a local government official said.

The official, who requested anonymity, said the missiles were fired by “an American drone,” and that the attack took place in the centre of Shehr, a town east of the provincial capital Mukalla.

Al Qaeda had declared an Islamic emirate in nearby Radaa earlier this year, shortly before being driven out by tribal militiamen.

Tareq al-Dahab, who led the al Qaeda fighters in the January raid on the town, was shot dead in February.

Dahab was a brother-in-law of slain US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed in a suspected US drone strike in September.

US drones have backed Yemeni forces combating militants of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group’s Yemen branch, considered by Washington to be the most active and deadliest franchise of the global jihadi network.

AQAP took advantage of the weakness of Yemen’s central government during an uprising last year against now ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing large swathes of territory across the south.

But after a month-long offensive launched in May by Yemeni troops, most militants fled to the more lawless desert regions of the east.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Search this blog