Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mali deploys military police to protect civilians in Gao and Timbuktu

map by Evan Centanni (
BAMAKO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- After the deployment by air of the military police to Gao on Sunday morning, two additional units comprised of 400 officers are expected to be deployed Sunday evening to protect people and their properties in Gao and Timbuktu in northern Mali, a security source has said.

The mission of the military police is to prevent any form of abuses and violence against the civilian population.

In this regard, a meeting between Mali's defense minister and his internal security counterpart, will be held on Monday in Bamako to define the rules of engagement of the national police on the ground.

On Sunday morning, a French fighter jet bombarded the mansion of the leader of Ansar Dine movement, Iyad Ag Agaly, and later it also bombarded the number 2 camp in Kidal which has been serving as the logistical base for the rebels.

It is reported that the French and Malian troops have reached Timbuktu Saturday evening without encountering any resistance from the rebels at the city, a desert trading center occupied by the rebels last year. The French and Malian forces have seized Gao, another strategic town, and several other smaller towns in northern Mali in their two-week or so battle against the rebel groups which were believed under the influence of al-Quaida.

2013-01-27 21:37:06
Editor: Yang Lina

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Jan. 27., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed three insurgents, detained two, located one weapons caches and cleared three improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Jan. 26.

Logar province
Afghan National Security Forces, operating unilaterally, killed three insurgents during an engagement in Baraki Barak district. The insurgents, who were suspected IED emplacers, were shot by Afghan Uniformed Police when they refused to stop their vehicle at an AUP checkpoint. Upon inspection of the vehicle afterwards, the AUP discovered an AK-47 and IED-making materials.

Nangarhar province

Afghan National Army soldiers found and safely cleared an IED in Bati Kot district.

Khowst province

Afghan Border Police and coalition forces detained an insurgent in Terezayi district. The detained suspect was transferred to base for questioning.

Afghan and coalition forces also detained an insurgent in Khowst district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Sabari district.

Laghman province

Afghan National Army soldiers found and safely cleared an IED in Dowlat Shah district.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

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Roadside bomb kills 10 in Afghanistan

A police truck packed with officers and detainees struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan's largest city, killing 10 of those aboard, officials said Sunday.

It was one of four blasts Saturday that left at least 24 people dead across the country. Attacks by insurgents are a daily occurrence around Afghanistan and the Afghan police with their unarmored pickup trucks and remote checkpoints are a common target.

In the Kandahar city blast, police had driven out into a residential neighborhood of the city at night to inspect a bomb that had been found there, said Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial government. They detained three suspects and were driving back with them in a police pickup truck when the vehicle struck another explosive buried in the road. Eight police officers and two detainees were killed in the blast.

Meanwhile, Afghan authorities accused NATO of killing three civilian men in a nighttime ambush in the eastern Logar province. The coalition disputed the account, saying it had no operations in Logar's Baraki Barak district Saturday night. NATO said there were three dead, but they were insurgents killed by Afghan forces.

Updated :   Sunday  January  27 , 2013  5:37:39 PM

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French-Backed Malian Forces Retake Gao, Advance on Timbuktu

Malian soldiers ride in a Malian army pickup truck in Diabaly January 26, 2013. (photo by Joe Penney)
French and Malian forces are advancing against Islamist militants in northern Mali heading toward Timbuktu after more than two weeks of fighting.  

Overnight, French air strikes destroyed the home of an al Qaida linked militant leader in the town of Kidal some 1,500 from the capital, Bamako.

The assault came  a day after French and Malian forces recaptured the strategic city of Gao.

The French Defense Ministry said Saturday that a contingent of troops from Nigeria and Chad was moving into the city to help maintain stability. The ministry also said the city's mayor, who had sought refuge in the capital, Bamako, was returning.

VOA correspondent Idrissa Fall in Mali says the military intervention in Gao is significant because the city had become a haven for rebel groups.

"Gao is the most important city in northern Mali. Gao was a kind of capital for the Movement for the Unity of God and Jihad in West Africa and also a capital for Ansar Dine. It was the former capital of the MNLA, those rebel Tuaregs who proclaimed independence."

Earlier Saturday, French and Malian forces regained control of Gao's airport and a nearby bridge. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the forces used an air and ground operation to cut off the logistic and transportation capabilities of the militants.

map by Evan Centanni (
The U.S. Defense Department announced late Saturday it is expanding its aid to the French mission in Mali.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Le Drian in a phone conversation that the Pentagon is prepared to conduct aerial refueling missions.  The two defense officials also discussed plans for the U.S. to transport troops from other African nations into Mali.  The U.S. has not planned to send its own troops to Mali.

The conflict in Mali and how to end it is the main topic of discussion at the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sunday. The AU has asked leaders of the 54-member bloc of nations to consider committing troops to the mission in Mali.

France began a military offensive in Mali earlier this month, after rebels who seized control of much of the country's north last year began pushing toward the capital, Bamako. The rebels have been imposing a strict form of Islamic law on civilians.

As military operations continue in Mali, defense chiefs from the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS were holding an emergency meeting in the Ivory Coast to discuss Mali's unrest. ECOWAS has been discussing plans to send roughly 3,000 troops to Mali as part of a U.N.-backed mission. 
from VOA News
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131kg opium seized from 2 cars in Nangarhar

JALALABAD (PAN): Police confiscated opium weighing 131 kilograms from two cars and detained two suspected smugglers separately in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Saturday. 

Police stopped a car during a cordon at the Daronta check post in Surkhrud district, and seized 110kg of opium from it, police spokesman Col. Hazrat Hussain Mashriqwal told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The driver was arrested, he added. Another 21kg of opium was confiscated from a car in the Batikot district and its driver captured, Mashriqwal said.

from Pajhwok
By Mahbob Shah Mahbob Jan 26, 2013 - 20:41

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