Wednesday, January 30, 2013

22 killed or injured following explosions in Afghanistan

At least 22 people including children and women were killed or injured following separate explosions in eastern and northern parts of Afghanistan on Wednesday.

According to local authorities in northern Faryab province of at least 15 people including three Afghan police officers were injured and an Afghan woman was killed following a blast in this province.

Provincial security chief spokesman Syed Massoud Yaqoubi confirming the report said the incident took place after explosives packed in a motorcycle went off in Pashtun Kot district.

In the meantime local authorities in eastern Afghanistan said a bomb exploded in an open-air market in Khost province, killing two small children.

Provincial governor media office following a statement said the bomb was hidden under a stall in the main bazaar in Sabari district.

The source further added it went off Wednesday while a group of police officers were passing by. The statement says no police officers were affected, though another four civilians were wounded in the blast.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

By Sayed Jawad - 30 Jan 2013, 7:59 pm

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Jan. 30., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force arrested two Taliban leaders in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, today.

The first detained Taliban leader is believed to be directly responsible for orchestrating assassinations of Afghan National Security Force members, overseeing attacks on Afghan Local Police checkpoints and directing attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He is also accused of having organized the acquisition and transfer of multiple heavy weapons and improvised explosive devices to Taliban fighters operating in Nahr-e Saraj district.

The second detained Taliban leader is believed to be directly responsible for the transportation and financing of IED-making materials, IED emplacement operations and the execution of IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

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

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Khanabad district, Kunduz province, today. The detained Taliban leader is accused of being directly involved in planning and executing IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces as well as Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials. He is also believed to have provided financial and logistical support to Taliban and suicide bomber operations throughout Kunduz province. The security force detained two other suspected insurgents and seized several firearms as a result of the operation.


An Afghan and coalition force killed two insurgents and detained nine others after being fired upon during a security operation in search of a Taliban facilitator in Khugyani district, Nangarhar province, today. The Taliban facilitator is suspected of providing logistical support to Taliban leaders traveling throughout western Nangarhar province. The security force also seized several firearms and associated ammunition as a result of the operation. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

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Jan. 30., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces detained two insurgents and cleared two improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Jan. 29.

Logar province
Coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Mohhamad Aghah district.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Sabari district.

Afghan and coalition forces detained two insurgents during two separate operations in Khowst district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

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Al-Shabab Claims Responsibility for Mogadishu Bombing

Somali soldiers patrol at the front gate of the presidential palace following a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, January 29, 2013.
Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Mogadishu Tuesday that killed at least two people, including the bomber.
The bomber set off his explosives on a street that is near the presidential palace, the prime minister's residence and Somalia's National Security Agency.

A statement on al-Shabab's website says the blast killed seven security agents.  Somali officials say the bomber killed himself and one soldier, and that three other soldiers were wounded. 

British Ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh condemned the bombing and voiced support for the Somali government.

“It’s yet another sad and horrific piece of evidence to show that there are those in Somalia who are against peace and stability of this country," he said.  "And we stand resolutely with both the federal government of Somalia and the people of Somalia in helping them achieve a more peaceful, more stable country."

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was not in Mogadishu at the time of the blast, while Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid was reported to be unharmed.

African and Somali government forces have driven al-Shabab from its former strongholds in Somalia but the group still carries out periodic suicide and guerilla attacks.   The group said it was behind a suicide attack in September targeting President Mohamud, who escaped harm.

Somalia's information minister said Tuesday's bomber was a former member of the National Security Agency.

A witness told VOA's Somali Service the bomber tried to enter the agency's headquarters, then walked toward the home of the prime minister.  The witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said guards told the man to go back but the man detonated his explosives.

Somalia went more than 20 years without a stable central authority until U.N.-backed efforts to form a new government succeeded last year.

A new parliament sworn in six months ago elected Mohamud as president, ending eight years of an ineffective and often chaotic transitional government.

from VOA News
January 29, 2013

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IMU commander captured in northern Afghanistan

Districts of Baghlan.
Districts of Baghlan. Burka in blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Afghan and Coalition forces arrested an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) commander today during an operation in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reported capturing the member of the al Qaeda-linked IMU in the Burkah district, making this the second IMU operative captured in that district so far this year.

According to ISAF, "the leader conducted assassinations directed by insurgent leadership in the province." He also coordinated the supply of weapons to insurgents for attacks on Afghan and Coalition forces. However, when asked by The Long War Journal where he was acquiring the weapons, ISAF said it could not verify the location but that the detainee is of "Afghan-Uzbek nationality."

The last reported operation targeting an IMU operative occurred on Jan. 11, also in the Burkah district of Baghlan province. In that raid, Afghan and Coalition forces captured a Taliban leader who also serves as an IMU commander and was responsible for rooting out disloyal fighters within both organizations. This followed a Jan. 10 operation conducted in neighboring Takhar province that killed an IMU facilitator by the name of Mazlum Yar. Yar facilitated suicide bombers and organized IED emplacement throughout Takhar and Baghlan provinces.

continue and read more on The Long War Journal 
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