Wednesday, February 6, 2013

US drone strikes kill five in North Waziristan

At least five people were killed after six missiles hit a house in Tehsil Spain Wam of North Waziristan on Wednesday.

The strikes by an unmanned US drone occurred after reports that militants were present in the house, official sources said.

US drone strikes are infamous around the world, especially in Pakistan, for killing innocent people besides militants.

However, the United States insists that they are precise and target only terrorists.

Wednesday US drones attack came hours after when Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington has declared these strikes violation of Pakistan s sovereignty and international laws.

While the White House defended drone strikes against al Qaeda suspects as legal, ethical and wise and insisted they complied with US law and the Constitution, even if they targeted Americans.

February 06, 2013, 5:21 pm


from The Express Tribune:
WASHINGTON: At least three people were killed when a US drone fired two missiles in North Waziristan on Wednesday, reported Express News.
Rescue services have left for the site, while sources say that the death toll may rise.

The White House on Tuesday defended drone strikes against al Qaeda suspects as legal, ethical and wise and insisted they complied with US law and the Constitution, even if they targeted Americans.

The White House defended President Barack Obama’s power to wage drone war after a Justice Department memo argued that Americans high up in al Qaeda could be lawfully killed, even if intelligence fails to show them plotting an attack.

“We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, to prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

“These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise.”
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Feb. 06., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban facilitator in Panjwa'i district, Kandahar province, today.

The detained Taliban facilitator is believed to have overseen the management of weapons caches for his Taliban network and ensured the facilitation of equipment, vehicles and weapons to insurgent fighters.

He is also accused of having acquired and transferred large amounts of improvised explosive devices and IED-making materials to weapons caches throughout Panjwa'i district.

The security force also detained two suspected insurgents and seized nearly 700 pounds of illegal narcotics as a result of the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Monday. The leader is believed responsible for coordinating insurgent operations, including the distribution of weapons and funds to insurgent fighters responsible for conducting attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the province.

The security force also detained one suspected insurgent as a result of the operation.

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Feb. 06., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces cleared three improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Feb. 5.

Ghazni province
Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Deh Yak district.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared two IEDs in Khowst district.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

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French, Malian Troops Clash With Islamists Around Gao

map by Evan Centanni (
French and Malian troops suffered casualties in clashes with Islamist fighters near northern Mali's main town, Gao, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. He vowed to hunt down the combatants and claimed they had suffered "significant losses".

"Once our troops, supported by Malian forces, started patrols around the the towns that we have taken, they met residual jihadist groups who are still fighting," Le Drian told Europe 1 radio.

French troops will start to withdraw from Mali next month, "if all goes according to plan", Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the Metro freesheet published Wednesday.

He put the cost of the campaign to the French exchequer at "several tens of millions of euros".
"We will go after them. We are securing the towns we have been able to take along with the Malian forces. The jihadists around Gao were using rockets yesterday."

The Islamist group Mujao on Tuesday claimed that to have attacked French and Malian positions near Gao, although witnesses indicated that their had only been long-distance exchanges of fire.

"This is a real war," Le Drian said, when questioned about his statement Tuesday that French troops had killed hundreds of their opponents. But, he added, "I'm not going to get into an accounting exercise."

There are now 4,000 French troops in Mali, Le Drian said. The size of the force matches the French deployment in Afghanistan at its height in 2010.

Confirming the first French casualties since a helicopter pilot was killed at the start of the intervention, Le Drian said there had been several French troops injured but that their wounds had been relatively light.
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Boko Haram training camps found in Mali

Hundreds of Boko Haram members stayed at training camps with Malian militants for months in Timbuktu, learning to fix Kalashnikovs and launch shoulder-fired weapons, a report has said.

The Nigerians fled the city into the desert, along with the other militants, days before a French airstrike on January 20, American newspaper Wall Street Journal reported.

A man who said he was hired to cook for the militants said the Boko Haram members trained for about 10 months at what is now a bombed-out customs-police building on Timbuktu’s desert fringe, intermingling with a local al Qaeda offshoot called Ansar Dine.

“Every day I saw people coming here, saying they want to sign up,” said the man, whose description of the militants’ activities matched those offered by four neighbours.

The Wall Street Journal quoted locals as saying that until just a few weeks ago, the bombed-out customs-police building in Timbuktu was one of bustling training centers populated not only by local al Qaeda-linked militants but also by hundreds of Boko Haram members.

Well over 200 Nigerians arrived in Timbuktu in April 2012 in about 300 cars, the cook said, after al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) swept into the city.

Residents said about 50 Boko Haram militants lived and trained at the customs building, and 50 more lived in an annex across a giant sandy lot, while others took up in other abandoned government buildings.

The presence of Nigerian trainees in Mali confirms statements earlier made by authorities that some Boko Haram fighters trained in Mali.

Last year, a senior security chief gave a briefing in which he said Nigeria was going to Mali primarily to uproot the Boko Haram training facilities.

Also, Chief of Army Staff Lt-General Azubuike Ihejirika said last month that Boko Haram received training in Mali, making it imperative for Nigerian troops to join the international campaign to free northern Mali from militants.

continue...Read more from DAILYTRUSTPublished on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 05:00
Written by Habeeb I. Pindiga

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