Saturday, February 16, 2013

Over 60 dead, 200 injured in Quetta blast

photo from
QUETTA (PAN): More than 60 people were killed and over 200 others wounded in a massive bombing in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Saturday evening, officials and witnesses said.

The explosion happened on the Kirani Road in Quetta, the provincial capital, a senior police officer told reporters. Several women and children were among the casualties, he said.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Wazir Khan Nasir, calling it a sectarian attack, said the explosives had been placed in a rickshaw which went off near a Hazara-dominated neighbourhood. He put the toll at 63 dead and more than 200 injured.

City police chief, Mir Zubair Mehmud, told Pajhwok Afghan News feared the number of fatalities could go up, given the critical condition of many injured people. The casualties were evacuated to Combined Military Hospital and Bolan Medical Complex.

Following the huge blast, gunshots rang out for quite some time in the densely-populated locality, according to one witness, who claimed the site was littered with body parts and pools of blood.

Initial reports suggested many of the victims belonged to the minority Hazara community. Angry members of the tribe pelted police and paramilitary troops with stones, preventing them from shifting the dead and injured from the scene.

Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said the bomb was planted near a double-storey building close to a market that collapsed as a result of the impact, trapping a number of people, who had come for shopping.

Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen, a group of Shia Muslims, announced three days of mourning over the horrific incident and gave a strike call in Quetta for Sunday. Shiites took to the streets, blocking roads, torching tyres and firing into the air.

Last month, 93 people -- most of them Hazaras -- were killed in a string of bombings on Alamdar road in Quetta, sparking a storm of protests in different parts of Pakistan. The outlawed militant group, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Bowing to mounting political and public pressure, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sacked the provincial government and imposed governor’s rule in the province, bordering Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province.

from Pajhwok
By Hijratullah Kharoti Feb 16, 2013 - 22:10


 some other news sites versions about the dead/injured and about the bomb:

ARY NEWS - 64/180 - rickshaw

The Express Tribune - 64/157 - parked vehicle

GEO.TV - 65/180 - water tanker
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Suicide bomber kills senior Iraqi army officer

A senior Iraqi army intelligence officer and two bodyguards were killed on Saturday after suicide bombers attacked his home in a well-protected district of a northern town, police and local government officials said.

Iraq has seen an increase in bombings since the start of the year as Sunni Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda seek to ignite the kind of sectarian violence that pushed the country close to civil war in 2006-2007.

Two bombers attacked the home of Brigadier-General Awni Ali, the director of the defense ministry's intelligence school, in Tal Afar town, just outside Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of the capital, authorities said.

"Guards killed one suicide bomber, but when the brigadier general and his bodyguards went out another bomber ran among them and blew himself up," a local official said.

Political tensions are high in Iraq as thousands of Sunni Muslims in the west of the country hold daily rallies against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, accusing him of marginalising their minority sect.

More than ten suicide attackers have struck security forces, Shi'ite targets and a lawmaker since January. After the last American troops left in December 2011, insurgents have been carrying out at least one major, complex attack a month.

Updated :   Saturday  February  16 , 2013  4:02:37 PM 
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Feb. 16., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a high-profile attack facilitator in Khost district, Khost province, Feb. 15.

The detained facilitator is believed to be associated with both Taliban and Haqqani insurgent networks throughout Khost district. He is accused of assisting in the transfer and delivery of heavy weapons, equipment and ammunition. Prior to his arrest, he was suspected of coordinating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack targeting Afghan and coalition forces.

The security force also detained two suspected insurgents and seized multiple firearms and associated ammunition as a result of the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Haqqani facilitator in Pul-e ‘Alam district, Logar province, Feb. 15. The detained Haqqani facilitator is believed responsible for planning and preparing attacks targeting Afghan and coalition forces and facilitating the acquisition of improvised explosive devices and other weapons. He also allegedly produced and transported homemade explosives and executed IED attacks throughout Pul-e ‘Alam district. During the operation, the security force also detained two suspected insurgents.

Afghan and coalition security forces killed an insurgent during an operation in search of a Taliban leader in Nari district, Kunar province, Feb. 13. The leader plans and conducts attacks against Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials, as well as Afghan and coalition forces in Nari district.


Afghan and coalition forces confirmed on Feb. 15 the Feb. 3 arrest of a Taliban senior leader in Baghlan-e Jadid district, Baghlan province. The detained Taliban senior leader is believed to have commanded a cell of 25 Taliban fighters in the district. In this senior role, he allegedly ran IED operations and collected illegal taxes from local civilians. He is also accused of having supervised IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces as well as GIRoA officials. The security force also detained one suspected insurgent as a result of the operation.

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Feb. 16., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed three insurgents, cleared three improvised explosive devices and detained one suspected insurgent during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Feb. 15.

Khowst province

Coalition forces killed three insurgents and safely cleared an IED during an engagement in Manduzai district.

Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED in Terezayi district.

Logar province

Coalition forces detained a suspected insurgent in Pul-e Alam district.
The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Paktya province

Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED in Shwak district.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

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US adds senior AQIM commander to terrorist list


Yahya Abu Hammam, the emir of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's operations in the Sahel. Image from the ANI.

The US added the head of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's operations in the Sahel region of North Africa to the list of global terrorists yesterday.
Yahya Abu Hammam, whose real name is Jemal Oukacha, was added by the US to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists for his "key role in the group's ongoing terrorist activities in North Africa and Mali," the US Treasury Department stated in a press release.
"Today's designation supports ongoing international efforts to isolate AQIM, deny its members the benefits of their violent and criminal acts, and help restore Mali's territorial integrity," Treasury stated.
Hammam has been waging jihad in North Africa since the 1990s, according to, which profiled the AQIM emir in October 2012. He was detained by the Algerian government for 18 months, then released. He subsequently joined the Salafist Group for Prayer and Combat, which eventually morphed into AQIM in 2006.
"In 2004, he joined fighters in northern Mali and southern Algeria where he served under the command of Khaled Abou El Abbas, who was then emir of the Sahara," reported. Hammam fought in northern Mali and Mauritania, where he was involved in several attacks against the Mauritanian military. In one such attack, in 2005 against the Lemgheity barracks, 17 Mauritanian soldiers were killed.
Prior to being appointed the head of AQIM's operations in the Sahel, he served as the group's emir in the northern Malian town of Timbuktu. Under his rule, numerous Muslim shrines were destroyed and civilians were beaten for the slightest infractions of sharia, or Islamic law.
Hammam was named the emir of the Sahel after his predecessor, Nabil Abu Alqama, was killed in a car crash. Upon taking command, Hammam named Abdel Mejid Abou Zeid as his deputy. Zeid leads the Taregh Ibn Ziyad brigade, which operates throughout Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and southern Algeria. Zeid's brigade is responsible for the beheading of the British hostage Edwin Dyer in May 2009. Algerians, Mauritanians, Malians, and Moroccans are known to fight with both Hammam and Zeid.
The US said that Hammam "as of late 2011 ... reportedly had possession of multiple European hostages." The French accuse Hammam of executing Michel Germaneau, an elderly aid worker, in July 2010. AQIM has brought in tens of millions of dollars by kidnapping European hostages for ransom.
Hammam is known to be close to Abdelmalek Droukdel, the emir of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
AQIM, in alliance with the Movement for the Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and Ansar Dine, seized control of northern Mali in March 2012. France ultimately intervened in Mali last month after the al Qaeda-led jihadist alliance launched an offensive to take central and southern Mali. The jihadists likely would have succeeded had France not intervened, as the Malian military was in retreat.
A document written by Droukdel that was found at an AQIM command center in Timbuktu after the town fell to the French exposed the terror group's plan to use northern Mali as a base to conduct attacks in the region and against the West.
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Ex-district spy chief among 2 killed in Kunar explosion

According to local authorities in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, at least two people were killed and another individual was injured following an explosion in Sarkano district.

Local police officials confirmed ex-district spy chief for Marwara and a civilian were killed and a local police officer was injured.

The officials further added that the incident took place around 1:30 pm local time on Friday.

Provincail police chief Ewaz Mohammad Nazari said the explosion after a remote controlled explosive device went off in the area while local residents were on their way towards the mosque.

In the meantime district chief for Sarkano confirmed the report and said the incident took place near a mosque in Dunyaie area.

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

Kunar is among the volatile regions bordering Pakistani tribal regions in eastern Afghanistan where Taliban militants and other insurgent groups are openly operating.

By Ghanizada - 15 Feb 2013, 7:31 pm

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