Thursday, February 21, 2013

Police, rebels suffer causalities in Parwan clash

CHARIKAR (PAN): One policeman was killed and six others were wounded during a clash with militants in the Siah Gird district of central Parwan province, an official said on Thursday.                                   

The incident took place on Wednesday night when the insurgents stormed a police check-post in the area. One rebel was killed and two others were wounded in the ensuing clash that lasted an hour.

Senior district official, Haji Mohammad Aziz, told Pajhwok Afghan News the assailants managed to take away their dead and wounded colleagues.

Civil Hospital Director Dr. Mohammad Qasim Saeedi confirmed receiving six wounded people. They were in stable condition, he said.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that seven policemen were killed, two wounded and another two captured alive. Only one rebel was wounded in attack, he added.

from Pajhwok
By Farid Tanha Feb 21, 2013 - 14:46

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Car Bomb Kills 31 in Syrian Capital

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrians carrying an injured man after a powerful car bomb exploded near the headquarters of Syria's ruling Ba'ath party in the center of Damascus, February 21, 2013.
Syrian activists say at least 31 people have been killed in a car bombing near the headquarters of the country's ruling Ba'ath Party in central Damascus.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday most of the dead were civilians.

Syrian state media called the blast a "terrorist bombing" that struck a densely populated area near the al-Mazraa neighborhood.

Russian news agencies also said the bombing blew out windows at the Russian embassy.

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition is holding a meeting Thursday in Cairo to discuss an initiative to hold peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government.

On Wednesday, Syrian activists said rebels shot down a warplane outside Damascus, shortly after an airstrike killed at least 20 people in the same area.

Amateur video circulated by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights showed a warplane firing rockets and then plummeting to the ground in Hamouriya after apparently being hit by rebel machine gun fire.  The shoot-down could not be independently verified.

from VOA News
February 21, 2013

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Fighting in Gao, Car Bomb in Kidal, Mali Conflict Continues

Heavy fighting has broken out in the centre of Gao, the largest town in northern Mali. A car bomb in the northern Mali town of Kidal has killed one person and injured another, according to a journalist at the scene.

Malian troops were fighting Islamists in Gao on Thursday.

The clashes left the main courthouse in flames.

Troops from Niger were the first to respond after heavy weapons fire was heard at at least two entries to the town overnight.

By midday Thursday the Malian army was battling what one military source said was a group of around 40 insurgents.

The source said at least three rebels had already been killed in the fighting.

Rebel fighters tried to carry out suicide attacks in the city, in one case successfully, on 8-10 February.

One person was killed and another injured by the Kidal bomb, according to a journalist in the town speaking to the Reuters news agency.

Other witnesses told the AFP agency that two civilians had been injured.

The blast was within a kilometre of the camp where French and Malian soldiers have been stationed since they arrived in the town on 29 January, following its takeover by dissident Islamists and Tuareg separatists from Al Qaida-linked armed groups.

A French soldier was killed on Tuesday in fighting in the Ifoghas mountains, north of Kidal, where the hardline Islamists have taken refuge. About 20 rebels were also killed, according to the French military.

from RFi
Article published the Thursday 21 February 2013
Fighting had first erupted overnight in Gao, where a military official and witnesses reported heavy gunfire around two main entrances to the main city in the north of the country.

"Our forces are currently confronting the jihadists near the Gao townhouse. They have infiltrated the city and we are currently retaliating," Amadou Diarra, a Malian army captain, told AFP in Bamako.

Troops from Niger were the first to respond to the Islamist presence in Gao overnight but by midday Thursday it was the Malian army battling what one military source said was a group of around 40 insurgents.

The source said at least three rebels had already been killed in the fighting, which involved heavy artillery fire and left the streets of Gao -- the most populous city in northern Mali -- largely deserted.

French forces wrested Gao back from the Al Qaeda-linked rebels who had controlled the city since April 2012 within two weeks of Paris' intervention in the former colony.

But Islamist rebels who redeployed on the outskirts of Gao have switched to guerrilla tactics and the city saw Mali's first ever suicide attacks two weeks ago, followed by street fighting. 

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French Hostages Found Free in Nigeria, Reports

English: Political map of the 36 States of Nig...
English: Political map of the 36 States of Nigeria (English) Deutsch: politische Karte Nigerias (Englisch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The French family of seven kidnapped in northern Cameroon have been found abandoned in a house in Nigeria. Paris has confirmed that they have been freed by the kidnappers.
The seven, an expatriate employee of GDF Suez, his wife, four children and an uncle, have been found in a house in the Nigerian town of Dikwa, the French BFMTV television channel reported Thursday morning.

Junior French government minister Kader Arif confirmed the news shortly afterwards but then withdrew his statement.

A Cameroonian military source had already told news agencies that the hostages were freed.

They appear to have been left their by their captors, who may have had second thoughts about holding children hostage, according to some analysts.

They are now in the hands of the Nigerian authorities.

The French foreign minister declared itself astonished by the news and said it could not confirm the report at 10.15 am Thursday and the presidency could not confirm, either.
Nine Injured As Plateau Speaker Escapes Assassination

It was by sheer providence that the Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Clark Dabwan, on Tuesday … see more »

Read or Listen to this story on the RFI website.

from allAfrica/RFi

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Feb. 21., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested six insurgents during an operation in search of an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader in Kunduz district, Kunduz province, today.

The leader is allegedly instrumental in manufacturing, procuring and distributing improvised explosive devices for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in the province.

The security force also seized a shotgun as a result of the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


An Afghan and coalition security force killed a Taliban leader, Abdul Qahar, and one other insurgent during an operation in Qal'ah-ye Zal district, Kunduz province, yesterday. Abdul Qahar was responsible for the coordination of attacks against coalition forces and the planning and acquisition of weapons. The security force conducted a precision strike, killing him and the other insurgent.


During an operation in Charkh district, Logar province, yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces killed an insurgent they observed conducting nefarious activity. The security force engaged the insurgent with a precision strike, killing him.

Afghan and coalition forces confirmed today the death of a Taliban leader, Ikleel, during a security operation in Charkh district, Logar province, yesterday. Ikleel, also known as Shakeel, was responsible for distributing weapons to insurgent forces in Logar province. He also planned and executed attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The security force also seized a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, multiple RPG rounds, multiple AK-47 assault rifles and one machine gun as a result of this operation.

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Feb. 21., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces detained one suspected insurgent, located one weapons cache and cleared one improvised explosive device during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Feb. 20.

Logar province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED in Pul-e Alam district.

Khowst province
Afghan and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache during an operation in Spera district. The cache contained two bags of ammonium nitrate.

Nangarhar province
Afghan National Security Forces detained one suspected insurgent during an operation in Khugyani district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Operations in RC-East are ongoing.

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