Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Arabs among 14 fighters killed in Farah

Districts of Farah.
Districts of Farah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
FARAH CITY (PAN): Three Arab fighters were among 14 insurgents killed in different security incidents in Khaki Safid and Bala Baluk district of western Farah province, an official said on Tuesday.

A clash erupted between the rebels and police during a poppy-eradicating campaign in the Ganj village of Khaki Safid, the district chief, Abdul Khaliq Noorzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Three associates of Taliban’s shadow district chief Mullah Malik were killed in the encounter that left three policemen and Malik wounded. Police also seized one rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), a light machine gun and two Kalashnikovs.  

But Abdul Rahman Zhwandai, the governor’s spokesman, denied police casualties and said Mullah Malik was a militant commander -- not a shadow district governor.

Elsewhere in the province, 11 militants, including three Arabs, were killed in operations by Afghan and coalition forces in the Ganjabad, Shawan, Arifabad and others areas of Bala Baluk, an Afghan army official said.

Abdul Rauf Rahmani added two guerrilla commanders were among the dead. One Public Order Police official and three Afghan soldiers were wounded in the clashes that led to the seizure of 80 kilograms of narcotics and two motorcycles.

One rebel commander Syed Akbar and his associate were captured alive and a Kalashnikov and two hand grenades were recovered from them, Rahmani said.

from Pajhwok
By Pajhwok Report Mar 19, 2013 - 14:23

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Nigeria: 60 Killed in Kano Bus Park Bombing

At least five luxury buses were destroyed in the explosions (photo: DailyTrust)
Kano — About 60 people were feared dead, yesterday evening, in Kano when a suicide bomber attacked a bus park located at Sabon Gari, a predominantly Christian quarters.

The blast reportedly destroyed several buses while soldiers and policemen cordoned off the area after the blast.

The Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano, Chief Tobias Idika told Vanguard on phone that, "the incident occurred around 5.00 pm when activities at the park were at their peak. So far we have counted 60 human bodies burnt to ashes from five luxury buses affected by the blast. Eye witnesses gave conflicting accounts of how the explosion occured.

An account said "the blast occurred as five fully loaded buses were moving towards the exit gate at the park when an unidentified individual driving a Golf Volkswagen car in an opposite direction rammed into the buses resulting in an explosion. The suicide bomber died instantly."

According to Chief Idiaka , "all the five buses have been reduced to ashes by the impact of the blast, and scores of others with high degree burns have been taken to Government hospital. Casualty figures might rise if what I have seen so far is anything to go by.

"We saw it coming and we informed the relevant authority to provide security for us in Sabon Gari but it fell on deaf ears", he lamented.

Idika who was in tears further said: " I cannot comprehend that human lives can be wasted like this; it is a horrible scene to behold and the fire service are trying their best to put off the inferno within and around the park".

Another eyewitness told Vanguard that "an Improvised Explosive Device went off in one of the five buses going out of the park by 5.00pm", adding that "there are heightened fears that none of the passengers survived the blast."

The Sabon Gari blast triggered pandemonium in the state capital as shops were hurriedly shut down in fear of possible looting by hoodlums.

The Joint Military Taskforce confirmed the blast. Spokesman of the Military outfit, Captain Ikediche Iweha told Vanguard that "we have moved in to the scene of the blast and we are trying to restore confidence to forestall looting."

Captain Iweha explained that "we have invited men from Fire Service Department to put off the fire triggered by the blast and dozens were down by the impact of the blast. Our priority now is to secure the area and we do not have the casualty figure because we have not started counting. Investigation has commenced on the incident and that will reveal what happened, and how it happened".

Jonathan condemns blast

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has condemned in strong terms, yesterday's bomb blasts in Kano. The President said the barbaric incident will not deter the Federal Government from its strong-willed determination to overcome those who do not mean well for this nation. He said the Federal Government will not be stampeded, for any reason whatsoever, into abandoning its unrelenting war against terrorists in the country.

President Jonathan reassured Nigerians and foreigners in the country that the Nigerian Government will continue to do all that is required to ensure the safety of lives and property, including continued collaboration with local and international partners and stakeholders to check the menace of terrorism.

He commiserated with the victims of the Kano explosions, their families and friends, and assured the KanoState government of the Federal Government's continued support.

from allAfrica/VANGUARD
By Abdulsalam Muhammad, 19 March 2013

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In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Five Armed Taliban Killed (Mar.19.2013.)

Publish Date: Mar 19, 2013
In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Five Armed Taliban Killed


In past 24 hours, Afghan National Police conducted several joint clearance operations with the cooperation of Afghan National Army, NDS and Coalition Forces to clean some of the areas from terrorists and enemies of peace and stability of Afghanistan.

The operations were conducted in Kabul, Kunduz, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Logar, Helmand and Farah provinces, as a result five armed Taliban were killed, two wounded and 17 other armed Taliban were arrested by Afghan National Security Forces.
Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated one PK machine gun, one rocket launcher, three AK-47 rifles, 130 kilos of explosives, eight different types of mines, 40 kilos of opium and one motorcycle.

During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused two anti-vehicle mines placed by enemies of Afghanistan in the Delaram district of Nimroz province.

Counter Crimes:
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained 14 suspects accused of kidnapping and theft in the 1st, 3rd, 8th and 13th Districts of Kabul-City.
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Mar. 19., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared 10 improvised explosive devices, detained two suspected insurgents and discovered one weapons cache during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, March 18.

Ghazni province
Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Muqor district.

Laghman province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared two IEDs during operations in the Mehtar Lam district.

Nangarhar province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Bati Kot district.

Paktika province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Sar Rowzah district.

Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared three IEDs during operations in the Yahya Khel district.

Afghan and coalition forces detained a suspected insurgent during operations in the Yahya Khel district. The suspected insurgent was taken to a base for questioning.

Paktiya province
Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Dzadran district.

Afghan and coalition forces discovered a cache during operations in the Mirzaka District. The cache consisted of 15 mortar rounds, six shape charges, five pipe bombs and multiple IED making materials.

Wardak province
Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Sayyidabad district.

Afghan National Security Forces detained a suspected insurgent during operations in the Sayyidabad district. The suspected insurgent was taken to a base for questioning.

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Attacks Kills at Least 50 in Iraq

Residents gather at the site of a car bomb attack in the AL-Mashtal district in Baghdad, March 19, 2013.
Iraqi officials say bombings and other attacks have killed at least 50 people and wounded 160 others in mainly Shi'ite areas of the capital, Baghdad.

The violence Tuesday comes on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, and a month before Iraq is set to hold its first elections in three years.

The bombs struck in multiple neighborhoods, including Sadr City and near the heavily fortified Green Zone where several Western embassies are located.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.  Sunni Muslim militants in Iraq frequently attack the country's majority Shi'ites to inflame sectarian tensions and undermine the Shi'ite-led government.

Last week, al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq said it was behind a series of coordinated attacks near the Green Zone that killed at least 24 people.

from VOA News
March 19, 2013

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Libya captures US mission attack suspect

English: Orthographic map of Libya Español: Ma...
English: Orthographic map of Libya  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Three days after reports of an arrest in connection with the September 11th assault on the US mission in Benghazi, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan said investigations were still under way.

"We and the United States are determined to identify those responsible for the bombing and to bring them to justice," Zidan said on Sunday (March 17th).

Libya risks isolation if it becomes "an insecure country", he noted.

Right now, the international community is co-operating with Libya, he said. He added, however, that Libya could "only stand with the international community as a responsible state" if it did not "use violence, support terrorism or take part in the drug trade".

"Each and every citizen must be an informant for the sake of this country, and this is something that honours people," he added.

One way to get help from partner nations is through unmanned drones. According to military advisor Dhaoui Bouras, "These planes can make good contributions to the counter-terrorism effort based on intelligence and aerial reconnaissance by Libyans in the Libyan army."

"They are excellent for protecting security and providing information on suspicious movements," he said.

Last Thursday, security sources said they captured Faraj Al-Chalabi in the eastern town of al-Marj in connection with the deadly Benghazi attack.

The 46-year-old, who was linked to the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group (LIFG) and al-Qaeda, had been wanted in Libya since the 1994 Sirte slayings of two Germans. He was arrested in Tora Bora and handed over to Libyan authorities in 2004 with his Pakistani wife, who was released shortly afterwards.

A prisoner who served some time with Al-Chalabi at Abu Salim prison in Tripoli said that the suspect was known as "the Tora Bora prisoner". He was released in 2006 due to health reasons, according to the fellow inmate.

Meanwhile, Libyan Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail vowed on Saturday that anyone proven to have been implicated in the assassination of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens would be brought to justice in Libya.

"I met a US official and he said they wouldn't let go on this, and that they would take measures. However, the investigation is still ongoing," he told Al Riyadh daily. "There is a judge and a group appointed to handle this case. I think that the Americans are closely following this issue, which is under examination and investigation to identify those responsible."

Many Libyans say that the arrest is a step in the right direction but insisted that the trial should be held in Libya.

"We are for conducting a fair investigation to identify the perpetrators," said teacher Mahasin Bashir. "However, we are against pressures and making charges against certain people just because they are Islamists or extremists, and provided the investigation and trial are conducted in Libya.

"Meanwhile, we may receive assistance in conducting the investigation and analysing evidence," she added.

For her part, rights activist and lawyer Amira Jribi argued that the arrest gives Libyans hope about "successfully proceeding with establishing the state of law". She also called for identifying the murderers of rebel military chief Abdel Fattah Younes.

"If the news is correct, and it was the defendant who actually committed this heinous act, I think that his arrest would be a successful step, provided the defendant receives a fair, non-politicised trial," journalist Abdul Karim al-Raqi told Magharebia. "It will be better if he is tried in the country where the crime took place and in the presence of his lawyer."

In related news, Libyan security and military forces on Saturday launched a raking operation to dislodge armed groups from Tripoli.

"Those who have prisoners or hostages must turn them in now, or else they will be tried for detaining citizens by force, especially if they detain them for more than 48 hours before bringing them to the prosecution," Shuwail said.

By Essam Mohamed in Tripoli for Magharebia – 18/03/13

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Rebel commander killed in Wardak

Map of Afghanistan with Maidan Wardak highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Maidan Wardak highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
KABUL (PAN): An insurgent commander was killed and one his associates wounded when a roadside bomb they were planting went off prematurely in the central Maidan Wardak province, an official said on Monday.

The incident took place on the outskirts of Syedabad district on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, the governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogiani, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Identified as Jandad, the rebel commander was involved in the killing of four foreign troops in the Zawlat area of Jalrez district, he added.

from Pajhwok
By Hakim Basharat Mar 18, 2013 - 15:32

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Suicide attack on Peshawar court compound leaves 4 dead

According to Pakistani security officials, two suicide bombers attacked a judicial compound in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Monday, killing four people and taking hostages.

The officials further added that the terrorists tried to the enter the courtroom of Additional Sessions Judge Kulsoom Azam who was injured along with others as a result of firing which was followed by a suicide bomber detonating himself.

In the meantime the information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Mian Iftikhar said some attackers are still thought to be inside the complex, possibly with hostages.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the operation. Police forces sealed off roads around the complex.

Taliban militants, who are close to al Qaeda, are fighting to topple Pakistan’s U.S.-backed government and impose their radical version of Islam.

By Sayed Jawad - 18 Mar 2013, 1:34 pm

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