Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NATO soldier shot injured by Afghan (not killed 6 in Paktika)

Districts of Paktika Province
Districts of Paktika Province (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
SHARAN (PAN): An Afghan soldier has shot injured his NATO counterpart in the latest insider attack in southeastern Paktika province, the governor’s office said on Wednesday.

The overnight green-on-blue assault happened on a joint Afghan-ISAF military base in Orgun district, a statement from the governor’s house said.

According to the statement, the Afghan soldier fired at the ISAF member after the vehicle he was travelling in ignored signals to stop. The wounded service member was flown to the Bagram airbase.

It explained the shooting was not deliberate, and it happened due to misunderstanding. The incident is currently under investigation.

In response to an email from Pajhwok, ISAF said: “We can confirm that on March 18, an Afghan soldier on guard duty accidentally fired at a coalition patrol returning to an Afghan-coalition base in Orgun.”

The NATO-led force acknowledged the incident as unintentional. The wounded service member was evacuated to a medical treatment facility, it added.

A Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, identified the soldier as Rahmatullah. Zabihullah Mujahid claimed six foreign troops had been killed in the attack.

from Pajhwok
By Hidayatullah Khosti Mar 20, 2013 - 17:44   

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16 militants join peace process in Herat

(file photo)
HERAT CITY (PAN): A group of 16 insurgents including their commander joined the government-initiated reconciliation process in western Herat province, an official said on Wednesday.   

Led by Arbab Mohammad Qasim, the group was active in the Karkh district. The ex-rebels surrendered their weapons to security officials in the Kashore area, police chief, Brig. Gen. Rahmatullah Safi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Security organs, peace council members and public representatives have lately stepped up contacts with the armed militants to motivate them into joining the reconciliation drive.

Qasim said discriminatory attitude of officials, insecurity and unemployment had pushed them into the insurgency. They had joined the peace process to participate in the reconstruction of the country, he concluded.

from Pajhwok
By Sharafuddin Stanikzai Mar 20, 2013 - 15:59

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Pakistani Taliban overrun rival faction's headquarters, dozens killed

Residents pick through rubble following a military air strike against suspected militant positions in the Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency, in late December 2012. Militants associated with Ansar-ul-Islam and Tehrik-e-Taliban-e Pakistan (TTP) have been battling each other over the strategic highlands of eastern Khyber for several months. Source: Pakistan Dunya News.

Two nights ago, hundreds of Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (Tehrik-e-Taliban-e Pakistan or TTP) militants overran the headquarters of a rival faction, Ansar-ul-Islam, deep inside the Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency, following months of fierce clashes between the two outlawed Islamist factions. Fighting between the two factions had intensified this weekend, and on Sunday, TTP fighters stormed Malikdinkhel and seized the Bagh headquarters and its surrounding bazaar, according to the News International.

Emir of Ansar-ul-Islam Maulana Qazi Mehboob-ul Haq and General Secretary of Ansar-al Islam Qari Izzatullah Ham Khial reportedly fled the Bagh area for Zakhakhel shortly before the TTP overran Bagh. However, the homes of Mehboob and Izzatullah located in Malikdinkhel have since been blown up by TTP fighters, and their headquarters in Bagh is now under TTP control. The nearby areas of Shalobar and portions of Zakhakhel have also fallen to the TTP Lashkar-e-Islam fighters, however, Ansar-ul-Islam General Secretary Qari Izzatullah Ham Khial vowed his group would defeat the rival factions from positions in Zakhakhel and Arakzai.

Shortly after the TTP takeover of Bagh on Monday, two Ansar-ul-Islam suicide bombers attacked
TTP militants as they ransacked the Ansar-ul-Islam headquarters and killed 46 militants, including an Uzbek Uzbek commander named Abu Islam, according to a regional press report.

Infighting in Khyber has forced 644 families belonging to the Qambarkhel tribe to flee for their lives this week, many of them taking up shelter in the Sanghara area of Arakzai Agency, adding to the already 24,000 displaced people fleeing the recent fighting in Khyber, according to the News International.
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In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Two Armed Taliban Killed (Mar.20.2013.)

Publish Date: Mar 20, 2013
In Several Joint Clearance Operations, Two 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 Kunar, Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces, as a result two armed Taliban were killed and two other armed Taliban were arrested by Afghan National Security Forces.
Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated some amount of light and heavy rounds ammunitions and IEDs.

During the same 24 hour period, Afghan National Police discovered and defused four anti-vehicle mines placed by enemies of Afghanistan in Herat and Paktika provinces.

Counter Crimes:
The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained two suspects accused of theft in the Qara Bagh and 4th Districts of Kabul-City.
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Mar. 20., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban facilitator and one other insurgent during an operation in Mazar-e Sharif district, Balkh province, yesterday.

The facilitator is accused of procuring improvised explosive device components, suicide vests and other weapons and distributing them to his fellow fighters for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

At the time of the arrest, the facilitator was believed to be actively planning an attack against high-ranking government officials in conjunction with traditional Afghan New Year, or Nowruz, celebrations.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


Afghan and coalition security forces confirmed today the death of a Taliban leader, Ruhulla, during an operation in Khugyani district, Nangarhar province, Sunday. Ruhulla was a known IED expert responsible for multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Nangarhar.


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Kandahar City, Kandahar province, today. The facilitator was responsible for procuring IED components, constructing IEDs, and distributing them to his fellow fighters in addition to personally emplacing them for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

An Afghan and coalition security force killed an insurgent during an operation in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province, yesterday. The security force positively identified the militant conducting insurgent activity and engaged him.

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Mar. 20., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared five improvised explosive devices, detained three suspected insurgents and discovered one weapons cache during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, March 19.

Khowst province
Afghan and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache during operations in the Khowst district. The cache contained two grenades, small-arms rifle ammunition and four rocket-propelled grenade rounds.

Afghan and coalition forces detained three suspected insurgents during operations in the Khowst district. The suspected insurgents were taken to a base for questioning.

Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Sabari district.

Nangarhar province
Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared two IEDs during operations in the Bati Kot district.

Afghan Uniform Police found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Khugyani district.

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

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Mali: Al Qaeda in Africa Says It Beheads French Hostage

Nouakchott — Al Qaeda's wing in north Africa said it had beheaded a French hostage in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a spokesman for the group.

In what ANI reported was a telephone call to the agency, which has close links to Islamist militants, the commander said Philippe Verdon had been beheaded on March 10 "in response to the French military intervention in the north of Mali," ANI reported.

The death, if proved true, would be a worrying development for Paris, which still has some 14 hostages held in West Africa, including seven in the Sahel by AQIM and its affiliates.

Verdon, a French geologist, was captured in the northern Mali town of Hombori in November 2011. A French foreign ministry spokesman said he had no information on the report.

The AQIM spokesman, who identified himself only as Qayrawani, described Verdon as a French spy, adding that Hollande "bore the responsibility for the remaining hostages."

from allAfrica/Tunis Afrique Presse (Tunis)
20 March 2013

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Al-Shabab Retakes Somali Town After Ethiopian Pullout

map by Evan Centanni (
Militant group al-Shabab has retaken a town in central Somalia after Ethiopian troops unexpectedly pulled out.

Witnesses say al-Shabab occupied the town of Huddur, the capital of Somalia's Bakool region, immediately after the Ethiopian withdrawal on Sunday morning.

The commander of Somali troops in the region, Colonel Hassan Isaaq Omar, told VOA's Somali Service that Ethiopian troops remain in other parts of the area.

"It is true they have pulled out from Bakool," he said, "but on the other hand, Ethiopian troops are in many other areas in Bay, Bakool and Hiran regions and they are still in these zones. Having said that, it’s true they withdrew from Huddur and pulled back to a town about 90 kilometers away called Elbardeh."

Neither Somali nor Ethiopian officials have offered a reason for the withdrawal from Huddur. Omar said it is his understanding that Ethiopia is not planning a full-scale withdrawal from Somalia.

Ethiopian troops helped the Somali government and African Union forces drive al-Shabab out of its strongholds in central and southern Somalia last year.

The militants, known for imposing a harsh form of Islam on the areas they control, still rule parts of the Somali countryside and carry out periodic attacks.

Omar said following the withdrawal, al-Shabab killed the imam of a mosque in Huddur on Monday night.

from VOA News
March 19, 2013

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