Friday, March 22, 2013

Al-Qaida militants ambush pro-gov't militia in southern Yemen, 3 killed

ADEN, Yemen, March 22 (Xinhua) -- About three members of pro- government militia were killed Friday in an ambush by al-Qaida militants in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, a security official told Xinhua.

The al-Qaida militants set up a well-planned ambush for a convoy of the pro-government militiamen in Maraksha area in Abyan province, killing at least three people, the local security official said on condition of anonymity.

"A four-car convoy of the pro-government militiamen was ambushed by a group of terrorists while heading toward the mountainous area of Maraksha," the security source said.

A local tribal chief told Xinhua anonymously that "armed confrontations broke out with al-Qaida militants after the attack. Several al-Qaida fighters were either killed or injured in the ongoing fighting."

The al-Qaida terrorist group, which has been waging an insurgency for more than two years, has yet to make comments.

The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, locally known as Ansar al- Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), took advantage of a political upheaval in 2011 in Yemen to take over several towns of southern restive regions.

The militants were targeted by Yemeni security authorities after a U.S.-backed offensive launched in the southern Abyan province months ago routed the militants out of their strongholds which they had controlled for nearly a year.

The Yemeni government, along with the United states and oil- rich Saudi Arabia, has beefed up anti-terror operation since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012.

2013-03-22 17:28:20

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France: 10 Islamists Killed in Timbuktu

France says about 10 Islamist fighters were killed Thursday as French and Malian forces repelled an attack on the northern Mali city of Timbuktu.
A French army spokesman, Thierry Burkhard, said in Paris that two Malian soldiers were slightly wounded in the overnight clash.

Timbuktu residents reported hearing several hours of gunfire and seeing French warplanes overhead.  They said fighting died down by morning.

The clash followed a suicide bombing at a Malian army checkpoint near the Timbuktu airport late Wednesday.  The bomber and one Malian soldier were killed, while at least two other soldiers were wounded.

It was the first suicide attack in Timbuktu since a French-led offensive drove Islamist militants out of their northern Mali strongholds in January.

On Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande said military operations in Mali are in their last phase.

Analysts fear al-Qaida-linked militants could return to northern Mali's cities and towns after the French withdraw their 4,000 troops from the region.

The Malian army remains weak, and an African force meant to take over from the French lacks funding and training.

Mali was plunged into crisis last year when soldiers overthrew the president, enabling Islamist militants to seize control of the north. The militants imposed a harsh form of Islamic law on the region. French forces intervened when the Islamists began moving south toward the capital.

Most of the recent fighting has been in the Ifoghas mountains of northeastern Mali, where militants fled after their retreat.

from VOA News
March 21, 2013

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Heavy clashes in Wardoj district leaves 43 Taliban dead

According to local authorities in north-eastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, Afghan security forces took control of various security check posts during clashes with the Taliban militants.
Security check posts including “Barabara and Ghano” were under the control of Taliban militants during the past one week, which was confirmed by security officials in Wardoj district.

Wardoj district governor Dawlat Mohammad Khawar said heavy clashes took place between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants which started at 8 pm on Thursday night and continued until 3 am on Friday morning.

Mr. Khawar further added, Afghan security forces made a tactical withdrawal from the security check posts in a bid to prevent civilian casualties.

In the meantime provincial governor spokesman said a vast military operation was conducted in Wardoj district which resulted in death of 43 Taliban militants and control of the security check posts were taken by Afghan security forces.

There are no reports if Afghan security forces and civilians have suffered any casualties during the clashes but provincial governor spokesman said Afghan security forces have seized weapons and explosives during the operation and control of the Wardoj district is with the Afghan security forces now.

Wardoj district has been one of the most volatile region in north-eastern Badakhshan province during the recent months, and around 278 families left the area due to unrest in this district.

Militants have increased their attacks on Afghan security forces in Wardoj district, and around 15 Afghan police officers were recently abducted by Taliban militants who were later released after local tribal elders brokered talks with the militants.

A spokesman for the Taliban militant group Zabiullah Mujahid also claimed that several Afghan police vehicles were destroyed during the clashes with Taliban militants.

By Ghanizada - 22 Mar 2013, 2:55 pm

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Insider attack leaves 5 Afghan police dead in Badghis province

Afghanistan-Badghis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
An Afghan local police officer killed five of his comrades in cooperation with the Taliban militants in western Badghis province of Afghanistan.
A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the incident took place on Thursday night in a security check post at Qadas district.

The official further added, local police officer recognized as Nawroz allowed Taliban militants to enter the security check post and kill five other local police officers.

This was the first insider attack on Afghan security forces during the current Afghan year.

According to the local security official, Taliban militants took all weapons and ammunition with them after killing local police officers.

Insider attacks have created major concerns for the Afghan security officials, where individuals belonging to Taliban group and other insurgents groups are infiltrating among the Afghan security forces and carry out attack on both the Afghan and foreign forces.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

By Sayed Jawad - 22 Mar 2013, 6:10 pm

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Mar. 22., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a senior Taliban leader, two Taliban high-profile attack facilitators and detained two other insurgents during an operation in Jalrayz district, Wardak province, today.

The leader is accused of planning and directing a number of high-profile attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. His background includes kidnapping and assassination attempts against government officials, past attempts to destabilize Afghan elections, and recruitment of insider threat agents.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force detained an insurgent during an operation in search of a Taliban operational leader in Khanabad district, Kunduz province, today. As a member of the leader's cell of fighters, the detained insurgent is believed to have participated in multiple attacks against members of the Afghan government in addition to Afghan and coalition forces.


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a facilitator working for both the Taliban and Haqqani networks and detained one other insurgent during an operation in Gardez district, Paktiya province, today. The facilitator is accused of handling money and supplies for insurgent networks for use in attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He was also in direct contact with senior leadership for multiple extremist groups.

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Mar. 22., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces found and safely cleared three improvised explosive devices, killed five insurgents and detained two suspected insurgents during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, March 21.

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

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

Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared an IED during operations in the Qarah Bagh district.

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

Kunar province
Afghan and coalition forces killed three insurgents during operations in the Tsowkey district.

Logar province
Afghan National Security Forces killed two insurgents during operations in the Baraki Charkh district.

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

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US drones strikes kills four in North Waziristan

US drones fired two missiles at a vehicle in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt Thursday, killing four militants, security officials said.

The attack took place in Datta Khel town, 35 kilometres (22 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in the lawless North Waziristan region, which borders Afghanistan. The area is a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

“Four drones came to the area around midnight and fired two missiles targeting a militant vehicle,” a local security official said.

“At least four militants were killed, their vehicle was blown up,” he said.

Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which lies on the edge of the tribal region, confirmed the attack and the casualties.
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