Saturday, April 6, 2013

7 killed, 34 wounded in separate attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, April 5 (Xinhua) -- At least seven people were killed and 34 others injured in separate attacks in violence-plagued Iraq on Friday, police said.

Three civilians were killed and seven others injured when a roadside bomb exploded near a fruit and vegetable market in Mahaweel, 50 km south of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua.

The blast also caused damage to several shops nearby, he added.

Two soldiers in the Iraqi army were killed and two others injured when a roadside bomb targeted their patrol in Abu Ghraib neighborhood, west of Baghdad.

A bomb exploded near a Friday prayer stage in Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province, killing one worshiper and wounding 19 others.

A farmer was killed by unidentified gunmen near his home in the village of Kippah, 80 km northeast of Baghdad.

Two people were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the town of Balad Ruz, 70 km northeast of Baghdad.

Three members of Kurdish security forces and one civilian were wounded when a roadside bomb targeted a patrol of the Kurdish security forces in the north of the city of Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad.

Violence is still common in war-torn Iraq despite the dramatic decrease since its peak in 2006 and 2007 when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.

2013-04-06 02:41:51

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In Several Joint Clearance Operations, 12 Armed Taliban Killed (Apr.06.2013.)

Publish Date: Apr 06, 2013
In Several Joint Clearance Operations, 12 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 Nangarhar, Kapisa, Kunduz, Jowzjan, Kandahar, Logar, Khost, Paktika, Helmand and Nimroz provinces, as a result 12 armed Taliban were killed, six wounded and 17 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 round ammunitions and 4540 kilos of explosives.

Counter Crimes:

The 101 Kabul Zone National Police detained two suspects accused of theft in the 9th District of Kabul-City.
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Zabul governor escapes suicide attack in southern Afghanistan

Map of Afghanistan with Zabol highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Zabol highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to reports, a heavy explosion rocked southern Zabul province of Afghanistan on Saturday after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in central city of Qalat.

Eyewitnesses in the area are saying that a suicide bomber targeted a team of the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in this province

In the meantime provincial police chief Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rooghlawanay said the suicide bomber was looking to target the convoy of provincial governor Mohammad Ashraf Nasery’s vehicle.

Mr. Rooghlawanay further added that the provincial governor escaped the attack unhurt but a doctor was killed and three bodygurads of Mr. Nasery were injured following the blast.

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

By Ghanizada - 06 Apr 2013, 11:49 am

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Apr. 06., 2013. - ISAF Joint Command Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan and coalition security force killed Darah-ye Pech district's highest-ranking Taliban official, Haji Matin, and one other insurgent during an operation in Darah-ye Pech district, Kunar province, yesterday.

Matin was involved in a number of significant insurgency operations and was personally responsible for moving insurgent fighters into Afghanistan and directing their activities in Kunar province. He maintained operational control over a significant number of local fighters responsible for the execution of civilian supporters of the Afghan government, assassination attempts against Afghan National Security Force officials, and multiple attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout


The Kapisa Provincial Response Company, aided by coalition forces, killed an insurgent who attacked the combined force during a high-risk arrest in Kapisa province Friday. As a result of the operation, the combined force seized a substantial amount of explosives, illegal weapons and Taliban propaganda materials.

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Apr. 06., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan National Security Forces discovered two weapons caches, and found and safely cleared one improvised explosive device during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, April 5.

Khowst province

Afghan National Security Forces discovered a weapons cache during operations in the Sabari district. The cache contained one small-arms weapon, one AK-47, multiple magazines and ammunition.

Laghman province

Afghan National Security Forces discovered a weapons cache during operations in the Mehtar Lam district. The cache contained four IEDs.

Wardak province

Afghan National Security Forces found and safely cleared one IED during operations in the Maidan Shahr district.

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Donkey bombing leaves policeman dead

Districts of Laghman.
Districts of Laghman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
MAHTARLAM (PAN): One local policeman was killed and three others were injured when an explosives-laden donkey was detonated in eastern Laghman province, an official said on Friday.

The explosives tied to the animal went off near a police checkpoint in the Tingor area of Alingar district late on Thursday, the governor’s spokesman said.

Sarhadi Zwak told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban were behind the remote-controlled bomb attack. But there was no immediate word from the insurgent movement.

Area resident Abdul Ali confirmed the incident, saying the explosives had been concealed in a bag placed on the donkey’s back.

from Pajhwok
By Mahbob Shah Mahbob Apr 5, 2013 - 12:30

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R.I.P. - Capt. James Michael Steel

DOD Identifies Air Force Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Capt. James Michael Steel, 29, of Tampa, Fla., died April 3 in the crash of an F-16 near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

            For more information media may contact the Air Force 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at 803-895-2019.


The F-16 pilot killed in an April 3 crash in eastern Afghanistan is the son of retired Maj. Gen. Robert Steel, former commandant of the National War College.

Capt. James Michael Steel, 29, of Tampa, Fla., died in the crash near Bagram Airfield, according to the Defense Department. Steel was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

“Our condolences and prayers are with the family, friends and squadron members of Capt. Steel,” said Col. Clay Hall, 20th Fighter Wing commander, in a statement. “This is a difficult time for Shaw AFB, but we are focused on taking care of the Steel family, our Airmen and continuing to execute the mission.”

Steel graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2006, following in the footsteps of his father and other family members.

His father, a fighter pilot, was commandant of the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington D.C., before he retired in 2011. His mother, Dee, twin brother, Jonathan, and younger brother Christopher also are Academy graduates, according to a 2009 story in the base paper at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., titled, “Like father, like son.” Another brother, Paul, was in basic training at the time to be a joint terminal attack controller, and brother Bob was applying for an officer training school slot, the article said.

“Since I was little, I got to watch my dad take off and see him come back from deployment,” James, then a 1st lieutenant with the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke, said in the story. “It is cool to actually be doing what he used to do.”

Just after 11 p.m. local time April 3, the F-16 lost contact with its wingman and the tower while it was getting ready for final approach to Bagram, said Capt. Natassia Cherne, a spokeswoman for Air Forces Central Command.

“There was no indication of enemy activity at the time of the incident,” Cherne said in an email. “The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the airman's family. The loss of our airman will be felt throughout the Air Force.”

The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing has appointed an interim safety board president, and Air Combat Command will establish safety investigation and accident investigation boards.
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Algerian governor escapes Al-Qaeda assassination

Medea wali Brahim Merad on Wednesday (April 3rd) survived an assassination attempt by al-Qaeda terrorists in the Algerian city of Mezghena.
Terrorists opened fire on police officers who were securing the route for the governor's convoy going to an event. One police officer was killed and two others were wounded and were taken to a hospital in Tablat.

There are conflicting reports as to what happened, El Watan noted. One of the newspaper's sources said that terrorists started shooting into a crowd of people they thought were surrounding the governor.

The other report said that the terrorists started shooting because they grew impatient from waiting for the governor's arrival.

The governor's convoy remained relatively distant from the place where the fire-fight took place and the governor withdrew after the security forces intervened.

The operation was followed by a bomb blast targeting an Algerian army vehicle that rushed to the scene directly after the attack. However, no soldiers were wounded and there were no material losses.

The terrorists seized four civilian vehicles and fled after forcing the owners out of their vehicles. The owners were later found tied up on the road.

Ennahda Movement Secretary-General Fateh Rebai condemned the terrorist attack that targeted Medea governor and his accompanying delegation.

In a statement, the movement called the attack a cowardly criminal act, and that such cowardly attacks could bring Algeria back to blood and fire.

The statement also urged the authorities to deal with all reasons of social and political tensions that some exploit to manipulate young people and throw them into the cycle of violence and terrorism.

"Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) always seeks to target the symbols of state… to show that it still can inflict harm," Mohamed Smiem, an academic specialising in security affairs said.

"Although the terrorist operations have recently dropped, the group is always seeking to carry out attacks… It wants to send a message to national and international public opinion that it still has the ability to launch painful blows," he added.

He noted that the group chose this area for this operation due to the rough terrain there and the mountains surrounding the road that the local official was supposed to take, in order to make the chase difficult.

This was not the first time that AQIM targeted senior Algerian officials. In 2007, terrorists targeted the Tizi Ouzou governor, and in 2012, former Illizi governor Mohamed Laid Khelfi was kidnapped by a group affiliated to Abdelhamid Abou Zeid.

The Illizi governor was taken to Libyan soil and was freed after the central authorities in Tripoli intervened.

The operation occurred the same day Algerian authorities released a list of 57 terrorists, they said would likely carry out suicide attacks. Algerian newspaper Ennahar published the list with pictures.

The group includes one woman and two Libyans who have been wanted since the end of 2011. The newspaper added that orders were given to all security authorities to publish the pictures of terrorists, names and aliases to facilitate their identification.

By Walid Ramzi in Algiers for Magharebia – 05/04/2013

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