Thursday, April 25, 2013

17 killed in Iraqi clashes, attacks

BAGHDAD, April 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 17 people were killed on Thursday in separate clashes and attacks in Iraq, sources said.

At least nine gunmen were killed in the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, when Iraqi security forces carried out an operation to retake several districts which had been under the control of insurgents since late Wednesday night, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The troops also captured 13 suspects and seized some weapons and ammunition, while clashes were still underway in parts of the city after the troops regained some areas, the source said.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, at least three militants were killed and 10 others wounded when security forces backed by two helicopters involved in fierce clashes with militants in villages surrounding the town of Qara-Tappa, some 160 km northeast of Baghdad, Rahim al-Bieji, head of the town council, told Xinhua.

"The town council's members and the security leaders in Qara- Tappa held an urgent meeting to discuss the clashes after the increasing emergence of the al-Naqshabandiyah organization during the past 24 hours in many villages surrounding the town," al-Beiji said.

"The militants are trying to seize the town by cutting the roads to prevent the military reinforcement from the nearby city of Jalawlaa," a security source in Qara-Tappa told Xinhua.

"The reinforcement troops have been engaged in fierce battles with the militants in three areas close to the villages of Hudhaifa and Kashkol in east and south of Qara-Tappa," the source said.

In Iraq's central province of Salahudin, unidentified gunmen shot dead a soldier in an attack on an army patrol in the eastern part of the provincial capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said anonymously.

Two more soldiers were wounded by a mortar attack on their checkpoint near the city of Yathrib, some 80 km north of Baghdad, the source said.

Elsewhere, gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead two members of anti-al-Qaida Sunni paramilitary group, also named Awakening Council group, in central the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a local police source said.

Also in the city, gunmen assaulted a police checkpoint in al- Askari district, killing two policemen and wounding another, the source said.

Thursday's violence came two days after clashes erupted between Iraqi security forces and anti-government Sunni protesters in Hawijah, after hundreds of security members backed by helicopters stormed a sit-in by Sunni Arabs in the city, which sparked further clashes across Iraq between the Sunni tribes and the security forces.

 2013-04-25 21:58:46

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PKK commander announces withdrawal from Turkey in May

Kurdistan Workers' Party soldiers, commonly kn...
Kurdistan Workers' Party soldiers, commonly known as PKK near the Iran/Iraqi Kurdistan border (Photo credit: james_gordon_losangeles)
ANKARA, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) will begin withdrawing from Turkish territory on May 8, a senior leader at the PKK's base in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq announced Thursday, according to Turkish media.

The withdrawal, to be in phases, will be finalized "as soon as possible" and in secrecy, Murat Karayilan said at a press conference in his base, which shelters nearly 5,000 militants.

The PKK militants will be relocated in northern Iraq, and use their usual route during the withdrawal in an organized and disciplined way to avoid any clashes, he said, adding that any military operations against the militants could delay the pullout and cause PKK's retaliation.

Time of clashes in the Middle East has ended, the PKK commander said.

Ankara has been holding peace negotiations with Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the PKK, since last October. Turkey insisted that the PKK must first lay down their arms and leave the Turkish territory.

On March 21, Ocalan finally made a historic call for PKK's ceasefire and withdrawal, which was positively responded by his militant group.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and part of the international community, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, some 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.

2013-04-25 21:04:49

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Taliban set conditions to release foreingers held in Logar

Districts of Logar. This image does not includ...
Districts of Logar. This image does not include Azra district, located to the east of Khoshi and Mohammad Agha. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to local authorities in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan, Taliban group has for the first time set conditions for the release of kidnapped foreigners who were held following an emergency landing of a helicopter in this province.

Provincial council chief Dr. Abdul Wali Wakil said they have held talks with the local Taliban commanders regarding the foreign hostages and Taliban group is demanding prisoners exchange to release the hostages.

The foreigners including Turkish engineers were kidnapped by Taliban militants in Azra district on Sunday evening after they helicopter made an emergency landing.

In the meantime deputy provincial governor Mohammad Hashim Faizi says that they have not been able to achieve a satisfactory result despite ongoing talks with the Taliban militants during the past five days.

Mr. Faizi also added that Taliban militants have shifted the hostages back to Azra district after they were temporarily taken to Hesarak district in Nangarhar province.

By Meena Haseeb - 25 Apr 2013, 4:34 pm

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Apr. 25., 2013. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan National Security and coalition forces killed one insurgent, detained one suspected insurgent and found and safely cleared three improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, April 24.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Security Forces killed one insurgent during operations in the Ajiristan district.

Afghan National Security and coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED during operations in the Dehyak district.

Kunar province
Coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED during operations in the Sar Kani district.

Logar province
Afghan National Security and coalition forces detained one suspected insurgent during operations in the Pul-E-Alam district. The suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Paktika province
Afghan National Security and coalition forces found and safely cleared one IED during operations in the Bermal district.

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