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It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. -- Norman Schwarzkopf
[Tolo News] At least seven non-combatants were killed and eight others were maimed in a roadside kaboom blast on Saturday in southern Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... province, local officials said on Sunday.
The incident took place in Musa Qala district of the province, when a civilian vehicle struck a roadside kaboom killing 7 including two children and three women, said Omar Zwak, the provincial governor front man. The victims, all members of one family, were taken to a nearby hospital.
No group including the Taliban has yet grabbed credit for the blast.
Insurgents use roadside kabooms to target Afghan and NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... forces, but most of the victims are civilians.
It comes as on Saturday four Afghan soldiers and two coppers were killed in a roadside mine blast in eastern Laghman province.
[An Nahar] African peacekeepers in Somalia operating with government forces have recaptured several strategic towns in the southwest from the al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militia, officials said Sunday.
The African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... 's AMISOM force announced it had launched a widescale offensive on Thursday against the Islamist fighters in areas near the Æthiopian border.
The operation comes in the wake of a surge of attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu, where the Shabaab is fighting to oust the internationally-backed government.
"AMISOM and the Somali troops kicked al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... out of several key towns including Wajid and (regional capital) Hudur," regional government official Abdulahi Yarisow told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"Our military advancement will continue until we eliminate the enemy from the rest of the country."
AMISOM said in a statement it had also secured the towns of Ted, Rabdhure and Buudhubow and driven out Shabaab militiamen, but witnesses reported fierce fighting on Sunday in Buudhubow.
"The SNA (Somali National Army) and AMISOM joint operations signal the beginning of the renewed efforts by the Somali government forces working more closely with AMISOM forces to dislodge al-Shabaab from many of its strongholds across the country," it added.
Hudur had been taken from the Islamists in March 2012 by Æthiopian troops who later withdrew and it then fell back into Shabaab hands.
Æthiopia intervened in Somalia between 2006 and 2009 and again sent in troops in November 2011 to battle Islamist fighters in border regions, providing crucial aid to the peacekeeping force.
In January of this year, Æthiopian troops joined AMISOM, sending a contingent of 4,400 men and boosting the peacekeeping force to some 22,000.
Local residents contacted by AFP confirmed that Wajid and Hudur had been retaken by AMISOM.
"The town (Wajid) is empty, al-Shabaab ordered people to leave the town before the Æthiopian and Somali troops (arrived) but the situation is quite calm now," said Abdi Hassan, who lives in a neighboring village.
The tension is high in Hudur and Waajid of the Bakool regions after for the past 2 days the government forces supported by Ethiopian soldiers captured some territories that Al-Shabaab had control over for the last few years. The locals are said to have vacated the towns and the troops are conducting search sweeps within the towns to strengthen the peace.
Officials from the Somali government in Bakool have told Shabelle that Al-Shabaab ordered the civilians to vacate their homes and mentioned that they will take action regarding this.
Like what? Let them go and let the Shaboobs take care of them...
Waajid and Hudur are now under control by troops from Ethiopia as well as the Somali government despite there are no citizens currently residing in those towns after a retreat from Al-Shabaab.
It was described that in the Buurdhuubo district of the Gedo region, there was heavy fighting this morning between Ethiopian troops and Al-Shabaab. This fight continues from yesterday after there were also intense clashes due to arguments on the outskirts of Buurdhuubo, a territory controlled by Al-Shabaab.
Increased military movement was going on in the Gedo region and reports say that the Ethiopian troops that came from Garbahaareey are heading towards Buurdhuubo district within Gedo controlled by Al-Shabaab.
It was also reported that there is a territory called Qorof, 18 km west of Buurdhuubo district where there is fighting going on.
Despite the continued fighting, there have been no preliminary reports stating losses or casualties.
But the Shaboobs later fled so it had to be 'intense'...
According to news reports from the Buurdhuubo district in the Gedo region, it has been said that today a heavy battle broke out. This fight between the Government forces backed by the Ethiopian troops against Al-Shabaab erupted today in vicinity under the Buurdhuubo district.
The news added that Al-Shabaab vacated the Buurdhuubo district in Gedo region after being assaulted by government troops and Ethiopian soldiers.
Military operations against Al-Shabaab have recently began in areas under Bakool and Gedo; the south-western regions of Somalia.
[Libya Herald] Members of the Libyan Air Force have apparently refused to obey orders to bomb an oil tanker that has been loading oil illegally from the Es-Sider oil export terminal.
A Ministry of Defence official in Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... , speaking on condition of anonymity ... for fear of being murdered... , told the Libya Herald that the Air Force did not want to attack the terminal for a number of reasons.
"There is a strong feeling among members of the Air Force that it should not be used to solve what is essentially a political problem, especially as civilians could be injured or killed," he said.
There were also deep concerns about the potential environmental impact of an oil spill on the Mediterranean Sea and the Libyan coastline if the tanker was hit, he said.
It is thought that the Air Force's attitude is one of the "logistical problems" cited by General National Congress (GNC) member Suliman Gajam this afternoon as delaying military action against the vessel.
Despite Zeidan's threat today that the tanker would be targeted if it did not obey orders from the Libyan Navy, no force has yet been used.
[Egypt Independent] Cairo University students belonging to the Moslem Brüderbund staged demonstrations outside the faculties of commerce and science on the first day of classes after the midterm holiday.
They rolled their eyes, jumped up and down, and hollered poorly rhymed slogans real loud against the army, the police and the campus guard.
Universities have deployed campus guards that are not from the Interior Ministry.
Cairo University Security Director Yasser Manna said cars are checked at the gates and IDs must be presented. "We also have female security personnel to check the bags of the girls that the students use to bring in prohibited material," he said.
Meanwhile, ...back at the comedy club, Boogie was cracking himself up, but nobody else seemed to be getting the non-stop jokes... Brotherhood students of the Saidia schools set fire to a car belonging to CBC News that was parked outside the main gate of Cairo University, terrorizing passersby in al-Nahda Square.
Also, Brotherhood members of the Students against the Coup Movement staged protests in Banha University, flashing the Rabaa sign and chanting slogans against the army and the police.
University President Ali Shams Eddin warned the students of disrupting classes. "We will not tolerate demonstrations that are not peaceful," he said.
[Egypt Independent] Authorities said a stun grenade went kaboom! at a metro construction site in Heliopolis on Saturday leaving no injuries.
Reports have not clarified whether the kaboom was from an actual grenade or merely a homemade bomb.
The bomb was found near the Ramses College for Girls by one of its workers who was later taken to an ophthalmology hospital for checkup.
Egyptian provinces have seen an increase in the use of bombs and stun grenades since the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsy. Authorities blame the attacks on the Moslem Brüderbund and bully boy groups loyal to the deposed leader.
[Egypt Independent] A police sergeant was killed in Sharqiya as gunnies shot him in Zagazig city. One of the attackers was killed, the other was injured after security troops pursued them as they tried to escape.
Major General Sameh al-Kilany, Sharqiya security chief, was notified about death of the 35-year-old police sergeant Abdel Dayyem Abdel Fattah, of Zagazig traffic department, after being shot by the gunnies who were on a cycle of violence.
Security source said security personnel followed the gunnies, which caused death of one and injury of the other.
[An Nahar] Saudi and Emirati pundits have quit major media outlets in Qatar, including the broadcaster of top-flight European football, they said on Sunday, as tensions soar between Doha and Gulf states.
In an unprecedented decision on Wednesday, Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... , the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their envoys to Qatar, which they accused of meddling in their internal affairs by supporting Islamists.
Doha has dismissed the charge, citing instead differences in regional politics.
Saudi columnist Samar al-Mogren, who writes for Al-Arab Qatari daily, tweeted on Sunday that the "Saudi ministry of culture and information has decided to end the collaboration of Saudi writers with Qatari newspapers."
She said that two other Saudi writers, Saleh al-Shehi and Ahmed bin Rashed al-Saeed, had also stopped writing for Qatari newspapers based on the ministry's orders.
Another writer, Muhanna al-Hubail, had received similar orders from the ministry, said Mogren.
Meanwhile, ...back at the saloon, Butch got the bill for the damage caused by the fist fight, the mirror broken in the shootout, and drinks for everyone...... Emirati commentators and analysts announced they had quit BeIn Sports, which exclusively broadcasts matches from the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga to millions of football fans across the Middle East.
Ali Saeed Al Kaabi and Fares Awad announced on Twitter Saturday their resignation from BeIn, without giving any reasons.
Emirati football pundit Sultan Rashed said he would stop contributing to BeIn, while analyst Hassan al-Jassmi said he would no longer appear on both BeIn and Alkass, another Qatari sports channel.
Qatar is a staunch supporter of the Moslem Brüderbund, viewed by most conservative monarchies of the Gulf as a threat to their grip on power in their countries because of its grass-roots political advocacy and calls for Islamic governance.
The Gulf Cooperation Council groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
[DAWN] A local leader of the Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... National Party, who was also the chief of the traders community, Attaullah Muhammadzai, and his bodyguard were bumped off in Balochistan's Khuzdar district on Sunday whereas two others were killed in separate incidents of violence in Quetta, DawnNews reported.
Police sources said that Muhammadzai was travelling with his guard on Khuzdar's Chakar Khan road when unknown attackers opened indiscriminate fire on their vehicle critically injuring the two.
The assailants managed to escape from the scene whereas both the victims gave up the ghost while being shifted to a hospital.
The news of the trade union head's death spread fear and panic in the area whereas markets and shopkeepers shut down their businesses in protest of the incident.
Khuzdar district is considered to be one of the troubled districts of Balochistan province. Bombings and assassinations have claimed scores of lives in the district.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth had turned a paler shade of blue. Star-A-Star had struck again... two more people were killed in separate incidents of gun-firing in Fatima Jinnah road and Kuchlak Bazaar areas of Quetta.
[DAWN] At least three persons were killed and two others were maimed in separate incidents of gunfire in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... on Sunday whereas law enforcers claimed the arrest of 81 suspects during targeted raids conducted in several areas of the city, DawnNews reported.
Unknown cycle of violence-riding gunnies opened fire near Vita chowrangi in Korangi area killing two persons and wounding two others. The victims were shifted to Jinnah Hospital.
Fear and panic gripped the area after the incident.
In another incident, a man was bumped off in Surjani town area of the city.
Meanwhile, ...back at the dirigible, Cynthia backed into the galley, the barbecue fork held in front of her. Jack! she called. Where the hell are you?... police and Rangers conducted targeted operations in several areas of the city during which police claimed to have tossed in the slammer Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! 66 suspects whereas Rangers officials claimed the arrest of 15 persons.
A large number of weapons, ammunition and drugs was also reportedly recovered from the arrested suspects.
[An Nahar] A jacket wallah killed 37 people, including two state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
employees, at a checkpoint near Storied Baghdad Sunday, after Iraq's premier accused Riyadh and Doha of fueling bloodshed in the country.
Iraq has been hit by a year-long surge in violence that has reached levels not seen since 2008, driven principally by widespread discontent among its Sunni Arab minority and by the civil war in neighboring Syria.
Continued on Page 49
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting fighters in Iraq and effectively declaring war on the country. The rare direct attack on the Sunni Gulf powers, comes with Iraq embroiled in its worst prolonged period of bloodshed since 2008, with more than 1,800 people killed already this year, ahead of parliamentary elections due next month.
Maliki, a Shia, has in the past blamed unnamed regional countries and neighbours for destabilising Iraq, the AFP news agency reported. But in an interview with France 24 broadcast on Saturday, the Iraqi premier said allegations he was marginalising Sunnis were being pushed by sectarians with ties to foreign agendas, with Saudi and Qatari incitement.
"They are attacking Iraq, through Syria and in a direct way, and they announced war on Iraq, as they announced it on Syria, and unfortunately it is on a sectarian and political basis," he said. "These two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian and terrorist and security crisis of Iraq."
Baghdad has long complained that support for groups fighting in Syria's civil war finds its way through to Iraq with weapons in particular ending up in the hands of armed groups.
Maliki said in the interview that Riyadh and Doha were providing political, financial and media support to fighters and accused them of buying weapons for the benefit of these organisations.
[An Nahar] The Israeli military said on Sunday it had found 40 rockets with a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) aboard a ship allegedly transporting arms from Iran to the Gazoo Strip.
The army said it seized the Panamanian-flagged Klos-C on Wednesday and escorted it to the Red Sea port of Eilat where it was inspected on Sunday and unloaded in an operation dubbed "Full Disclosure."
A statement said security forces searching the Klos-C had found "40 rockets (type M-302), up to the range of 160 kilometers, 181 122mm mortar shells, approximately 400,000 7.62-caliber rounds."
It said the unloading and inspection of containers was carried out by a combined task-force from various units including the Israeli Navy, the Combat Engineering Corp and the Ordnance Corps.
"Each one of these rockets poses a threat to the safety of the citizens of Israel -- each bullet and each rocket that was discovered had an Israeli address," army chief Lieutenant General Benny Gantz told sailors who took part in the operation.
The Klos-C was escorted into Eilat by two Israeli warships late on Saturday after Wednesday's interception in the Red Sea between Eritrea ...is run by the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), with about the amounts of democracy and justice you'd expect from a party with that name. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled; none have ever been held in the country. The president, Isaias Afewerki, has been in office since independence in 1993 and will probably die there of old age... and Sudan.
Iran has flatly denied any involvement with the shipment, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused the Islamic republic of "brazenly lying."
[An Nahar] A number of rockets fired from the Syrian side of the border landed in the northern region of Akkar, reported the National News Agency on Sunday.
The rockets, fired at dawn, landed in the towns located near the Kabir, or Grand, River near the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Two rockets landed on the house of Sheikh Abboud al-Zohbi in the town of Amar al-Bikat, causing material damage.
No one was injured in the attack.
On Saturday, rockets fired from Syria landed in the Bekaa regions of al-Hermel and al-Qaa.
Other rockets also targeted the Akkar towns of Qashlaq, Wadi Hor, Hikr Janine and Amar al-Bikat,
No one was injured in the incidents.
Bekaa towns, with a majority of Shiite population, have repeatedly come under rocket attacks by either rebels seeking to topple Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Supressor of the Damascenes... 's regime or gunnies supporting them.
The Syrian troops loyal to Assad also continue to carry out air raids on Arsal, a majority Sunni town, which is an escape route for rebels and smugglers.
[An Nahar] A group of nuns kidnapped from the Syrian town of Maalula in December were released on Sunday evening and handed over to a Lebanese General Security delegation in the outskirts of the Bekaa border town of Arsal.
"The Maalula nuns have been freed and they are now in our custody," General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim told LBCI television.
Leb's National News Agency also confirmed that "the Maalula nuns have become in the custody of Lebanese General Security."
"The General Security convoy that is carrying the freed Maalula nuns has left Arsal towards the international highway that leads to the al-Masnaa border crossing" between Leb and Syria, NNA said.
Ibrahim later appeared at the Syrian border post of Jdeidet Yabous where the nuns were supposed to arrive.
"The nuns will arrive here in an hour," he told news hounds.
Earlier on Sunday, Ibrahim confirmed that the nuns would be released within hours after the process was "delayed by logistical obstacles related to the region's geography."
For his part, Qatar's charges d'affaires in Beirut Ali al-Maliki confirmed to Al-Jazeera ... an Arab news network headquartered in Qatar, notorious for carrying al-Qaeda press releases. The name means the Peninsula, as in the Arabian Peninsula. In recent years it has settled in to become slightly less biased than MSNBC, in about the same category as BBC or CBS... TV that the nuns would be released but noted that the issue "will take some time and maybe hours."
"Negotiations have resumed between Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim and the abductors of the Maalula nuns after having bogged down for unclear reasons," al-Jadeed television said earlier in the day.
LBCI said that after having left the outskirts of the Bekaa border town of Arsal, a Lebanese General Security delegation returned to the town to prepare for receiving the nuns.
"The General Security convoy has returned to the Aqabat al-Jurd area in Arsal," MTV said.
Earlier, Leb's National News Agency said a large convoy consisting of around 30 vehicles had arrived in the al-Rahweh area in Arsal's outskirts to receive the nuns.
It later reported that "a new convoy consisting of 3 cars has crossed the army checkpoint at Arsal's entrance and headed to the point where the first convoy is waiting to pick up the Maalula nuns."
NNA had reported that Qatar's intelligence chief and a Lebanese General Security team crossed into Syria from Arsal to receive the nuns.
"Qatari intelligence chief Ghanim al-Kubaisi and a General Security delegation have crossed Arsal towards the Syrian border ahead of the release of the Maalula nuns," NNA said.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Senate, the partisans of Honorius went for their knives and the partisans of Stilicho went for the doors... local and regional TV networks aired footage showing heavy presence by General Security agents and news hounds at the al-Masnaa border crossing between Leb and Syria.
A number of Christian and Moslem clergymen were also spotted in the border area of Jdeidet Yabous.
MTV had reported that it was not clear whether the nuns' convoy would take the Yabrud-Arsal-Masnaa route or the road from Yabrud towards Syria's al-Zabadani and Damascus ahead of traveling towards al-Masnaa.
The Qatar-based, pan-Arab Al-Jazeera TV had earlier reported that "the process of releasing the nuns has started."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.