No doubt 2013 will be at least as exciting as the year just complete, if not more so. Wishing you and yours health, happiness, and success however you might define it, as we head once more into the breach, dear friends, each in our diverse ways.
[Magharebia] An Algerian imam who publicly denounced extremism escaped an assassination attempt on Sunday (December 30th), Tout sur l'Algerie reported. An unknown assailant reportedly stabbed the imam of the mosque in Mellakou, southwest of Tiaret.
In his Friday sermon, the victim reportedly condemned "salafist obscurantists". Sources said he later received a threatening phone call.
[An Nahar] An improvised bomb went kaboom! outside the headquarters of the public prosecutor in the Libyan city of Benghazi causing material damage but no fatalities, a security source said Monday.
"Initial evidence suggests the device was a suitcase packed with high yield explosives (TNT)," an investigator at the scene told Agence La Belle France Presse, adding that there were no casualties.
The overnight blast marked the third attack on the site in 2012, he said.
It damaged the front of the recently renovated building, which once held the people's court, a special tribunal created by the former regime of Muammar Qadaffy ...whose instability was an inspiration to dictators everywhere, but whose end couldn't possibly happen to them... to crack down on opponents, particularly Islamists.
The bomb also punched a hole in the ground and shattered the glass of adjacent vehicles and properties.
December marked a tumultuous month for Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... -backed uprising that toppled the Qadaffy regime and ended in the killing of one of the region's veteran dictators.
A spate of attacks targeting cop shoppes claimed the lives of seven officers this month and pushed the chief of staff to send reinforcements to bolster security there.
In 2012, Libya's second city witnessed a series of liquidations targeting security officials and judges, many of whom had served under the previous regime.
Benghazi has also emerged as a hub for jihadist groups, including forces of Evil who killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in a September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate.
[An Nahar] Attackers have stormed a church service in a town in Nigeria's volatile northeast and killed 15 people in the latest such violence targeting Christians in recent days, an official said Monday.
News of the killings emerged after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ... 14th President of Nigeria. He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and was sworn in as Vice President on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). He is a lover of nifty hats, which makes him easily recognizable unless someone else in the room is wearing a neat chapeau... questioned whether deadly Islamist attacks on churches in his country and other violence worldwide could be signs of coming "end times".
Jonathan also suggested that the Islamist turban group Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... aimed to take over the Nigerian capital Abuja, but vowed the group would be defeated and claimed that progress had been made in thwarting attacks.
Details were still being confirmed from the remote area where the latest church attack occurred, but it appeared the victims had been shot, said Mohammed Kanar, regional coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency.
"We received information from our personnel in Chibok that some attackers stormed a church during Sunday service yesterday and killed 15 people," Kanar told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The attack followed violence on Friday that saw attackers slit the throats of 15 Christians in a pre-dawn raid in Musari, also in the northeast. Musari and Chibok are located in Nigeria's Borno state, where Boko Haram has been based.
During a Christmas Eve service last week, gunnies attacked a church in northeastern Yobe state, killing six people, including the pastor, before setting the building ablaze.
Violence linked to Boko Haram's insurgency in northern and central Nigeria is believed to have left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.
Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation, roughly divided between a mainly Moslem north and predominately Christian south.
While the violence has been severe in certain areas this Christmas season, it has been less bloody than in 2011, when scores were killed in bombings and shootings at churches and other locations.
Last year's violence had prompted Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in the hardest-hit areas.
During comments Sunday in which he mentioned attacks on churches in Nigeria, Syria's war and the situation in the Central African Republic, where rebels have pushed their way across the impoverished country, Jonathan spoke of the Biblical end times.
"I was just wondering, could this be a clear way of telling us that the end times are so close?" he told the church congregation.
See also BHARAT RAKSHAK > KILLING CHARITY WORKERS AND WOMEN IN THE NAME OF JIHAD IN PAKISTAN: SAME HATRED SUPPORTED IN SYRIA.
As well as in many Muslim Nations around the World, includ those whom directly or broadly supported the US-West agz the USSR = Commie Bloc during the Cold War.
IIUC ARTIC = the US has put itself in a hypocritical situation of seemingly supporting those Govts. or Nations whom abuse Women's + Human Rights, or in the alternate deliberat fail to protect same, at least in the local or regional view.
* SAME > [Modern Tokyo Times]ISLAMISTS START DESTROYING MORE AFRICAN ISLAMIC CULTURE IN MALI: [destruction has spread to] SAUDI ARABIA AND SYRIA. Mali as symbol of a larger-scale destruction, as due to the pervasive influence of draconian, totalitarian or near-totalitarian, SALAFISM.
Any + all Non-Muslim, non-Sharia, non-Sunni, + non-Salafist cultural works + heritage to be destroyed or "rewritten/redone", INCLUD WIDIN WELL-ESTABLISHED MUSLIM STATES.
[Dawn] A boom-mobile hit a convoy of three Iran-bound buses in Mastung district on Sunday, setting one of the buses on fire and killing at least 20 Shia pilgrims and injuring 25 others.
The pilgrims belonged to different parts of Punjab. The other two buses were partially damaged.
According to official sources, the bomb hit the convoy on the RCD Highway in the Dringer area, some 60km from here.
A hitherto unknown organization, Jaish-ul-Islam, has grabbed credit for the attack in phone calls made to news hounds by its front man Ghazi Haq Nawaz from an unspecified place.
Witnesses and government officials claimed it was a suicide kaboom because the driver of the car had rammed his vehicle into one bus in the convoy.
But some other officials said the kaboom had been triggered by a remote-controlled device. The bomb disposal squad held the same view.
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... Home Secretary Capt (retd) Akbar Hussain Durrani said criminals had planted explosives in a small car and parked it on the highway in Dringer area.
"They detonated the explosives with a remote control when the convoy reached there," he said.
He said the bus which bore the impact of the blast carried 43 pilgrims and 20 of them were burned to death.
"Their bodies have been charred beyond recognition."
He said 20 bodies and 25 injured had been taken to hospitals.
He also said a contingent of Levies escorting the three buses had not been affected.According to the bomb disposal squad, 80kg to 100kg of explosives were used in the kaboom.
"The three buses were overtaking the car when we suddenly heard a huge blast and the bus next to ours caught fire," Hussain Ali, a pilgrim said. He said people in the other two buses had tried to rescue the pilgrims in the burning bus they were deterred by heat generated by the fire.
Officials said some of the injured were at death's door and they were referred to Combined Military Hospital in Quetta.
The bodies were taken to Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta and later to Nichari Imambargah after legal formalities.
Subsequently, the bodies were sent to Punjab.
Source in the BMC said 18 bodies and 23 injured had been brought to the hospital.
Posted by: lord garth ||
The question for a future Taliban-shared/
controlled Pak Govt. is whether the pro-Sunni Taliban can stop the persecution + killings of local Shias - iff not, there's going to be trubles wid BFF Rising Iran.
[Dawn] A prayer leader was rubbed out in a targeted attack apparently on sectarian grounds near Hill Park on Sunday, police said.
Maulana Rafiqul Khalil, 35, was heading to the Alamgir Masjid in Bahdurabad from his Korangi seminary in his car when assailants riding a cycle of violence sprayed his vehicles with bullets near Hill Park on Shaheed-e-Millat Road and escaped.
"His driver noticed that two men on a cycle of violence were following them and he tried to speed away. However, denial ain't just a river in Egypt... the assailants started firing near Hill Park and the Maulana suffered a single shot in the neck," DIG-East Aleem Jafri said. "The driver didn't stop and drove the car straight to the Alamgir Masjid from where the victim was rushed to the Liaquat National Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! The police said Maulana Khalil was the prayer leader of the Alamgir Masjid and was coming from his seminary located in Korangi.
A senior police officer associated with the investigation of the case said Maulana Khalil was formally associated with a banned religious outfit.
Considering his background, the police were of the opinion that the attack on Maulana Khalil had a sectarian motive and was related to the ongoing spate of sectarian strife taking place in the city.
In 2001, Anwar Naseem Chandna, the chief of one of the country's major social welfare organizations, Alamgir Welfare Trust, was rubbed out in a similar manner near Alamgir mosque in Bahadurabad.
Young man rubbed out
A young man was rubbed out in Baldia Town on Sunday.
Police said that the incident took place in Ghazi Goth near Bismillah Chowk within the remit of the Baldia Town cop shoppe, where unknown assailants riding a motorbike targeted Sher Khan, 35, who was also riding a cycle of violence.
They said the victim suffered two bullet wounds in the chest and head and was struck down in his prime.
The police shifted the body to the Civil Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
The Sherlocks suspected some personal enmity as a likely motive for the killing.
[Dawn] Two bullet-riddled bodies were found in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency while a woman was killed when a mortar shell hit a house in the same area on Sunday.
Sources said that bodies of two persons were spotted by local people in Kohi Sher Haider area on Sunday morning but they could not pick them owing to imposition of curfew in the locality. People removed the bodies from the spot when they were allowed by security forces.
The dear departed identified as Ejaz and Najeebullah had gone missing few days ago. Both of them were relatives and belonged to Malikdinkhel tribe, sources said. Nobody grabbed credit for their killing.
Scores of families vacated their houses in Kohi Sher Haider after security forces ordered them to leave the area in anticipation of a cleanup operation. In Malikdinkhel and Sipah areas, forces demolished the houses of four suspected faceless myrmidons on Sunday.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wrecked scow, a single surviver held tightly to the smashed prow... a woman was killed and four of her siblings received injuries when a mortar shell hit the house of Bagh Wali in Dura Nehar
locality of Sipah on Sunday.
Sources said that the mortar shell, fired from an unknown direction, also damaged a portion of the house. Nearly 12 residents of Bara, mostly women and kiddies, had fallen prey to mortar attacks during the last one week. Authorities are yet to establish as to who fire the mortar shells. In Mohmand Agency ... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar... and Swabi district, two improvised bombs were defused on Sunday.
In Swabi, traders informed police about the device that was planted at the tower of a cellular phone company. Police and bomb disposal squad reached the spot and defused the device.
The other bomb was planted at Ghanam Shah telephone exchange in Mohmand Agency. The residents of the area informed security forces about the device. The device was defused safely.
[Dawn] The Government of Sindh on Monday imposed a ban on riding double 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... for three days as a measure for maintaining peace in the commercial capital as the year draws to a close.
The ban will be effective from 5 pm today, Dec 31, 2012 and will be effective until Jan 3, 2013, according to a notification issued by provincial home department.
The ban has been imposed in view of maintaining peace on the eve of new-year while the religious day of Chehlum will also be observed on Thursday, Jan 03, said the notification.
The ban shall not be applicable to women, children below the age of 12 years, senior citizens, disabled persons, journalists, personnel of law enforcing agencies in uniform and employees of essential services.
According to the notification, violation of the order shall be liable to penal action under Section 188 of the Pakistain Penal Code (PPC). Police personnel are authorised to take legal action against the violators under the applicable law.
Through another order, the government has also prohibited plying cycle of violences without silencers or mufflers besides a ban on crackers and gun sex, said the notification.
The provincial home department has also suspended all the letters issued by it to various persons allowing them to carry weapons in relaxation of the ban.
[An Nahar] Bullet-ridden bodies of nine Taliban fighters were found dumped in Pakistain's northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border on Monday, officials said.
The bodies were found on the side of the road in Peer Kaley village in North Wazoo, a stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked groups, 10 kilometers (six miles) east of the district's main town of Miranshah. ... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas... "Unidentified people threw away these nine bodies. No one knows who killed them," a security official based in Miranshah told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Local residents confirmed that the bodies had been discovered and a second security official in Miranshah said the identity of the dead was yet not known.
But Ehsanullah Ehsan, a front man for the umbrella Taliban faction in Pakistain, told AFP that all nine were Taliban fighters and accused government security forces of killing them.
"We are proud of their martyrdom, soon we will take Dire Revenge™ for this killing," he told AFP from Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location.
There's a difference here. Afghan Taliban are an Pak-intelligence-supported asset, while Pak Taliban are viewed as feral.
Pakistan considers Afghanistan to be within its sphere of influence; releasing these prisoners makes the Pakistan government look magnanimous, while putting Taliban elements back into play if events don't go according to Pakistan's preferences.
[North Jersey] Pakistain released eight Taliban prisoners, including former justice minister Nooruddin Turabi, on Monday in an effort to facilitate the grinding of the peace processor in neighboring Afghanistan.
The announcement by Pakistain's Foreign Ministry also said that 18 Taliban prisoners were released in November at the request of an Afghan High Peace Council delegation during its visit to Islamabad.
But the freed Taliban detainees did not include former deputy leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, tossed in the calaboose ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... 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... in 2010. The release of Baradar and other Taliban leaders from Pakistain's custody has been a long-standing demand of Afghanistan's Caped PresidentHamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... 's government, which believes that their freedom would help convince Taliban leaders to join the sluggish peace and reconciliation process.
The release of prisoners reflects Islamabad's readiness to promote peace in Afghanistan amid concerns that civil war and strife in that nation after the U.S. troop exit scheduled for 2014 would have perilous consequences for Pakistain.
The Taliban did not immediately comment on Monday's release of prisoners, and it was unclear whether such efforts would help bring the cut-throats to the negotiating table.
The release marks incremental progress on an issue that many in Afghanistan view as intractable. The Taliban has repeatedly refused to recognize the legitimacy of Karzai's government. Despite a recent meeting between Afghan officials and alleged members of the Taliban outside of Gay Paree, officials close to Karzai have recently expressed doubts about the state of negotiations.
[Reuters] At least 23 people were killed and 87 maimed in attacks across Iraq on Monday, police said, underlining sectarian and ethnic divisions that threaten to further destabilize the country a year after U.S. troops left.
Tensions between Shi'ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions in Iraq's power-sharing government have been on the rise this year. Militants strike almost daily and have staged at least one big attack a month.
The latest violence followed more than a week of protests against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by thousands of people from the minority Sunni community.
No group grabbed credit for any of Monday's attacks, which targeted government officials, police patrols and members of both the Sunni and Shi'ite communities.
[An Nahar] Thirty tortured and disfigured bodies have been found in the northern Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... neighborhood of Barzeh, the scene of regular festivities between regime troops and rebels, a watchdog said on Monday.
"Thirty bodies were found in the Barzeh district. They bore signs of torture and have so far not been identified," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on medics and activists on the ground in compiling its tolls.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a grassroots network of anti-regime activists, estimated that there were 50 bodies, adding that "their heads were cut and disfigured to the point that it was no longer possible to identify" them.
These reports could not be verified independently because of restrictions on the international media by the Syrian authorities.
The gruesome discovery was made on Sunday, the day U.N. and Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he has a plan to end the conflict that could be acceptable to world powers.
The Syrian conflict, which erupted in March 2011, has claimed more than 45,000 lives, according to Observatory estimates.
On Sunday itself 160 people were killed nationwide -- 78 civilians, 41 soldiers and 41 revels, the Observatory said.
But remember, we here in America are the world's most blood soaked, wild west savages. Our media and political betters tell us so. The Eurines and Rooshians recoil from Assad's doings, to the extent that they do, only because it impedes "business as usual..."
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
Oh, and, it IS the doings of several factions, not just Assad...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
[An Nahar] Syria's government on Monday welcomed any initiative for talks to end bloodshed in the country, after U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said he had a peace plan acceptable to world powers.
The regime's stand, expressed by Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi, came amid a flurry of diplomacy led by Brahimi to find ways to end the 21-month conflict.
But the violence still raged, with activists reporting the gruesome discovery of dozens of tortured, headless corpses in a Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... district, adding that nearly 90 percent of the 45,000 people killed so far died in 2012.
"The government is working to support the national reconciliation project and will respond to any regional or international initiative that would solve the current crisis through dialogue and peaceful means and prevent foreign intervention in Syria's internal affairs," Halaqi told parliament.
He said the revolt against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Leveler of Latakia... 's regime must be resolved only by the Syrian people, "without external pressures or decrees".
Halaqi said the country was "moving toward a historic moment when it will declare victory over its enemies, with the goal of positioning Syria to build a new world order that promotes national illusory sovereignty and the concept of international law".
Brahimi said Sunday he had crafted a ceasefire plan "that could be adopted by the international community".
The proposal involved a ceasefire, the formation of a government, an election plan, and was based on an agreement world powers reached in Geneva in June.
The opposition has already rejected that accord, and insists Assad must go before any dialogue can take place.
Russia and China have so far vetoed three U.N. Security Council draft resolutions seeking to force Assad's hand with the threat of sanctions.
The violence has escalated, with activists reporting the discovery of 30 tortured bodies in a flashpoint district of Damascus, while a gruesome video emerged of a separate slaying of three children in the capital.
"Thirty bodies were found in the Barzeh district. They bore signs of torture and have so far not been identified," said the Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission activist network gave a higher estimate of 50 bodies, saying "their heads were cut and disfigured to the point that it was no longer possible to identify" them.
The video posted online by activists showed the bodies of three young boys with their throats slit open and hands bound behind their backs. Their bodies were discovered on Monday in Jubar.
The Observatory also reported the killing of the boys, who activists said were kidnapped the day before at a checkpoint on their way home from school.
Regime warplanes, meanwhile, bombarded rebel positions on the outskirts of Damascus, killing eight civilians including two children, said the Observatory.
Fighting erupted in Daraya as army reinforcements massed in the contested town where more than 500 people were reportedly killed in the conflict's bloodiest massacre in August.
In central Syria, the army shelled the town of Halfaya in Hama province, where an air strike on a bakery last week killed 60 people, and Houla in Homs province, where pro-regime forces of Evil are suspected of killing more than 100 people in May in another major massacre.
The Observatory said nearly 90 percent of the 45,000 people killed in the conflict died in 2012, putting this year's toll at 39,362 people, mostly civilians.
The uprising began in March 2011 with peaceful protests inspired by the Arab Spring, but morphed into an armed rebellion following a brutal government crackdown.
The sharp increase in fatalities was due to a fierce escalation in the methods of crackdown by the regime, which included air raids on densely populated areas, said the Observatory.
Though rebels now hold vast swathes of territory and have struck the heart of Damascus, the regime has so far stood firm despite Western predictions of its imminent fall.