To control the future, control what the children are taught.
Unable to confront Afghan security forces, and losing public support, militants May 23 once again released poison in a school, sickening at least 125 schoolgirls and woman schoolteachers in Takhar Province, in northeast Afghanistan.
The poison was sprayed inside the girls¬' school by unknown militants, local officials said. Investigators have not identified the type of poison.
Medics transferred students and teachers complaining of symptoms like numbness and dizziness to the provincial hospital, said Abdullah Safi, director of public health for Takhar Province. While most of the victims were discharged after treatment, some remain hospitalised, Safi added.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility, but officials at the Afghan Ministry of Education link the attack to ¬"the enemies of the people of this country,¬" a term used to describe Islamic militants.
There is no excuse or explanation for the unforgivable act of poisoning students, said Amanullah Iman, a ministry spokesman.
The Quetta Shura (the Taliban leadership committee) recently held a meeting led by Mullah Qayyum Zakir in Quetta, Pakistan, in which the Shura decided to target Afghan schools in order to inflict a strong blow upon the Afghan government and international community, Mashal said.
The Takhar poisoning is not the first such attack. Hundreds of students and teachers in several provinces have been sickened by poison in recent months. So far, no fatalities have been reported. Maybe they don't have fire alarms to pull to get out of an exam for which they are unprepared, so they have to poison the water?
On April 17, in an attack for which no one has yet claimed responsibility, 100 schoolgirls elsewhere in Takhar Province were sickened when a poison was added to the school¬'s drinking water.
Twenty-seven schoolgirls and teachers were also poisoned May 9 in Balkh Province, while 380 schoolboys were poisoned May 15 in Khost Province.
The attacks have not yet affected school attendance rates, but if continued, they could undermine morale. I suppose it COULD undermine morale.
WACO, Texas -- Walking around a gun store one day last summer, the young man never took off his sunglasses as he asked questions about items he piled on the counter -- behavior that struck the manager as odd.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo had already traveled hundreds of miles since going AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., three weeks earlier. He bought a gun from an online seller in Nashville and paid cash for thousands of dollars of bomb-making components at a major Dallas-area retail store. Trying to avoid being caught, he wore a baseball cap and sunglasses most of the time, never used credit cards while staying in motels and traveling by bus or cab, and he had his roommate's driver's license.
But his luck ran out in Killeen, a city about 150 miles southwest of Dallas and near one of the nation's largest Army posts -- Fort Hood. Guns Galore manager Cathy Cheadle "just had this feeling" about him. She and an employee talked about it and then called police -- who had Abdo in custody less than 24 hours later at a motel, where authorities say he had started to build a bomb. Police hadn't even known his name or background until they detained him.
Thank you Ms. Cheadle.
A federal jury Thursday convicted Abdo, a Muslim soldier, on six charges in connection with his failed plot to blow up a Texas restaurant full of Fort Hood troops, his religious mission to get "justice" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"A disaster was averted because somebody picked up the phone and made a call," prosecutor Mark Frazier told The Associated Press after the trial. "The people who work in businesses like this are vigilant ... and risked being embarrassed if their suspicions turned out to be nothing, but that's what we want people to do."
Abdo was convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of U.S. officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime of violence. He faces up to life in prison. U.S. District Judge Walter Smith is set to sentence Abdo in July.
Abdo, 22, did not stand with his attorneys when jurors and the judge entered the room, and he showed no emotion when each of the six guilty verdicts was read by the court clerk. Abdo, who's been accused of spitting blood on authorities escorting him and a jailer, wore a mask covering his nose and mouth throughout the trial.
Abdo's lead attorney, Zach Boyd, told jurors during closing arguments that he should be acquitted because his plan never progressed beyond preparation.
That has to be about the dumbest thing I've ever read coming from a lawyer. Then again, he had to say something...
When authorities detained Abdo at a Killeen motel July 27, they found bomb-making components, a loaded gun, 143 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun and magazine article on how to make an explosive device.
In a recorded police interview, Abdo said he was planning an attack in the Fort Hood area "because I don't appreciate what my unit did in Afghanistan."
He told authorities he planned to put the bomb in a busy restaurant filled with soldiers, wait outside and shoot anyone who survived -- and become a martyr after police killed him. Abdo told an investigator that he didn't plan an attack inside Fort Hood because he didn't believe he would be able to get through security at the gates, according to testimony.
That's the part that shows he's rational, not insane, and therefore eligible for execution.
During the four-day trial, a recorded jail conversation was played for jurors in which Abdo told his mother his religion inspired his actions and he was seeking "justice" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Their suffering is my suffering," he said.
Abdo became a Muslim when he was 17. He enlisted in the military in 2009, thinking that the service wouldn't conflict with his religious beliefs. But according to his essay that was part of his conscientious objector status application, Abdo reconsidered as he explored Islam further. That status was put on hold after he was charged with possessing child pornography -- about two months before he went AWOL.
Child porn. AWOL. Bomb-making. Lotsa guns. Yup, he could be al-Qaeda alright.
For a map, click here. For a map of Tamaulipas state, click here
By Chris Covert
A third day of attacks against several targets in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas took place including a firebomb attack on Mexican state police agents and one attack on a local night club, according to several Mexican news sources.
According to a report posted on the website of the leftist Proceso news weekly, Thursday's attacks included a firebomb attack at the Hotel Santa Cecilia on Avenida Reforma early Thursday morning at around 0730 hrs local time, which police agents for the Tamaulipas state Secretaria Seguridad Publica (SSP) are using for quarters.
Previous Mexican wire dispatches said the hotel was occupied by a detachment of the Polica Federal and that several PF agents were wounded in the attack.
A total of eight state police agents were wounded and another two civilians were hurt as well. The vehicle used was a Chevrolet pickup truck. Damage to the hotel's facade was reported as well.
Several news reports say a car bomb followed by small arms fire characterized the attack, however, not even Los Zetas can get their hands on high grade or military grade explosives. Previous attacks which have been described as car bombs were likely vehicles in which fuel tanks were detonated by a hand grenade. Grenades, both hand grenades and the launched 40mm variety are in widespread use by the drug cartels.
According to the Proceso report, Thursday morning's attack were preceded by other attacks.
Monday, a gaming establishment operating illegally, the Amazon, was firebombed.
Tuesday two nightclubs, the Zebra and the Dubai were attacked, although press reports have not characterized the nature of those attacks.
Four hours prior to the attack on the Hotel Santa Cecilia, another nightclub, the Maranho was attacked by firebomb. Reports have also indicated that around the same time as the first attack, several roadblocks were put up by local criminal gangs, which is a tactic used to deny and delay security forces access to area where cartel shooters are operating.
An American English language press report attributed some of these attacks to Los Zetas, who have been locked in a deadly dual with an alliance of the Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels. Attacks, made mostly on innocents, are photographed along with narcomantas or painted messages, with threats against rival cartels.
Los Zetas are under increasing pressure from their rivals in their home turf. Multiple murders over the last two months in Nuevo Laredo and elsewhere by both sides have taken place, though nearly all the victims had no connection with the drug cartels.
Mass murders in both Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon and in Jalisco state by Los Zetas operatives have been among the responses by the group to Sinaloa Cartel incursions into their home territory.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
Sounds like an interesting mix of war and regular mafiya thuggery. I wonder how long this will hold: however, not even Los Zetas can get their hands on high grade or military grade explosives.
Hand grenades are already popular. How much longer before heavier stuff begins to appear? Something like an LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon), for example. Makes the idea of Iranian involvement in Central/South America more disturbing, no?
North Korea is constructing a new ballistic-missile launch pad in Musudan-ri, North Hamgyong Province, experts claimed Wednesday.
The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, on its blog Wednesday, claimed the new launch pad is for intercontinental missiles aimed at the U.S. and suggested a possible link with Iran. It said the facility can accommodate a more advanced missile than the rocket whose launch failed in February.
So the Norks can have a more advanced failure...
The institute analyzed images taken by the commercial satellite Digital Globe on April 29 and said the new facility is being built 1.75 km east of the existing facility in Musudan-ri. The facility is twice the size of existing facilities in Musuan-ri and Tongchang-ri and has a bigger flame trench, launch pad and storage facility for fuel oxidizers.
Construction started last summer, the institute said, and predicted it will be operational in 2016 or 2017. It said the assembly plant at the new site is similar in design to Iran's Missile and Space Center at Semnan.
The Choson Sinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper in Japan, quoted the chief of the Tongchang-ri launch facility as saying on April 16 that the North has "specific plans to launch a satellite not only at the Tongchang-ri site, but at Musudan-ri as well."
Jeanne Crain aka Patricia 'Pinky' Johnson in "Pinky (1949)(Nominated AA)" aka Margy Frake in "State Fair (1945)" aka Ruth Berent in "Leave Her to Heaven (1945)" aka Deborah Bishop in "A Letter to Three Wives (1949)" aka Letty Page in "The Joker Is Wild (1957)" aka Peg Phillips in "Hot Rods to Hell (1967)" (Died in 2003 at age 78)
[Tolo News] At least 17 Islamic fascistiwere killed and another 54 were jugged Book 'im, Mahmoud! during nine joint Afghan and Isaf troops operations in the past 24 hours in Afghanistan, the Afghan Ministry of Interior said on Thursday.
The operations took place in Kabul, Nangarhar The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country.. , Takhar, Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... , Zabul, Uruzgan, Pashtun-infested Logar, Ghazni and Khost province ... across the border from Miranshah, within commuting distance of Haqqani hangouts such as Datta Khel and probably within sight of Mordor. Khost is populated by six different tribes of Pashtuns, the largest probably being the Khostwal, from which it takes its name... s, it said.
The forces also found and seized weapons including 10 AK-47 guns besides defusing six anti-vehicles mines and discovering kabooms.
There was no mention in the statement whether there were any casualties on the side of the Afghan or coalition security forces.
They also confiscated six cycle of violences which were understood to have been used by hard boys, it added.
[Tolo News] Two Afghan police were killed when a suicide kaboomer let 'er rip in Afghanistan's southern Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... province Thursday, officials said.
The suicide attacker with a cycle of violence bomb let 'er rip with his cycle of violence while police were checking a location in the Musulmani area of Musa Qala district around 8:30 am, the Helmand governor's office said in a statement.
The blast killed two police but there were no other casualties or damage, the statement said.
Helmand governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal strongly condemned the attack and offered his condolences to those who knew the dead.
Meanwhile, ...back at the cheese factory, all the pieces finally fell together in Fluffy's mind... police conducted an operation in Helmand's Sangin district and consequently seized illegal weapons and ammunition including two machine guns, 21 machine gun's magazines, 2100 rounds for a PK, one missile, three rounds for DC mortar, three bayonets, one magazine for PK, one anti tank mine weighing 20 kilograms, two mines weighing five kilograms and two mine fuses.
No one was captured in relation to the possession of these items, but the search is continuing, the office said in the same statement.
[Dawn] Despite high security in the city, incidents of indiscriminate firing and murders continued unabated in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... as four more people bit the dust on Thursday, DawnNews reported.
In one of several incidents of the day, an office-bearer was killed and two men were maimed as unidentified gunniesshot up a local Pakistain People's Party office in Baldia Town. Residents of the area came out in protest of the killings, as they set tires on fire to block Hub River Road and Northern Bypass.
Earlier in the day, two young men were bumped off by unidentified armed persons at Liaquatabad C-1 Area, police said. Both men were rubbed out near Muhammadi Ground.
Police officer Fahim said the identity of the dear departed, seemingly in their mid-twenties, was yet to be ascertained. The bodies were shifted to Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi for medico-legal formalities.
Meanwhile, ...back at the revival hall, the SWAT team had finally arrived... person or persons unknownshot up two men standing by a bus stop at Teen Hutti. One of the men succumbed to his wounds while the other was maimed.
Earlier on Tuesday, at least eleven people were killed and more than 30 maimed as violence engulfed the city after unidentified armed assailants shot up a political rally.
(Sh.M.Network) -- The security forces ofSomalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ofSomaliaon Thursday begun conducting search operations in an attempt to curb insecurity acts in the government controlled districts of Mogadishu.
Witnesses confirmed to Shabelle Media that they saw Somali police forces searching all kinds of vehicles and ordinary people using the main streets and junctions in Mogadishu, including Ex-control Afgoye,Banadir, Zoobe, KM4 Junctions, Trebunka square, Dabka, Sayidka memorial, Howlwadag district and also Bakaro market.
The police forces were seen ordering the drivers of civilian buses entering intoMogadishuto stop as to look for Al shabab agents hidden among the ordinary passengers onboard the vehicles.
During the operations young people are reported to have stayed at homes fearing from arbitrary arrest.
TFG Security officials told Shabelle Media that search operations were aimed for ensuring the overall security of Mogadishu after Somali and AMISIOM forces launched on Tuesday joint offensives against Al shabab strongholds away from the capital.
[An Nahar] One of the suspects jugged Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! in the Caracas shooting in Beirut on Wednesday is a Jordanian national who is linked to an organization linked to the 2005 liquidation of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, reported al-Manar television on Thursday.
It said that Hani al-Shanti is accused of belonging to the "Group of 13" organization that confessed to assassinating the former premier on February 14, 2005.
Shanti had just been released from jail some three months ago, reported LBC television.
It added that he began working in the music sector after his release.
Security sources told al-Manar that investigations are underway to determine what a group linked to al-Qaeda is doing in a "sensitive district of Beirut."
For its part, Al-Jadeed television reported that Shanti is a close friend of Khaled Taha, who is a member of the "Group of 13."
He studied at the Arab University and was imprisoned in Roumieh jail between 2005 and 2011.
Al-Jadeed said that he had rented more than one apartment in Beirut's Tariq al-Jedideh and al-Basta neighborhoods.
Security forces found weapons in each of the apartments, it added.
Early on Thursday, security forces stormed a building in Beirut after a nighttime shootout with gunnies holed up inside a flat, in an incident which left two dead and seven maimed, security sources said.
One gunman was killed in the shootout and the body of another man was found inside the flat in west Beirut's Caracas district, a security official told Agence La Belle France Presse on condition of anonymity.
Another gunman was maimed, the army said in a statement, adding that the man had previously been "placed in long-term storage Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! for several years in Leb for security reasons," without elaborating.
The security official said the spark for the shootout was a personal dispute between at least one of the men and a woman in her early 20s. The dead man and the woman, placed in long-term storage Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! in the incident, were Syrian nationals, he said.
The army said it also jugged Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! a guard described as "suspicious" and the maimed gunman, having rushed to the site late Wednesday after reports of gunfire.
According to the army, the man who was found dead in the flat had been killed during a clash between gunnies that took place prior to the arrival of security forces.
Gunmen subsequently lobbed grenades and began shooting at the security forces from the flat, wounding at least six coppers and soldiers. The military said it found a large amount of weapons in the flat.
The shootout came amid heightened tensions in Leb, where deadly sectarian violence has broken out in the past two weeks linked to the unrest sweeping neighboring Syria.
The U.S. embassy in Beirut on Thursday warned American citizens to be aware of prevailing "tensions" and "violent incidents" in Leb.
[An Nahar] A mortar attack in Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... killed one person and maimed six others on Thursday, in the second attack in the capital during key talks on Iran's nuclear program, security and medical officials said.
An interior ministry official said a mortar round struck a street in the Bataween area of central Storied Baghdad, which lies across the Tigris River from the heavily-fortified Green Zone, where the talks between Iran and world powers pressing it to scale back its nuclear program are taking place.
The official put the toll at one dead and six maimed, which was confirmed by a medical source at Ibn al-Nafis hospital.
On Wednesday, the first day of the talks, four people were maimed by a roadside kaboom near a Sunni mosque in al-Yarmuk in west Storied Baghdad.
The attacks come despite heightened security measures in and around the Iraqi capital.
Thousands of additional Iraqi security personnel have been deployed in areas north, west and south of Storied Baghdad to try to prevent the firing of mortars and rockets into the capital, a security official said.
The official also said without providing figures that additional forces have also been deployed at checkpoints in the Iraqi capital, and that searches have been increased.
[Nigerian Tribune] The Joint Task Force on Operation Restore Order in Borno has said that its troops raided the hideout of a suspected 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... sect member in Gomboru ward at about 5.35 a.m. on Wednesday, following a tip-off from concerned citizens, which led to the killing of the suspect during a gun duel with the troops.
Spokesman for JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said, "the operation led to the passive exchange of fire that killed the suspect, while two AK47 rifle, 1,623 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 32 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered in the hideout."
He also disclosed that at about 2.30 p.m., a Chadian was tossed in the slammer Please don't kill me! in Sinimari area while trying to steal an installed generator set.
Musa said when a search was conducted in his hideout, the JTF recovered 10 cartons of uncoupled motor bikes, four cartons of motor bike engine blocks, one TV set, one standing fan, a stabiliser, five DVD player, one amplifier, one bag of handsets, one carton of indomie, 75 packets of sim cards, a bag of toiletries, a DVD recorder and many CD plates.
(Sh.M.Network)-As military forces make their way into Somalia's Afgooye corridor, the United Nations ...the Oyster Bay money pit... top humanitarian official for the east African country today reiterated his call for efforts to be made to minimize the impact of conflict on civilians.
The pious words of someone who never has done more than kibbitz from the sidelines.
"At this stage, we have no reports of significant movements of people from the corridor," the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, said in a statement.
"However, a clean conscience makes a soft pillow... I remain concerned that an escalation of hostilities or a prolonged operation could lead to displacement, further straining the capacity of settlements and host communities in Mogadishu or driving people away from the life-saving help they require."
Mr. Bowden also reiterated the need to allow full humanitarian access to all people in need in the Afgooye corridor, located outside of the Somali capital ofMogadishu.
According to a blurb of the UN-backed 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... Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), issued on Wednesday, Afgooye has for a long time been a stronghold of Al-Shabaab ... the personification of Somali state failure... faceless myrmidons and is a strategic junction for routes to the north, west and south ofSomalia.
In the so-called Operation Free Shabelle, AMISOM said that its forces, and those of the Somali National Army, have made significant progress in the last 24 hours towards Afgooye town, with the aim of bringing security to the 400,000 people located inside the Afgooye corridor.
"While remaining strictly neutral and independent of political and military processes, humanitarian actors are coordinating preparations to ensure immediate assistance is available to civilians most affected by military activities in the corridor," Mr. Bowden added in his statement.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has previously said that an upsurge in conflict in the corridor will most likely lead to a further displacement of internally displaced people (IDPs) from the corridor intoMogadishuand surrounding areas. The number of IDPs in the capital is currently estimated at 184,000.
After decades of warfare, Somalia has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with the country's Transitional Federal Institutions in the process of implementing a roadmap, devised in September last year, that spells out priority measures to be carried out before the current transitional governing arrangements end on 20 August.
Until last year, most of Mogadishu was, for several years, riven by a fluid frontline dividing the two sides -- fighters belonging to the Al-Shabaab movement and troops belonging toSomalia's Transitional Federal Government, with the latter supported by AMISOM's peacekeeping forces.
Since the Al-Shabaab withdrawal from the capital's central parts in August last year, the frontlines were pushed back to the city's surrounding area. However, a clean conscience makes a soft pillow... the use of roadside kabooms, grenades and jacket wallahs is still a regular occurrence, and outbreaks of fighting still take place.
Want to really minimize civilian casualties? Then attack full force and crush them to the last man as quickly as you can. And try not to shoot at folks who aren't in a condition to be able to fight. Anything else will allow the bad guys to use the civilians as pawns until someone attacks them full force and crushes them to the last man.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Mark Bowden, U.N. Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Somalia.
Posted by: Frank G ||
The real Mark Bowden also wrote Guests of the Ayatollah about the seizure of the American embassy in Iran, a great read that will, no doubt, increase your contempt for Jimmy Carter. Hard to imagine, I know, but trust me on this.
(Sh.M.Network)- The front man for 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... Mission in Somalia( AMISOM) peacekeepers, said on Wednesday that the AU and Somali troops are close to the rebel-held Afgoye district, just 30 KM, north west Mogadishu, Somalia Capital.
Speaking with Shabelle Media, AMISIOM front man, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, told that the allied forces are just four kilometers away from Afgoye and will soon capture it from the Orcs and similar vermin of Al shabab.
"Our troops are doing well and the operation is going as planed. Both Somalia and AMISOM forces have moved out of the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday and taken the fight towards Al shabab strongholds in Afgoye corridor where up to 400,000 people who fled their homes are squatting on land controlled by Al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... ," said AMISIOM front man, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda.
Mr. Ankunda, urged local residents in Afgoye stay in their current places of residence and not to stray from their homes. He added that the AMISOM troops have been specifically avoiding entering the built up areas and
(Sh.M.Network)- Hundreds of families on Thursday, have began fleeing from locations along Afgoye corridor, to Mogadishu to escape fresh offensives against Al shabab held positions in Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, reports said.
On Tuesday, May 23, 2012. 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... and Somali government troops stepped up their assault on Al-Shabaab ... Harakat ash-Shabaab al-Mujahidin aka the Mujahideen Youth Movement. It was originally the youth movement of the Islamic Courts, now pretty much all of what's left of it. They are aligned with al-Qaeda but operate more like the Afghan or Pakistani Taliban... Death Eaters in the capital's northern outskirts, forcing hundreds of families to flee their makeshift homes and head for the city centre.
The displacing families from the outskirts of Mogadishu took any means of transport available, including donkey carts and open trucks, to escape the fighting between Somali government troops backed by AMISIOM peacekeepers and Al shabab.
Some families on foot and carrying children on their backs, headed to the other towns in Lower Shabelle region controlled by Al shabab fighters. The exodus was the heaviest since Al shabab withdrew from their fixed based in Mogadishu last year.
This displacement came as Somali and AMISOM military officials asked local people living areas between Mogadishu and Afgoye town,not to flee and stay at their current homes.
[Dawn] A woman and her 10-year-old son were killed when a mortar shell hit a house in Khawezai tehsil of Mohmand ... 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 Beautiful Downtown 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... Agency on Wednesday.
Locals said that the shell hit the house of Arabistan, killing his son on the spot and injuring his wife. The injured woman was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where she succumbed to her wounds.
Locals said that at least a dozen more mortar shells landed in a nearby village but caused no loss of life. The place from where the shells were fired could not be ascertained.
In Kurram Agency ...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora... , three persons including a minor were maimed when faceless myrmidons opened firing on a passenger coach near Tore Chapper village on Wednesday. The coach was going to Peshawar from Parachinar. The injured passengers were identified as Kamal Hussain, Mehtab Hussain and Nijat Hussain. They were shifted to Combined Military Hospital in Thall Garrison.
Security forces condoned off the area soon after the attack and conducted a search operation. However, there's more than one way to skin a cat... no arrest was made during the operation.
In Khyber Agency, three faceless myrmidons and a peace volunteer were killed and one was injured in a clash in Tirah valley on Wednesday.
Sources said that Taliban of Tariq Afridi group ambushed a patrolling party of Kukikhel ...a tribe of primitives inhabiting Khyber Agency. They are a branch of the Afridi tribe. Traditionally they have been migratory, tromping between Jamrud and the Rajgal valley with the seasons. The tribe has had mustache-cursing relationships with several other tribes, including the Zakkakhel and Kambarkhel, and with the Mullagori. They make welcome most anyone with a turban and automatic weapons, but every once in awhile they get together a tribal lashkar to mollify the government... peace volunteers in Dwa Thoe area, killing one of them and injuring another. The killed peace volunteer was identified as Naseer Afridi.
The Kukikhel volunteers claimed that they killed three Taliban in retaliatory firing.
A jirga of Kukikhel elders, held few weeks ago, had resolved to expel all faceless myrmidons from their area. The jirga had also decided to punish harbourers of bad boys.
In Qambarkhel area of Bara, three armed motorcyclists rubbed out a member of the council of a banned bad boy group on Wednesday.
Sources said that Kohat Khan, a shura member of Amr Bil Maroof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir, was coming out of a mosque after offering Fajr prayers when the assailants sprayed him with bullets. He was shifted to a hospital at death's door but could not survive.
[Dawn] India has submitted new evidence against Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed ...who would be wearing a canvas jacket with very long sleeves anyplace but Pakistain... in the ongoing dialogue between the two nuclear-powered neighbours, DawnNews reported.
"We have given new evidence to Pakistain regarding Hafiz Muhammad Saeed's involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks," Indian Interior Secretary R K Singh, who is leading his delegation in Islamabad, told media representatives on Thursday.
Moreover, the Indian secretary said that they had also briefed the Pak delegation on the progress in the Samjhota Express investigations.
The talks, scheduled to last for a period of two days, commenced today with the Pak delegation led by Interior Secretary Siddique Akbar Khwaja. Thursday's talks were expected to focus on cooperation between the two countries on issues pertaining to security and drug trafficking.
The Pak interior secretary said that both delegations are of the view regarding relaxation of the visa policy between the two countries.
Earlier before talks began, the Indian secretary said that his country was not satisfied with Pakistain's investigations into the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Singh said the judicial proceedings going on in Pakistain pertaining to the Mumbai attack were very slow.
Pakistain had demanded proof of his involvement in terrorism, which is good enough to stand in court of law.
"Our position on Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is clear. We have independent and active courts. If anyone has proof against him, they should share it with us so that the courts can examine it," Foreign Office front man Moazzam Khan had said.
[Bangla Daily Star] Iran's navy yesterday said it saved an American-flagged fat merchantman that was being attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman.
An Iranian warship responded to a distress signal from the US-flagged Maersk Texas, a fat merchantman of 150 metres and 14,000 tonnes, which was besieged by "several pirate boats," the navy said in a statement reported by the official IRNA news agency.
It was the first time the Iranian navy protected a US ship from pirates.
Maersk had sailed from the UAE port of Fujairah, south of the Strait Hormuz at the entrance of the Gulf, and was headed for the United States.
Iran's navy keeps a presence in Gulf of Oman to protect cargo ships and transiting oil tankers and also defend the country against potential threats.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... fighters in Somalia are fleeing their key stronghold of Afgoye ahead of an advancing column of government and 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... troops, military commanders said Thursday.
Sporadic shooting was heard on the third day of an offensive against hardline jihad boy positions as the joint force of AU and Somali troops closed in on Afgoye town, some 30 kilometres (18 miles) northwest of the capital Mogadishu.
Thousands of impoverished civilians living in plastic and rag hut shelters along the Afgoye corridor -- the main road from Mogadishu to Afgoye, and the world's largest concentration of displaced people -- are fleeing, fearing violence.
"We are a few kilometres (miles) away from Afgoye and, God willing, we will complete the mission very soon," said Somali military commander General Abdulahi Osman, who is with the government and AU troops advancing across the arid plains.
"We are not encountering much resistance and so far the enemy is fleeing," he added.
The jihad boy Al-Shabaab have claimed to have repulsed the attack and have boasted of killing several soldiers.
More than 400,000 people, around one third of all the displaced people in Somalia, were living in the Afgoye corridor at the start of the year, fleeing war or drought, according to the UN, which has warned civilians must be protected.
"It is as if no one will be left in the Afgoye corridor today, hundreds of families are returning to Mogadishu before the fighting reaches them," said Abdirahman Ahmed, a father of four, after fleeing into Mogadishu.
Long lines of trucks and buses piled high with people and their belongings lined the road towards Mogadishu, defying AU calls for civilians to remain in their homes.
Most were fleeing the Elasha and Teredishe areas between Mogadishu and Afgoye, where hundreds of thousands set up makeshift homes in 2007 after fleeing violence at the time in Mogadishu. Shelling killed at least four civilians on Wednesday.
"Stray bullets sometimes reach the tarmac road, civilians are emptying the whole area before they are stranded in the battle zone," said Halimo Adan, another witness.
Mark Bowden, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, has urged all sides to "minimise the impact of conflict on civilians" and allow humanitarian access.
However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... army commanders said they were advancing on foot and avoiding the main road of the Afgoye corridor to allow civilians to leave the battle zone.
"The army is advancing with caution, and not aiming directly for the main tarmac road to give civilians access to leave amid the fighting," said Osman.
Afgoye is a strategic town that commands a road junction for routes to the north, west and south of Somalia, and its loss to Al-Shabaab would be another major blow for the group, who have been on the backfoot for several months.
AU and Somali troops have made significant gains in recent months against Al-Shabaab myrmidons, although the Islamists have switched to guerrilla tactics in Mogadishu, including a series of suicide and grenade attacks.
Somalia's weak and Western-backed transitional administration has less than two months to set up a permanent government, but the leaders have been riven by bitter internal divisions and tarnished by accusation of gross corruption.
The international community has expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... it is failing to meet key deadlines, but leaders late Wednesday committed themselves to choosing a new parliament by July 20, and a new president by August 20.
[An Nahar] Syrian regime forces pounded the town of Rastan in central Homs province on Thursday, killing three civilians, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Violence elsewhere in Syria killed 10 other people in the morning, the Britannia-based watchdog reported, including four who were summarily executed in northwestern Idlib province.
Government forces have been trying to overrun Rastan for 11 consecutive days, after rebel fighters from the battered central city of Homs regrouped in the town that straddles the main highway linking Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... to the north.
Speaking to Agence La Belle France Presse via Skype on Wednesday, Abu Rawan, an opposition activist in Rastan, said there was no electricity in the besieged town, and a shortage of food and water.
Abu Rawan was not reachable for comment on Thursday morning.
Elsewhere in the violence-swept country, four civilians were summarily executed in a field near Basamis town in the province of Idlib, while four others were killed in fighting.
"Eight non-combatants were killed in a field near Basamis this morning, including four who were cooled for a few years Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! from their homes and summarily executed," according to the monitoring group.
"The Observatory strongly condemns the summary execution of the four people, in contravention of international treaties signed by the Syrian authorities," it said in a statement.
"The Syrian security and military authorities do not have the right to summarily execute people, even if they are fighters," the statement noted.
Four other people were killed in festivities in Idlib between regime troops and rebel forces, the Observatory added.
In eastern Deir al-Zour province, one civilian and regular army soldier were killed, the watchdog said.
"Regime forces killed a young man at dawn in Quriya town in Deir al-Zour," it said, adding festivities between rebel forces and regime troops were taking place in the town, leaving dead one soldier.
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.