[Bangla Daily Star] An krazed killer rocket attack on a US air base in Afghanistan has damaged the plane of America's top military officer while he was on a visit there.
Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was not near the plane at the time but two US maintenance crew were slightly injured.
The attack happened late on Monday night at the US air base in Bagram.
He was in Afghanistan to discuss a growing number of attacks against NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... soldiers by Afghan security personnel.
Gen Dempsey had arrived on Monday in a C-17 transport aircraft which was parked at Bagram
[Dawn] An Afghan district police chief has been fired after one of his men killed a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... soldier, marking the start of a crackdown on the increasing number of insider attacks, officials said on Tuesday.
The move came after President Barack Obama I am the change that you seek... and top US military officers expressed growing concern over the so-called green-on-blue attacks in which uniformed Afghans turn their weapons against their NATO allies.
A total of 10 soldiers, mostly Americans, have bit the dust at the hands of their Afghan colleagues in the past two weeks, and the attacks have caused almost one in four coalition deaths in the war so far this month.
The police chief was sacked over the latest incident when a member of the Afghan national police opened fire on his foreign colleagues in the police headquarters of Spin Boldak district on Sunday, killing one and wounding another.
"The Spin Boldak district police commander has been fired for negligence in his duty and lack of control over his personnel," the chief of police for Kandahar province, General Abdul Razik, told AFP.
"If he had control on his police personnel the latest attack on NATO would not have taken place." he said.
The provincial government's media office, in a message on Twitter about the police chief's sacking, said green-on-blue attacks "will not be tolerated".
"We stand by our partners. The provincial administration of Kandahar is committed to working closely with its international counterparts and avoiding the attacks against them."
The move will be welcomed by the United States and its NATO partners in the international coalition helping the government of President Hamid 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... fight a Taliban insurgency.
NATO and US officers have suggested the Afghan government has failed to come to grips with the problem and America's top military officer flew to Kabul for talks on the issue Monday with NATO commanders and Afghan top brass.
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he came away "reassured" after discussions with his Afghan counterpart, General Shir Mohammad Karimi.
"I am reassured that the Afghan leaders, military and civilian, understand how important this moment is," Dempsey said before leaving Kabul on Tuesday.
The total corpse count from insider attacks this year has already reached 40, which makes up 13 per cent of all international coalition deaths for 2012.
The Nigerian government has confirmed that it has been meeting with Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group notorious for terrorist attacks against Christians and others across the northern part of the country.
The dialogue began this month with a secret meeting between Boko Haram's deputy leader, Abu Mohammed, and Nigeria's Vice President Namadi Sambo, security adviser Sambo Dasuki, and other top government officials. The meeting was held in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed and Boko Haram confirmed the talks after they were first announced by Nigeria's information minister of information Wednesday.
Labaran Maku said, "The government is willing to negotiate because of the security challenges posed by the group who are attacking security formations, universities, and other government formations. The government welcomes any initiative that will usher in peace, security, and tranquility in the country, especially in the light of the security challenges that we have faced in the last two years."
Protesters hurled petrol bombs and stones at police in clashes that broke out in Bahrain on Tuesday night at the funeral for a teenage demonstrator killed last week. The government said police arrested eight protesters. The opposition accused security forces of provoking the violence by firing tear gas.
The fighting broke out at the funeral of 16-year-old Hussam al-Haddad, who was killed on Friday by police gunfire. A government statement said, "A group of rioters bombarded police with Molotov cocktails and stones from the roof of a religious center. Another group attempted to block several roads, while still others began an illegal rally on a busy road," adding that eight people had been arrested.
Wefaq, the main opposition party, said riot police started the trouble by firing tear gas at the mourners. It said, "Many injuries were reported as the regime forces opened fire at mourners. As usual, the regime forces backed the militias who took part in attacking the mourners."
Opposition activists said Haddad was also beaten by plainclothes agents. The Interior Ministry said the death resulted from police reacting in self-defense to a petrol bomb attack on a patrol.
[Dawn] An unmanned American aircraft fired missiles at a vehicle in a Pak tribal area bordering Afghanistan Tuesday, killing five suspected Death Eaters and injuring two, Pak intelligence officials said.
The strike was part of a spike in American drone attacks, which have drawn official Pak criticism in the past. The spurt of drone action threatened to add tensions to relations between the two allies, just as they appeared to be improving.
The latest drone strike came near Shnakhura village in North Wazoo, two officials said. They said the area of the drone attacks is dominated by anti-US myrmidon commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief news hounds. Bahadur's group is known for frequent attacks on US troops in Afghanistan, but generally it does not carry out operations inside Pakistain.
Several recent drone strikes have killed Death Eaters affiliated with Bahadur's group. Tuesday's was the third drone attack in North Waziristan within three days. On Sunday, drone-fired missiles killed 10 suspected Death Eaters in two strikes 12 hours apart.
Moro terrorist rebel leader Ameril Umbra Kato might be ill but he is still in control of the group he had founded in 2010, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, one of his aides said on Wednesday. BIFM spokesperson, Abu Misri Mama, said Kato remains at the helm of the splinter movement even though he suffered a stroke late last year.
Mama said, "Despite Kato's health condition, he is still very much in command."
Kato, a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander in Maguindanao, was reportedly too weak to lead the BIFM and its armed branch, the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters.
The MILF claimed he had sought treatment in a hospital in Cebu and the military had said a Kato deputy was now calling the shots in the BIFM.
The military's assessment had come in the wake of attacks led by BIFF forces in at least five Maguindanao towns starting August 5, in which seven soldiers and five civilians were killed. The military claims scores of terrorists rebels were killed but terrorist rebel casualties could not be independently ascertained.
Mama accused the MILF of "circulating unverified statements" about Kato's alleged treatment in Cebu, courtesy of an unnamed Maguindanao politician. Mama said, "If he was in Cebu for medical treatment, he could have already been arrested. This is nothing but a hoax," citing various warrants and a bounty of P10 million for his arrest.
But Colonel Prudencio Asto maintained that authorities had confirmed that "Kato is out" and that his deputy, Mohammad Ali Tambaco, "has taken over."
Unlike the MILF the military believes that Kato remains in Maguindanao and is being taken care of by his followers. Asto said the hunt was continuing for the ailing BIFM leader and his followers for the atrocities they have committed in Maguindanao.
[An Nahar] At least four people were killed and dozens others maimed, including an army officer and four troops, as festivities and sniper fire renewed on Tuesday in the rival Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich 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... districts of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.
"The festivities are continuing," an army front man said in the early evening, while the military said in a statement that soldiers were "chasing gunnies and have seized a quantity of guns, bombs and ammunition."
Al-Jadeed television said the intensity of the festivities in the evening prevented medics from reaching a man who was maimed by sniper fire on al-Mankoubin Bridge.
MTV said "young man Imad Ahmed Ismail was killed after three sniper gunshots struck his chest in Bab al-Tabbaneh."
The National News Agency reported that "young woman Manal Sayyed was killed by a headshot as sniper fire targeted her residence in Bab al-Tabbaneh."
Meanwhile, ...back at the pound, Zebulon finally found just the friend he'd been looking for... al-Jadeed said the army called in armored reinforcements to the area of the festivities.
Earlier on Tuesday, a man identified as Zakaria Khodr al-Omar was killed in Bab al-Tabbaneh's al-Hamwi Street.
A security official told Agence La Belle France Presse that three people were killed in Jabal Mohsen, without identifying them.
The violence was centered around the aptly named Syria Street, the symbolic "dividing line" between the rival districts of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.
Fires blazed in several buildings of the rival areas, where civilians evacuated their homes, an AFP correspondent said.
NNA said one of the blazes was sparked by shelling that targeted Jabal Mohsen's al-Saydeh area.
A number of RPGs hit al-Zahriyeh area, which is relatively outside the area of the festivities, wounding a man called Youssef Youssef.
The National News Agency said sniper fire was targeting Syria Street, al-Nasseri Mosque, Souk al-Qameh and Barrad al-Bissar, noting that the international highway linking Tripoli to Akkar was still cut off due to sniper fire.
The agency added that 17 maimed people were rushed to the Islamic Charitable Hospital in Tripoli and announced the death of Ahmed Hassan Mahmoud.
The gunbattles shattered the cautious calm that the residents enjoyed at dawn Tuesday, a day after the fighting, which involved the use of machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades, left one person dead.
Residents were trapped in their houses in the areas of Syria Street, al-Nasseri mosque, Rifa, al-Mankoubin and in Mallouleh near the highway that links Tripoli to the district of Akkar.
Prime Minister Najib Miqati warned "against sliding into the fires raging around Leb."
"But it's obvious that several parties in Leb are seeking to involve Leb in this conflict," he said in a statement issued by his press office.
Miqati urged residents of his hometown "not to be dragged into battles that only lead to death and devastation."
The residents of mainly Alawite Jabal Mohsen support Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Trampler of Homs... and the majority Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh backs the revolution against the regime.
[An Nahar] The Islamic personalities of the northern city of Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich 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... announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached with the residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh to implement an immediate ceasefire in the festivities that had been raging with the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood since Monday.
MP Mohammed Kabbara also condemned after the meeting the "army's random gunshots at some innocents."
The meeting, which was held at the MP's residence, accused the Syrian regime of being behind the unrest.
Kabbara said: "After it failed to implement the plan tasked to the terrorist former minister Michel Samaha, the regime sought to create strife between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen in order to divert attention away from the crimes it is committing in Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... , Deir al-Zour, Homs, Daraa, and Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... Three people have been killed and at least 33 were maimed in the Tripoli festivities that broke out over the developments in Syria.
The gatherers at Kabbara's residence called on the residents of the Jabal Mohsen "against getting dragged into the Syrian scheme that wants to exploit the blood of the sons of the city for the sake of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... They stressed that the residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh are aware of the plans being prepared against them and "they adamantly refuse to be dragged into this blatant scheme."
"They refuse to be the victims of this suspicious plan," they declared.
Regarding the army's role in handling the festivities, the gatherers asserted that it is "necessary for the army to target the gunnies and those creating strife."
"The army must arrest them and make them expose their backers," they noted.
They also condemned the random gunshots that were fired by some members of the army, demanding that they be held accountable for this action in order to prevent its repetition in the future.
The gatherers warned that they may be forced to resort to "escalatory measures" if this issue is not resolved.
[An Nahar] A top Syrian minister on Tuesday held out the prospect of strongman Bashir al-Assad stepping down as part of a negotiated settlement to 17 months of bloodshed that activists say has killed 23,000.
The comments from Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil came following talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Moscow officials who are keen to keep their sway over the Soviet-era ally in case of the fall of Assad.
Jamil rejected the idea of making Assad's resignation the condition for any future negotiations -- a demand made not only by the armed opposition but also Washington and several big European states.
But he said the president's departure could be a topic of discussion.
"As far as his resignation goes -- making the resignation itself a condition for holding dialogue means that you will never be able to reach this dialogue," said Jamil.
But the minister added in remarks translated into Russian: "Any problems can be discussed during negotiations. We are even ready to discuss this issue."
The United States announced on Monday that it would be promoting Assad's resignation during meetings with new U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi despite his initial refusal to back the idea.
Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... 's recent replacement had earlier this week said it was still too early for him to say whether pushing for Assad's ouster was the right strategy at this point in the conflict.
U.S. pressure on Syria escalated still further on Monday when President Barack Obama The Cambridge police acted stupidly... implicitly threatened to launch an attack should the Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... regime deploy a chemical weapons stockpile it acknowledged having only last month.
The U.S. leader said pointedly that he had not ordered military engagement against the Syrian regime "at this point".
But Assad's use of chemical weapons "would change my calculations significantly," said Obama.
Jamil waved off the threat as part of U.S. election politics rather than an actual declaration of intent.
"Obama's threats are simply propaganda linked to the U.S. elections," Jamil told news hounds.
Jamil was paying his second visit to Moscow in two weeks in a bid to put the fishing touches on a framework agreement for fuel supplies and other urgent Russian assistance and loans.
The country's top aid negotiator admitted that he had failed to secure a financial rescue promise on this occasion because the Russians preferred to talks about the fighting now raging on the ground.
"The issue of a Russian credit was discussed during my previous visit," Jamil confirmed in reference to his early August appearance in Moscow.
"This time, we focused more on political issues."
The comment appears to betray a growing impatience by Russia to achieve some sort of progress toward peace talks it has been backing in the face of escalating violence and little sign of concession from Assad.
Russia has adamantly defended Syria against the threat of foreign military invasion and still continues to formally supply Assad with heavy weapons under contracts it signed before the fighting broke out.
But its efforts to get new international talks going on Syria at the United Nations ...an organization whose definition of human rights is interesting, to say the least... ended in fiasco earlier this month when most world powers pulled out.
Many of them called Russia's efforts futile because of the sides' vast diplomatic differences and the rapidly growing corpse count on the ground.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow could adopt no other position.
"There should be no interference from the outside," Lavrov said after his talks with the Syrian minister.
"The only thing that foreign players should do is create conditions for the start of dialogue," Lavrov said.
[An Nahar] Syria's rebels control almost two thirds of the northern city of Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... , a top Free Syrian Army commander said on Tuesday, in a claim denied by a security source in Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... "We now control more than 60 percent of the city of Aleppo, and each day we take control of new districts," Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi told Agence La Belle France Presse by telephone.
"Every time we seize an area, the army responds with shelling," Okaidi said.
"This is completely false," the security source told AFP. "The forces of Evil are not advancing, it is the army that is making slow progress. Terrorist groups occasionally come out of districts under their control and attack other districts to be able to then claim they have this or that street under their control."
"After that, they quickly return to their lairs."
Syria's second city has been at the epicenter of the conflict since fighting erupted there almost a month ago, triggering a major army assault about a week later.
Okaidi, who is the FSA commander for the province of Aleppo, listed more than 30 districts that he said are under FSA control.
Among them were the southwestern neighborhoods of Saif al-Dawla, Bustan al-Qasr, Mashhad, Ansari and Fardoss, as well as Shaar, Hanano and Sakhour in the east, Bustan al-Basha in the northeast, Sheikh Saeed Fardoss in the south, and Kalasse near the city center.
About half of the embattled district of Salaheddin is in rebel hands, Okaidi said, adding that the FSA also holds the central neighborhood of Tilal.
Okaidi said Aleppo's residents are helping the FSA by giving them food and water.
"The people are with us," he said. "How else do you think we could have lasted a month?"