MOGADISHU, Somalia -- French commandoes on Saturday attacked a base of Islamist militants in Somalia in a hostage rescue attempt, a Somali intelligence official said. Residents of the town said they heard explosions and gunfire.
The attack occurred in the town of Bulomarer, and come on the heels of French military intervention in Mali, another African country. With France having acted Friday to help Mali against al-Qaida-linked militants who hold more than half of that country and are encroaching further on government-held territory, the raid in Somalia could have been aimed at preventing al-Shabab fighters from harming the French hostage in reprisal.
"Since 11 September, 2001, the pundits of the French have been telling them that the old United States is gone, replaced by a new unilateralist United States, willing to dispense with the United Nations and ignore NATO, trying to divide a Europe that it once did so much to unify, destroying the international order that it built after World War II. This is the lesson widely drawn in France from U.S. actions in Iraq and the wave of anti-French feeling sweeping the United States. The French conclude from this that the unity of Europe is more urgent than ever. The economic giant the European Union must build a corresponding political and military-strategic component and develop the will to use it. Only then can Europe become a "counterweight" to U.S. power and form a genuine partnership of equals. Europe must be an independent force in a multi-polar world, a leader in the construction of international institutions and a force for democracy, assuming the role that the United States has now apparently renounced. Churchill once said he would call upon the New World to save the Old; France is calling upon the Old World, or at least "old Europe," to save the New. "
"War must be a last resort, and preemptive war is unacceptable" unless you are France.
Posted by: Mike Ramsey ||
The French have always backed their former colonies (with one exception).
But we still don't know that they are working toward warlike nuclear weapons.
[Jpost] Truck carrying highly corrosion-resistant valves, banned for sale to Iran by EU, seized by Spanish police; company used false companies in UAE for deliveries, channeling cash through banks in other countries.
Spanish police placed in durance vile Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! two men and seized the contents of a truck bound for Iran loaded with materials destined for use in the Islamic state's nuclear program, the Spanish Interior Ministry said on Friday.
The truck, intercepted on a motorway in northern Spain early on Wednesday, was carrying highly corrosion-resistant valves, the ministry said in a statement.
Police were examining computer databases and documents at the company, Fluval Spain, a ministry front man said. The two arrested men were employees at the firm, he said.
"The company, registered in the Basque Country, used false companies in the United Arab Emirates for the deliveries, channeling cash through banks in other countries," the ministry statement said.
The company had commercial links with Iranian firms that featured on lists drawn up by the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... as having connections with Tehran's nuclear program, the ministry said.
No-one at the company could be reached for comment.
The European Union has banned the sale of such material to Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking to develop a capability to make nuclear weapons. Tehran says its atomic program is for civilian energy purposes.
World powers are searching for a diplomatic solution to a decade-old standoff over the nuclear program to avert the threat of a Middle East war.
News of the seizure of materials bound for Iran's nuclear program came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a group of visiting US senators on Friday that stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons would be his top priority in his next term if he is reelected.
A Somali-American accused of trying to blow up a crowded Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in the US went on trial, more than two years after being nabbed in an FBI sting operation.
Arguing in court near the site of the tree lighting in Oregon, lawyers presented contrasting pictures of Mohamed Mohamud, either as a troubled youth tricked by undercover agents or a hardened Islamist terrorist.
Mohamud's defense lawyer claimed he would not have attempted to detonate the "bomb" -- a harmless fake supplied by FBI agents -- if agents posing as terrorists hadn't coerced the confused youngster into it.
The FBI "created a crime that never would have happened without them," attorney Stephen Sady told the jury which will decide Mohamud's fate, in the trial.
"He wasn't a perfect human being. But he wasn't someone who was sitting around thinking about blowing up his hometown," he added.
The government counters that Mohamud was not tricked and willingly chose to press the button on a cell phone that he thought would kill thousands gathered in downtown Pioneer Square.
Assistant US Attorney Pamala Holsinger told jurors, "He said he would push the button because it would make him happy to have bodies torn everywhere. By the time he met FBI agents he had already decided that violence against civilians, in or out of the US, was justified."
Mohamud watched the proceedings with his attorneys, taking notes on a legal pad. At one point he became emotional, and an attorney put a comforting hand on his shoulder. About ten family members sat on the other side of the packed courtroom, occasionally leaving and returning from the courtroom with what appeared to be a prayer rug.
[Dawn] At least seven gunnies were killed when security forces pounded the hills of Darra Admakhel with artillery shelling on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, official sources claimed.
They said that several other gunnies were maimed in the shelling. They said that security forces targeted the hills of Darra Adamkhel after receiving information that bad boys, hiding there, could attack Kohat.
However, the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits... the claim of officials about killing of gunnies in the shelling couldn't be confirmed through independent sources.
Sources said that the artillery fire mostly hit Bosti Khel, Buland Khel and Amay Kamay mountains for about half an hour, creating fear among the local people.
An official told Dawn that Darra Adamkhel was cleared of bad boys, who used to carry out terrorist activities in the semi-autonomous tribal region and Kohat last year. Security forces have now focused on stopping movement of gunnies between Orakzai Agency ... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers... and Darra Adamkhel as both the regions are linked through mountains.
[Dawn] A day after a series of kabooms claimed around hundred lives in Quetta, unidentified myrmidons attacked a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... terminal in the restive 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... capital leaving two people dead on Friday, DawnNews reported.
Initial reports suggest that around five containers, carrying goods for international troops operating in Afghanistan, were also destroyed in the attack when rockets were fired in Hazar Ganji area.
"A group of at least 12 faceless myrmidons attacked the terminal and fired rockets, which triggered a massive fire and gutted five out of 10 containers parked there," senior local police official Hamid Shakeel told AFP.
Meanwhile, ...back at the bunker, his Excellency called the chief of staff and complained that the artillery was keeping him awake... another loud kaboom spread fear among the citizens when a roadside kaboomwent kaboom! near the city's Sariab Road area.
According to police, the bomb was planted near the old office of the Quetta Development Authority (QDA). There were, however, no casualties due to the kaboom.
Police said that due to a shutter-down strike being observed in Quetta due to yesterday's violence, the blast did not result in any major casualties.
[An Nahar] Thousands of Sunni Moslems erupted into the streets of Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... and other parts of Iraq on Friday to decry the alleged targeting of their minority, in rallies hardening opposition to the country's Shiite leader.
The protests have worsened a political crisis, pitting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against his erstwhile government partners, with the premier facing accusations of authoritarianism and sectarianism ahead of key provincial polls.
Counter-demonstrations were held in predominantly Shiite areas of southern Iraq calling for authorities to resist demands to reform anti-terror laws or consider a wide-ranging prisoner release, both key demands in majority-Sunni areas.
Anti-government protests were held in Storied Baghdad's mostly-Sunni districts of Adhamiyah and Ghazaliyah, as well as the cities of Ramadi, Samarra, djinn-infested Mosul and Tikrit, AFP journalists said.
Several smaller towns north of Storied Baghdad also held rallies.
In Ghazaliyah, hundreds of protesters rallied after Friday prayers at the Umm al-Qura mosque, holding up banners calling for the repeal of anti-terror laws, the release of women prisoners, and improved human rights ...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you... in jails.
"These sounds do not represent only one community," Ahmed Abdulghafur al-Samarraie, head of the foundation that manages Sunni mosques across Iraq, said in a speech at the rally, referring to the shouts of protesters.
"No, these are the sounds of Iraqis from all over Iraq, all shouting 'No to suffering, no to the absence of services, no to injustice, no to foreign agendas, no to conflict, no to the return of the Baath, Qaeda or militias, no to torturing until death.'"
Hundreds of protesters also gathered at Adhamiyah's Abu Hanifa mosque, despite a heavy security presence and soldiers barring would-be demonstrators from outside the district from taking part, an AFP journalist said.
"We do not have any demands in our protests -- we are just here for our rights," said a 62-year-old man who gave his name as Abu Fares. "The government should provide a good quality of life for people."
[An Nahar] An Egyptian police officer and six recruits were maimed on Friday when gunnies attacked their patrol in the Sinai Peninsula, security officials said.
The patrol had been tasked with protecting the cross-Sinai pipeline that supplies Egyptian gas to Israel and Jordan and which has been the target of 15 separate attacks since 2011.
Unidentified gunnies opened fire on the patrol in the Ouja region, hitting the seven men, all of whom were taken to hospital in El-Arish.
Sinai, a sparsely populated peninsula home to both lucrative tourist resorts in the south and shadowy Islamist forces of Evil in the north, is also a major transit point for arms smuggling to the Islamist-ruled Gazoo Strip.
[An Nahar] At least a dozen inmates, including several prisoners linked to al-Qaeda who have been sentenced to death, beat feet from a jail north of Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... early on Friday, security officials said.
Sources mooted the possibility of collusion on the part of prison guards in allowing the jailbreak, which occurred shortly after midnight in the town of Taji, 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the capital.
An interior ministry official said all 12 prisoners who escaped were Iraqis, but a military source put the number of escapees at 16.
"They beat feet from Taji prison after they got hold of the guards' weapons," said the military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"It could be there was cooperation from the guards."
The officer said most of the escapees were linked to al-Qaeda's front group the Islamic State of Iraq, while the interior ministry official said several had been sentenced to death.
Jailbreaks and prison unrest are relatively common in Iraq.
On September 27, more than 100 prisoners beat feet from a jail in Tikrit, north of Storied Baghdad, although several were killed or recaptured in subsequent weeks, officials said.
In March last year, 19 inmates beat feet from a prison in the northern city of Kirkuk, ... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time... and last January, 11 prisoners tunneled out of a prison in the northern Kurdish province of Dohuk.
Police have confirmed a man was hurt when a bomb exploded in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, on Friday morning. But the police ruled out the possibility of terrorist attack.
Because the obvious couldn't possibly be true.
Goran Burusic, the leader of Zagreb's police bureau, said at a press conference, a 54-year-old man was slightly wounded in the blast. Burusic said, "In this case, we believe that it is not about terrorism."
A similar explosion occured on early Wednesaday morning on the railway nearby the Podsused railway station. No one was hurt but tracks and a cargo train engine were damaged and windows of nearby buildings were broken.
[An Nahar] Israeli army gunfire killed one Paleostinian and maimed another in the northern Gazoo Strip on Friday, a front man for the territory's emergency services said.
The two men, one of them a 20-year-old farmer, were hit by live fire east of Jabaliya and near the Israeli border, Ashraf al-Qudra said.
The Israeli army declined to make any immediate comment on the incident.
Friday's fatality would be the second Paleostinian killed by Israeli forces since a November 21 truce between the Jewish state and the Islamist group Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, ended eight days of hostilities between the two sides.
Over the course of the battle between Israel and Gazoo Death Eaters, 177 Paleostinians -- more than half of them civilians -- were killed by Israeli air strikes.
Six Israelis -- four of them civilians and two soldiers -- were killed by rocket and mortar fire from Gazoo.
An IDF official said dozens of Palestinians had gathered illegally near the border fence, in an off-limits area. Soldiers dispatched to the place called on the protestors to turn back, but were ignored. They fired warning shots at the legs of a Palestinian attempting to cut the fence.
Military sources confirmed that the soldiers had hit the Palestinian's legs.
Palestinians reported that the man killed in the incident was a resident of Gaza's Sajaiyeh neighborhood. They said another Palestinian who was with him was shot in his leg.
Medical sources said the dead man was shot in the chest, and that the two were evacuated to a local hospital in the northern Gaza Strip after the incident.
A similar incident last week ended without any casualties. An IDF force opened fired at a group of Palestinians approaching the border fence in the central Gaza Strip in a bid to deter them. The army said the group was trying to sabotage the fence.
[TIMESOFINDIA.INDIATIMES] Syrian rebels and Islamic forces of Evil overran a major military airbase in the north on Friday and, buoyed by the victory, intensified their offensive on two other bases in their most aggressive campaign yet to erode the air supremacy on which the regime of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... has increasingly relied the past year.
The rebels control the ground in large parts of the north, but they have been unable to solidify their grip because they -- and civilians in rebel-held regions -- come under withering strikes from aircraft stationed at a number of military bases in the area.
The Taftanaz airbase in Idlib province is the largest airbase yet to be captured by the rebels. It is the biggest field in the north for helicopters the military uses both for strikes on rebels and for delivering supplies to government troops still in the north to avoid the danger of rebel attacks on the roads.
Shortly after they captured the Taftanaz field, rebels in the neighboring province of Aleppo intensified their assault on the Mannagh airbase and the international airport of the city of Aleppo, which includes a military base. Rebels have been trying to capture the two sites since last week, along with a third airfield known as Kweires.
[NY Times] Protesters and distraught family members of 86 Shiites from the Hazara ethnic group killed in two kabooms on Thursday in the southwestern city of Quetta braved biting cold to stage a sit-in on Friday, refusing to bury their dead till the Pak Army took control of the city to provide them with security.
"I ask the army chief: What have you done with these extra three years you got in office?" a bitter Maulana Amin Shaheedi, a senior Shiite leader, was quoted as saying by local news media. "What did you give us except more death?"
In a telephone interview on Friday night, hours after the protest started, another leader, Nadir Ali, said, "Right now, it is raining in Quetta and the temperature is minus two centigrade." As of midnight, the group was still in place.
There was no immediate response from the country's powerful army or its chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ... four star general, current Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army. Kayani is the former Director General of ISI...
Quetta, the capital of 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... Province, has been ravaged by a vicious cycle of sectarian violence in recent years. Thursday's toll was one of the highest in 14 years of violence that have left hundreds of Hazaras dead. The dual suicide kaboom on Thursday, like most of the attacks on Hazara Shiites, was claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi ... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ... , a Sunni beturbanned goon group with strong links to the Taliban.
Mr. Ali criticized city and provincial authorities for failing to arrest the attackers. "They are not taking any action," he said.
Shiites leaders also expressed shock that no high-ranking government official visited the grieving families to offer support or any sense of consolation. The chief minister of the province has often been criticized for not expressing support for Hazaras.
[Dawn] Eleven people were killed in separate incidents of firing, including an attack at a compound that left nearly half a dozen people dead and a couple of others maimed, across the city on Thursday, police said.
Armed with AK-47 rifles, six men arrived on two cycle of violences at a compound in Quetta Town, off the Superhighway, officials at the Sohrab Goth cop shoppe said.
They opened fire on the people present inside the compound, mostly labourers, and sped away, said Sindh police front man SSP Imran Shaukat.
The maimed were rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where five of them, identified as Mohammadullah, Usmanwali, Ajab Khan, Fareedullah and Zahir Shah, were pronounced dead, while two others, Saeed and Javed, were admitted for treatment, the officer said.
The police said that all the victims hailed from 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...
The police Sherlocks said they were not yet sure about the exact motive for the attack though tribal enmity could be a cause.
Two killed in North 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...
Two men were rubbed out at the office of a non-governmental organization in North Bloody Karachi on Thursday night, police said.
Armed men stormed into the office of Pukar, an NGO being run by Mohammad Ashraf said to be associated with the Pakistain People's Party, situated within the remit of the Sir Syed cop shoppe, said SP of North Nazimabad Syed Salman Hussain.
They fired at Abdul Ghani, a cook, and Mohammad Naeem, a worker, and fled, the SP said, adding that a watchman outside the office identified one of the suspects as a drug peddler.
"The attack was not carried out on political grounds," the officer said.
The police later shifted the bodies to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Court steno killed
A court official belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat was bumped off in Saddar on Thursday, police said.
They added that Bashir Nazir, 45, a stenographer at a sessions court, was targeted by gunnies riding a cycle of violence near Lucky Star within the remit of the Preedy cop shoppe.
The shooting caused panic at the traffic intersection as people ran for cover, while the attackers sped away.
The police reached the crime-scene and shifted the body to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination.
Resident of Lines Area, the victim was father of four, the police said.
Protesting the killing of their colleague, court staff observed a pen-down strike suspending the legal proceedings. Undertrial prisoners brought to the city courts lockup were sent back without being produced in court.
Young man rubbed out
A young man was killed near Water Pump in F.B Area within the remit of the Gulberg cop shoppe, officials said.
They added that Mohammad Azhar was passing through the area on his motorbike when he was bumped off in a drive-by shooting. The body was later taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities, the police said.
Man killed in Nazimabad
In Nazimabad No 2, a man was killed in a gun attack on his car within the remit of the Gulbahar cop shoppe.
The victim, identified as Khurram Shamsi, was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! on arrival.
Man found rubbed out
The body of an unidentified man stuffed in a gunny bag was found from the old city area on Thursday night, police said.
They added that the gunny bag was spotted near the ICI Bridge.
The police shifted the body to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi for medico-legal formalities. Hospital sources said that the victim had been shot in the head.
An bomb resembling a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG-6) spotted in Rabia City, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, on Thursday was safely defused and shifted from the residential area, officials said.
The police believed that it had been used during a recent clash between two rival groups in the same compound but it did not explode.
The officials said that the bomb was spotted in Phase 5-D of Rabia City by area people who subsequently informed the police. Finally, a team of the bomb disposal unit reached the spot and defused it.
Late Friday, kidnappers seized a member of a prominent family on a coastal village in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga. Gunmen took the victim, Edgar Fabella, to a waiting motorboat in the village of Maasin at around 8 p.m. and sped off under cover of darkness.
No other details about the abduction were made available and no individual or group has claimed responsibility for the latest kidnapping.
Last month, suspected Abu Sayyaf kidnappers released on ransom a school principal, Flordeliza Ongchua, after more than two months in captivity.
Ongchua was kidnapped on November 13 in her house in Labuan village, several miles from where Fabella was taken. At least a dozen gunmen burst into Ongchua's house after failing to find their target, the village chieftain, Ronald Maravilla, who is a relative of the victim.
Crisanto dela Cruz, a former Catholic priest, wrote on his Facebook page, "Another kidnapping incident has happened just this evening with a member of the Fabella family taken, very Tragic indeed. My prayers and solidarity (go) to the family in their present moments of anxiety and pain.
"What is happening to our dear Zamboanga City? The intelligence funds and billions of government funds deposited in banks is a great shame if our people are not safe, being victims of kidnappings, killings and other unsolved crimes. What a shame, God bless and protect us all from harm."
[VOA News] La Belle France has carried out Arclight airstrikes in Mali to support government forces trying to stem advances by Islamist bully boys.
La Belle France's foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, confirmed the air raids Friday, but declined to give more details about the military operation.
La Belle France announced earlier Friday that it had deployed troops to Mali at the request of the government. Troops from Nigeria and Senegal ... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees... also are in Mali to help government forces.
Malian military officials say the attacks have stopped the offensive by beturbanned fascisti. The rebels, who control all of the north of the country, had pushed south this week, taking the town of Konna. A Malian army officer, Colonel Oumar Dao, told news hounds that the troops from Nigeria, Senegal and La Belle France are in the central town of Sevare, not far from the town of Konna.
Unlikely the aircraft are based in metro France.
So they're based in the neighborhood. That means the French either had a logistics arrangement and pre-positioned supplies someplace around there, or they could put one together most PDQ and with the full cooperation of the government in question, whichever one that was.
So, either the French have a butt-kicking, speed-of-light planning staff and the loggy stuff ready to go, or it was all done in good time with something like this anticipated.
I would really, really like to know why, if it's the latter case, they figured they needed to be ready like this.
If it's the first case, I need to start drinking again.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
[France24] French troops are backing the Malian army's counter-offensive against beturbanned fascisti who control the country's north, President François Hollande confirmed on Friday.
"French army forces supported Malian units this afternoon to fight against terrorist elements,'' Hollande said from the Elysée presidential palace, adding that the French operation would last "as long as necessary" and was aimed at protecting the citizens of Mali as well as the 6,000 Frenchies thought to be in the country.
The Malian army had earlier announced the counter-offensive, which it said would begin in Sévaré and advance to the key central town of Konna. "Our offensive has started," a Malian official said, on condition of anonymity. "The objective is to retake total control of the town of Konna and to proceed from there," he said, adding that "military planes from friendly countries" were being used in the attack. Troops from Nigeria and Senegal
Continued on Page 49
Two soldiers providing protection for teachers and two police officers were killed in separate attacks in Pattani province on Friday.
Soldiers were patroling a rural road in Yarang district when a buried homemade bomb blew up under their vehicle. Both soldiers were killed and forensic police were inspecting the scene.
Meanwhile, two highway police were gunned down by suspected terrorists insurgents at 9 p.m. yesterday in Pattani's Sai Buri district. A source said the officers were killed while patroling on a local road.
Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said the government's peace process for the deep South was on the right track.
After his return from a three-day visit to Malaysia, he told reporters that details of his meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak were confidential.It has been reported Mr Najib promised to help Bangkok solve the insurgency in Thailand's deep South.
Mr Chalerm said, "Talks must be held. If [the insurgents] don't listen to us, we have to find and ask for help from people to whom they will listen."
He refused to say how Malaysia viewed the insurgency in the southernmost provinces. He said, "It is confidential, but we talked a lot and it's so far so good."
The deputy prime minister said the military has not been left out of the loop. Army commander Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was aware of every step of his visit to Malaysia, he said.
Mr Chalerm said he is seeking a meeting with former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is in charge of Thai-Malaysian border economic development. Details about that meeting have not yet been confirmed.
Mr Chalerm said there is concern about Thais working in a restaurant chain in Malaysia which has been linked with financing for the southern terrorists separatists. Out of more than 150,000 Thais employed in Malaysia by the Tom Yum Kung restaurant chain, only 6,900 are legally registered. The remainder are mostly employed as waiters and waitresses, he said.
Mr Chalerm said if the Thai workers at the restaurants are registered, they will get better pay, making them less vulnerable to overtures by terrorists separatists. He said, "[With better livelihoods], they will be able to say no if they are urged to do bad things."
The operators of the restaurant chain have denied supporting the rebels.
After his planned talks with Mr Mahathir, Mr Chalerm's plans to visit Indonesia. A source said he intends to ask Indonesia to act as a mediator in the insurgency.
For a map, click here. For a map of Zacatecas state, click here
By Chris Covert
A total of 9 unidentified individuals have been killed in ongoing drug and gang related violence in Jalisco and Zacatecas states since last Friday, according to Mexican news accounts.
A report which appeared on the website of El Sol de Zacatecas news daily said that three unidentified bodies in an advanced stage of decomposition were found Friday near a mine entrance in Noria de Angeles municipality.
Security forces were dispatched from nearby Fresnillo municipality to aid in the recovery of the bodies. The mine was reportedly near the village of La Tinaja. Noria de Angeles is halfway between Fresnillo and San Luis Potosi cities in the eastern part of Zacatecas state.
The bodies were all male and appeared to have been shot and dumped at the scene.
Meanwhile in Jalisco state six unidentified individuals were killed, including three men found dead in Guadalajara, according to Mexican news accounts.
A news report posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango news daily Friday said that the three victims were found near the intersection of calles Inglaterra and Quetzal in Moderna colony.
The bodies were all male and had been stuffed into black garbage bags. Three victims had been decapitated. The news report said that it is possible more bodies were included in the find.
The report said witnesses watched as armed suspects travelling aboard three vehicles dumped the bags at the scene at around 0000 hrs Friday morning.
At around the same time in southern Guadalajara, police agents found the body of a man inside an abandoned Volkswagen Jetta sedan. The find was made on a road leading to the village of El Verde in El Salto municipality, part of the Guadalajara metropolitan area. The report fails to mention how the victim was killed, only that he was found stuffed in the trunk of the sedan with a plastic bag over his head.
In Zapopan municipality an unidentified 33 year old man was shot to death at a grocery store near the intersection of calles Paseo de los Manzanos and Paseo de las Jacarandas in Praderas de San Antonio colony. According to the report, the victim was separated from a group of friends who were held at gunpoint, then was shot and killed on the spot.
Both .223 caliber and 9mm weapons were used in the shooting.
Lastly, in Zapotlanejo municipality an unidentified man was found shot to death in Los Altos de Jalisco colony near the intersection of calles Abasolo and Independencia.
Jalisco state and its border with Michoacan was the main location in Mexico that the interior ministry said would be reinforced with additional Policia Federal troops in the wake of a large uptick in shootings and gang violence.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com