At least a dozen Afghan non-combatants were killed in a large-scale Taliban attack on a lakeside hotel on the outskirts of Kabul Friday morning, officials said.
Four Talibs equipped with boom jackets and rifles stormed the hotel Spoghmai at Lake Qargha late Thursday evening, one of the busiest nights for the hotel's restaurant.
They initially killed the two guards at the gate, took as many as 40 civilians hostage in a siege which lasted about 12 hours, and ultimately saw at least 12 other Afghan civilians killed.
The last group of 13 civilians was rescued at 11am on Friday, 12 hours after the Taliban launched the attack, said Kabul police chief, General Ayub Salangi.
Of the attackers, one went kaboom!", and the other three were killed by security forces, according to officials.
The Taliban grabbed credit for the attack, in a released statement saying NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... and foreign embassies personnel and their Afghan colleagues were staying there - a place, the Taliban said, used for "prostitution and parties".
It was later determined that no foreigners were at the hotel at the time, which is frequented by middle class Afghans.
Afghan forces launched a pre-dawn operation on Friday to deal with a hostage-taking situation.
"We have to be careful and move smartly to ensure civilians aren't hurt," Gen Salangi told TOLOnews earlier.
TOLOnews news hound Wali Arian, who was at the scene, said the whole area was cordoned off from the early morning. Foreign troops were deployed to the scene too, but the operation was carried out by the Afghan forces.
"It's a pure civilian target," said Ahmad Samim, who owns a food shop by the lake. "The area is not popular for foreigners at all, especially for staying overnight. I am sure the Taliban understand that."
Helicopters of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) were flying overhead too.
Several people, including women, were maimed in the attack. An maimed woman, who didn't want to be named, told TOLOnews news hound that she couldn't imagine surviving the attack.
Some Afghans have seen this attack as a shift in both the Taliban's military tactics and broader goals.
Afghanistan's Caped PresidentHamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... condemned the attack saying in a statement from his office that it "proves the defeat of the enemy".
Afghan blogger Ahmad Shuja said it was "a turning point".
"The rationale from the Taliban sounds awfully like what they used for their notorious vice and virtue police during the glory says of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The only difference is, this attack is more sinister and has large-scale terrorist aims," Shuja posted on his blog.
At least three snuffies armed with rockets and automatic weapons have launched a suicide kaboom on a hotel at a popular Kabul beauty spot with reports Friday that bully boyz were holding numerous hostages.
At least four people have been killed in a Taliban assault on a hotel at a Kabul beauty spot, the Afghan interior ministry said on Friday.
Three hotel guards and at least one policeman were killed in the attack at Qargha lake on the outskirts of the city, ministry front man Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.
Afghan cops and coalition troops are responding to the assault at the site at Qargha Lake on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, a front man for NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... 's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) told AFP.
The target appeared to be Afghan police and civilians, Isaf said, adding there were reports of police and civilian casualties.
The assault, claimed by the Taliban, came just hours after 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... warned that attacks against local police and soldiers were increasing as they prepare to take over security when NATO combat troops leave in 2014.
Mohammad Zahir, the head of Kabul police criminal investigation department, said the attack began around 11:30 pm on Thursday, when suicide attackers armed with rockets and Kalashnikov rifles stormed a gathering at the Spozhmai Hotel.
At least one of the attackers detonated his explosive boom jacket, Zahir said.
Kabul deputy police chief Daoud Amin said that according to hotel guards, there were three attackers inside the hotel, as well as numerous civilians.
Witnesses fleeing the scene said the attackers were holding hostages.
Security forces began an operation to end the assault around 5:30 am, police said, and an AFP photographer at the scene heard automatic gunfire and saw two NATO helicopters overhead.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a front man for the Taliban, said in a text message that fighters had launched strikes on two hotels used by foreigners. However, Caliphornia hasn't yet slid into the ocean, no matter how hard it's tried... police and security officials have only confirmed one hotel was attacked.
Qargha lies around 10 kilometres from central Kabul and its pleasant weather and greenery make it a popular picnic spot for daytrippers from the capital. The lake is surrounded by hotels, restaurants and wedding halls.
Taliban violence has surged in recent days with a series of attacks on Afghan-NATO military posts.
This week's biggest attack came on Wednesday when a jacket wallah on a cycle of violence rammed a joint Afghan-NATO patrol in the eastern city of Khost, close to the Pakistain border, killing 21 people including three US soldiers.
The hotel attack will heighten fears about security as NATO prepares to hand responsibility to Afghan forces and recall the vast majority of its 130,000 combat troops.
Karzai on Thursday admitted his government and its Western allies had failed to bring peace to Afghanistan, which has suffered almost continuous conflict for the past three decades, saying "our land has not been secured, our homes, our people are not safe".
In April snuffies launched coordinated attacks on government offices, embassies and foreign bases in Kabul in the biggest assault on the Afghan capital in 10 years of war.
[Tolo News] Three men in Afghan police uniforms killed a soldier with the US-led NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants... coalition, the coalition said Monday, in the latest so-called "green-on-blue" attack.
The three attackers fled after the killing and are being sought, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
The death takes the toll this year in "green-on-blue" attacks -- in which Afghan forces turn their weapons against their Western allies -- to 23, in a total of 17 such incidents.
"The International Security Assistance Force confirms that three individuals in Afghan police uniforms turned their weapons against coalition service members in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one ISAF service member," ISAF said.
A police source in southern Kandahar province said two NATO soldiers were killed when the police opened fire on them.
Following its normal policy, ISAF gave no further details of the incident or the soldiers' nationalities.
Monday's attack is the first time men in Afghan uniforms have killed NATO soldiers since two Afghan coppers killed two British soldiers in southern Helmand ...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan... province in May.
However, women are made to be loved, not understood... an increasing number of Afghan troops have turned their weapons against NATO soldiers, who are helping Kabul fight a decade-long insurgency by hardline Taliban Islamists.
Some of the assaults are claimed by the Taliban, who say they have infiltrated the ranks of Afghan cops, but many are attributed to cultural differences and antagonism between the allied forces.
ISAF has taken several security measures in response to the shootings, including assigning "guardian angels" -- soldiers who watch over their comrades as they sleep.
NATO has about 130,000 soldiers fighting alongside some 350,000 Afghan security personnel against the Taliban-led insurgency, but they are due to pull out of the country in 2014.
(Sh.M.Network)-Senior Kenya Defence Force officers are concerned 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... gunnies are escaping intoKenyaas the operation to rout the snuffies from Somalia gains momentum.
Intelligence reports indicate the al Qaeda-linked snuffies have been seen heading to Dadaab refugee camp and towards Kiunga, Kiwayu and Lamu islands.
"They are escaping to Kiwayu and Lamu and they are being accommodated by the locals before those who have passports board flights and escape from the country.
We also have information that some are heading towards Dadaab where they lay down arms only to mingle and disappear within the refugee camp.
But that is an internal matter that has to be dealt with by the Internal security organs," a senior military officer said.
The concern comes as after reports revealed most imported muscle within the al-Shabaab ranks have been fleeing toYemen.
Meanwhile, ...back at the pie fight, Bella opened her mouth at precisely the wrong moment... 11 Kenyans are among recruits inducted into and fighting for the Ras Kamboni Brigade led by Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Islam, aka Madhobe, in the Juba area.
Abdinasir Sheikh, a Garissa resident, is one such recruit who has been fighting with the brigade for the last nine months.
The lanky young man, who dons the jungle green tunic of the Ras Kamboni brigade and can pass for a Somalia national, comfortably mingles with KDF soldiers as he chats to journalists in sheng and Kiswahili.
Abdinasir, who tried to join KDF and the administration police thrice and failed in 2003, resolved to join Ras Kamboni brigade.
He said many Kenyans have been dragged into the conflict, some of whom have been killed especially in the Elwak area.
"There are many Kenyans fighting in al-Shabaab and within Ras Kamboni and TFG. There are about 10 Kenyans who are with Ras Kamboni Brigade in this area but i also know that several others are in al-Shabaab.
TFG has several Kenyans who were recruited in Mandera and trained in Manyani before they were deployed in Somalia," Abdinasir said in an interview in Afmadhow last week.
The young man, whose mother and brother live inNairobi, said he was recruited and trained by Æthiopians for four months before being deployed to fight against al-Shabaab in Bardere, Jaldas and Dhoble.
Abdinasir said he earns enough to cater for his two children who live with their aunt.
[An Nahar] A South African couple seized by pirates in the Indian Ocean and held for 18 months in Somalia was freed overnight, with relatives saying a ransom was paid while authorities spoke only of a raid by security forces.
Family members said they had paid money for the release of Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari but Somalia's Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse insisted the two were freed in a rescue operation that lasted throughout the night.
"We definitely paid something for their release," Pelizzari's younger sister Dora Hunt told a television interview, without elaborating.
"The rescue started last night (Wednesday) and lasted until this morning and you can see that the pair were freed safely," Isse told a joint presser with the couple, who appeared with sunken eyes and ashen faces.
Isse said the raid was a joint operation by security forces and the army and that the couple had been freed from "al-Qaeda-affiliated" myrmidons.
It was not immediately clear whether this meant that the pirates who captured the couple had sold them on to Somalia's Shebab rebels, a group linked to al-Qaeda.
Hunt said she was grateful the couple were "back and healthy" but said they had "aged" whilst in captivity.
Sources said the two were freed in the lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, close to Mogadishu.
Calitz and Pelizzari were sailing in the Indian Ocean in 2010 when their yacht was hijacked by 12 pirates who set course for Somalia and took the couple ashore at Baraawe.
MOGADISHU: Somali security forces have rescued a South African couple kidnapped by pirates in the Indian Ocean and held for 18 months, Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse said yesterday.
"The rescue started last night (Wednesday) and lasted until this morning and you can see that the pair were freed safely," Isse told a joint press conference with the couple, Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari, who appeared with sunken eyes and ashen faces.
Isse said the raid was a joint operation by security forces and the army and that the couple had been freed from "Al-Qaeda-affiliated" insurgents. It was not immediately clear whether this meant that the pirates who captured the couple had sold them on to Somalia's Shebab rebels, a group linked to Al-Qaeda.
Sources said the operation took place in the lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, close to Mogadishu.
Calitz and Pelizzari were sailing in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya in 2010 when their yacht was hijacked by 12 pirates who set course for Somalia and took the couple ashore at Baraawe.
The Somali defense minister made no mention of any ransom payment. He told journalists that more such raids may be staged.
"We know the whereabouts of the rest of the hostages, including the French agent, and if the kidnappers fail to free them, we will forcefully rescue them," he said, referring to a French intelligence agent seized in Mogadishu in July 2009 and detained since.
Calitz, aged around 50, and Pelizzari, in his early fifties, were working as crew on the yacht Choizil as it sailed from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania toward South Africa when the hijacking occurred on October 26, 2010.
DUBAI: Pirates armed with guns and rocket propelled grenades shot a liquefied natural gas tanker off the coast of Oman on Wednesday, the International Maritime Bureau's anti-crime arm said.
"Pirates in a dhow armed with guns and RPG fired upon a LNG tanker under way. The dhow closed to 50 meters from the ship and fire shots of which three hit the vessel," according to the IMB piracy report.
It said the ship was not boarded by the pirates but did not say whether it was hit by any grenades.
Although relatively low-lying crude oil tankers have been targets of piracy and at least one has been hijacked, so far no high-sided LNG tankers are known to have been pirated.
The report does not say which tanker was involved but the incident took place on a route mainly sailed by Qatari LNG tankers taking fuel to Europe.
[An Nahar] A Tunisian military plane destroyed three cars loaded with weapons that were driving just north of the country's southern border with Algeria and Libya, the official TAP news agency said Thursday.
The plane attacked the vehicles after their occupants opened fire on it as it patrolled the southern zone of Satah al-Hassan 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the triple border overnight Wednesday, TAP reported.
The defense ministry would not immediately comment on the report when contacted by AFP.
Tunisian news sites reported that the cars were loaded with arms from Libya and were crossing Tunisia to get to Algeria.
Arms trafficking has went kaboom! in the region since the 2011 conflict in Libya that toppled dictator Muammar Qadaffy ... who had more funny outfits than Louis XIV...
Tunisia's large desert south has proved difficult to police.
In September last year, the Tunisian army clashed with an gang that crossed the border from Algeria in the south, killing six of the infiltrators, according to a Western diplomat.
The commander-in-chief of the United States' Africa Command, General Carter Ham, warned during an April visit to Tunisia of the increase of illegal weapons in Africa and the threat of terrorist groups on the continent, particularly al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
[Dawn] The United States on Thursday named three alleged leaders of the Nigerian bad boy group Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... as "foreign terrorists", the first time it has blacklisted members of the Islamist group blamed for attacks across Africa's most populous nation.
The State Department identified the three as Abubakar Shekau, who it called the "most visible" leader of the group, and Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi, who it said were tied both to Boko Haram and to al Qaeda's north African wing.
"Under Shekau's leadership, Boko Haram has grabbed credit for numerous attacks in northern Nigeria, its primary area of operation. In the last 18 months, Boko Haram or associated gunnies have killed more than 1,000 people," the State Department said in an announcement.
DUBAI: Al Qaeda's Yemeni wing has claimed responsibility for the assassination this week of a military commander credited with driving back allies of Al-Qaeda who had seized large parts of southern Yemen.
The killing of Major General Salem Ali Qatan in a suicide bombing in Aden was a reminder that government control of the south remains tenuous, despite a month-long US-backed assault that has driven militants out of all the towns they held.
In a statement posted on Islamist Internet forums on Thursday, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said the attack was a message to the "leaders of the joint American-Yemeni campaign."
"The message ... consists of the blood and body parts of the martyrdom-seekers who swore to pluck your rotten heads, which agreed to be a vehicle for America in its war against the Muslims in Yemen," the group said. It did not identify the bomber.
Federal prosecutors dropped all terrorism charges against one member of a South Florida family accused of sending tens of thousands of dollars to the Pak Taliban terrorist group, according to court documents filed Wednesday in Miami.
No reason was given in prosecutors' one-paragraph filing dismissing the charges against Irfan Khan, 39, of Miami.
Terrorism charges are still pending against his father Hafiz Khan, 77, and his younger brother, Izhar Khan, 25. Both have pleaded not guilty "Wudn't me." to the allegations. Their lawyers could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Izhar Khan was a soft-spoken, popular leader of the moderate Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen mosque in Margate before his arrest last year. His congregation said he only preached love and tolerance there. Hafiz Khan led the Miami Mosque, known as the Flagler Mosque.
Irfan Khan was released from the Federal Detention Center in Miami in April after a federal judge agreed he could be freed on a combined bond package totaling about $700,000. His father and brother remain locked up in the detention center in downtown Miami and are forbidden from having contact other than when they see each other at court hearings.
Trial for the remaining co-defendants is currently scheduled to begin Nov. 5, though it could be postponed because of the complexity of the case and the voluminous amounts of evidence in dispute. If convicted, they face punishment of up to 15 years in prison per count.
Defense attorneys have said in court that they are working their way through enormous amounts of evidence, including recordings of calls that have to be translated by professional interpreters, in order to prepare their clients' defense. Much of the evidence in the case was obtained from wiretapping and was collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is frequently used in terrorism cases.
[Dawn] Over half a dozen persons, including a Muttahida Qaumi Movement ...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead... worker and a CID police official, were killed on Thursday mainly in the western parts of the city, said police.
They added that the CID official had played an active role in the arrest of suspected assassins involved in political and ethnic killings. Police constable Mohammad Khan, 40, was returning home on his cycle of violence after night shift when he was attacked close to his home in Kunwari Colony, said an official at the Manghopir cop shoppe.
The official added that Mr Khan was intercepted by two men riding a motorbike near Al-Saif Marble Shop. One of them fired shots at him and fled with his accomplice, leaving the victim dead on the spot.
He said the body was later shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
The police Sherlocks, meanwhile, collected several spent bullet casings of 9mm pistol from the scene of the crime.
Associated with the CID police for the past six years, Mr Khan had been instrumental in several operations that led to the arrest of suspected bully boyz and assassins who had targeted people on political and ethnic grounds, according to the police Sherlocks.
"We don't see any other reason behind his killing," said SP Fayyaz Khan of the CID.
"We have conducted raids and rounded up more than half a dozen suspects. The pace of our investigation indicates that we will soon trace and arrest the killers," he hoped.
Only a few hours earlier, a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker was bumped off in the parking lot of his apartment building, said the police. They added that gunnies riding a motorbike targeted 35-year-old Asif aka Buddha at the Noman View Apartments situated near Jauhar Morr in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
Quoting eyewitnesses, an official at the Sharea Faisal cop shoppe said: "Two men on a motorbike entered the apartment building and found Asif in the parking lot. They fired at him and sped away."
The incident spread fear and tension in the area before the body was moved to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for medico-legal formalities.
The police confirmed to Dawn that the victim was associated with the MQM, but were unable to tell about the killers or a motive for the murder.
Strangled to death
A gunny bag containing the body of a young man was spotted in Liaquatabad, said police who felt certain that the victim had been kidnapped before being tortured and strangled to death.
"The body was found at an isolated area near the Liaquatabad No 10 overhead bridge," said DSP Wajahat Hussain, the area's sub-divisional police officer.
"The victim had been trussed up with rope and there were several torture marks on the body. But we couldn't find any clue to his identity." The body was moved to the Edhi morgue after medico-legal formalities at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for want of identification, added the DSP.
Man found rubbed out
A man was found rubbed out in Qasba Colony, said the police.
They added the victim had been shot thrice from a close range.
"The body was found by a side of the road in Qasba Colony Sector 2 ½," said an official at the Pirabad cop shoppe.
He said the police were making efforts to trace family of the victim.
Two killed in Orangi
A resident of Lea Market and a resident of Landhi were rubbed out in separate acts of firing during their visit to Orangi Town, said police.
The officials added that Syed Ali Shah, 24, had come from Landhi to meet his relatives in Orangi. On his way back, he was bumped off dead near Kala Maidan in a drive-by shooting in the early hours of the day, said Orangi Town SHO Inspector Naeem Shah.
"We don't think that it was a mugging attempt because the killers did not deprive him of any valuables. In fact the two attackers riding a motorbike did not stop for anything."
He said the police were questioning his relatives and also contacted his family to connect the dots before arriving at a conclusion.
After a few hours, a young man was rubbed out within the remit of the same cop shoppe.
Kamran Baloch, 35, was going to see his paternal uncle in Sector 7-C of Orangi Town when he was rubbed out at Qatar Morr.
"The victim was a watchman in the Lea Market area," said an official.
The police later registered an FIR (136/2012) under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistain Penal Code against unidentified persons on a complaint of the victim's father.
A trader, who was chairman of the Liaquatabad No 10 furniture market association, was sprayed with bullets in Sharifabad in a drive-by shooting, said police.
They suspected that the killing might be the result of a land dispute but said it was too early to arrive at a conclusion.
Ali Hasan Jafri, 52, was rubbed out while he was walking home after regular business at his furniture shop, said DSP Wajahat Hussain, the area's sub-divisional police officer.
The victim sustained gunshot wounds to his chest, shoulder and head and was struck down in his prime, said the officer.
"The attackers were seen speeding away on a 125cc motorbike after executing the job," he said, adding that the police Sherlocks later collected spent bullet casings of a 9mm pistol.
He said he was not sure about the motive for the murder as there could be multiple causes. "There was a serious dispute of land between the victim and another party. The family also has serious doubts over the same issue," added the officer.
[Dawn] Suspected snuffies blew up two high power transmission towers here at Surizai Mera area in the limits of Badhber cop shoppe in the small hours of Thursday, police said.
A police official said that several blasts were heard in the area after midnight. Police tried to reach the spot but feared ambush and visited the area in the morning, he added.
The official said that the area was located close to Khyber Agency where snuffies could easily carry out any sabotage act.
To a query, he said that involvement of local residents in the blasts could not be ruled. He said that investigations were underway and police were trying to get a clue to the terrorists.
Beautiful Downtown Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) spokesperson Shaukat Afzal, when contacted, said that snuffies blew up tower No.318 and 319 of 500KV transmission line by planting several bombs.
The blasts, he said, destroyed the Tarbela-Sheikh Mohammadi transmission line towers, which were supposed to provide electricity to different districts of the province including Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Kohat and Hangu.
[Dawn] A bomb on a donkey cart killed three people at a Sufi shrine in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar and a blast at a mosque in the southwest killed two on Thursday, officials said.
The explosives in the Peshawar blast were planted near the Panj Peer shrine on the outskirts of the city, which runs into Pakistain's tribal belt strongholds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda Death Eaters.
"Three people have died and 21 are maimed," police official Asif Iqbal told AFP.
The dead included a five-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl who had come with their parents, he added.
"The bomb was planted in a donkey cart parked near the shrine," he said.
The donkey, whose front legs were tied with a rope, was blown to pieces, he said.
The device was fitted with a timer and carried between eight and 10 kilograms of explosives, he said.
Worshipers had gathered for a weekly event at the shrine, normally held on Thursday evenings, when the bomb detonated.
"It appears that the target was the worshippers who were gathered here,"another police officer, Tahir Ayub, said.
The shrine houses the graves of several Sufi saints. The tomb of popular Pashto poet Rahman Baba is also near the Panj Peer shrine.
Almost simultaneously another bomb went kaboom! in a mosque in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing two worshippers and wounding 13 others, local administration chief Ahmed Ghilzai said.
"The home-made device was placed in the courtyard of Farooqia mosque. It went off when people were saying their afternoon prayers," he said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamic fascistisuch as the Taliban vehemently oppose Sufi worshippers, who follow a mystical strain of Islam.
According to an AFP tally, attacks blamed on Death Eater bombers have killed more than 5,000 people in Pakistain since government troops raided a mosque (Lal Masjid) in the capital Islamabad five years ago.
[Dawn] During a search operation against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in Ladah Tehsil of South Waziristan agency, a security convoy was targeted by the militants, which left one soldier dead and seven injured. The security forces targeted the miscreants with jets and helicopters killing 11 militants and injured scores of others.
French 'al Qaeda' man held in Pakistan, official says
A French krazed killer linked to an al Qaeda leader who plotted attacks against the West has been placed in durance vile Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! in Pakistain, just months after his associate was held, a Pak official said Wednesday.
The security official described Naamen Maziche as "an important leader of al Qaeda" and "among the very close associates" of Younis al Mauritani, but declined to say whether he was wanted in connection with a specific plot.
He added Maziche was jugged Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! by "intelligence agencies" close to the Iranian border, but did not say when or whether Western agents took part in the raid.
Mauritani, a senior al Qaeda leader believed to have been responsible for planning attacks on Australia, Europe and the US was jugged Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! Sept. 5.
He was cooled for a few years You have the right to remain silent... with two other ranking operatives in the suburbs of Quetta, the main city in Pakistain's 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 that borders Iran.
The Pak official said Maziche was jugged Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! after Mauritani told interrogators that the Frenchie had entered Pakistain from Iran and intended to travel on to Africa.
"The intelligence agencies have been tracking Maziche since then, and at last, after a successful operation he was jugged Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! . At the moment he is being questioned about his purpose for entering Pakistain," the official said.
At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured today when two roadside bombs exploded in a Baghdad market in the latest attack targeting Shi'ites this month.
The first blast struck Husseiniya, a market in a predominantly Shi'ite area on the outskirts of the city. The second explosion followed soon afterwards as security forces and others tried to tend the casualties from the first.
Mudhaffar Khalaf, a policeman at the scene said, "Fruit and vegetables have been scattered everywhere. Some children were wounded. We have started to evacuate the injured people."
The editor of a pro-Israel magazine from Iraqi Kurdistan went missing 11 days ago and his peers suspect he was kidnapped by Iran.
Mawlud Afand, who was born in Iran, has lived in the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq for several years. His paper, Israel-Kurd, promotes closer relations between Iraqi Kurdistan and the Jewish State.
Diyari Mohammed, a writer for Israel-Kurd, told AFP that Afand went missing June 8 after leaving for an appointment in Sulaymaniyah alone.
"He called in the afternoon the next day and told us that he was on a private visit and would return back after a week," he said.
A woman who spoke Persian answered Afand's phone on June 13, but it had been switched off since then, Mohammed said, adding that Afand's colleagues had raised the possibility that he had been kidnapped by Iranian intelligence.
The magazine's publisher, Dawod Baghestani, told the Point of No Return blog that he suspected that Sherzad Omar, an Iranian intelligence agent in Iraqi Kurdistan, had drugged Anfand, kidnapped him, and taken him across the Iranian border to Kermanshah. Baghestani said he had tried to contact Afand on his cell phone, but it was constantly busy.
"We fear the worst and we urge the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government's authorities to do everything possible to find Mouloud Afand," Reporters Without Borders said. "And we therefore call for an immediate investigation into this journalist's disappearance."
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Gaza militants continued to fire across the border into Israel on Thursday but the intensity was sharply down on the previous day, as a truce declared by Hamas's Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades military wing appeared to be taking hold.
The Hamas extra-special definition of truce being "You stop while we don't."
By mid-afternoon, nine rockets had hit southern Israel, causing no casualties, a military spokeswoman told AFP. Another was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system.
No word on how many Gazan rockets hit the Egyptian Sinai or Jordan or came straight back down on Gaza itself.
There had been no Israeli raids.
On Wednesday, police logged 58 rocket and mortar strikes during the day.
Late that evening, the Hamas military wing said it had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel, after three days of bloodshed in and around Gaza.
The latest round of Israeli attacks and Palestinian retaliation began with air strikes on Monday morning, just hours after gunmen from Sinai carried out an ambush along Israel's southern border with Egypt, killing an Israeli civilian.
Israel has said that its sudden spike in Gaza operations -- three deadly air raids in just over 12 hours -- was "in no way related" to the border incident, with the military saying the air force was targeting militants about to attack the Jewish state.
Since Monday, 130 rockets and mortar rounds have been fired at Israel, of which three have been brought down by Iron Dome, an army spokeswoman told AFP. One rocket slammed into an Israeli border police post, wounding four people.
The Hamas military wing said in its statement on Thursday that it had fired 120 rockets, a rare show of force from the Islamist group that had been observing a de facto truce.
A sub-commander for Abu Sayyaf thought to be involved in the beheading of an American hostage in 2001, among other offenses, was arrested in Zamboanga City Thursday afternoon.
Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. identified the suspect as Alawie Pasihul a.k.a Ustadz Asman, said to have been recruiting Muslim youths to the terrorist insurgent group.
Joint police and military operating units arrested Asman with an arrest warrant for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Pagdilao said Pasihul was involved in the kidnapping of 51 people-- public school teachers, a priest and school children -- in Basilan province; beheading of kidnapped victim Guillermo Sobero in 2001; and in the 2002 Cabatangan siege at Zamboanga City.
Pasihul is a follower of the late Abu Sayyaf leader Abdurajak Janjalani and currently involved in recruiting Muslim youths for membership with ASG-AWLIYAH Group, based in Sulu, known for their ferocious attacks on Sulu-based Philippine Marines soldiers.
Seized from Pasihul was a Moro National Liberation Front identification card under the name of BGen Habib Alawie Pasihul and a mobile phone.
There were not that many people there when Guillermo was killed. The Phils claim it to get the press. The guy's creds as MNLF tell more to the Phils dismantling of the MNLF, a good thing, but using the ASG to get the vis on it. Just my point of view.
JAKARTA: An Indonesian court convicted bombmaker Umar Patek yesterday for his role in the 2002 Bali attacks that killed 202 people and sentenced him to 20 years' jail, ending a decade-long probe into the atrocity.
20 years or the next round of pardons for Ramadan...
Patek was found guilty of premeditated murder and bombmaking in connection with the suicide bombings on a nightclub and bar on the resort island, Indonesia's deadliest act of terror.
"He's been proven to have committed an evil conspiracy by bringing in firearms and ammunition for terror acts," chief judge Encep Yuliardi told the West Jakarta district court after an 11-hour hearing. "He hid information about acts of terror and he is found to have taken part in premeditated murder. We sentence Umar Patek to 20 years in jail."
Patek was found guilty of all six charges against him, some of which related to Christmas Eve bomb attacks in 2000 on churches in Jakarta. Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Patek, sparing him the firing squad -- which has executed three other key players in the Bali bombings -- because he had shown remorse and apologized to victims and their families.
Patek maintained over the four-month trial that he played only a small role in the bombmaking and that he had tried to stop the operation, most of whose victims were foreigners, at the 11th hour.
After more than eight years on the run, he was arrested in January 2011 in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, where US commandos four months later killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden in a raid.
Patek is the last key player detained in Indonesia to be tried for the attacks and the verdict closes the chapter on a long legal process.
[An Nahar] Violence has halted the evacuation of trapped civilians from Syria's Homs region, the Red Islamic Thingy said on Thursday, adding it was in negotiations for a deal that would allow them to safety.
"Negotiations are still underway with the parties concerned to evacuate civilians, in cooperation with the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Thingy)," the Red Islamic Thingy's Khaled Erksoussi said.
"The teams on site are awaiting the green light to evacuate civilians from the parties who control the dangerous neighborhood," the operations chief told Agance La Belle France Press.
"We need to reach an agreement with them to ensure our security," he said, referring to regime and rebel forces, while adding that "We hope to reach a positive outcome soon."
The ICRC said on Wednesday it was ready to evacuate civilians stranded in Homs city and bring in relief aid and medical supplies with the help of the Red Islamic Thingy, after regime and opposition forces gave their approval.
[An Nahar] At least 143 people were killed in violence across Syria on Thursday, among them 100 civilians and 43 government troops, activists and a rights group said.
"This has been one of the bloodiest days in Syria since the anti-regime revolt broke out in March last year," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said regime forces killed 100 people across the country, among them more than 10 children.
Thirty-two people were killed in Homs, 24 in Daraa, 24 in the Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... suburbs of Douma, Daraya and Sirghaya, seven in Idlib, four in Hama, three in Deir Ezzor, three 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... , one in Latakia and one in the capital Damascus, the LCC said.
The Observatory told Agence La Belle France Presse that at least 13 non-combatants were killed in the central city of Homs and another two unidentified people died in nearby Qusayr.
Streaming video from Homs on the bambuser.com website showed smoke billowing from a residential district amid automatic gunfire and mortar blasts.
The bombardment aborted two attempts by the International Committee of the Red Thingy and the Syrian Red Islamic Thingy to evacuate trapped civilians, but the agencies vowed to try again on Friday.
"Unfortunately, a second attempt, which we carried out in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Thingy, has failed," the Red Islamic Thingy's Khaled Erksoussi said.
DAMASCUS: A Syrian pilot sought asylum after landing his MiG fighter jet in neighboring Jordan on Thursday, in the first such air force defection in a 15-month revolt against President Bashar Assad's regime.
"The pilot asked for political asylum in Jordan," Information Minister and government spokesman Samih Maayatah told AFP, after a government source said the MiG-21 had made an emergency landing at an air base in Mafraq in northern Jordan near the Syria border.
Emergency landing to defect or because the MiG-21 was falling apart?
Syria's state television said the warplane, flown by Col. Hassan Merei Al-Hamade, was flying near the southern border when contact was lost around 0734 GMT, and Jordan's armed forces said it landed across the frontier minutes later.
Tens of thousands of soldiers have defected from Syria's armed forces since a revolt erupted in March last year, thousands of them joining the the rebel Free Syrian Army, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... calls pilot a "traitor to his country and his military honor," in contact with Jordanians to retrieve MiG-21 fighter plane.
Opposition sources said pilot Hamada is a 44-year-old Sunni Moslem from Idlib province and he had smuggled his family to Turkey before his dramatic defection.
His hometown Kfar Takharim has been repeatedly shelled in the past several months and suffered intense artillery and helicopter bombardments in the last few days, opposition campaigners who spoke to his family said.
Many air force personnel and well as army soldiers are from Syria's Sunni majority, although intelligence and senior officers are largely Alawite, the minority sect to which Assad and his family belong and which forms their power base.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies says the air force has 365 combat capable aircraft, including 50 MiG-23 Flogger and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters and 40,000 personnel - a reflection of the overwhelming military advantage Assad has over his poorly-equipped foes.
The most prominent defection so far in the conflict was that of Colonel Riad al-Asaad last July, who helped set up the rebel Free Syria Army after taking refuge in Turkey.
Last week Brigadier General Ahmad Berro, head of a tank unit 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... province, fled with his family to Turkey.
Though a boost to Assad's foes, the pilot's defection could complicate the international scenarios of a conflict that many governments fear could spill over Syria's border and spread though the already volatile Middle East.
Ties between Jordan and Syria were already strained - Jordan has criticized Assad over his crackdown on the uprising but has been restrained in its rhetoric.
Amman is nervous over a possible Syrian military reaction after months of border tension as thousands of Syrians flee the violence to Jordan.
A Jordanian official, who asked not to be named, said the incident with the pilot was "difficult to handle".