Prince Harry is thought to have killed his first Taliban fighters as he flew to the rescue of a patrol that had come under attack. The third in line to the throne has been serving as the gunner and navigator in an Apache attack helicopter for the Army Air Corps in Afghanistan since September.
He is thought to have made his first "kill" a few weeks after arriving.
Defence sources denied reports that he had killed a Taliban "commander" but admitted that he had deployed his weaponry on operations.
[Pak Daily Times] Troops from the Somali region of Puntland on Sunday rescued 22 hostages held by pirates for almost three years after their ship was seized off the Yemeni coast, the authorities said, adding that the men bore signs of torture.
The crew, from the Dubai-owned and Panamanian-flagged MV Iceberg 1 were freed after two weeks of fighting and a siege of the vessel off the coast of Somalia, the Puntland authorities said in a statement.
"Puntland government forces conducting a humanitarian rescue operation have safely rescued 22 hostages on board the MV Iceberg 1 vessel," according to the statement from the semi-autonomous northern state.
It said the rescue of the multinational crew came after two weeks of "fighting pirates and laying siege to the vessel". Government forces first surrounded the vessel on December 10 near the coastal village of Garaad in the Mudug region, lies along the Indian Ocean. The 4,000-tonne ship was seized in the Gulf of Aden in March 2010 with a crew of 24 people hailing from Ghana, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sudan and Yemen.
"After two years and nine months in captivity, the hostages have suffered signs of physical torture and illness," the authorities said. "The hostages are now receiving nutrition and medical care."
[An Nahar] Islamists occupying Timbuktu in northern Mali were using pickaxes on Sunday to destroy any remaining mausoleums in the ancient city, an Islamist leader said.
"Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu, Allah doesn't like it. We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area," an Ansar Dine leader, Abou Dardar, told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The claims were confirmed by witnesses, and backed by a resident who said he belongs to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), the other bad boy group occupying the fabled city since a March coup plunged the west African state into chaos.
Anything that doesn't fall under Islam "is not good. Man should only worship Allah", said the AQIM resident Mohamed Alfoul.
"The Islamists are currently in the process of destroying all the mausoleums in the area with pickaxes," one witness confirmed.
"I saw Islamists get out of a car near the historic mosque of Timbuktu. They smashed a mausoleum behind a house shouting 'Allah is great, Allah is great'," another resident told AFP.
Ansar Dine, which considers the city's cultural treasures blasphemous, first began its campaign of destruction in July after U.N. cultural organization UNESCO put Timbuktu on its list of endangered world heritage sites.
The International Criminal Court ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... warned that their campaign of destruction was a war crime but the Islamists followed up with more damage in October, when they smashed several Moslem saints' tombs, prompting another international outcry.
The latest vandalism comes a day after another Islamist group in northern Mali -- the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) -- said it had cut off the hands of two people and warned there would be more to come.
The amputations were seen as a sign that the armed Islamist groups were unfazed by the U.N. Security Council decision last week to back an African-led military force to take back the region.
But the operation will not be launched before September next year and the Security Council vowed in the meantime to work towards a peaceful solution.
Once considered one of Africa's most stable democracies, Mali has for months been mired in the northern conflict that has so far displaced more than 400,000 people, according to the United Nations ...Parkinson's Law on an international scale... .
[Magharebia] Tunisia announced on Friday (December 21st) that it placed in durance vile Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! 16 men suspected of belonging to a group with ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the western regions of Kasserine and Jendouba, near the Algerian border, AFP reported.
"We have discovered a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in a training camp run by three Algerians close to AQIM leader Abou Moussaab Abdelouadoud (Abdelmalik Droukdel ... aka Abdel Wadoud, was a regional leader of the GSPC for several years before becoming the group's supremo in 2004 following the death of then-leader Nabil Sahraoui. Under Abdel Wadoud's leadership the GSPC has sought to develop itself from a largely domestic entity into a larger player on the international terror stage. In September 2006 it was announced that the GSPC had joined forces with al-Qaeda and in January 2007 the group officially changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb.... )," in the Kasserine region, Interior Minister Ali Larayedh said.
In an operation that the minister said followed the deadly Kasserine clash earlier this month, security services arrested eight people in the province. Weapons, ammunition, explosives, binoculars, maps and military uniforms were seized during the operation. Most of the weapons are thought to have come from Libya, according to Larayedh.
The group was active in recruiting and training young Islamist Death Eaters in AQIM camps in Algeria and Libya, the minister added.
Eight other bad turbans, including three Libyans, were arrested in the Jendouba region of northwest Tunisia. Security forces were still searching for Islamist suspects in the hills north of Ain Drahem on the Algerian border, Larayedh said.
[Pak Daily Times] Yemen said on Sunday its security forces were still searching for two Finns and an Austrian whose whereabouts remain unknown since they were kidnapped in Sanaa. Security services are "carrying out vast search and investigation operations to locate the kidnapped" foreigners, kidnapped on Friday in Sanaa, official news agency Saba quoted Interior Minister Abdelqader Qahtan as saying as he received an envoy from Finland. The minister assured the envoy that Yemeni forces will take all steps to ensure the safety of the hostages and secure their quick release.
A security official told AFP that the hostages, kidnapped by gunnies suspected of links to al Qaeda, were probably still in Sanaa. Another official had said Friday that al Qaeda had threatened to kidnap foreigners and to stage bank hold-ups if the authorities fail to release members of an imprisoned network. The three hostages - an Austrian man, a Finish man and a Finish woman -- were kidnapped when they were preparing to travel to the southern port of Aden via second city of Taez.
A total of nine unidentified individuals have been killed in drug and gang related violence in southern Jalisco state since early Sunday morning according to Mexican press accounts.
A wire dispatch originating from El Universal news service posted on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily reported that a firefight between municipal police agents and armed suspects travelling aboard 10 vehicles took place early Sunday morning in Ayotlan municipality, killing three municipal police agents and one civilian.
According to the report crime scene investigators found more than 500 spent shell casings at the scene.
At about the same time one unidentified man and woman were found shot to death in two separate incidents in Jilotlan de los Dolores municipality in southern Jalisco. The woman was found aboard a vehicle in Jilotlan de los Dolores city while the man was found aboard a vehicle on a road between Jilotlan de los Dolores city and a road leading south to Tepalcatepec in Michoacan.
Also early Sunday police agents in Quitupan municipality, also in southern Jalisco state located the bodies of three unidentified men shot to death at Rancho Quiringual.
Previously, two municipal police agents were wounded in an exchange of gunfire with armed suspects on a road between San Onofrie and San Diego Sunday morning. Reports were that the armed suspects involved in the shootout had fled south into Michoacan.
A separate report that appeared in a Sunday news item posted on the website of Proceso news weekly said that a shootout took place at around 0300 hrs Sunday morning between municipal police agents and about 40 armed suspects, who were travelling aboard several vehicles in Degollado municipality in southeastern Jalisco state.
Apparently no one was hurt in that incident.
Southern Jalisco and northern Michocan have been in the grips of an intense and deadly battle between Caballeros Templarios and Los Zetas drug cartels. Only a few weeks ago Caballero Templarios had been taking advantage of internal conflicts among the senior leadership of Los Zetas to run Los Zetas out of the border area.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
[Pak Daily Times] At least nine aspiring candidates, applying for the posts of constable and assistant sub inspector (ASI) in Sindh Police Department met a terrible fate when they sustained injuries in a hand grenade attack at Khawaja Ajmernagri police headquarters, that evidently targeted the law enforcement personnel here on Sunday.
According to reports, a large number of aspiring men lined up at the Khawaja Ajmernagri police headquarters to submit their application forms, as the last date of submission is to expire on Monday.
SHO Chauhdary Afzal said that a large number people were standing in queue for submitting their recruitment forms outside the headquarter when suddenly three pillion riders hurled a grenade at the location that went kaboom! with loud pitch, thus injuring nine applicants who were immediately taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for treatment. Doctors termed their condition stable while saying two of them were at death's door. Culprits expeditiously departed at a goodly pace after the incident.
Following the blast, a heavy contingent of law enforcers rushed to the scene of the crime and cordoned off the entire area to avoid any untoward incident. The BDS experts collected all available evidences for examination.
A BDS official said that an initial investigation revealed that the grenade was Russian-made and had no ball bearing, adding that police found a pin of the grenade near the scene of the crime.
SHO also informed that all the injured were applicants. Replying to a question, he said that at the time of incident at least half a dozen coppers were deployed outside headquarter to provide security to the aspiring recruits. He added that four coppers were performing their duty at the gate.
[Pak Daily Times] GUJRANWALA: PML-N MNA Rana Nazeer escaped unhurt when unidentified people opened fire on his car on Sunday. According to police, two guards of the MNA were "critically injured" in the attack.
[Pak Daily Times] Seven people, including a policeman and a political worker affiliated with 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... (MQM), were killed in the city on Sunday, police said.
An activist of MQM was killed near Shoe Market in Garden area within the precincts of Garden cop shoppe.
According to police, Muhammad Amir, 25, son of Nizam Uddin, was rubbed out by unidentified armed pillion riders who immediately fled after the incident. The body was shifted to Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... (CHK) for his appointment with Doctor Quincy. Police told the victim was a bachelor and resident of the same area. Panic gripped the area after his killing. Separately, a policeman was bumped off over a resistanceduring mugging near Nappier Road within the limits of Nappier cop shoppe. An official said that the victim Muhammad Aslam, son of Muhammad, was on his way to home a cycle of violence when gunnies intercepted him and attempted to snatch his bike. Upon offering resistance, they shot him dead and escaped taking along his motorbike. The body was brought to the CHK for his appointment with Doctor Quincy. The victim left behind three children and was the resident of Agra Taj Colony, Lyari.
In another incident, a Shia man was killed inside the area of Shah Faisal Colony within the limits of Shah Faisal colony cop shoppe. According to police, a trader identified as Azmat Ali was rubbed out in Shah Faisal Colony when he was sitting at his shop. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. Meanwhile, ...back at the pie fight, Bella opened her mouth at precisely the wrong moment... a man was killed while other got injured in an armed attack near Jehangir Road within the jurisdiction of Jamshed quarter cop shoppe. According to police, two armed pillion riders opened indiscriminate fire at a gathering near Jehangir Road, resultantly injuring two people identified as Shakeel, son of Faqeer, and Ghulam Mustafa. They were rushed to the CHK for treatment, where Shakeel departed this vale of tears while another was under treatment.
A perforated carcass of a youth was found near Raxer Bridge within the limits of Pak Colony cop shoppe. An official said that the local people of the area informed police that a body was lying near Raxer Bridge. After receiving the information, police rushed to the scene and moved it to CHK for a postmortem. The victim was identified as Mukhtiar.
A man was rubbed out at Hawksbay Road within the limits of Mauripur cop shoppe, while another man was killed at Korangi Road within the limits of Korangi cop shoppe.
[Pak Daily Times] Three more people were rubbed out in two incidents in Quetta on Sunday.
In one of the incidents, a policeman fell victim to the ongoing wave of murders in Kutchlak on the outskirt of Quetta.
Police said that Constable Gulzar was on duty at Bostan in Kutchlak when some unidentified persons opened fire on him, leaving the policeman critically injured.
A passer-by was also maimed in the attack.
Police and rescue teams reached the site and moved the two injured to civil hospital where the policeman succumbed to the injuries. Police launched a search operation to trace the killers.
In the second incident, at least two people were bumped off in Quetta.
According to police, unidentified people rubbed out the two people on Khan Shaheed Road in Pashtunabad area.
Identity of the victims and motive behind the killing could not be ascertained until the filing of this report. The attackers expeditiously departed at a goodly pace after killing the two people. Police have started the paperwork but haven't done much else.
[An Nahar] Three separate bomb attacks killed a member of the Kurdish peshmerga security forces and three construction workers in Iraq on Sunday, officers and doctors said.
A bomb blast in an under-construction house in the town of Mishahada, north of Baghdad, killed the workers and wounded another, a police captain and a doctor said.
A roadside bomb attack against an army patrol wounded three soldiers in the town of Khanaqin, northeast of Baghdad, while a member of the peshmerga forces was killed when a second bomb exploded as he and his team arrived at the scene of the first bombing.
Two other peshmerga were also wounded in the second Khanaqin blast, an army officer and a doctor said.
[An Nahar] Paleostinian Death Eaters in the Gazoo Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Sunday for the first time since an Egypt-mediated ceasefire on November 21, Israel's army radio and other media reported.
The reports said it fell on open ground and caused no injuries, but an Israeli military front man denied that a rocket had hit.
"No rocket fell in Israeli territory," he told Agence La Belle France Presse, without elaborating.
Perhaps they hit Egypt or Jordan again... or Gaza. Those Gazan Lions of Islam aren't terribly good with compasses.
Israel and the orc Islamist group Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, which rules Gazoo fought an eight-day war last month in which 177 Paleostinians and six Israelis were killed before the truce took effect.
On Friday, Israeli troops shot and maimed five Paleostinians near the Gazoo border fence east of Jabalia, in the north of the coastal strip, Paleostinian medical sources said.
The army said soldiers opened fire when a group of men moved into a no-go zone near the fence.
[An Nahar] More than 700 Paleostinians have been killed in Syria since the conflict there erupted more than 21 months ago, a Paleostine Liberation Organization official in charge of refugees said on Sunday.
"More than 700 Paleostinians have died in Syria since the beginning of the conflict, including in Yarmuk" refugee camp in southern Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... , the PLO's Zakaria al-Agha told officials of Paleostinian refugees in Arab states.
"We have asked the Syrian authorities not to let Paleostinians be drawn into the conflict," he told the conference in the Egyptian capital.
Late on Sunday, several rockets were fired into the camp which has been the scene of deadly festivities between pro- and anti-regime forces for several days over the past week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said.
The Britannia-based group said two men were killed by the rocket fire and another was rubbed out by a sniper.
Imagine if the Israelis had killed half that number --it would have meant a special edition of NYT and CBS,NBC,NPR, etc etc and the BBC would have gone ballistic. But the syrians killed 'em --so it gets on page 148 of the daily NYT.
[Pak Daily Times] More than 60 people were killed in a regime air strike on a bakery in a rebel-held town on Sunday, monitors said, as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi launched a new bid to resolve Syria's brutal 21-month conflict.
In one of the deadliest incidents of the conflict, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike hit a bakery in Halfaya in the central province of Hama, killing more than 60 people and wounding at least 50.
Many of the maimed were at death's door, the monitoring group said, adding that the corpse count was likely to rise.
"In Halfaya, regime forces bombarded a bakery and committed a massacre that killed dozens of people, including women and kiddies, and maimed many others," said the Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of activists.
"A MiG (jet) has attacked! Look at (President Bashar al-) Assad's weapons. Look, world, look at the Halfaya massacre," says an unidentified cameraman shooting an amateur video distributed by the Observatory.
The footage showed a bombed one-storey block and a crater in the road.
Bloodied bodies lay on the road, while others could be seen in the rubble. Men carried victims out on their backs, among them at least one woman, the video showed.
On Monday, rebels launched an all-out assault on army positions across Hama, which is home to strong anti-regime sentiment. During the summer, rights groups accused government forces of committing war crimes by dropping bombs and using artillery on or near several bakeries in the northern province 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... . Another of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian conflict was on a bread line in the Qadi Askar district of Aleppo city on August 16 that left 60 people dead, according to local hospital records. International envoy Brahimi, meanwhile, travelled to Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... overland from neighbouring Leb on a previously unannounced visit, officials said.
The UN-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy last visited on October 19, but since then there has been fighting between government forces and rebels on the road to Damascus airport.
During his October visit he met Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... and other officials to clinch a temporary ceasefire for the Mohammedan feast of Eidul Azha. Despite pledges, the truce did not hold. At least 44,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since the outbreak of the anti-regime revolt in March 2011, according to the Britannia-based Syrian Observatory. Shortly before Sunday's air strike, Information Minister Omran al Zohbi reiterated calls for national dialogue.
Apart from those killed in Halfaya, at least 49 others were killed on Sunday in violence across Syria, said the Observatory.
Other air strikes included a raid in Aleppo province. "At least 13 people were killed in an air raid on the town of Sfeira," said the group, which relies on a network of doctors, activists and lawyers for its information.
Warplanes also hit the town of Saqba in Damascus province, just north of the road linking the capital to the international airport, the Observatory added.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
Why target bakeries, I wonder?
Posted by: Bobby on the road ||
What makes you think it was actually targeted, Bobby?
Could have been Insh-Allan "targeting."
Posted by: Barbara ||
the "Bakery" may have been a former "Baby Milk Factory"
Posted by: Frank G ||
Why target bakeries, I wonder?
Without guided munitions, it's hard to hit your target when you're flying at hundreds of miles an hour ten thousand feet up in the air, while watching for MANPAD missile trails. It probably doesn't help that Sunnis have this habit of placing their major weapon systems as close to as many civilians as possible. Genghis Khan used to use the subjects of his enemies as human shields while attacking said enemies. Sunnis use their own people as human shields while attacking their adversaries.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.