Brittany Daniel aka Jessica Wakefield in "Sweet Valley High (1994--1998)" aka Brandy in "Joe Dirt (2001)" aka Kelly Pitts in "Kelly Pitts" aka Candice in "Skyline (2010)" aka Sarah Xavier in "Last of the Romantics (2007)" (age 37)
[Bangla Daily Star] Libyan security forces said on Thursday they had dismantled a human trafficking network smuggling undocumented Democrats from Bangladesh and Somalia.
Hussein al-Sahli, who headed the investigation, said five members of the network were tossed in the clink at a farm on the outskirts of the eastern city of Benghazi, where 52 people were being held captive.
"The network was bringing undocumented Democrats across the Egyptian-Libyan border with the help of Libyan drivers and the owner of the farm," he said.
The gang lured its victims with promises of safe passage and employment opportunities in the North African nation only to kidnap them in the hope of obtaining ransom payments from their relatives, he added.
The ring leader, a Bangladeshi, confessed to bringing more than 200 undocumented Democrats from his country in the past three months.
Sahli said the Libyan farmer would pay the smugglers to use the Somalis as slaves.
Meanwhile, ...back at the sea battle, the Terror of the Baltic's career had come to an abrupt and watery end... state news agency LANA reported that revolutionary brigades jugged 150 illegal Somali immigrants in Tajura, a coastal suburb near the capital.
For years, Libya has been a destination and a transit country to European shores for hundreds of thousands of African immigrants.
[An Nahar] Clashes pitting backers and opponents of federalism in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi killed one person and maimed at least five on Friday, a medical official said.
"One person was killed and at least five others were maimed," Basma Mohammed told Agence La Belle France Presse.
The chairman of the Supreme Security Committee of Benghazi, Fawzi Wanis, said "matters were brought under control and the festivities between the two sides are over."
But he said there had been no fatalities, only that two people had suffered gunshot wounds and three others had been knifed or stoned.
The violence erupted after hundreds of people demonstrated in favor of federalism, a political project that calls for the division of the country into three self-governed regions, an Agence La Belle France Presse journalist at the scene said.
After Friday prayers, the marchers went to Freedom Square, where Ahmed Zubair Senussi, who is calling for autonomy in the oil-rich east of the country, delivered a speech.
Stones and gunfire were exchanged in festivities between those who favor a federal system of governance and those who, like the ruling National Transitional Council, reject the idea.
Yes, when I read the name Senussi, I thought it sounded very familiar. Sure enough he is the scion of the great family of the East. Those people state their desire to have an autonomous Cyrenaica, but if left to their own devices they would create an Islamist and independent Cyrenaica. The region has a long history of Islamism, and a fierce independence streak. I'd keep an eye out for this whole Cyrenaica question. It's what immediately came to my mind when the Qaddafi regime started unraveling. And, like the article points out, most of the oil would probably fall within the traditional boundaries of Cyrenaica, if not a new "GREATER Islamist Caliphate of Cyrenaica."
He is a great-nephew of Idris of Libya, the only king of Libya, and was named after his grandfather Ahmed Sharif as-Senussi. Ahmed al-Senussi graduated from the Military Academy of Iraq in 1958. In 1961 he married his wife Fatilah, since deceased.
In 1970, he began planning to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi one year after Gaddafi had seized power in a military coup. Along with his brother and other conspirators, he sought to replace the Gaddafi government and give people a chance to choose between a monarchy or a constitutional republic. He was arrested and sentenced to death; however, in 1988 his sentence was commuted to an additional 13 years incarceration. He stayed in solitary confinement for the first nine years of his sentence and was frequently tortured. He claims that the torture included frequent beatings with sticks, being strung up by his hands and legs, nearly drowned, and having his feet broken. After being let out of solitary confinement, he shared a cell with numerous other prisoners, including Omar El-Hariri. After being transferred to Abu Salim prison in 1984, he learned that his wife had died while he was in captivity. He received a pardon on the 32nd anniversary of Gaddafi taking power. He was held as a political prisoner for 31 years until his release in 2001, making him the longest incarcerated prisoner in modern Libyan history.
On 27 October 2011, the European Parliament chose him with four other Arab people to win Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2011.
On 6 March 2012, Ahmed al-Senussi was announced as the leader of the self-declared Cyrenaica Transitional Council.
[Bangla Daily Star] Former ISI chief Asad Durrani has admitted funding BNP during the 1991 parliamentary elections.
The admission came during a Pakistain Supreme Court hearing on the spy agency's mandate on Wednesday.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary grilled the former spy boss on Inter Services Intelligence's funding for politicians both in and outside Pakistain.
Recently a UAE-based daily had alleged that ISI paid Rs 50 crore to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... ahead of the 1991 elections in which the party won and formed the government.
There are allegations that the ISI has been active in Bangladesh whenever BNP has been in power (1991-96) and later during 2001-06.
The spy agency was also alleged to have launched a campaign from Bangladesh to destabilise the Northeast by patronising and providing logistic support, including funds, to the beturbanned goon groups operating from Bangladesh.
The ISI is alleged to have supported a network in Bangladesh, which includes Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... , BNP and Northeast rebel groups during the BNP's rule.
[Bangla Daily Star] An alleged mugger was killed in a shootout between police and a gang of carjackers in the capital's Mohammadpur yesterday.
After the fight, police recovered a private car, which had been hijacked last week while carrying an additional DIG of police on Khilji Road in Mohammadpur.
Around 4:00am, a plainclothes team of Mohammadpur police signalled a silver coloured car without registration plate to pull over in front of Allahkarim Jame Mosque at Basila. The vehicle matched the description of the one hijacked from Khilji Road.
"The car, with four youths on board, defied the signal and sped away, prompting the police team to be in its pursuit," said Senior Assistant Commissioner Mashiur Rahman of Detective Branch.
Soon, separate teams of DB and Rapid Action Battalion received calls for backup and joined the chase. The car finally came to a halt when it crashed into a power pole near the Basila Bridge.
Mashiur said the criminals opened fire on the police as soon as they got out of the car, forcing the law enforcers to respond in kind.
Mahmudul Islam, officer in charge of Mohammadpur Police Station, said at least 30 rounds of ammunition were fired during the hour-long shootout.
The law enforcers found one carjacker dead at the scene and recovered a pistol, two knives and a police signal light. The other three hijackers, however, managed to flee the area.
The dear departed, Nazrul Islam, was accused in at least seven cases including four on murder charges, police claimed.
On March 8, Additional DIG Abu Musa Md Fakhrul Islam and some relatives were returning home after visiting a family member at a city hospital. They were stopped on Khilji Road in Mohammadpur by a group of men posing as coppers. After forcing the passengers to exit the vehicle, the gang snatched their valuables and made off with the car.
One unidentified individual was killed and eight others were hurt in a gun battle in Tamaulipas state between armed suspects and a Mexican Army patrol Friday afternoon, according to Mexican news accounts.
A Mexican Army patrol came under small arms fire from armed suspects in Santa Apolonia ejido near gaps leading to the village of Empalme around noon, sparking a three hour gunfight.
Santa Apolonia ejido is near Ciudad Rio Bravo, which is roughly six kilometers due east of Reynosa along Mexico Federal Highway 2, and is about three kilometers south of the US border.
From the reports, it is presumed that four armed suspects were hurt when the vehicle they were travelling in rolled over during a vehicle pursuit.
At the moment it is unknown if the shooting fatality is an armed suspect, or a civilian caught in the crossfire.
Four Mexican Army soldiers were wounded during the gunfight, and required evacuation to a Ciudad Rio Bravo medical clinic.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
When is Chris Covert gonna write a book about all this? I guess it'd have to be Volume 1 since this nasty little war doesn't seem to be even half over yet. But it might be interesting to give a coherent overview of who the players are and their strategies. It's kinda hard to follow in just a series of articles.
[Dawn] The Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... on Friday issued fresh security directives to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their foreign employees.
According to the memo issued by the provincial home ministry department, representatives of the NGOs and foreigners have to take prior approval at least two weeks before entering the province.
The memo said that the measures were being taken to provide security to the foreigners.
[Dawn] People of Sipah area in Bara tehsil on Thursday found bodies of 12 non-combatants, including factory workers, who were killed during the security forces' crackdown on turbans, while three succumbed to critical wounds, it is learnt.
Sources told Dawn that most bodies were found in Yousuf Talab area, where security forces imposed curfew on Wednesday before the start of the crackdown.
They said some died after being buried alive under the debris of houses damaged by artillery shelling, while others were killed in crossfire while running for safe places.
Sources said Khiyal Mohammad, Riaz's eight-year-old son and Bashar Khan's small son, who suffered critical injuries, dies on Thursday, while Hikmat Kamarkhel, Shamim Kamarkhel, Janat Khan, Bashar Khan, Samiullah Kamarkhel, Niaz Bahadar and his wife, Meera Baz's grandson, boy Sheenai, Khan Gul, Kaki Jan and an unidentified person were among those whose bodies were found in the day. Dawn
Locals, who spoke to on condition of anonymity, said boy Sheenai was picked up by security forces Wednesday evening before his body was found in Yousuf Talab area next morning.
When contacted, the relevant officials didn't reveal how many snuffies were killed in the crackdown. However, you can observe a lot just by watching... locals put the tally at six.
It is also learnt that security forces on Thursday placed in durance vile at least 90 people, mostly in Yousuf Talab, Jansi, Speen Qabar and Mandai Kas areas.
Locals said suspected snuffies were seen moving out of these areas in large numbers towards Spera Dam, Akkakhel and Qambar Khel hours before the start of the Wednesday operation.
They also said many families left their areas for safer places during operation, while many more followed suit after curfew was relaxed for some hours on Thursday morning to let people shift the injured to hospitals.
In another incident, two suspected snuffies were killed and four injured, while three of their hideouts were destroyed when gunship helicopters targeted them in Ghaibi Neeka area of Sipab in Tirah Valley on Thursday.
Meanwhile, ...back at the bake sale, Umberto's Mom's cannoli were a big hit... security force on Thursday placed in durance vile six suspected snuffies during a search operation in Warr Mamond tehsil, according to local political tehsildar Farmosh Khan. Dawn
Mr Farmosh told that the operation was begun in the wake of Wednesday's bomb kaboom, which killed five pro-government rustics in Warr Mamond.
He said security forces began search operation in various parts of the region and that sniffer dogs were also used for the purpose.
Sources said the placed in durance vile men were shifted to Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Local administration imposed curfew in Warr Mamond for the search operation.
Also in the day, security forces seized a large quantity of weapons, missiles and explosives and placed in durance vile three suspected snuffies during a search operation in Loe Mamond tehsil.
Bajaur Scouts commandant Colonel Shakil Janjua told news hounds that security forces backed by local peace committees conducted search operation in Lara Banda, Bara Banda, Niag Banda and others areas of the region.
He said the seized weapons included dozens of AK-47 rifles, a dozen Russian missiles, 20 mortar shells, 10 rocket launchers, four 14.5MM guns, bombs, boom jackets and thousands of live rounds.
[Dawn] Police have been put on high alert after alleged letter from Taliban threatened attacks on coeducational schools and non-governmental organizations in Mansehra ...a city and an eponymous district in eastern Khyber-Pakthunwa, nestled snug up against Pak Kashmir, with Kohistan and Diamir to the north and Abbottabad to the south... district.
"We are not yet certain about the origin of the letter asking people to act against the NGOs, CD and video centres and schools where boys and girls were taught together, but we have put the police on high alert in the district," said district police officer Ijaz Ahmad Khan on Thursday.
He confirmed that he had also received a copy of the letter and a man was being questioned about it. He said that the language and style of the piece apparently didn't match with threatening letters sent by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar and other parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... , but precautionary measures were being taken to cope with the threat.
The letter, a copy of which was also obtained by this correspondent, is addressed to public asking them to rise against NGOs, CD centres, mobile shops and coeducational schools or face explosive attacks.
"If you failed to rise against these evils within 10 days of the letter, we would launch our action," it warned.
[Dawn] The substance found in eight drums seized by police from an Edhi ambulance on Feb 29 on a tip-off by the Edhi Foundation has tested positive as heroin, police said on Thursday.
The drums contained 200 kilograms of the substance, samples of which had been sent to the Pakistain Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... and Islamabad for tests.
Quoting the report issued by the PCSIR, SSP-South Naeem Sheikh said the result confirmed the substance as crude heroin.
Saying that the drums had been sealed after taking the samples, SSP Sheikh clarified that it was estimated that the substance weighed over 200kg, based upon the fact that the weight of the consignment including the drums was around 241kg.
SHO Zafar Iqbal of the Kharadar cop shoppe said at the time of the seizure police had placed in long-term storage three men, including an Edhi ambulance driver.
He said the suspect, Habib Khan, during initial investigation revealed that he picked up the substance from Mawachh Goth and wanted to bring it to the city. The SHO did not disclose the specific location where the consignment was supposed to be delivered as, the police said, they were still working on the case.
A case (FIR 93/2012) was registered against the suspects under the anti-narcotics law at the Kharadar cop shoppe on behalf of the state.
Anwar Kazmi, a front man for the Edhi Foundation, said the recovery was made on the information of the foundation.
He said the driver had absconded with the Edhi ambulance (EA-3941) on Feb 29. Edhi volunteers intercepted the vehicle near Machhar Colony and took the driver with his two accomplices to Edhi's Tower Centre for further inquiries.
Later, all the three with the eight drums of the substance were handed over to the police, Mr Kazmi said.
The suspects were identified as Edhi driver Habib Khan, Gul Zurab Khan and Faqeer Muhammad, while the fourth accomplice, identified as Asghar, was declared absconder.
[Dawn] A Swiss couple kidnapped from 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... in July last year beat feet from Taliban captivity in North Wazoo, officials said on Thursday.
Olivier David Och and Daniela Widmer were brought to Beautiful Downtown Peshawar by a military helicopter. They were taken to the Corps Headquarters for questioning. They stayed there for some time before leaving for Islamabad.
Officials said that the couple had reported to security forces at the Thall checkpost on Esha-Razmak Road early in the morning. Sources said they had been left at a place some 100 metres from the checkpost.
The sources were not in a position to state with certainty if the couple had really beat feet or they had been 'released'. And if released then on what ground.
The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), which had grabbed credit for their kidnapping from Loralai, were quiet.
Military officials quoted the Swiss nationals as saying that they had beat feet late in the night and reached the checkpost in the Spilga area, about 12 km south of Miranshah ... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas...
The couple's claim and the official version could not be verified from independent sources who said that back-channel negotiations had taken place for securing their release.
According to military front man Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the couple stated that they had beat feet from the kidnappers.
Prof Ajmal Khan, the kidnapped vice-chancellor of Peshawar's Islamia College University, indicated in a video released by his captors on March 7 that the government and the TTP had reached a deal for release of the Swiss couple.
Prof Khan, who has been in the Taliban captivity for 18 months, said in the video message that the government had agreed to release 100 imprisoned Taliban in exchange of the Swiss couple's release. Besides, he said, millions of rupees would be paid as ransom.
Having reached Rawalpindi, the couple appeared to be in good health. They were smiling and waving to photographers as they walked through the airbase where the helicopter had landed.
David Och was sporting a beard and wearing Shalwar-Kameez, white cap and joggers. Daniela Widmer was in a light pink shirt and black trousers with a scarf around her neck.
After disembarking from the helicopter, they got into a blue van waiting for them at the Qasim airbase. Swiss embassy officials and security personnel accompanied them when they left for Islamabad.
AFP adds: Officials said they were found at a checkpost in the tribal belt on the Afghan border, but the nature of their release was clouded in mystery and there were claims that they beat feet.
They were seen by journalists for the first time at the Qasim airbase in Rawalpindi where they were not permitted to speak.
Both stepped into a minibus and witnesses later told AFP they were driven away from the airbase with embassy officials.
"They are safe and sound," Major General Athar Abbas ... who is The Very Model of a Modern Major General... told AFP. "They told us that they beat feet and then they reported to our checkpost.
That's what they told intelligence agencies currently debriefing them."
The details surrounding the couple's recovery were unclear and senior Taliban capos could not be reached.
"The Swiss ambassador to Pakistain is in direct contact with them and was satisfied they were not injured and that their health, given the circumstances, is good," the Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement.
The couple were in a safe place and their return to Switzerland ...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell... was planned as soon as possible, it said.
Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter thanked the Pak authorities "for their commitment and support in this matter", the ministry said.
In October, a video emerged of the couple -- apparently in relatively good health -- flanked by four masked gunnies pointing rifles at their heads.
Wali-ur Rehman, deputy head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain that is linked to Al Qaeda, had claimed the kidnapping, telling AFP in July that they were in "a very safe place" and that they were "completely in good health".
According to visas stamped in their passports, the couple arrived in Pakistain from India on June 28.
They entered Balochistan from Punjab and may have been heading for Quetta, possibly en route to Iran, officials in Islamabad have said.
Their blue Volkswagen van was found abandoned in Loralai district.
[An Nahar] Militants in the Gazoo Strip fired two rockets into southern Israel on Friday, officials said, as a fledgling truce in and around the Paleostinian territory firmed up.
Notice the wording. Not that "two rockets were fired and hit Israel," but that two rockets were fired into Israel. No word on how many rockets were fired overall, but past experience suggests one or more rockets landed elsewhere -- whether within Gaza or in Jordan or Egypt will likely ne'er be known.
"One rocket hit an empty field in the Eshkol region, causing no damage or injuries," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told Agence La Belle France Presse. The firing is more important than the aiming, assuming the things can be aimed...
An additional rocket hit an uninhabited area of the northwestern Negev desert early on Friday morning, according to the Israeli military.
Israel and the Islamic Jihad ...created after many members of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the liquidation of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah... group, which was responsible for much of the rocket fire during a major upsurge in cross-border violence though last weekend, agreed on Tuesday to begin observing an Egyptian-brokered truce.
Since then, 13 rockets hit Israel and another three were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, according to the military.
Clearly, to the Gazans observe means to watch rather than to do.
But despite the exchanges, another major flare-up has so far been avoided, and the violence has returned to its dimensions of the first nine weeks of 2012, in which over 50 rockets and mortars hit Israel.
Schools in several areas of southern Israel, including the main Negev city of Beersheva and the Mediterranean coastal towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon, remained closed as a precaution on Friday.
On Thursday, faceless myrmidons fired five rockets from Gazoo but none caused any casualties.
[An Nahar] A Paleostinian protester was bitten by an Israeli army attack dog during a protest in the West Bank village Kafr Qaddum west of Nablus on Friday, an Agence La Belle France Presse correspondent said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman acknowledged to AFP that a demonstrator was "lightly maimed" by the dog.
"One hundred Paleostinians were hurling rocks at security forces, who used riot dispersal means," she said.
"One Paleostinian was incarcerated for physically assaulting a soldier, and a second was attacked by a dog. He was lightly maimed and treated by army medics at the scene. He did not need to be evacuated to hospital."
The demonstration was against the expropriation of Paleostinian land by Israel.
Activist Jonathan Pollack named the maimed Paleostinian as Ahmad Shtawi, and noted in a statement that, after biting Shtawi, "the dog would not release its hold of the bleeding arm, even as its handler arrived at the scene and tried to order it to do so."
The second Paleostinian incarcerated was Morad Shtawi, who "tried to reason with the commanding officer into releasing the young man. He was then pepper-sprayed and incarcerated as well," Pollack noted.
In a separate West Bank demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh, an Israeli woman was maimed in the head by a rubber bullet.
According to the army spokeswoman, security forces used rubber bullets to disperse 40 Paleostinians who were throwing stones at them.
"One Israeli woman was lightly maimed by a rubber bullet, she was evacuated by the Red Islamic Thingy."
Pollack noted that two other protesters in Nabi Saleh were maimed, one by a rubber-coated bullet and another by a tear-gas projectile.
A Malaysian terrorist militant with a $5 million bounty on his head survived a recent Philippines air strike, a Malaysian counter-terror official said on Friday, despite the government's claims to the contrary. Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, deputy head of the Malaysian police force's counter-terrorism unit, said, "We believe Zulkifli Bin Abdul Hir, alias Marwan, is still alive."
Zulkifli, a radical terrorist militant, is "badly, badly wounded" and hiding on the southern Philippine island of Jolo, he said. He cited Malaysian intelligence but would not give further details.
Last month the Philippines military said three of Southeast Asia's most-wanted terror suspects were killed in the raid on Jolo, which was backed by US intelligence. It said the dead included Zulkifli, who was trained as an engineer in the United States and is suspected of providing bomb-making expetise to Southeast Asian terror groups.
The military has not yet released proof of the kill. Authorities claim that the bodies were taken away by fellow terrorists militants and quickly buried according to Muslim custom.
Military spokesman Colonel Arnuflo Burgos said the armed forces were waiting for the results of DNA tests, but added, "We still maintain that, based on reliable sources on the ground, (Zulkifli)" and the other terrorists militants were killed.
A schoolgirl was killed and four others wounded, two critically, in a roadside bomb explosion in Pattani province on Saturday.
The five secondary school students were heading home from school on three motorcycles after finishing their exams when the home-made bomb buried near the road went off. Hapueso Sadeh, 18, a sixth grade student, died instantly. Witnesses said that the bombers had intended to attack soldiers on a bus that was traveling in front of the students' motorbikes, but the bomb exploded just after the bus had passed the target.
Police blamed separatist terrorists militants who wanted to incite violence without caring about whether civilians would suffer or die.
The Pattani attack followed the killing earlier on Saturday of a rubber tapper in an ambush in Yala province early Saturday morning. Yuso Daraning, 46, was riding his motorcycle to his rubber plantation when gunmen hiding among the trees fired at him. Yuso was shot and fell from his bike. The attackers then ran to him and shot him again several times at close range. The victim died on the spot.
Rosali Romasa,25, a ranger of the 44th Ranger Regiment, was gunned down while riding his motorcycle back home in Narathiwat province. Rosali was on leave and visiting his home. On his way, he was attacked by an unknown number of assailants. He was shot in the head and in the throat.
Suicide bombers attacked two key secret police headquarters in Damascus on Saturday, killing 27 and leaving nearly 100 wounded, according to Syrian government sources. The bombings appeared to mark a dangerous new escalation in Syria's crisis, just weeks after the regime brutally crushed a rebel stronghold in the city of Homs.
Government spokesmen were quick to blame Islamist terrorists for the attacks, which they said mainly killed and injured civilians. Many anti-regime activists believe similar bloody bombings since January have been staged to give the government an excuse to crack down.
The explosions struck the aviation intelligence department - the most hated branch of Syria's police state - and the criminal security department, at around 7.30 am.
The aftermath, shown in gruesome detail on Syrian state television, was pools of blood, body parts strewn across streets, and wrecked and burnt vehicles. The front of one building collapsed.
"We heard a huge explosion. At that moment the doors in our house were blown out, even though we were some distance from the blast," one elderly man, with a bandage wrapped round his head, told Syrian television, which also showed what it said was the charred corpse of a terrorist in a burnt vehicle.
A Syrian official said there were reports of a third blast targeting a military bus at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, but there were no details. He asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
[Dawn] Activists called for rallies across Syria on Friday to demand "immediate military intervention" as 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 Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... prepared to brief the divided UN Security Council on his peace efforts.
Gulf Arab states announced they were following Riyadh's lead in closing their Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... embassies in protest at the violence, which monitors said Thursday on the first anniversary of its outbreak has cost more than 9,100 lives.
Activists called on their Facebook page, Syrian Revolution 2011, for nationwide protests after weekly Moslem prayers to demand "immediate military intervention by the Arabs and Moslems, followed by the rest of the world."Huge rallies in support of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... were held in Damascus and other major cities on Thursday to mark the anniversary.
But numbers have fallen at anti-regime demonstrations as security forces seize protest centres such as Idlib in northwest Syria after heavy shelling and bloody assaults.
With the opposition divided, Western countries have been opposed to military intervention although Qatar and Soddy Arabia, Assad's fiercest critics in the Arab world, have come out in favour of arming the rebels.
[An Nahar] The army intelligence bureau in the South demanded the Paleostinian factions and the Islamic parties in Ein el-Hellhole Paleostinian refugee camp to detain Abu Mohammed Toufiq Taha and hand him over to the Lebanese judiciary, As Safir newspaper reported on Friday.
"The issue is very dangerous and the army can't allow anyone to manipulate its security," a security source told the newspaper.
Abu Mohammed is the head of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, who is accused of planning attacks against the Lebanese army.
He resides in the Ein el-Hellhole Paleostinian refugee camp near the southern city of Sidon but his whereabouts are unknown.
Paleostinian sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper that director of the Lebanese Army Intelligence in the South Brig. Ali Shahrour contacted the Paleostinian forces in the refugee camp.
He demanded them to hand over Abu Mohammed "immediately," or the army will be forced to take new procedures near the refugee camp.
The army had boosted its security measures near Ein el-Hellhole during the past few days.
The Lebanese army had discovered a "takfiri" ...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed... network in which two soldiers, allegedly involved in the cell, had planned to carry out attacks against the army.
The army jugged a group that consists of six people, who are affiliated with the Abdullah Azzam Brigades -- al-Qaeda network, as the army is seeking to arrest the head of the network.
State commissioner to the military court Judge Saqr Saqr charged the six Lebanese suspects with the attempt to "carry out terrorist acts and operations against the Lebanese army."
[An Nahar] Army intelligence agents on Friday managed to arrest the chief of the gang that had kidnapped a manager of the dairy company Liban Lait in the Bekaa town of Britel on November 30, which was also behind several other kidnappings.
"Army intelligence agents placed in durance vile Mohammed Fayyad Ismail and some members of his gang in the Bekaa town of al-Qasr," MTV reported.
The gang is based in the Hermel District town of al-Qasr and was responsible for the abduction of a Syrian businessman in the Bekaa town of Barelias in August 2011.
Liban Lait manager Ahmed Zeidan was kidnapped on November 30, 2011 as he entered the company's headquarters in the Baalbek District town of Hawsh Sneid.
The kidnappers demanded a ransom back then, but the army managed in December to rescue Zeidan in a raid on Britel's barren mountains.
[An Nahar] Foreign ministers from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, meeting in Tunis said Friday the Syrian crisis should be resolved in an "Arab framework" and opposed foreign military intervention in the country. Ummm... Pencilneck's an Arab, isn't he? "I gotcher framework right here!" sez he...
"We are all against military intervention in Syria, and we want the problem to be resolved in an Arab framework," Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said after meeting with his Egyptian and Libyan counterparts, Mohamed Amr and Ashour bin Khayyal.
"The bloodbath in Syria must be stopped," he added as thousands of Syrians demonstrated Friday to demand "immediate military intervention" by Arab and Mohammedan countries to end the brutal crackdown that began more than a year ago.
The ministers whose countries toppled dictators in last year's Arab Spring also discussed security and judicial issues.
"The revolutions in our countries have brought us closer together," Abdessalem said, adding: "We need to share our experiences."
The three issued a joint statement pledging to step up the fight against terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.
They also agreed to greater judicial cooperation, notably concerning extradition requests for individuals "who represent a danger for the security and stability of our three countries."
Libya's former prime minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi has been held in Tunisia since last September, with President Moncef Marzouki seeking guarantees of a fair trial before authorizing his extradition.
Has it --DAWNED-- on anyone that the entire Mid East Africa thing is a TRAP? A real military leader said something about water and taking towns etc. think he left something out of the equation think?
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.