[AnNahar] Pirates have seized an Iranian vessel fishing illegally off the coast of Somalia in the first successful hijacking in almost three years, officials said Thursday, raising fears that the scourge of Somali piracy may be returning.
"An Iranian vessel, fishing illegally in Somali waters, was hijacked earlier this week," said Alan Cole of the United Nations ...boodling on the grand scale... Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
At its peak in 2011, Somali pirates were responsible for the hijacking of 28 vessels and 237 incidents, but international navies and armed guards on ships reduced attacks.
Until the Iranian vessel was seized off Ceel Huur in the Mudug region this week, there had been no successful hijackings since May 2012, according to the UNODC.
In the past, Somali pirates justified their attacks saying they had to defend their fishing grounds from illegal trawlers. The reduction in piracy has been met with an increase in illegal fishing with many vessels brazenly trawling waters less than five miles off the Somali coast, where the Iranian vessel was seized.
"These are the conditions that started piracy in the first place," said Cole, warning that a resurgence could be on the horizon.
Initial reports on Monday suggested that local maritime police had jugged Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! the illegal fishermen and impounded their vessel, but a bigwig in the Himan and Heeb administration has denied their forces were involved.
Two South Korean vessels, currently known to be fishing along the Somali coast close to where the Iranian trawler was seized, are thought to be at risk.
"This was not Himan and Heeb police, but criminals and pirates using the excuse of illegal fishing to take a vessel and crew with the object of holding them for ransom," said John Steed, a retired British colonel who has negotiated the release of many hostages.
"There is a huge amount of illegal fishing going on right now."
[Libya Herald] More than 85 percent of the population in Obari has been displaced after seven months of fighting between Tebu and Tuareg tribes that has left the town facing a humanitarian crisis.
"The situation in Obari is catastrophic. The state must intervene," said local crisis committee member Marim Amghar.
Amghar went on to explain that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were receiving no subsidies or aid from the state, despite many attempts on the part of the crisis committee to reach out to the government on the IDPs' behalf.
The Obari Hospital has been forced to close periodically because of festivities, forcing patients to drive to Murzuk. In addition, the hospital has experienced severe shortages in medicine and healthcare workers.
According to Amghar, women have given birth on the Obari desert road because the hospital closure forced them to seek care elsewhere and they were unable to make it to another hospital in time.
Murzuk Hospital is also facing a severe shortage in medical supplies and staff and has been forced to close at times because of fighting.
"Many have died of gunshot wounds on the road between the Obari and Murzuk hospitals," said Director of Medical Affairs at Murzuk Hospital Mohammed Ali.
Many children in the area have been forced to suspend their studies for the 2015 academic year because of textbook shortages. Those who are continuing to go to school face overcrowding and inadequate support for dealing with the trauma they've experienced as witnesses to violence in the town.
The Libyan Red Islamic Thingy has provided some aid to those who are suffering in the area, but the local branch manager, Amod Arab, has said that much more help is needed.
The biggest areas of need have been for blankets, furniture and food and milk for children. There is also an acute housing shortage.
According to statistics put out by the Obari Crisis Committee, most of those forced out of their homes have migrated to Ghat, Brak Al-Shatti and Sebha.
The Tebu and Tuareg tribes have a history of rivalry, but the conflict has taken on new life within the context of the larger one between forces aligned with Libya Dawn ...aka Fajr Libya, the Islamist operation launched to counter that of General Khalifa Haftar (Operation Dignity). It is made up of the Libya Shield militia (Misrata and Moslem Brotherhood), Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (Moslem Brotherhood), and Tripoli Brigade (close to Abdul Hakim Belhaj, head of Al-Watan party). Financing and moral support come from Turkey and Qatar... and those with Khalifa Hafter and the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Some Tuaregs in the region, but not all, have aligned themselves with Libya Dawn. All though, were incensed just days ago when LNA Chief of Staff Abdel Razzaq Al-Nazhuri told the media that Tebu forces, fighting under the LNA, were fighting "terrorists".
The Tuareg Social Council has denounced the Chief of Staff's remarks, saying that they were not based on any concrete evidence. The Council has further denounced Nazhuri's claim that the army was "preparing to deal with the 'terrorists' in Obrari".
According to Hussein Al-Ansari, elected as one of the two Obari members for the General national Congress, Nazhuri's remarks were dangerous in that they were an incitement to killing, violence and destruction. They "gave the green light to exterminate the Tuareg in the town of Obari," he claimed.
The town saw violent festivities last Friday following Nazhuri's remarks that reportedly claimed the lives of eight people, including two children and a woman as well as one of the Touareg leaders.
Fighting between Tebus and Tuaregs erupted in September when a pro-Libya Dawn Tuareg militia tried to take control of a local petrol station guarded by Tebus. A peace deal mediated by elders from local towns as well as by Zintanis later broke down.
Tuareg elders from Obari, as well as the town's Tebus, have both pledged allegiance to the House of Representatives. The outcome of the current peace negotiations remains in doubt, as the Tuareg gangs involved in the recent violence appear to be beyond the control of Tuareg elders.
The festivities ended the ceasefire agreement between the two tribes that was announced on 21 January.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Libya Herald] Operation Sunrise, set up three months ago by Libya Dawn to take the eastern oil fields and terminals, is reported to have pulled its forces from near Sidra and at Ben Jawad and is now based west of Sirte
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Libya Herald] The economic attaché at the Sudanese embassy in Tripoli has been freed after being abducted yesterday, Tuesday, by armed group.
According to Sudanese officials, the attaché was seized outside the embassy building. He was later freed by the police in Tripoli although details have not been revealed. The identity and the motives of the abductors have similarly not been disclosed.
According to the embassy the diplomat is in good condition despite his ordeal and is now back at work.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[AA.TR] At least 25 people were killed and 40 others injured in Saudi-led Arclight airstrikes in Yemeni capital Sanaa, a Health Ministry official said Thursday.
"Twenty-five people were killed according to a preliminary corpse count," the official in the Houthi-controlled ministry told The Anadolu Agency.
He said 40 civilians had also been injured in the strikes.
"The corpse count is likely to rise in the coming hours," the official said.
Houthi-run al-Masirah television, meanwhile, said scores of civilians had been killed and injured in the Arclight airstrikes.
Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... launched Thursday a military operation, including Arclight airstrikes, in Yemen ...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic... against the Shiite Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ... group, which seized capital Sanaa and several provinces.
In a joint statement, five Gulf countries -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar ...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates... and Kuwait -- said the operation "was in response to a request from Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to protect Yemen from the aggression of Houthi militias."
The statement accused the Houthis of being a "tool in foreign powers that seek to harm the security and stability of Yemen."
From a discussion by a European expert on Small Wars Journal:
A European expert posts: "During the night, the RSAF launched the operation 'Decisive Storm' - against 'Houthis' in Yemen. The first wave saw a massive strike on Houthi positions in and around Sana'a. Bombardment lasted longer than two hours. Reports have it that 100 RSAF, 30 UAEAF, 10 QEAF and 8 RBAF jets took part.
While there are no details about specific targets hit by this bombardment, there are claims that one RSAF aircraft was shot down during attacks on air defences in Sana'a, early this morning (photos supposedly showing the crash site are fakes, though: they're showing protests from Taizz, few days ago). Some say by SAMs, other by ZSU-23-4s.
Second wave was reported early in the morning (about six hours ago). This appeared not as massive, and is reported as 'not as precise' (as the first wave). It should have involved 6 RJAF F-16s, plus 20 jets from UAEAF, 15 from KAF, 15 from RBAF and 10 from QEAF. Locals claimed another jet as shot down by SAMs around that time.
My commentary: to call this operation 'insane' would be an understatement.
For the start, and from what I get to hear from Sana'a, ALL Yemeni military units hae now joined the Houthis. Indeed, even most ardent anti-Houthi activists in Yemen are now twitting, '#### off Saudi Arabia'...
For years, Yemenis had to endulge all the possible empty promises by Salleh and his ex vice Hadi about 'national dialogue', promises to 'rectify problems of the country'. They're fed up of Saudis hegemony in particular, and even US support for such useless governments. They're fed up of their government's double play, including clandestine cooperation with al-Qaida. That's why majority of them - not only majority of civilians, but meanwhile all of the military too - joined the Houthis in their drive to remove that government.
But nah, because of the religious context, Yemenis are now all declared for 'Iranian-backed Shi'a', and thus free to get bombed - and this with US support?
Simply insane. But not unexpected or lacking logic:
1.) An absolute monarchy with Wahhabism as state religion (see Saudi Arabia) cannot tolerate any other 'kind' of state in Yemen, but a mirror of its own.
2.) New Saudi king is still struggling to firm his position on throne while under pressure from two different cliques within own family (at least one of which is actually 'pro al-Qaida'). What's a better solution but to go 'doing something' - in Yemen?
3.) His military is keen to show that they have learned their lessons from 2009-2010 (actually, some say, they would prefer to go bombing Tehran instead, not only Houthis in Yemen). Plus, every war is a great opportunity for various of prince-generals to earn a few extra bucks...
4.) Saudis are joined by Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and Jordan, followed by Sudan, Morocco and Pakistan. They are all now now using the excuse of 'supporting legal government' that is demanding help from them - although this 'legal government' is in control of next to nothing in Yemen: Hadi is not even representative for his own tribe, then most of this has sided with Houthis...
They have declared the Yemeni airspace for 'closed' (or 'restricted airspace') and all seaports under 'blockade'.
What is a little bit surprising is the speed at which these idiots have gathered such a big force, an integrated HQ and whatever else - and then attacked a _supposedly_ 'Iran-supported group' in Yemen. They failed to do anything similar against a CLEARY Iran-supported regime in Syria in FOUR YEARs...? Guess, weak Yemeni air defences are much less a hindering factor.
At least amusing is that idiotic 'winner of Nobel Price for Peace' in the White House and his support for this nonsense.
But because of Western ignorance and highly effective PR, plus because they have enough aircraft, ammo, fuel and training, they can go on bombing Yemen for years, or straight back into stone age - at least until they drive all Yemenis straight into Iranian hands, for example."
[USATODAY] Yemen's embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi arrived Thursday in the capital of Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... , a day after flewing his country by boat, Saudi state TV reported.
Al-Ekhbariya TV reported that Hadi arrived at an air base in Riyadh and was met by Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman ...either the largest species of Pacific salmon or the current Sheikh of the Burnin' Sands, Cutodian of the Two Holy Mosquesand Lord of Most of the Arabians.... .
Hadi's arrival comes as Saudi Arabia and its allies launched Arclight airstrikes in Yemen, against Iranian catspaws, known as Houthis, who have taken over much of the country and drove out the president
[BUSINESS-STANDARD] The Arab foreign ministers agreed to form an Arab united force for immediate action, 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... Chief Nabil al-Arabi has said.
"This is a great progress and a historical move in terms of the Arab joint work that an Arab united force will be established for the first time and work in the name of Arab states," he said at a joint presser on Thursday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry, Xinhua reported.
The remarks came after a preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh, during which the Yemeni crisis and the recent Saudi-led Arclight airstrikes against Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ... rebels in Yemen topped the agenda.
Arabi pointed out that he was assigned to invite Arab military chiefs of staff within one month for a meeting to form the united military force, adding that the move is based on the Common Arab Defense Treaty signed in 1950.
For his part, the Egyptian foreign minister said the anticipated Arab united military force will work "according to a framework that supports preserving the Arab national security."
Shukry added that there were no disagreements among the Arab foreign ministers regarding the formation of the Arab military bloc that will be able to "act swiftly" against those who turn against legitimacy.
[Hurriyet Daily News] Three Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... n citizens and one Russian citizen were jugged Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! on March 25 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep province before entering Syria, local officials have said.
The Russian citizen, identified by middle initials of S.D., was arrested for trying to illegally cross the border into Syria and with intentions of joining the ongoing civil war in the country, the Gaziantep Governor's office said in a statement. Three Saudi Arabian citizens, identified as A.H.A.A, F.S.S.Z. and H.A.H.A, were separately arrested in the Karkamis district as they had also tried to illegally cross the border into Syria, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Russian citizen has already been deported from The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... , while the three Saudi Arabian citizens will be deported once the administrative process is completed, the statement said.
In the past four years, a total of 471 people, including 173 Turkish citizens, have been caught illegally trying to enter Syria via Turkey, Dogan News Agency reported. Legal procedures were opened against 269 people charged with "being members of a terrorist organization." Some 45 foreign citizens were arrested after legal procedures, while 51 foreigners were deported. All 173 Turkish citizens were released. The other 202 people also captured by security forces stood trial and were deported.
The numbers and nationalities of people captured in the past two years in Gaziantep is as follows: 173 Turkish citizens, 59 Russian citizens, 51 Syrian citizens, 18 Indonesian citizens, 17 East Turkestan nationals, 12 South African citizens, 11 German citizens, 10 Kazakhstan citizens, nine Mauritian nationals, eight Uzbekistan citizens, eight Libyans, eight Austrian citizens, seven Morocco citizens, seven French citizens, six Jordanians, five Tajikistan citizens, five Saudi Arabians, four Macedonians, four Kyrgyzstan citizens, four Kuwaitis, four Tunisians, four Azerbaijanis, three Turkmenistan nationals, three Trinidad And Tobago nationals, three Maldivians, three Venezuelans, two Chinese nationals, two Italian citizens, two Bosnians, two Paks, two Belgium citizens, one Paleostinian, one Nigerian, one Canadian, one Iraqi, one Portuguese, one Ukrainian, one Norwegian, one Swiss, one Spaniard, one Dutch citizen, one Egyptian, one Bahraini national, one Bangladeshi and one Georgian citizen.
Turkey shares an 800 kilometer border with Syria which is used by imported muscle wanting to join the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria. Turkish officials are cooperating with other countries to stop the flow of imported muscle to Syria and Iraq. Thousands of imported muscle are believed to have joined terrorist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq, including ISIL.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[CNN] A bomb blast ripped through the Istanbul offices of a radical, pro-ISIS "We know this to be the work of CIA and Mossad. We know this is an intelligence operation," the magazine staffer told CNN.magazine killing a writer and wounding its editor-in-chief as well as two other people on Wednesday night.
In an interview with CNN in October, the magazine's chief editor, Ali Osman Zor, mounted a spirited defense of the ultra-violent jihadi group ISIS. Couldn't be the CIA, unless a rogue element.
[Military Times] WASHINGTON -- Special operations troops heading to war zones are asking for commercial intelligence analysis software they say will help their missions. But their requests are languishing, and they are being ordered to use a flawed, in-house system preferred by the Pentagon, according to government records and interviews.
Over the last four months, six Army special operations units about to be deployed into Afghanistan, Iraq and other hostile environments have requested intelligence software made by Palantir, a Silicon Valley company that has synthesized data for the CIA, the Navy SEALs and the country's largest banks, among other government and private entities.
But just two of the requests have been approved, in both cases by the Army after members of Congress intervened with senior military leaders. Four other requests made through U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Tampa, Florida-based Special Operations Command have not been granted. The Army says its policy is to grant all requests for Palantir, while special operations officials say they are working through the requests on a case-by-case basis.
Email messages and other military records obtained by The Associated Press show that Army and special operations command officials have been pressing troops to use an in-house system built and maintained by traditional defense contractors. The Distributed Common Ground System, or DCGS, has consistently failed independent tests and earned the ire of soldiers in the field for its poor performance.
"You literally have these old tired (bureaucrats) stopping the war fighter from getting what they know works," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, a combat veteran and armed services committee member who wants to cut off funding for DCGS. "This is mind-boggling."
Special operations units have used Palantir since 2009 to store and analyze intelligence on information ranging from cultural trends to roadside bomb data, but has always been seen by top Pentagon officials as an interim solution until their in-house system is fielded. Those who have used the system say DCGS has yet to deliver on its promise of seamlessly integrating intelligence.
Pentagon officials say DCGS, despite its flaws, has broader capabilities than Palantir, and that in some cases it complements Palantir.
Intelligence officers say they use Palantir to analyze and map a variety of intelligence from hundreds of databases. Palantir costs millions, compared to the billions the military has been pouring into DCGS.
Special operations officials, in a statement to AP, said Palantir had been "extremely successful" in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are working to expand access to Palantir for units deployed in the fight against the Islamic State group. But records and interviews show a history of internal pressure against making and approving such requests.
[DAWN] Militants attacked a police check post in Mekhtar area of Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... 's Loralai district on Thursday, killing four coppers including the station house officer (SHO) of Rara Sham cop shoppe.
The holy warriors opened indiscriminate fire at the check post and also hurled a hand grenade, which resulted in the death of three police constables and SHO Tahir Shah, Levies officials told DawnNews. The check post was also damaged and a police mobile was destroyed during the attack, they added.
Following the attack, additional contingents of security personnel reached the site and cordoned off the area. But the attackers managed to flee the scene of the crime and disappeared in the nearby mountains.
Bodies of the slain police officials were shifted to a nearby hospital. The situation turned tense in the area following the attack.
Levies officials said the numbers of attackers still remain unknown, while no krazed killer group has so far grabbed credit of the attack.
This is the same area where at least seven Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were killed when holy warriors stormed a security check post in January this year.
Security sources had said that around 40 holy warriors attacked the check post with rockets and gunfire killing seven FC personnel.
[DAWN] Police claimed on Wednesday to have incarcerated Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! 25 more suspects in the Youhanabad lynching case. A total of 60 Christians have been taken into custody so far. So far that's sixty Christians and zero bombers.
A senior police officer told Dawn that 15 key suspects were among those arrested in the fresh crackdown launched in the wake of the lynching of two persons. Some of them were nabbed from Islamabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot, he said. Two of them -- Sohail Johnson and Yousaf Johnson -- were taken into custody from Gujranwala and Sialkot, respectively.
A police team led by SP Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Umar Virk was conducting raids for the arrest of the suspects. The major crackdown was launched at the residences of the Christians in and around Youhanabad.
A police source told this news hound that the CIA teams were carrying out extensive raids in Youhanabad. He said the police had established the identity of several protesters through the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
Elite force personnel belonging to different districts also were taking part in crackdown on the rioters involved in the cases registered against them at the Nishter Colony cop shoppe for lynching two persons, damaging public and private properties and harassing a woman car driver.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[DAWN] At least 46 suspected gunnies were killed and their hideouts destroyed in intensified military operations in Khyber and Kurram tribal regions on Wednesday.
According to security officials, a soldier was killed when a vehicle hit an improvised bomb in Shabak area of Kurram Agency ...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora... .
Claims about casualties could not be verified from independent sources.
A statement issued by the ISPR, the military's public relations wing, said warplanes and helicopter gunships continued strikes in Tirah valley for the fourth day, leaving 30 gunnies dead.
An official said the banned Lashkar-e-Islam ...a group of Islamic bandidos infesting Khyber Agency. It's headed by a former bus driver.... 's sanctuaries in Nangrosa, Sandana, Khyber Sangar, Speen Drand, Seekh Kot, Sur Kas, Tor Darra and Takhtaki areas were attacked and at least seven hideouts, including two ammunition depots, were destroyed.
Troops advanced into Sipah and Kukikhel ...a tribe of primitives inhabiting Khyber Agency. They are a branch of the Afridi tribe. Traditionally they have been migratory, tromping between Jamrud and the Rajgal valley with the seasons. The tribe has had mustache-cursing relationships with several other tribes, including the Zakkakhel and Kambarkhel, and with the Mullagori. They make welcome most anyone with a turban and automatic weapons, but every once in awhile they get together a tribal lashkar to mollify the government... areas, considered to be strongholds of the LI and the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain's Tariq Afridi group.
Heavy artillery shelling was carried out to dislodge myrmidons.
According to reports, troops took control of Takhtaki heights after a fierce battle with LI men who had been holding the area for almost one and a half years.
Security forces have dislodged LI activists from Maza Thal and Khyber Sangar ridges, getting an upper hand over gunnies as the places along with Takhtaki overlook most of the Kukikhel, Sipah and Kamar Khel areas where both the LI and TTP have sanctuaries.
In Akkakhel area of Bara, security personnel along with Khasadars demolished the houses of three LI activists wanted in several incidents of sabotage.
Suspected myrmidon positions in Shabak area of Lower Kurram tehsil were pounded with heavy artillery. Officials said that 16 suspected bad boyz were potted and several others injured. The area adjoining North Wazoo is along Afghanistan's Khost province ... across the border from Miranshah, within commuting distance of Haqqani hangouts such as Datta Khel and probably within sight of Mordor. Khost is populated by six different tribes of Pashtuns, the largest probably being the Khostwal, from which it takes its name... .
Soldier Hilal Mohmand was killed in a roadside kaboom in Shabak. He was in a vehicle on way to bring water from a channel when it was blown up.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Jhangvi
[DAWN] Fighting for the control of what appears to be the last stronghold of Pak bully boyz in Tirah Valley has been intense as the military claims to have cleared two-thirds of what could be the last leg of the large-scale operation across the seven tribal regions.
The valley with dense forests and dominating mountain features, stretching over roughly 1500 square kilometres, has been serving as the last redoubt to many of the Pak bully boy groups and their foreign allies pushed out from their previous sanctuaries in Pak tribal regions along the Afghan border.
"This is the last of the major battles we have fought against bully boys," a security bigshot said. "And this has been the most intense as well," he said, requesting he not be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[DAWN] A 35-year-old policeman was rubbed out in the Ibrahim Hyderi area on Wednesday morning, police said.
They added that Head Constable Sajid Salman was shot at and maimed by suspects in Korangi-5. He sustained critical wounds and was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where he died during treatment.
The victim was posted in the 'security zone' and was reportedly performing his duty at a bungalow of a former inspector general of police.
The victim's brother Shahid told the police that Sajid left his home in Landhi-36-B with his friend Noman Aziz.
Ibrahim Hyderi SHO Nek Muhammad Jakhrani said Noman Aziz had fled and police were trying to arrest him. The officer added that the motive for the murder might be ascertained after the arrest of the suspect.
[DAWN] KARACHI: Two suspects were rubbed out in an alleged encounter in Sohrab Goth in the early hours of Wednesday.
Police jugged Please don't kill me! a suspect, Noorullah alias China, for his allegedly involvement in the killing of a policeman a few months back and other crimes, said SHO Fasih Zaman.
On his lead, the police conducted a targeted raid for the arrest of his accomplices in an under-construction building in Bantva Memon Society off the Superhighway near Gana Mandi.
When the police party cordoned off the area, the suspects opened fire, resulting in the killing of the held suspect and in 'retaliatory firing' an unknown suspect was killed. The police claimed to have seized an SMG rifle and a cycle of violence from the suspect.
The dead were Afghan nationals, allegedly involved in several crimes, including robberies and attacks on coppers, said the police officer.
[DAWN] LAHORE: A murder convict was executed in Kot Lakhpat Central jail on Wednesday.
Ayub, son of Bashir, was sentenced to death by a sessions court of Sheikhupura after finding him guilty of killing a man. The court had issued black warrants for Ayub after the government lifted moratorium on executions on Dec 17.
In Bahawalpur, convict Ghulam Yaseen was hanged at the new central jail.
There was high security around the jail at the time of the execution in the early hours. In order to cope with any emergency, law-enforcement personnel remained deployed on roads and residential areas around the jail till the body of Yaseen of Allah Rakha village, Ahmedpur East Tehsil, was taken to home by his family.
In Mianwali, a death row prisoner was hanged at central jail while execution of another convict was cancelled due to a compromise with heirs of the dear departed.
Muhammad Khan of Chak 8-ML, Piplan tehsil, had rubbed out his relative Nawaz in 2000 over a family feud and he was awarded death sentence by the Mianwali sessions court in 2001. After rejection of all appeals, the judge issued his black warrant and he was hanged early in the morning. His body was handed over to the family.
The execution of Mohibdar Husain Shah of Chidro was cancelled on Wednesday due to a compromise with heirs of deceased.
Mohibdar had killed his relative Agha Husain in 2000 and he was awarded death penalty in 2001.
On Tuesday, Agha's family members appeared before the sessions court and recorded statement of compromise.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[AnNahar] Iraq's Shiite militias have withdrawn from the forefront of an offensive to recapture Tikrit from Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... jihadists, allowing Baghdad government troops to take the lead, a top U.S. general said Thursday.
The Shiite militias "have pulled back from that area" and Iraqi special forces and police are clearing Tikrit, General Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, told politicians.
Austin confirmed previous comments by officials that a U.S. condition for air strikes against the IS group in Tikrit was that the Iraqi government be "in charge" of all forces in the assault on the town.
The four-star general said the offensive to take back Tikrit launched on March 2 "stalled because the wrong approach was taken" and that some of the forces in the operation were "not supervised" by the Iraqi government.
Now the offensive "will move forward," he said.
Washington says Iranian military officers have provided advice and artillery to Shiite militias involved in the operation. And the White House has been dismayed by Tehran's prominent role in the assault, which was launched more than three weeks ago amid triumphant statements from Baghdad.
But as the offensive bogged down in recent days, President Barack Obama I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody... 's administration seized an opportunity to exert U.S. influence when Baghdad issued a request for American air power.
Austin said about 4,000 Iraqi army and federal police forces were leading "clearing operations" in Tikrit, the hometown of executed dictator Saddam Hussein.
There may be Shiite militia forces on the east side of the Tigris river but Iraqi government troops were deployed on the western side of the river to seize control of Tikrit, he said.
Austin said he did not believe Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds force, the foreign operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who has been a key adviser for Iraq's Shiite militias, was in the area any longer.
- First wave of raids -
U.S.-led warplanes carried out 17 air strikes against IS jihadists in Tikrit overnight in the first wave of coalition bombing raids in support of the Iraqi government offensive, officers said Thursday.
U.S. and allied fighter jets, bombers and drones struck a building, two bridges, three checkpoints, two "staging areas," berms, an IS "roadblock" and an IS command facility, the U.S. military command in charge of the air campaign said.
"The ongoing Iraqi and coalition air strikes are setting the conditions for offensive action to be conducted by Iraqi forces currently surrounding Tikrit," Lieutenant General James Terry, commander of the coalition war effort, said in a statement.
"Iraqi Security Forces supported by the coalition will continue to gain territory from Daesh," said Terry, using the Arabic acronym for the IS group.
Pentagon officials said the air strikes would continue in Tikrit, and La Belle France said it had joined in the bombing raids.
Thousands of Iraqi soldiers, coppers and paramilitary forces have been deployed to retake Tikrit, which is being ferociously defended by IS fighters who have booby-trapped streets and buildings in the city with bombs.
[AA.TR] At least 35 people, including 28 Daesh gunnies were killed Thursday in two separate attacks in Iraq's northern province of Saladin, army sources said.
The 28 Daesh gunnies were killed in Iraqi air force and U.S.-led international coalition Arclight airstrikes on Tikrit, an Iraqi army officer said.
Separately, seven people were killed in an improvised explosives device blast at a home in Is-haki town south of Tikrit, the officer added.
"The international coalition is supporting the action against Daesh by air. Also, al-Hashid al-Shaabi commanders are getting advice from Iran," Ahmed el-Karim, Saladin province's council chief, said.
Karim, however, said there were no Iranian soldiers on the ground in his province.
Meanwhile, ...back at the comedy club, Boogie ducked another tomato... the second stage of Tikrit's operation against Daesh has been discussed between Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, Minister of Defense Halid al-Obaidi and General Talib Shugati, according to Iraq's Ministry of Defense statement. Iraqi forces' plan to retake Tikrit would be a step forward in seizing djinn-infested Mosul ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn... , Daesh's largest stronghold in Iraq.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
Egyptian navy has fired warning shots at Iranian warships near Bab el-Mandab Strait.
Early four Egyptian naval vessels to secure Gulf of Aden, Reuters reports citing Suez Canal sources, reported www.dailystar.com.lb.
Four Egyptian naval vessels have crossed the Suez Canal en route to Yemen to secure the Gulf of Aden, maritime sources at the Suez Canal said Thursday.
The sources said they expected the vessels to reach the Red Sea by Thursday evening.
Warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck the Shiite Muslim rebels fighting to oust Yemen's president on Thursday, a gamble by the world's top oil exporter to check Iranian influence in its backyard without direct military backing from Washington.
The Saudi-led Firmness Storm coalition has imposed a naval blockade on Bab El-Mandab strait which connects the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, sources told Ahram Online.
The Saudi navy's western fleet has also secured Yemen's main ports including Aden and Midi.
[Sun Star] The body of a New People's Army militant who had been left behind by his comrades was discovered in a remote village in Compostela Valley. The corpse was discovered by villagers amid thick vegetation Wednesday at Sitio Totoy, Monkayo. Lieutenant General Aurelio Baladad said the NPA guerilla was left behind after a clash with troops from the 25th Infantry Battalion.
[Bangkok Post] Paramilitary rangers killed four militants and detained 22 others for questioning after two clashes in Pattani province on Wednesday night.
Authorities were tipped off about possible attacks in Thung Yang Daeng district. They followed four suspected militants into a village in the middle of a forest. As rangers were about to launch their raid in the evening, an exchange of gunfire broke out. When the shooting ceased, they found the bodies of four men, as well as three assault rifles, a pistol and a hand grenade. Before the arrival of a forensic team, another round of gunfire began which lasted about ten minutes. Afterwards, rangers arrested 22 villagers.
Military spokesman Pramote Prom-in said that local residents had informed officials of the suspects' movements and the information led to Wednesday's raid. He said that the militants had planned terrorist attacks to discredit the government's peace restoration project.
[MIAMIHERALD] Syrian opposition activists say Arclight airstrikes and shelling by government forces have killed at least 18 people in a city in the country's south.
The activists say three children are among those killed. The corpse count is likely to increase because many of the maimed are at death's door.
Thursday's shelling in the city of Daraa struck an area known as Daraa al-Balad. The Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 18 people were killed while an activist in Daraa province put the number at 21.
The shelling comes amid heightened festivities in southern Syria between government forces and rebels who seized the nearby ancient town of Busra Sham a day earlier.
Heavy fighting ... as opposed to the more usual name-calling or slapsy... raged around the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria on Thursday as rebels pressed their offensive against the government stronghold.
An array of armed opposition groups have advanced through the outskirts of Idlib, the lovely provincial capital and home to some 165,000 people, since launching their campaign Tuesday. Rebels have long controlled most of the surrounding towns and countryside, but Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... 's forces have maintained their hold on the city.
The Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels have seized at least 17 checkpoints and military outposts from pro-Assad troops. It said at least 11 government fighters and 17 rebels have been killed over the past 24 hours.
The offensive is being led by several groups, including al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, known as the Nusra Front, as well as the ultra-conservative Ahrar al-Sham ...a Syria jihadi group made up of Islamists and salafists, not that there's that much difference, formed into a brigade. They make up the main element of the Islamic Front but they don't profess adoration of al-Qaeda and they've been fighting (mainly for survival) against the Islamic State. Their leadership was wiped out at a single blow by a suicide kaboom at a crowded basement meeting in September, 2014... and Jund al-Aqsa groups.
A photograph posted Thursday on a Twitter account run by the Nusra Front's Idlib unit showed what it said was the group's black flag being raised over a captured government checkpoint north of the city.
Late Wednesday, Syria's state news agency said the army killed "tens of terrorists" on the eastern side of Idlib. The government refers to Assad's opponents as "terrorists."
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
At least one of five Taliban militants released by the Obama administration in a controversial exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl has “attempted to reestablish contacts” with the Taliban in Afghanistan, U.S. officials told NBC News on Thursday.
There was no indication the former prisoner, being held in Qatar, made contact with the Taliban. The officials said it is unclear whether this was an actual attempt to rejoin the Taliban militants in Afghanistan.
“We’re closely monitoring the situation and see no potential threat” from the attempted communication, a senior U.S. official said. The official could not say exactly how the former prisoner tried to reach the Taliban.
The five Taliban militants, including two top leaders, were released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in May. As part of the deal that led to Bergdahl’s release, they had to remain in Qatar under a one-year travel ban set to end in June.
The militant who tried to reconnect with the Taliban has also had “several phone calls” with family members in Afghanistan, a senior official told NBC. There was no indication the calls, monitored by security officials, involved any “threatening activity or planning,” the official added.
Nevertheless, the U.S. will try to have restrictions placed on out-of-country calls though the prisoners are allowed to communicate with relatives and other visitors in Qatar.
Foggy Bottom, of course, is equivocating. They say DNI is using "too strict rules of interpretation."
Bergdahl was reportedly captured by the Haqqani terrorist network in Pakistan after he left a remote outpost in June 2009 and held for five years. Senior defense officials told NBC News on Tuesday that Bergdahl will likely be charged with desertion.
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.