Aviation officials said they had recovered Boeing jet engines and aircraft parts worth millions of dollars which had been stolen by Taliban soldiers as they fled Kabul in mid-November. The gunmen had been planning to sell the equipment to Pakistani businessmen for 700,000 dollars.
Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hikmatyar blasted the results of the Afghan conference in Bonn. Hikmatyar demanded "the immediate departure of all foreign forces," from Afghanistan and the convening of a council including "all Afghan ethnicities." Hikmatyar also called for elections to a parliament that would draft a constitution. "Afghans will not accept powers co-opted by medieval methods, nor imposed on them," he warned. Translated: He wants to be in charge. If Afghanistan falls apart again, this is the guy who's gonna do it.
Forces now more loyal than ever to Hamid Karzai said they have taken the district of Kargia from the Taliban as they advanced from the north on Kandahar city. Despite the backing of the aerial bombardments, opposition forces were stalled in their advance on the Kandahar airport by a heavy Taliban counter-attack. "We pulled our boys out on the advice of the Americans as they were bombing Taliban who were so close to us," said a source, who is close to Gul Agha. "Their bombing could have injured our fighters." The troops retreated to Uruzgan bridge, about two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the airport. The United Nations estimates that 2000 people are fleeing the province for Pakistan daily.
Anti-Taliban commander Hazrat Ali said U.S. aircraft kept up air strikes on targets in the Tora Bora region, about 35 miles south of Jalalabad. "We have taken some areas which they (bin Laden's men) left around Tora Bora," he reported from Jalalabad. "They pulled out from these areas without a fight." Sohrab Khan said his forces controlled half of the mountainous region around Tora Bora. Frontier Post reports al Qaida forces manning Tora Bara have twenty Russian-made Uragan missiles. Uragan is a 220 mm multiple-launched rocket. Each launcher fires up to 16 of the rockets at a time, with a payload of 90 kg of high explosive. (20 of the beasts would be enough for one salvo, with four left over.) Al Qaida have also taken with them "thousands of pressure cookers and thousands tonnes of urea fertiliser" from Jalalabad to make their own explosives.
American bombs accidentally killed three U.S. servicemen and injured 19 others in southern Afghanistan. Five anti-Taliban Afghans were killed and several wounded. The friendly fire incident happened when a B-52 seeking to target enemy Taliban forces dropped a 2,000-pound bomb too close to opposition forces and their American advisers north of Kandahar.
A group of former mujahedin commanders warned the Taliban to get out of Helmand province or face a battle they cannot win. The commanders, headed by the anti-Soviet war hero Maulvi Atta Mohammed, said they now had 400 troops in Helmand province and could raise many times that amount if the Taliban did not go quietly. They dispatched a delegation to the provincial capital Lashkar Gah in a bid to reach a peaceful resolution but were ready to fight. They had taken control of the desert border towns of Chotto and Bramacha which had already been deserted by Taliban troops.
The first civil airline flight in Afghanistan since late September could take place Thursday between Kabul and Herat. Feda Mohammed Fedawi, the technical adviser for Afghanistan's national carrier Ariana Airways, said flights to the Tajik capital Dushanbe were also envisaged soon along with Kabul-Herat services.
A provisional list of the 30-member interim Afghan administration was approved by four Afghan delegations meeting near Bonn. The chairman is royalist Hamid Karzai, who is still not dead. The Northern Alliance retains defense, interior, and foreign affairs, among other, less critical posts. Embarrassingly, there were reports that Karzai was lightly injured with scrapes and bruises from the blast of a US bomb that killed two US special forces soldiers north of Kandahar. Karzai denied the reports.
"Any government imposed on Afghans from abroad can't be accepted," Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan, ranted to AP. "We reject this interim government. ... We will continue to fight against the puppets of America." And they're gonna hold Kabul, too.
This article starring:
ABDUL SALAM ZAIF
Posted by: Fred Pruitt ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
The Saudi Okaz daily reports that Ayman Abdul Rahman from Buraidah was killed Monday, becoming the 45th Saudi to die during the US war in Afghanistan since Oct. 7. The paper estimated that some 200 Saudis were in Afghanistan before the war, but other reports put the number at as high as 1,000. 30 Saudis were killed in one incident when their bus was bombed by US jets near Mazar-e-Sharif. Two others were executed by the Northern Alliance, while the rest were killed during air raids. The paper said it has the names of all 45 killed.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said hostile fire was to blame for the wounding of a member of the U.S. Special Forces who was helping opposition troops around Kandahar. The wound was not considered life-threatening, and the soldier has been evacuated from Afghanistan.
Oily preacher Pat Robertson resigned as president and a member of the board of directors of the Christian Coalition. Robertson and Jerry Falwell sparked a national controversy over an exchange the two had on CBN after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in which they blamed abortionists, the ACLU and People for the American Way for the WTC attacks.
A decision to banish red poinsettias from the Ramsey County, Minn., Courthouse as a Christian symbol is inciting holiday discord, since nobody there has anything better to do. The metal detectors installed at the courthouse entrance after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks left no space for the holiday plants that traditionally lined the dark, cavernous Memorial Hall, said Ramsey County Manager Paul Kirkwold. There wasn't enough room for Christmas music, either.
The pilot of the hijacked American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11 will be buried in his father's plot at Arlington National Cemetery. The Army originally had said Charles Burlingame, 51, wasn't eligible for a plot at Arlington because retired reservists must be at least 60 to be buried there.
Anti-abortion fugitive Clayton Lee Waagner, named by the FBI as the primary suspect in the mailing of hundreds of hoax anthrax letters, was arrested by local and federal authorities in suburban Cincinnati after a copy-center employee recognized him. We hope he spent the afternoon "falling down stairs" and "walking into doors," but that's probably just wishful thinking.
Foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia dropped 19.5 percent in October compared to the previous month and the tourism minister said rising anti-American sentiment was partly to blame. I Gede Ardika said threats by hardline Muslim groups to expel foreigners led several governments to warn citizens against travelling to Indonesia.
Canada has joined the United States in freezing the bank accounts of organizations connected with Hamas. These include the Holy Land Fund, the Al Aqsa Bank and Beit El-Mal Holdings Co. Italy has agreed to take similar steps.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has decided to grant Arafat a 12 hour respite to arrest Hamas and Islamic Jihad men wanted by Israel for involvement in terrorist actions. In a series of telephone calls between Arafat and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, the Palestinian President-for-Life complained Israeli air strikes were preventing him from making arrests of Palestinian terror leaders. Peres consulted with Sharon and it was decided to grant Arafat his time. Prediction: Arafat has a list of 36 terror leaders; perhaps a dozen will be rounded up and he'll consider the job done. They'll be released shortly after things cool off again.
Gunmen from the Palestinian militant group Hamas have freed their leader after he was placed under house arrest by Palestinian security forces. Gunmen and security forces exchanged fire outside Sheikh Ahmed Yassin's Gaza City home before the security forces fled. Sheikh Yassin, 62, was then spirited away to an unknown location. Oh. What a surprise. Want to bet there were no injuries?
The United States proposed a compromise to Israel and the Palestinians regarding international observers in the territories. If both sides agree to the proposal, Jordanian soldiers would be assigned an observer role in the West Bank. Israel has not opposed in principle to the proposal. Palestinians responded to the proposal with caution, seeing it as a Jordanian plot to reestablish their control over the area. Ooooh. Good idea. Then there'd be somebody in control.
The army said Wednesday that authorities have found the body of Melina Pereira, held since April by kidnappers identifying themselves as members of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. She was shot three times in the back at close range, military officials said. Pereira exchanged herself for her father, 65-year-old Antonio Pereira, after he fell ill during his kidnapping. After the exchange, the family was unable to come up with the ransom needed to secure the woman's release. According to the army, when the family asked the rebels to lower their demand, the guerrillas responded by sending a note saying the woman had been killed, and giving the location of the body.
Debka.com says that the material needed for a "dirty" bomb is already in the US, citing the death of an anonymous Pakistani in Hudson County jail in Kearny, New Jersey, in October. The man was treated for symptoms of radiation poisoning, suggesting he might have been a "mule" transporting nuclear materials or devices into America.
Pakistani police said they had arrested three Afghan militants in connection with a rocket attack last week on paramilitary police headquarters in southern Karachi. The Afghans were arrested in the eastern Gulistan Johar section of Karachi and a Soviet-made rocket was seized.
Suspected Muslim militants killed judge Vijay Kumar Phool when they ambushed his car in Kashmir. Two security guards and the driver were also killed in the attack. Indian guards arrested a woman guerilla "commander" in Kashmir. Mughli Begum, alias Saddam, was arrested by India's paramilitary Border Security Force.
Pakistani authorities arrested 23 Arabs, including two children, suspected of links to Osama bin Laden. All of them sneaked into the country from Afghanistan in recent weeks. The suspects include three women, identified as Aamni Ahmad, Hala Ahmad and Nooran Abdu, who are believed to be relatives of bin Laden. The arrests were made in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan. Most of the other suspects were identified as Yemenis and Saudis, and it was believe some could be related to one of bin Laden's four wives.
An Italian prosecutor has asked a court to indict seven alleged Islamic militants suspected of links to Osama bin Laden's network. They have been charged with criminal association, supplying false documents and seeking to obtain and transport arms, explosives and chemicals. Among those charged is Essid Sami Ben Khemais, the alleged head of bin Laden's terrorist plans in Europe. Arrested in April, Ben Khemais is also believed to have met with Sept. 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta earlier this year in Spain.
Indian Home Minister L K Advani said a man arrested in Bombay on suspicion of being linked with Al-Qaeda had confessed to plans to carry out suicide attacks in Britain, Australia and India after September 11. "The Al-Qaeda had plans to not only attack the United States but also for similar attacks on Britain, Australia and the Indian parliament," the minister said. Advani said the arrested man said he had learned to fly planes in Australia and in Britain. The United States has reversed sanctions it imposed on India for conducting nuclear tests in 1998 as a result of a strengthened bilateral cooperation to combat terrorism. Washington has agreed to resume sales of arms to India and step up military cooperation, after two days of talks in New Delhi with Indian officials.
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.