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Car boom kills 10, injures 75 in Peshawar
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Afghanistan: Italian copter rescues besieged Afghan troops
[ADN Kronos] Two Italian military helicopters came to the aid of a convoy of Afghan soldiers who were under Taliban attack on Friday in Bala Murgab in Bagdhis province.
No doubt gratitude and courage were unbounded. Well done!
Baghdis borders the province of Herat, where international troops in the NATO-led force are under Italian command.

Taliban militants on Thursday opened fire on a patrol of Italian soldiers and a 23-year-old paratrooper, Alessandro Iosca, was lightly wounded in one arm.
Clearly the Italians are not cantonment divas, available for consultation only during business hours.
Italy has 2,350 troops in Afghanistan, the fifth largest deployment after the United States, Britain, Canada and Germany. There are currently some 58,000 international troops from 42 nations stationed in Afghanistan.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

Africa Horn
Government Forces Launch Offensive to Retake Mogadishu
Some things never change ...
Somali government forces and allied militias attacked rebel positions in the capital Mogadishu Friday morning in a bid to retake control of the capital, Radio Garowe reports. At least four people, including a radio reporter, were killed in the clashes as pro-government forces clashed with rebels loyal to Islamist factions Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam.

A spokesman for Al Shabaab denied government claims that pro-government forces retook control of two key intersections in southern Mogadishu. The fighting is still continuing as the sounds of gunfire and mortar explosions could be heard across the seaside capital.

Islamist rebels took control of many government positions earlier this month in week-long battles that killed 130 people and displaced nearly 30,000 civilians from their homes.

Somalia's U.N.-backed government, led by Islamist politician Sheikh Sharif Ahmed as president, has fought for control of Mogadishu against Islamist hardliners since coming to power in Jan. 2009. The government is backed by a 4,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force, which Islamist rebels say must withdraw before any peace deal.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

EU forces capture 9 pirates off Somalia
Nine suspected pirates were captured Friday by the EU NAVFOR anti-piracy taskforce after two merchant ships were attacked this morning in the Gulf of Aden. The suspects are currently being held on board the Italian warship MAESTRALE, said an EU statement tonight. The MAESTRALE dispatched a helicopter to the area immediately on picking up a distress call early Friday morning when a Greek-owned merchant vessel was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade. Twelve ships and two Maritime Patrol Air Surveillance are currently taking part in the EU Operation off Somalia.
Italy's nice. I'll bet they'll like it there...
I imagine so. But the boyz back home aren't getting anything out of it like they used to. (Nor the girls, neither.) Somebody probably isn't at all pleased about the changing situation.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's with Italy lately?

Helo rescues in Afghanistan and now this.

Somebody must have put a bunch of HGC in their pasta.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 05/23/2009 8:35 Comments || Top||

Yemen: At least three killed in clashes
Clashes between Yemeni security forces and protesters in the city of Aden resulted in at least three dead and over 30 others wounded, police conveyed.

According to eyewitnesses, police opened fire on the demonstrators and detained some 130 of them.

The riots come one day before Yemen celebrates the Unification Day (May 22nd.) South Yemen was united 19 years ago with North Yemen to form the current republic. However, the residents of the south claim they have been suffering from discrimination and poor economic conditions.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

Held Huji men tightlipped
[Bangla Daily Star] The case of bomb blast on a rally of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) at Paltan Maidan has put investigators into a state of confusion as Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) operatives have stopped divulging any further information about their link to the blast.
They're allowed to do that? Somebody needs to send for a new case of mustache wax.
"Chaudhary! They've stopped talking!"
"Oh, effendi, it is so terrible."
"We'll see about that. Bring me the number seven truncheon. And tell my wife I'm working late!"
"Oh yes, effendi, right away, right away!"
Officials at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which is investigating the case said they were hopeful about making a breakthrough in the investigation a couple of years back as some Huji operatives hinted that the outfit had a link to the blast. Investigators, on the basis of information gleaned from arrestees, started their reinvestigation and the final report was submitted in 2003. The report failed to mention names of masterminds behind the grisly attack.
"Mufti, we need to know who was behind this attack!"
"I cannot tell you, Inspector!"
"Perhaps a hint?"
"A hint? And what would I get in return?"
"Perhaps some fresh ticking for your mattress?"
"It may have been HUJI."
"HUJI? Your organization?"

Eleven Huji operatives including its operation commander Mufti Abdul Hannan were shown arrested in the case in 2006 and interrogated intensively
in remand. Investigators, however, failed to get enough information from arrested militants about their involvement in the gruesome blast that left five persons killed and over 50 others injured. "We started investigation on a high hope on the basis of some primary information about the link of Huji responsible for many deadly grenade and bomb blasts across the country but finally we did not find enough evidence," said a top CID investigator wishing not to be named.
"Mufti, that is not much of a hint!"
"I can say no more!"

Investigation Officer (IO) of the case CID Inspector Motiur Rahman said, "We're yet to ascertain who were behind the plot and why the blast was carried out."
"But we have a crack team of investigators on the case!"
Motiur who took the charge from the erstwhile IO seven months back also said he had already collected video footages of the CPB rally for screening. Statements of a number of CPB leaders and those who suffered injuries in the carnage had also been collected, he added.
"A 'W'... Somethihng starting with a 'W'...?"
All hell broke loose on January 20, 2001 as a powerful bomb, believed to have been planted earlier, went off at the rally leaving five people dead and 50 others injured. The dead were CPB leaders Himangshu Mondol of Batiaghata upazila in Khulna district, Abdul Majid of Rupsha upazila of the same district, Latif Bawani Jute Mill unit CPB leader Abul Hossain Hashem, Khulna BL College unit Chhatra Union leader Bipra Das and Moktar Hossain Badal from Madaripur. Following the blast CPB President Manjurul Ahsan Khan filed a case with the Motijheel Police Station saying a group of anti-state conspirators made the attack.

Arrestees mainly people like street vendors were released later.
Police arrested 12 people at that time but the CID submitted the final report on December 17, 2003 virtually bringing the investigation to an end. The arrestees are Shaheen, Didar, Din Mohammad alias Dilu, Mamun, Alamgir, Anwar Hosain, Habibur Rahman, Abul Hossain, Moktar Hossain, Mostafizur Rahman, Moshiur Rahman and Shakhawat Hossain. Arrestees mainly people like street vendors were released later.

The CID sources said the final report was submitted, as correct, impartial and reliable pieces of evidence were not available to prove the charges against the arrestees.
This article starring:
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under: HUJI

#1  A billy club, some No. 4 snagging hooks, and some barbed wire (assembly required) can change people's minds, even before it's used. Going to a slaughter house and getting the thing well-covered in blood also has an effect. OF course, if you DO have to use it, there are certain parts of the anatomy that lend themselves to first use...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/23/2009 13:48 Comments || Top||

NorKs appear to be preparing to test-launch missiles : report
North Korea appears to be preparing to test-launch short-range missiles, given that it is relocating missile-related equipment and vehicles in its northeast region and banning ships from regional waters, Seoul's media reported Friday, citing officials.

"We have been seeing brisk activities along the North's northeast coast over the past two to three days, indicating trucks mounted with mobile rocket launchers are on the move," a South Korean defense ministry official told Yonhap News Agency.

A Joint Chiefs of Staff official said the ban on vessels in the northeastern coastal area could be a precursor to a missile test, according to Yonhap. "Such a ban usually comes ahead of a short-range missile test or a live-fire drill," the official was quoted as saying.

According to the Japan Coast Guard, North Korea has warned ships to stay clear of waters within a 130-km radius from the city of Kimchaek in its northeastern region until the end of this month. The ban, effective from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., follows North Korea's threats to conduct further missile tests to protest the UN Security Council condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch. Pyongyang says the launch from its northeast coast put a satellite in orbit, while the US and Japan say no object entered space.

North Korea has also threatened to conduct a second nuclear test, raising tension in the region. The North first tested an atomic device in October 2006. North Korea test-fired short-range missiles from the east coast on three occasions over the course of just over a month around this time of the year in 2007.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I sincerely hope this time we blast it, and the launch complex to rubble, no need for fancy Lasers, a rain of plain old iron bombs will do just fine.

(If nobody remembes, or wants to remember, we're still officially at War with NORK, so blow them to hell with a clear concience.)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/23/2009 12:21 Comments || Top||

#2  It's called an armistice Jim....
Posted by: texhooey || 05/23/2009 18:06 Comments || Top||

Great White North
Man receives 2œ-year sentence for Toronto bomb plot involvement
A man belonging to the so-called Toronto 18 terror group was sentenced to 2œ years in prison Friday, becoming the first person convicted in a domestic terrorism trial in Canada. The judge in Brampton, Ont., who sentenced the 21-year-old man declared that, with credit for his time already spent in custody, the man had served his time and could be freed.
Sure, after all he promised not to kill anyone ever again, eh ...
The man was found guilty in September 2008 of participation in a terrorist group that was plotting to blow up buildings in downtown Toronto. He was not a ringleader and his involvement included attending two terrorist training camps, shoplifting items from a Canadian Tire store and removing a surveillance camera.

In passing sentence, Justice John Sproat described the man's crime as "very serious," but also noted he had expressed genuine remorse. In a letter to the court, the man promised to work hard to contribute to society and declared, "I do not believe in participating in violent acts against anyone."
Except infidels and crusaders ...
He was 17 at the time, so he was tried under youth justice laws. However, the judge found he had continued his activity with the terrorist group past his 18th birthday, so he was sentenced as an adult. He also given three years probation, prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years and ordered to submit a DNA sample.

The media still cannot name him, because the judge granted a defence request Friday to keep the man's identity shielded for a month while his lawyers have the chance to appeal his conviction.

Earlier this month, Saad Khalid, 22, pleaded guilty to aiding in the 2006 terrorist plot. He is expected to be sentenced in June.

The 18 men and youths were arrested in the Toronto area and detained following an investigation by CSIS, Canada's spy agency. Seven of those accused have since had their charges stayed or dropped. The remaining individuals have yet to stand trial.

The suspects face charges including participating in a terrorist group, receiving training from a terrorist group, providing training, and intending to cause an explosion that could cause serious bodily harm or death. The offences allegedly took place between March and June 2006 in Mississauga and a rural township near Orillia, Ont.

The Crown alleges the group planned to bomb the CN Tower, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Toronto CSIS office.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well. My friends in TO are certainly sleeping more soundly tonight.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 1:31 Comments || Top||

#2  prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years

Does this differ much for Canadians who have not been convicted of plotting to blow people up?
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/23/2009 8:14 Comments || Top||

#3  2 1/2 years , damn in GA you get that for spitting into the wind
Posted by: funky skunk || 05/23/2009 10:32 Comments || Top||

#4  Hey Glenmore!!!! Hush!!!! Nobody knows about us and we're trying to keep a low profile here.
Posted by: Canuckistan sniper || 05/23/2009 11:31 Comments || Top||

#5  So blowing up Parliament is somewhat less serious than drunk driving? Talk about sending mixed messages.
Posted by: ed || 05/23/2009 22:31 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Cromitie's Parents in Afghanistan? Mom: "My Foot"
When Cromitie -- a lifelong jailbird -- last got out of prison two years ago, he similarly told stunned relatives in The Bronx that he had converted to Islam.

He announced that his new name was Abdul Rahman and that he was now living in Newburgh.

"He told me that he was a Muslim and that didn't eat pork anymore, and I told him, 'Get out of here!' " said his surprised mother, Adela Cromitie. "Why would he do something like that? He was raised Episcopalian."
He was educated at Rikers ...
According to a criminal complaint, Cromitie told an FBI informant "that his parents lived in Afghanistan prior to his birth and that, because of his connection to Afghanistan, he was upset about the war there."

But Adela was shocked by that claim. "I don't why he'd say that. We have no ties to the Middle East or anything like that," she said. "We are from the South, although he has some relatives in Barbados."
There, you see? Barbados begins with B, Afghanistan begins with A -- the connection is obvious!
Posted by: KBK || 05/23/2009 00:45 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336069 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I GOT IT, sometimes I'm a bit slow but I've finally got it, the lure of Islamic conversions in prison is the conviction, that NOW your murderous actions are justified, and it's all right (Hell encouraged) to murder NOW that you're converted.

Weak minds the lot of them, fools and tools, now go kill with a clean conscience, GOD SAYS IT'S ALL RIGHT TO MURDER) As long as you only murder the folks we don't like.

I hate to say it, but the fighting forces have somewhat the same appeal, as GOD IS ON OUR SIDE is a common theme.

I say PROVE IT Which probably makes me one of the targeted, can't have any doubt or dissent among GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/23/2009 12:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, as more and more "infidels" are killed, it becomes harder and harder for a convert to prove he is a "true believer." Whattasurprise...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 05/23/2009 13:46 Comments || Top||

#3  I say PROVE IT Which probably makes me one of the targeted, can't have any doubt or dissent among GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE.

Boy, you are being a d*ck today, aren't you?

Started drinking early?
Posted by: Pappy || 05/23/2009 14:48 Comments || Top||

#4  I think it's a certain software program attempting to run on a platform without the necessary horsepower.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 05/23/2009 16:20 Comments || Top||

#5  " He was raised Episcopalian."

Ah, another strong faithful product of the Archdruid's lefty stand-for-nothing "church".
Posted by: OldSpook || 05/23/2009 17:11 Comments || Top||

#6  I feel sorry for those
Egyptians who come 12000 miles to get away from the crazies only to go pray & then see the black Muslim felons shouting & showing their hatred & ignorance.
Posted by: whatadeal || 05/23/2009 21:11 Comments || Top||

Minn. terror suspect pleads guilty
A terror suspect held in solitary confinement for more than five years has struck a deal with the U.S. government and pleaded guilty to aiding al-Qaeda.

Mohammed Abdullah Warsame, a 35-year-old Canadian citizen who was born in Somalia, will be sentenced July 9 for admitting he conspired to provide support to a terrorist organization. In exchange, the government will drop four other charges, including providing support to a terrorist organization and lying to the FBI.

Warsame's lawyers say he has spent more time in prison awaiting trial than anyone in U.S. history. He was arrested in 2003 in Minneapolis, where he lived as a college student.

The government accused him of training at military camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, attending lectures by Osama Bin Laden and teaching English to al-Qaeda operatives. He said he was intrigued by the "utopian" society he had heard existed in Afghanistan.

Prosecutors want Warsame to serve 12œ years in prison; his lawyers want him released because of his time served.
Posted by: || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

17 militants killed, 4 arrested in last 24 hours: ISPR
[Geo News] Seventeen militants were killed and 4 miscreants were apprehended, whereas 3 security forces personnel including an officer embraced Shahadat and 10 others were injured in various areas of Swat in last 24 hours. According to ISPR, security forces are consolidating their positions and expanding their control over Peochar Valley. Security forces are also consolidating positions at Baini Baba Ziarat, Nazarabad, Uchraisar, and Wanai Ridge. During clashes in Shangla and Swat 3 miscreants-terrorists were killed and a JCO embraced shahadat. Own troops secured the strong holds of miscreants at Takhtaband village and Qambar. During the heavy exchange of fire between security forces and miscreants, 8 militants were killed and one soldier embraced Shahadat and 6 got injured. Two bodies of policemen were also found at Nishat Chowk Mingora. Miscreants ambushed a convoy of Security Forces near Kumbar bazaar. Exchange of fire took place. As a result 6 miscreants-terrorists were killed while 4 were apprehended from Kot Musa. An officer embraced shahadat and 4 soldiers were injured.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336068 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  A convoy gets ambushed and six times more ambushers are killed than ambushed?

Either the quality of Taliban forces is down, the quality of Pakistan forces is up, or a lot of those killed weren't militants (or weren't killed.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/23/2009 8:20 Comments || Top||

Car bomb kills 10, injures 75 in Peshawar
[Geo News] A car bomb exploded on Cinema Road in Khyber Bazaar area of Peshawar, killing 10 people and injuring 75 others, police said on Friday. The dead and injured were rushed to the city's hospitals where emergency was declared. The hospitals' administration confirmed that more than 50 injured were brought to the hospital, some of them in very critical condition. According to the CCPO Peshawar, more than 75 people sustained injuries in the blast. The cinema building nearby shops were badly damaged in the blast. Several cars and other vehicles parked on the road were also damaged. The blast was very loud and was heard in many parts of the provincial capital.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336069 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  Mo' didn't have cars. Cars are un-Islamic. Cars must be blown up. The rest is just collateral damage in the war to honor Allan.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/23/2009 8:23 Comments || Top||

Mullah Fazlullah bravely runs away
[ADN Kronos] By Syed Saleem Shahzad - The Taliban leader in Pakistan's Swat Valley Mullah Fazlullah is believed to have fled Malakand in the North West Frontier Province. Pakistani security officials believe he has taken refuge in Afghanistan and some independent observers believe he may join Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in the border region and expand the war against Pakistani security forces.

Pakistani security forces often miss their targets and strike the civilian properties.
The war in the Swat valley is far from being over. But there are contradictory claims on the part of Pakistani security agencies seeking control of various districts. Pakistani media broadcast claims without any independent confirmation. However, international media like the BBC's urdu service daily broadcast news reports showing that on the ground militants are still in control and that Pakistani security forces often miss their targets and strike the civilian properties.
One or the other of them might even be telling something that resembles the true situation.
Militants are calling the shots on the roads and along the main artery.

Nevertheless, the escape of Mullah Fazlullah from the Malakand Agency does not necessarily indicate the success of the military operation. It appears to be a very well planned strategic retreat, like what he did in 2007 when he fled retreated well out of Swat Valley.

He may now be aiming to launch a broader war on Pakistani security forces.

This new war is likely to begin in parts of the country, like what happened after the Red Mosque operation in Islamabad in 2007 when there were 60 suicide attacks till January 2008.

The stage of the new war has already been set with the Taliban of Darra Adam Khel who threatened to hit the aircraft at Peshawar airport with rockets. Pilots who work for Pakistan International Airlines have written a letter to the airline's managing director to ensure the security of aircraft, passengers, crew and pilots as there are daily 8 PIA flights operating through Peshawar Airport.

On Friday there was a suicide attack at a crowded market in the heart of Peshawar that killed at least 10 people and injured scores of others.

A suicide attack killed several paramilitary forces in Jundola a town in South Waziristan on Thursday.

However, militants are not aiming to restrict themselves to the mountains of Swat and tribal areas. They have a clear desire to hit the urban centres of the country very hard to squeeze the decision makers of the country for a ceasefire in Swat.

On Thursday night Pakistani security forces raided a local petrol pump located on the outskirts of the southern port city of Karachi and arrested 8 men allegedly linked with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336072 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  Dyin' is for thee, not for me.
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839 || 05/23/2009 9:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Hope Fazzie took his burkha collection. He's gonna need it.
Posted by: ed || 05/23/2009 22:29 Comments || Top||

Pakistan: Refugees top 1.7 million in northwest
[ADN Kronos] More than 1.7 million people are now homeless after fleeing the recent fighting between Islamist militants and the military in Pakistan's troubled northwest, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday. The UN said it has launched a 543 million dollar appeal for people displaced by fighting since the beginning of May in Lower Dir, Buner and Swat districts.

About 200,000 of the people displaced by the fighting are in camps south of the main conflict zone in the Swat valley. Militants claim they are fighting to establish sharia or Islamic law in Swat, Buner and Lower Dir.

The remaining 1.5 million people left homeless are staying with their families and friends or in schools and other communal buildings.

The UN, which is assisting local authorities in registering the displaced, said the "extraordinary" exodus had caused "incredible suffering". It said appeal launched with Pakistani partners for 548 million dollars was to fund 165 project to help the displaced.

In the camps the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is working to provide more shade above tents to help protect people from the intense heat which is reaching 45 degrees celsius.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Pakistan: Taliban agree to leave part of Lower Dir
[ADN Kronos] Taliban militants in Pakistan's Lower Dir district in the country's restive North West Frontier Province agreed to wind up their camps and pull out of the Asbanr and Gulabad areas within two days. Pakistan's security forces are currently engaged in a fierce military campaign against Islamist insurgents in the NWFP's troubled Malakand division including Lower Dir, Swat and Buner districts.

According to sources quoted by Pakistani daily Dawn on Thursday, the Taliban made their promise to a jirga or tribal council at a joint gathering of local people and the Taliban.

The jirga representing the people of Asbanr held talks with the Taliban at a government primary school.

It urged the Taliban to leave the area because thousands of people had been left homeless and scores killed or injured as a result of their activities and the deployment of security forces in Adenzai tehsil.

Sultanat Yar of Jamaat-i-Islami, Khurshid Ali of Pakistan People's Party and tribal leaders Umar Bacha and Shamsul Qamar attended the jirga.

A member of the jirga claimed the talks had been fruitful. He said the Taliban, who were represented by a cleric from the volatile Swat area, had promised to start leaving on Thursday.

"They did not set any condition for pulling out," he said. According to the sources, the Taliban called upon people to cooperate with them because they were struggling for the enforcement of sharia or Islamic law, but members of the jirga said their presence in the area had created problems for the population.

The jirga said had been in contact with the Taliban for five days and the militants had left the villages of Shawa and Kityari on its request. Another member of the jirga claimed the Taliban had promised to leave Adenzai by Friday.

Other members of jirga also urged Lower Dir's Nazim Ahmed Hassan Khan and Adenzai Tehsil's Nazim Mohammad Omar to persuade the government to withdraw security forces and remove checkpoints in the area after the Taliban leaves.

They demanded that the Pakistani government stop the military operation and pull out troops to restore peace in Adenzai.
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  Just a short time ago we heard that the Taliban was within 60 miles of Islamobad and that it could fall to them. Now they seem in retreat in multiple places and the locals in some of these places are rising up and fighting them.This sounds like a huge reversal in a very short time. What happened?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 05/23/2009 1:43 Comments || Top||

#2  The Pakistani state wanted to frighten the West that it was about to fall to the Taliban, so that America would continue to give them billions of dollars.

For the last year the Pak military has intentionally stationed most of it's 700,000 strong Army on the border with India, allowing the 20,000 or so Pak Talibs to take over swarths of the North West virtually uncontested.

Now that Western capitals have been sufficiently spooked into handing over more cash, the military is slapping down the Talibs, who will soon go back to infiltrating Afghanistan (while receiving covering fire from Pak Frontier Constabulary) and taking orders from the Taliban Shura in Quetta.
Posted by: Gaz || 05/23/2009 2:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Thanks, Gaz! But what about the Taliban who've been observed heading back to Pakistan in large numbers? I think we had an article about that yesterday.
Posted by: trailing wife || 05/23/2009 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  The Pakistani state wanted to frighten the West that it was about to fall to the Taliban, so that America would continue to give them billions of dollars.

Wouldn't put it past them.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 05/23/2009 14:03 Comments || Top||

5,000 Afghans leave Landikotal ahead of deadline
LANDIKOTAL: As many as 5,000 Afghan nationals have left Abdal Khad and Gagra areas in Landikotal, Khyber Agency after a three-day deadline asking them to leave the area expired on Friday. On May 20, the administration had given a three-day notice to the Afghans to vacate their homes, otherwise they would be forced to leave and their homes would be demolished, official sources said.
"Yew ain't from 'round here, are yew?"
An administration source said Afghans in the adjoining areas might also be ordered to leave soon.

Meanwhile, local elders demanded that the government force Afghan nationals to leave the area, as they were involved in criminal activities.
"And we don't like 'em sniffing around at our wimmin!"
Residents of the adjoining Karamna area have also left the area to avoid the security forces firing, they said.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

Kashmir Korpse Kount
SRINAGAR: Three suspected Muslim freedom fighters were killed on Friday in a gun battle with Indian troops near the border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the Indian military said. "The gun battle erupted in Tangdhar sector near the Line of Control," said Indian army spokesman Uma Maheshwar.

He said the men were killed when they tried to cross the heavily militarised line. "The operation is still on in the area," the spokesman said.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under:

State within state can’t be allowed: Gilani
MARDAN: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani vowed on Friday not to allow the writ of the government to be challenged and the ‘creation of a state within state’. During a visit to the Sheikh Shehzad and Sheikh Yasin camps, set up to accommodate internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Swat and Buner – the prime minister said, “Following the military operation, no Taliban will ever dare challenge the writ of the government.”
It's hard to know where to begin with Gilani and this statement. But perhaps some credible action on the part of the military, ISI and government to contain their irregular units -- that's all the Taliban is -- would be useful.
Addressing a small gathering of IDPs, Gilani also vowed to eliminate extremism and militancy from the country, and said efforts are underway for the ‘safe and dignified return’ of people displaced amid military offensives aimed at reining in the Taliban.

Gilani said he had been moved by the sufferings of the IDPs, and vowed not to allow a ‘handful of Taliban’ to hold the entire nation hostage. He announced an immediate payment of Rs 25,000 for each affected family. “The entire nation owes them [IDPs] and is duty bound to help and assist them,” he said. Gilani directed Pakistan Baitul Maal Chairman Zamurad Khan to look after orphans at IDP camps.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

Lashkar, Taliban reach peace deal in Kalam
LAHORE: A local lashkar and Taliban have reached a peace deal after two days of fighting in the Kalam area of Swat, a private TV channel reported on Friday. The channel said one member of the lashkar was killed and three injured in the clashes over two days.

The two sides announced a ceasefire after a jirga in Behreen area of the district. However, a military operation continues in the area to eliminate the Taliban.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  TOPIX > Seems SRLANKA is repor that, since JULY 2006 [last battle/campaign for Elaam], this final phase of the war agz the LTTE = TAMIL TIGERS cost the lives of 6,200 soldiers + 30,000 wounded or injured???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/23/2009 0:14 Comments || Top||

Pakistan Claims More Gains Against Taliban
KHAWAZAKHELA, Pakistan — A top Pakistani general said Friday that the military had succeeded in clearing two militant strongholds in upper parts of the contested Swat Valley, including this city, and was just a week away from taking over a third.

“Essentially, at this point in time, we are looking at eliminating the hard-core militants,” Maj. Gen. Sajjad Ghani, the commanding officer of the military operation in the upper part of Swat, said in a briefing for journalists here. Khawazakhela is one of the largest cities in Swat, with a population estimated at more than 500,000.

It has been difficult to verify the accounts of the Pakistani military, since roads leading to the heart of the fighting have been blocked. On Friday, the military allowed a small group of journalists limited access to the area.

Rahimullah Shaheen, a local journalist, sounded a note of caution, saying that the Taliban who had been forced out of Khawazakhela had simply retreated into the nearby mountains, just a few miles from the city. One local commander, Shah Doran, still broadcasts on an FM frequency that can be heard in the valley between 9 and 11 p.m.

General Ghani, who has been in the area for the past year and a half, said the military had cleared militants from Matta and Bini Baba Ziarart and was closing in on another stronghold in Piachar, in the upper Swat Valley. “The commandos have already landed on the mountain peaks and ridges” around Peochar, he said. “The militants are surrounded and encircled from all sides.” General Ghani said residents could begin to return to Khawazakhela and Matta in 15 days.

On Friday, the city of Khawazakhela, like other towns and villages throughout the Swat Valley, looked more like a ghost town, as seen from a helicopter. Long roads winding through green fields were deserted. Dozens of cargo trucks were parked in the center of town, while smoke billowed from what seemed to be a filling station. Very few people could be seen.

General Ghani said that local people in the neighboring northern area of Kalam had taken up arms against the Taliban.

While the military is gunning for the militant leadership, recruits who desert the Taliban ranks will be allowed to rejoin mainstream society, he said.

In Khawazakhela, Pakistani soldiers in camouflage fatigues stood guard outside the walls of a girls’ college the army is using as a base. “The Taliban would have blown it up had we not established our base here,” said Lt. Col. Abdul Rehman, one of the officers. The Taliban have made targets of girls’ schools and banned education for girls and women.

Colonel Rehman said that 31 soldiers in his unit had been killed, but that its morale remained high.

As helicopters flew in and out of the base, a group of young officers said they had no moral qualms about fighting the Taliban, most of who are fellow Pakistanis. “They are not Muslims, despite their claims to be so,” said Lt. Asad Hanif. “A true Muslim cannot slaughter people like the Taliban have been doing.”

Officers said the Taliban were recruiting young men from the area through intimidation and coercion, and raising money through extortion. While most of the Taliban militants were from the area, the officers said that some foreigners, most of them from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, had also joined in the fighting.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  VARIOUS PDF POSTERS > claim the PAK ARMY is seeming winnng because many armed Talibs are moving across the borders out of NWFP = SWAT into other PK provinces IFF NOT PER SE OTHER COUNTRIES [which is what BOTH INDIA + CHINA feared would occur].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/23/2009 0:27 Comments || Top||

Women in battle against Taliban in Swat
An attempt by the Taliban to infiltrate Kalam village was repulsed in the first sign that the army's action is encouraging residents to stand up against the militants. Kalam's deputy mayor, Shamshad Haqqai, said that about 50 Taliban fighters tried to enter Kalam on Wednesday but that locals had fought them off.

The militants had come to the village to collect arms, ammunition and food. Muhammadi Room, a Kalam resident, said the Taliban visited the house of a local elder, Mehar Rafi in the Bijlee Ghar area of Kalam but, as there were no men inside the house, the women climbed to the rooftop of the house and opened fire. Five Taliban were killed at the scene.
Dang, the women are better shots then the Pak army. Give those women some better shootin' irons!
A doctor from the area, who did not want to be named, said a group of Taliban entered his clinic before taking him to a place were several fighters were injured. He said he treated the Taliban, numbering around six or seven, before being asked to leave.

Locals said the Pakistani security forces, which are involved in operation against the Taliban in Swat, had not yet reached Kalam to assist the revolt.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is one of several reports that the people of Swatland are standing up to the Taliban. It sounds like they have a lot of faith in the Pak army. What is the Pak government telling these people that gives theem the courage to stand up to the Taliban?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 05/23/2009 1:16 Comments || Top||

#2  I'm guessing the Pak army has done jack. These folks have seen the Taliban up close and personal and are fed up. They've realized the kind of lives they'll have if the Talibs take over so they're fighting. Good for them. Especially the women.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 1:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Most stories we've run about the arrival of the Talibs have followed a similar trajectory. To their credit, the townsfolk resist at first, the Talibs make some VERY ugly object lessons with beheadings, rapes, theft/slaughter of livestock, etc., and the town capitulates or the residents go on the lam.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 1:58 Comments || Top||

#4  karma is a bitch sometimes, especially here where the ppl they suppressed the most(women) come back and bite em in the ass hard. Guess we know who runs that household too don't we
Posted by: funky skunk || 05/23/2009 14:10 Comments || Top||

Car kaboom outside Peshawar movie theater kills 10, injures 80+
The death toll in a blast in Peshawar city has increased to 10 while more than 80 are wounded, several of them critically, said officials. A bomb weighing 60kg being planted in car, which had been parked outside a cinema, exploded with a huge bang in Khyber Bazaar of Peshawar, capital of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). According to the provincial information minister, Iftikhar Hussain, the blast killed ten people including three Afghan nationals and wounded over 80 others.

Police sources told KUNA that several of the wounded including children were in critical condition and there was fear of further rise in the death toll. The target of blast was cinema.

The Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Safwat Ghauor said that security has been tightened in the city and ruled out any threats being given to the Cinema owners. Pakistani leadership has strongly condemned the attack and termed it cowardice and inhuman act of terrorism.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

Two Americans Killed in Separate Attacks in Baghdad's Green Zone
BAGHDAD -- Two Americans have been killed in separate incidents inside Baghdad's highly fortified Green Zone, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Saturday, raising concerns about its security as Iraq's forces assume more control.

The body of an American civilian was found Friday in a vehicle in the Green Zone, and another contractor was killed by a rocket attack that night near the American Embassy, U.S. military officials said.

The body was believed to be that of a civilian working for the Department of Defense, said Lt. Col. Brian Maka, adding that the death was under investigation and no other details were immediately available. An Iraqi police official, however, told The Associated Press that the American appeared to have been killed.

The second American was killed when a rocket struck the Green Zone Friday night at 8:15 p.m. local time, said military spokesman Maj. Jose A. Lopez.

The rocket attack and discovery of the body come as the Iraqi government has begun tearing down blast walls surrounding the Green Zone, which houses a number of government ministries as well as the American Embassy.

Iraq assumed control of the Green Zone under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact that took effect Jan. 1. The U.S. continues to provide its own security in key areas, such as near the embassy and at the small military base inside.

Since the Green Zone was established shortly after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, it has been repeatedly shelled or attacked by suicide and car bombers.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/23/2009 09:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336070 views] Top|| File under:

Arms, munitions seized in Missan
MISSAN / Aswat al-Iraq: Policemen in Missan seized amounts of weapons and munitions in different areas of the province on Friday, according to an official security spokesman.

“The Emergency Police personnel seized 11 Kalashnikov and RPK rifles and BKC machine-guns during raids in some areas of the city,” Col. Sadeq Sallam told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The forces also seized 30 mortar shells of 82 mm. caliber and an anti-tank landmine in the area of al-Hashriya, al-Maymouna district, (20 km) southwestern al-Amara city,” he added.

Amara, the capital city of Missan province, lies 390 km south of Baghdad.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336064 views] Top|| File under:

Explosives cache seized west of Baghdad
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Joint security forces seized arms and munitions west of Baghdad city, according to a release by the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) on Friday.

“After receiving a tip from an Iraqi citizen, Iraqi Security Forces and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers discovered a large cache in the Aqur Quf area west of Baghdad, May 19,” read the release as received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

“At approximately 2:15 p.m., Guards from the Ministry of Interior and Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, operationally attached to the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, discovered the cache consisting of 18 rocket propelled grenade warheads, 44 60mm mortar rounds, 31 RPG motors, one set of binoculars, 100 ft. of detonation cord, six RPG launchers, one 60mm mortar base plate, one Motorola cell phone attached to military grade explosives and one RKG-3 anti-armor grenade,” the release added.

“An explosive ordinance disposal team was called to the site to safely conduct a controlled detonation and transport some of the weapons to a secure location for further investigation,” it said.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Looking for "Made in Iran" stickers?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 05/23/2009 1:32 Comments || Top||

#2  Insh'allah.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 1:32 Comments || Top||

Israeli soldiers kill two Paleo hard boys in Gaza
Israeli forces killed two Palestinian fighters on Friday after spotting them approaching Israel's border fence with the Gaza Strip, the military said, according to Reuters. An army spokesman conveyed soldiers entered the Gaza Strip to intercept the gunmen and killed them in clashes near the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

The Palestinians were carrying explosive devices which they intended to plant along the border, said the Israeli spokesman.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336067 views] Top|| File under:

Paleomole finds Rafah tunnel electrifying
A Palestinian died in one of tunnels to the south of Rafah used for smuggling foods and products into the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources said Friday. Khalil Kassab received an electric sho[ck] while he was at the tunnel which was being renovated, Director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Palestinian Ministry of Health Moawiya Hasanain said.
Today on "This Old Tunnel" - "Electricity: Do's and Don'ts"...
But mostly Don'ts.
Stood in a puddle of water while wrapping the wire around the pole?
Six Palestinians were injured after inhaling smuggled fuel fumes in one of the tunnels to the south of the Gaza Strip yesterday.
Too bad one of them didn't light up a smoke and take out half of Rafah...
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336066 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A new twist on the old "red wire/green wire" conundrum that has plagued the Pals in recent years?
Posted by: Atomic Conspiracy || 05/23/2009 1:23 Comments || Top||

#2  OK, I'll say "Jim he's dead".

Shocking I tell ya.....
Posted by: Everyday a Wildcat! (KSU) || 05/23/2009 10:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Who knew half the population of Gaza is colorblind? Must be something in the water...
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/23/2009 19:54 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
5 Abu Sayyaf suspects deported from Malaysia
Five suspected members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf were taken into custody by the National Bureau of Investigation and the police on Wednesday after they were deported from Malaysia.

The five suspects arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The suspects were identified as Mohammad Hatta Haipe, Borhan Mundos, Gulam Mundos, Suffaian Salih and Hasim Talib.

Haipe has a pending arrest warrant in the US and is expected to be extradited soon, according to NBI intelligence chief Ruel Lasala. The other four have local arrest warrants. Borhan Mundos is believed to be the finance officer of the Abu Sayyaf while Salih and Talib were involved in the 2000 Sipadan kidnapping, according to Supt. Winnie Quidato of the PNP Intelligence Office.
This article starring:
Borhan MundosAbu Sayyaf
Gulam MundosAbu Sayyaf
Hasim TalibAbu Sayyaf
Mohammad Hatta HaipeAbu Sayyaf
Suffaian SalihAbu Sayyaf
Posted by: || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336063 views] Top|| File under: Abu Sayyaf

Lebofficials arrest 4 on charges of spying for Israel
Something's going on in Lebanon. They have arrested a bunch of folks recently on charges of spying for Israel. And Nasrallah just announced that all spies should be executed. Are they trying to establish a casus belli or just purging the whiners?
Lebanese authorities detained on Friday four nationals on charges of spying for Israel, as part of an ongoing relentless campaign designed to nip these clandestine espionage networks in the bud.

Security sources said the government security personnel arrested "a leading member of the network of collaboration with the Israeli enemy." They added that the man, who hailed from the southern village of Al-Qusair, was detained on the coastal road south of Beirut after a cat-and-mouse operation that lasted for 36 hours. The detainee "is a notorious agent and a brother of one of the other arrestees," held on similar charges, the sources said. The sources said the man was nabbed after arresting two others, a man and a woman, in the southern region of Shebaa.

Earlier, the sources said a fourth suspect, nammed Mustafa Hassan Su'aid, who hailed from the village of Al-Qusair, located in the region of Marjayoun, was detained in South Lebanon and taken to a security station for interrogations. The sources said Su'aid was suspected of having links with another suspected agent, Nasser Nader, from the village of Al-Ghandouriah.

The detentions were the latest actions by the authorities against a network of espionage for Israel.

Lebanese permanent mission at the UN, on Wednesday, protested that the espioange activities in Lebanon for Israel constituted a violation of the UN resolution 1701. Beirut also called on the UN peace-keeping force in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) to help bring back at least two Lebanese also suspected of espionage. The two Lebanese have recently fled to Israel across the borders. The authorities have declared discovering at least nine espionage networks spying for Israel in the country.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336065 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I vote for "Reducing Dissent".
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/23/2009 12:46 Comments || Top||

Good morning!
Posted by: Steve White || 05/23/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336071 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ang** H*rm*n! What a lovely surprise. Whoever thought that would happen!
Posted by: SteveS || 05/23/2009 1:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Shhhhhhh. Don't wake Fred. He's still groggy from all the meds.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/23/2009 1:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Weapons cache found where...?
Posted by: Skidmark || 05/23/2009 2:22 Comments || Top||

#4  The Great Gam Off*











* Angie Harmon Pics at 05/15/09 Rantburg
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/23/2009 3:28 Comments || Top||

#5  Happy Birthday: May 23rd.

Douglas Fairbanks - died 1939 (56)

Scatman Crothers - died 1986 (76)

Artie Shaw - died 2004 (94)

John Payne - died 1989 (77) "For Barbara"

Helen O'Connell - died 1993 (73) ""Singer, Dancer"

Barbara Barrie - 78 "Suddenly Susan" (Now)

Joan Collins - 76 "Dallas" (Now)

Karen Duffy - 48 "Dumb & Dumber" (Now)

Guinevere Turner - 42 "The Notorious Bettie Page" (Now)

On this day in history: May 23rd.
1788 – South Carolina ratifies the Constitution as the 8th American state.
1846 – President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declares war on the United States.
1863 – Sergeant William Harvey Carney becomes the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.
1929 – The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, "The Karnival Kid", is released.
1934 – American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.
1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 26 sailors. The remaining 32 crewmen and one passenger are rescued the following day.
1945 – Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, committs suicide while in Allied custody.
1949 – The Federal Republic of Germany is established and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany is proclaimed.
1960 – Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been captured.
1967 – Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran and blockades the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.
1995 – The first version of the Java programming language was released.
2002 – The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/23/2009 4:45 Comments || Top||

#6  On that Gam off there's an 8 way tie for #1 and 2 way tie for 1A.
Posted by: AlanC || 05/23/2009 9:20 Comments || Top||

#7  Yay! Angie again!!!!
Posted by: Pappy || 05/23/2009 14:22 Comments || Top||

#8  And don't forget that it was the Texas Rangers that were the ones that were the ones responsible for taking out Bonnie and Clyde.
Posted by: texhooey || 05/23/2009 18:21 Comments || Top||

#9  Can't blame the Baltimore Orioles for that one, by Gum!
Posted by: Fred || 05/23/2009 19:06 Comments || Top||

#10  Or Bush.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 05/23/2009 19:31 Comments || Top||

#11  Nonsense, #10 DB. Bush can be blamed by the Loonie Left for everything.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/23/2009 22:12 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
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1Abu Sayyaf
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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2009-05-23
  Car boom kills 10, injures 75 in Peshawar
Fri 2009-05-22
  Thousands flee tense Wazoo
Thu 2009-05-21
  Iran tests long range missile
Wed 2009-05-20
  Army takes Sultanwas, kills 81; Mullah Fazlullah maybe titzup
Tue 2009-05-19
  Prabhakaran dead as a rock!!!!!
Mon 2009-05-18
  Norks to nullify Kaesong agreements
Sun 2009-05-17
  Tamil Tigers say they surrender
Sat 2009-05-16
  Sri Lanka president declares victory in civil war
Fri 2009-05-15
  60 Talibs killed in Swat
Thu 2009-05-14
  Morocco dismantles Salafiya Jihadiya cell
Wed 2009-05-13
   113 deaders, thousands flee Somalia festivities
Tue 2009-05-12
  Pak commandos dropped into Taliban stronghold
Mon 2009-05-11
  200 Taliban killed in Swat operation
Sun 2009-05-10
  Scores dead as drone hits S. Wazoo Mehsud stronghold
Sat 2009-05-09
  1.2 million people leave Buner, Swat other areas

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