KABUL/PESHAWAR: A NATO air strike in eastern Afghanistan has killed a commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), NATO and the Taliban said on Saturday. Both sides identified the dead commander as Mullah Dadullah and said several of his comrades were also killed in the attack on Friday. A NATO statement said Dadullah's deputy, Shakir, was also killed.
"Dadullah, also known as Jamal, was responsible for the movement of fighters and weapons, as well as attacks against Afghan and coalition forces," the statement said.
It said Afghan and coalition forces backing the Kabul government had "conducted a post-strike assessment" and found that there had been no civilian casualties or damage to civilian property. TTP members as well as Pakistani intelligence officials said Dadullah had been killed in a house in eastern Konar province, along with 12 bodyguards.
TRIPOLI, Libya -- Attackers bulldozed a mosque containing Sufi Muslim graves in the center of Tripoli in broad daylight on Saturday, in what appeared to be the boldest sectarian attack in Libya since the overthrow of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi last year.
Sufis join the Joooz, Hindooz, Ismailis, and Copts as unwanted infidels...
Government officials condemned the demolition of the large Sha'ab mosque and blamed an armed group who, they said, considered its graves and shrines to Sufi figures un-Islamic.
It was the second razing of a Sufi site in two days. Ultraconservative Islamists wrecked Sufi shrines with bombs and another bulldozer and set fire to a mosque library in the city of Zlitan early on Friday, an official said. The bulldozer leveled the Sha'ab mosque on Saturday as the police surrounded the site and prevented people from approaching.
"A large number of armed militias carrying medium and heavy weapons arrived at the Al Sha'ab mosque with the intention to destroy the mosque because of their belief graves are anti-Islamic," said a government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
He said the authorities tried to stop the militias but, after a small clash, decided to chicken out seal off the area while the demolition took place to let the attack go forward safely prevent any violence from spreading.
Libya's Supreme Security Council condemned the action, the council spokesman, Abdel Moneim al-Hurr, said.
A man who appeared to be overseeing the demolition said the Interior Ministry had authorized the operation after discovering people had been worshiping the graves and practicing "black magic." The ministry was not immediately available for comment.
One of Libya's highest-profile cultural clashes since the toppling of Colonel Qaddafi has been between followers of the mystical Sufi tradition and ultraconservative Salafis, who have formed a number of armed brigades. They reject pretty much everything as idolatrous many Sufi religious rituals.
CAIRO: Egyptian military engineers have blocked 120 tunnels used for smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip since the start of operations in the neighboring Sinai Pensinsula, security officials said on Saturday.
"Tunnel entrances are being demolished every day and the operation will continue until all underground passageways are shut," one official told AFP.
No less than 12 tunnels were blocked in the past two days on the Egyptian side, the source said, adding that the most of the tunnels lie in a four-kilometer (2.5 mile) stretch of the border.
Until now, the army has not used explosives or water to plug the tunnels, which are also found in residential areas.
Seven homes sitting on top of tunnel exits were levelled and two massive underground passages used to smuggle cars into the Gaza Strip were sealed, security officials said.
The military sent in tanks and soldiers into the lawless peninsula which neighbors both Gaza and Israel after gunmen killed 16 soldiers in an attack on an army outpost on August 5. Egypt is also searching for 120 wanted militants and believes around 1,600 extremists, including foreigners, are hiding out in the Sinai, the official MENA news agency reported Wednesday.
Kishoreganj, Aug 24 (UNB) - Police recovered the beheaded body of a Jubo League leader, who went missing three days ago, from a haor on Friday.
The deceased was identified as Alam Mia alias Sabuj, 30. He was the younger brother of Faruqe Ahmed, editor of a Bangla daily and son of late Mahtab Udddin of Sararchar union in Bajitpur thana of Kishoreganj.
Police, quoting relatives, said locals found the body of the deceased without hands, legs and head in a sack at the Singdha Haor near Noorpur in Sararchar union and informed police.
That's not just dead, that's most sincerely dead...
They said Sabuj went missing from Sararchar Bazar at 9 pm on Tuesday (August 21) and his wife Happy Akter lodged a general diary with Bajitpur Thana after his disappearance.
Family members suspect that Sabuj, survived by his wife, one daughter and one son, might have been the victim of political vengeance.
The decomposed body was sent to Kishoreganj Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy.
"Here's a ripe one for you Dr. Quincy!"
"Oh, ick! And I had tuna salad for lunch!"
PESHAWAR: Afghan terrorists ambushed a Pakistani security forces checkpost in Mohmand Agency, which was retaliated by Pakistan Army, however no casualties were reported.
According to military officials, Afghan terrorists attacked the Pakistani checkpost in Olai border area of Tehsil Baizai in Mohmand Agency near the Pak-Afghan border. The security forces fired 44 mortars shells in retaliation to the 22 mortars fired by the insurgents; however, no loss of lives was reported from both sides, sources said.
PESHAWAR: A senior commander of banned outfit, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was arrested in a search operation in Nowshera District, official sources told Daily Times on Saturday. It is the second such operation in the district in August.
Earlier, a close aide to fugitive Swat Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah was arrested in similar fashion. The officials said the outlawed TTP commander Wajeehuddin Mehsud and his operator Maulvi Abdul Qadir, a prayer leader at a local mosque, were arrested from a house.
They're now all stashed at the Peshawar Hilton, safe from being drone-zapped...
"Important documents and sensitive maps were also recovered from Mehsud's possession," the security officials said.
The arrested men were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.
Meanwhile, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed killing of Bajaur Taliban leader. He said the TTP has named Maulvi Abu Bakr as new number three commander.
BAJAUR: Pakistani troops backed by local pro-government militia Aman Lashkar, conducted a joint military operation in a tribal town of Bajaur Agency on the Afghan border, killing at least 28 terrorists, government sources said on Saturday.
Perhaps the drone-zaps are finally humiliating the Paks enough to take action. Or perhaps these particular Tali-bunnies hadn't paid the proper swag...
The operation was launched Saturday noon in Bajwar area, a remote village of Salarzai Tehsil in Bajaur region, after a rebel rocket attack, local military official said. Several terrorists, suspected Taliban, were wounded during the operation while 15 other were arrested, officials said, adding that four to six hideouts of terrorists were also destroyed. Two member of Aman Lashkar also sustained injuries in the military operation.
Pakistani forces launched a massive operation in Bajaur last August. Military officials said the attack left more than 1,500 al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists dead and more than 70 troops killed. Security forces had also captured more than 300 foreign terrorists, mainly from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the military said.
VATICAN CITY: French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on Saturday went to the defense of the young Pakistani girl accused of blasphemy, stressing that she "cannot read or write."
That won't matter in the Land of the Pure™...
Interviewed on Radio Vatican, Tauran, who is in charge of interfaith dialogue in the Vatican, said "that before asserting a sacred text has been the object of scorn, it is worth checking the facts."
You're speaking the language of the West, Cardinal...
Rimsha, aged 11 to 16 according to different reports, is accused of burning pages from a children's religious instruction book inscribed with verses from the Qur'an, Islam's holy book. She was arrested and remanded in custody last Thursday.
But Tauran said that Rimsha "is a girl who cannot read or write and collects garbage to live on and picked up the fragments of the book which was in the middle of the rubbish."
Why was the holy book in the middle of the rubbish, we asked when this story first came out, and there's been no answer all this time...
"The more serious and tense the situation, the more necessary it is to have dialogue," added the cardinal, who was the late pope John Paul II's foreign minister.
He also told the daily Il Sussidiario, that he believed it "impossible in the light of the facts that the girl had tried to express her scorn for the sacred book of Islam."
The youngster reportedly has Down's Syndrome and her arrest has prompted outrage from rights groups and concern from Western governments.
Under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PTUI) is punishable by death and burning a sacred text by life imprisonment. Rights groups say the legislation is often abused to settle personal vendettas.
Or to torture and execute Christians for the simple purpose of keeping them in their place. The 'rights' groups tend to miss that one...
The Pakistani cleric who handed over Rishma to police claimed Friday he did so to protect her from mob violence.
Rishma had been due to appear in court on Saturday but police and her lawyer said the hearing had been moved to August 31.
The tortured body of an 11 year old Christian boy has been found in a town in Punjab, Pakistain, days after a young Christian girl was set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! on blasphemy charges.
Detectives in Faisalabad ...formerly known as Lyallpur, the third largest metropolis in Pakistain, the second largest in Punjab after Lahore. It is named after some Arab because the Paks didn't have anybody notable of their own to name it after... , around 60 miles from Lahore, said they were investigating whether accusations of blasphemy had also been made against the boy.
Human rights campaigners condemned the killing of Samuel Yaqoob whose burned and tortured body body was discovered on Eid, the celebration which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
His lips and nose had been sliced off, his stomach removed and there was evidence that his legs had been mutilated too.
The boy had been missing since Monday when he left his home in the town's Christian Colony to visit a local market. His relatives identified his body from a distinctive mark on his forehead.
Yaquub was reported to be an orphan but in local newspaper reports his mother Asia Bibi was quoted denying he had been accused of blasphemy. "We neither received any phone call for ransom nor were we told that Samuel had committed blasphemy," she said.
Police said they were investigating whether blasphemy had been behind the attack on Samuel. His death comes just days after the arrest of Rimsha Masih, an eleven year old girl with Down's Syndrome, after Mohammedans in Islamabad accused her of burning pages from the Koran for cooking.
President Asif Ali Ten Percent Zardari ... husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, who has been singularly lacking in curiosity about who done her in ... intervened in the case after dozens of Christians fled their homes fearing violence. He said the country's controversial blasphemy laws, in which those guilty of insulting Islam face the death penalty, must not be misused to settle scores.
The country's leading human rights When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much... campaigner Ansar Burney said he had "strongly condemned the brutal murder" of Samuel Yaqoob who had been killed "mercilessly".
MOSUL, Iraq - Separate shootings in Iraq's main northern city of Mosul on Saturday left three people dead, including a local councilman, security and medical officials said.
In one attack, gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint in Mosul, 350 kilometres (220 miles) from Baghdad, killing a policeman and a civilian, said police First Lieutenant Mohammed al-Juburi and Dr Mahmud Haddad at Mosul General Hospital.
In another incident, city councilor Ibrahim Yunis was gunned down outside his home in southeastern Mosul, according to Juburi and Khaled al-Rifaie, a doctor at the hospital's morgue.
An Abu Sayyaf suspect, working as preacher and Arabic teacher, was captured by government intelligence forces in Isabela, a city in Basilan. Police identified the suspect as Ustadz Abdul Jandul, alias Abdul Baliyung, who is also carrying the bounty reward of about $8,300 for his arrest.
Jandul, 41, was taken in by the elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 9 (CIDG) and military intelligence group upon disembarking from a boat at the port of Isabela City this morning.
The police said Jandul, who is an imam and working as an Arabic teacher, has 3 pending arrest warrants issued by the Basilan court.
The bodies of at least 79 people were found in a town close to Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... on Saturday, according to activists who said many were young men who appeared to have been killed by Syrian troops "execution style".
Or more. Several different, larger numbers are given in the Jerusalem Post. But really, there's no way of knowing.
The deaths would bring the toll from an offensive by Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Horror of Homs... forces on Daraya, south-west of Damascus, to 149, according to a tally by opposition activists in the capital. Due to restrictions on non-state media, it was impossible to independently verify the accounts.
Reported in Rooters, so perhaps some furrowed brows and firm-jawed statements will occur, but if the participants desire anything stronger they'd best look to either Heaven or Hell for it.
Also could be titled, "A day in the life of Aleppo"...
ALEPPO, Syria -- In Aleppo's Mashhad neighbourhood, rebels man a series of sniping positions, eyeing the government forces and their tank just 50 metres (yards) up a sniper alley from behind a short wall of sandbags. There are other tanks nearby, and when they fire the boom reverberates through otherwise quiet streets almost empty of civilians.
The fighters spot a young boy carrying belongings wrapped in a blanket as he approaches the sniper alley, and call out to him.
"Hey you, boy, stop right there!" one fighter shouts. The boy freezes, standing by a smouldering pile of rubbish, then dashes across the alley at the rebels' signal.
They stop him as he arrives safely on the other side, suspicious that he could be a spotter for the government forces nearby. They ask him what he is doing and what he is carrying.
He loosens the knot tying the blanket together to reveal a pile of clothes and bedsheets.
"My family has all left the neighbourhood, I just came back to get us some things," he says, before the rebels send him on his way again.
The fighting in the neighbourhood is sporadic, incoming sniper fire followed by the cracks of returning outgoing gunshots.
At one point the rebels decide to send a group across the sniper alley, so their comrades open covering fire and spent bullet casings fly up into the air and onto the pavement as three men dash across the street.
Their mission is to detonate a mine the rebels say was left behind by government forces, both to prevent anyone else from driving over it and to scare the other side a little too.
"Get back, get back," they shout, before a loud explosion sounds, sending dust and shrapnel metres into the air and prompting chants of "God is greatest" from the rebels.
On the edge of the Saif al-Dawla neighbourhood, the sounds of explosions come from the other side, with government tanks arrayed across the neighbourhood, firing shells every 10 minutes.
They land in back yards and roads, sending up white plumes of smoke and forcing cars to speed along routes, the drivers unsure whether they might be hit.
The rebel commander, a stout man with a fleshy face covered in stubble, shouts into a walkie-talkie, the primary means of communication for the rebels.
"The situation? They are trying to advance in the area, we're holding them back, but there are a lot of wounded and martyrs," he tells a fellow commander.
As he speaks, word comes that government tanks are also on the move in the nearby Sukari neighbourhood, and he calls up some of his men for dispatch to the scene.
"We don't have enough RPGs to go around," one rebel complains, referring to rocket-propelled grenades.
"Just one is enough -- you can take out the whole army," the commander insists.
The fighting in Saif al-Dawla is among the fiercest in the city, and the rebels said the body of a civilian killed by a tank overnight is still lying in the neighbourhood's main street because it is too dangerous to retrieve it.
Elsewhere in Aleppo, tanks sow destruction and fear by the Jisr al-Haj roundabout, on the edge of the Fardoss district.
Multiple tank rounds were fired on the edge of the roundabout in the afternoon, prompting panicked civilians to run to the relative safety provided by nearby walls. Some sheltered under an overpass in a bid to avoid flying shrapnel.
Minibuses trying to pass through the area on their way out of the city were forced to screech through the roundabout, their passengers tense and wide-eyed as shells exploded just metres away.
Apparently he's a real actor, not just an 'anti-regime actor'...
BEIRUT: Syrian security agents have arrested a television actor who opposes the Damascus regime, activists said on Saturday, a day after a prominent independent filmmaker disappeared.
Mohammed Omar Oso and members of his family were seized from their home in the upscale western Damascus district of Mazzeh, according to militant groups, including the Rally of Artists in Syria, which posted the information on Facebook.
Activists have reported a number of arrests and attacks against prominent media and cultural figures since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's autocratic regime began in March last year.
On Friday, the Local Coordination Committees said that prominent independent film producer Orwa Nyrabia had gone missing after going to Damascus airport to catch a flight to Cairo, and was feared to have been arrested.
Media and the arts in Syria are heavily controlled by the government in Syria.
Because, after all, it's a dictatorship run by an evil thug...
Nyrabia, who co-founded his own production company Proaction Film and a documentary festival in Syria known as DOX BOX, has often served on panels at film festivals in Europe and the Middle East.