Lilli Palmer [German] aka Esther Lieberman in "The Boys from Brazil (1978)" aka Dutchy in "The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)" aka Peg Born in "Body and Soul (1947)" aka Sra. Fourneau in "The House That Screamed (1969)" aka Lygia da Silva in "Torpedo Bay (1963) " aka Lilli in "Secret Agent (1936)" (Died in 1986 at age 71)
[Tolo News] Two foreign doctors and their three Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in a remote area of northern Afghanistan Tuesday evening, local officials said.
The group, who work for non-government organization Medair, were stopped by a group of gunnies while travelling on horseback between the Yaftali and Ragh districts of the country's furthest north-eastern province of Badakhshan, provincial front man Abdul Maroof Rasekh told TOLOnews on Wednesday.
The incident was reported as a kidnapping by the humanitarian organization, which has not released the names of those believed to be kidnapped, Rasekh said.
According to a security report, five Medair staff members - two international females and three Afghan males - along with two hired guides were stopped as they left a village in the Yaftali Sufla District by five or six gunnies believed to be members of an "armed opposition group" from Shahri Buzorg district.
The report released by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) said the gunnies sent away the two hired horsemen and then moved with the five staff members towards the Dawang area of Shahri Buzorg district.
ANSO said the incident was "an exceptionally strong outlier" for the district, province, and region.
Local police have started a search operation in the two districts, Rasekh said.
No group, including the Taliban, has grabbed credit for the kidnapping.
Gosh, how did armed men know that the doctors were foreign? Were they profiled on the basis of race/ethnicity, gasp?! The Taliban is racially profiling people in their country. Surely we wouldn't negotiate with an organization that racially profiles--a behavior which we are told is one of the greatest crimes anybody can commit.
Posted by: American Delight ||
[Tolo News] Two Taliban leaders, including the Taliban's shadow deputy provincial governor, were killed in a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... Arclight airstrike in Afghanistan's eastern Nuristan province Wednesday, local officials said. Sheikh Jamil, Taliban's Nuristan shadow deputy provincial governor, and Abdul Hakim, a Taliban capo, were killed in the NATO Arclight airstrike in the Wigal district of the province, Nuristan police chief Ghulamullah Khan said today.
[Tolo News] Five possible suicide kaboomers travelling together in a bomb-laden minivan were placed in long-term storage Book 'im, Mahmoud! in Kabul Wednesday, Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement.
NDS officials captured a group of Islamic fascistiwho appear to have been intending to detonate the vehicle on Kabul Airport avenue. They were stopped and locked away ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... while still in the minivan full of bombs, the NDS said.
"In a rapid response, the NDS officials tossed in the calaboose Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! five Islamic fascistiwith a gray color minivan loaded with 560 kg of explosives devices in Kabul Wednesday afternoon," the statement added.
This comes as the NDS said Tuesday that they placed in long-term storage Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! twelve possible jacket wallahs who were planning attacks in Afghanistan during the days of the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... summit in Chicago.
Those incarcerated You have the right to remain silent... were all members of either the Haqqani network or the lesser known Mullah Dadullah Front, NDS front man Lotfullah Mashal said.
(Sh. M. Network)- The dead body of a young suspected Al shabab fighter was today put on display in Mogadishu by Somali police force, officials and witnesses said.
Abdullahi Hassan Barise, Somali police front man told news hounds in Bakaro market, the busiest and biggest market in Somalia that the bow was shot to death overnight as he was carrying hand grenades and also wanted to place on the ground a landmine in the market.
"He was one of the brains washed youths by Al shabab and our police forces killed him last night in the market after they were informed by locals. We call upon the boys in Al shabab to repent from what they are committing in the country, Barrise added.
The killing followed as a huge operation is under way in the market that Somali police are trying to demolish the illegal business centers along the high streets.
(Sh.M.Network)- The African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces have made significant progress in the last 24 hours towards Afgoye town.
Afgoye has been for a long time a stronghold of the Al-Qaeda backed Al-Shabaab ... the successor to the Islamic Courts... faceless myrmidons and is a strategic junction for routes to the north, west and south ofSomalia.
"Operation Free Shabelle" started yesterday with the objective of bringing security to the400,000 people of the Afgoye corridor, and area north-west of Mogadishu with the largest concentration of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the world.
A senior Al- Shabaab commander yet to be identified and his escort were killed yesterday during the fighting. His two escort vehicles and a saloon car in which he was travelling were also destroyed.
In public announcements to the displaced people in the north-west of the city, AMISOM has been encouraging them to stay in their current places of residence and not to stray from their homes. The AMISOM troops have been specifically avoiding entering the built up areas and
Camps around the main road to Afgoye. The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (Deputy SRCC) for Somalia, Honorable Wafula Wamunyinyi said; "We are encouraging the inhabitants near Afgoye to remain where they are for the time being.
Soon, once the security situation has stabilized, we hope to see that people will have the opportunity to return to their homes inMogadishuand humanitarian services, provided by the international community, will be available to them."
AMISOM forces also pushed from their positions in Maslah capturing Al Fitr town 5 kilometers to the north of the capital. Ongoing operations of the African Union Mission inSomaliaseek to push Al-Shabaab forces further from the capital, supporting the Somali drive towards peace and recovery of the country.
The Force Commander of AMISOM Forces Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti, said: "The Operation continues to make strong progress.
Al-Shabaab cut-throats are on the run. They know they are losing ground, and losing friends around Somalia. We encourage the people of Afgoye town to expel the foreign elements that lurk in their midst. They too can share in the trading and construction revival that Mogadishu has been enjoying."
[Bangla Daily Star] African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... and Somali government troops have made "strong progress" in a push towards an Islamist al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... stronghold, site of the world's largest displaced people's camp, officials yesterday said.
Hundreds of civilians have fled as long columns of Somali and AU troops backed by tanks advanced for a second day, moving from the capital Mogadishu towards Afgoye, a strategic town and a key base of the al-Qaeda-linked Shebab fighters.
[Tripoli Post] A rocket-propelled grenade overnight Tuesday reportedly hit the offices of the International Committee of the Red Thingy in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, leaving a small hole in the side of the building, with an ICRC spokeswoman however saying it caused no casualties.
Soaade Messoudi told "i"Rooters: "The offices in Benghazi were hit by an RPG rocket overnight. They were empty... and no one was harmed."
The building where 35 international and local staff members normally work is located in the western part of the city. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.
Yemeni troops killed 35 Al-Qaeda militants in overnight battles in the restive southern Abyan province, a military official said Thursday as the army pressed ahead with a 13-day offensive to retake extremist strongholds.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said "Al-Qaeda fighters launched an attack" on the army in the region of Wadi Bani, west of the city of Jaar that has been under militant control since last year.
The assault sparked fierce clashes that left "more than 35 militants" dead, the official said.
He said though the army was making progress in its advance on Jaar, "it was facing resistance" from the militants.
Another military official meanwhile said clashes continued in nearby Zinjibar, the provincial capital which fell to Al-Qaeda militants last May.
"Sporadic clashes have continued," he said adding that Al-Qaeda snipers are targeting troops that have managed to take control of several buildings on the outskirts of the city.
He said two soldiers were killed and at least six others were wounded in the battle to retake Zinjibar on Thursday. Medics confirmed on the toll.
[Yemen Post] Yemen's air fighters blasted on Wednesday Al-Qaeda weapon stocks and hideouts close to Jaar town, military sources affirmed.
The sources said that the Yemeni army could recapture a number of positions that was controlled by Ansar Al-Sharaia in Zinjibar.
The army have been trying for two weeks to enter Zinjibar and Jaar and eliminate Al-Qaeda Death Eaters.
Clashes were resumed after two days of an uneasy calm due to the suicide kaboom that killed about 96 soldiers and maimed hundreds others in Sana'a.
Military sources told Yemen Post that the army could recapture the strategic Altabah Al-Hamra, an area nearby Zinjibar, pointing out that two troops were killed and four others were maimed.
They also said thon the lam numbers of the faceless myrmidons were killed in the west of Zinjibar.
The sources anticipated that the army might cleanse the forces of Evil form Zinjibar within two days.
Other sources said that at least seven soldiers were killed in Al-Jablian, an area close to Jaar, as the army sought to advance to Jaar.
Local sources said that air forces raided the coastal city of Shaqra and some areas of Wadi Jar, an area close to Lawdar district.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) grabbed credit for the attack and said it targeted "the defense minister and other leaders of the US war" on the southern Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... province.
A jacket wallah, who was a soldier in the Yemen army, detonated a bomb in Al Sabeen Square in Sanaa during a military parade rehearsal on Monday that killed the troops and injured 300 more.
[Yemen Post] A Yemeni newspaper close to the former president President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... stated on Tuesday that the jacket wallah of Al-Sabeen Square bombing in which hundreds of troops were killed and maimed was an Al-Qaeda prisoner.
Alyaman Alyawam Newspaper (Yemen Today) in which the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh wrote an article, said that the name of the bomber is Ameen-Addin Ali Al-Wirafi and that he is originally form Ibb governorate.
The newspaper said that Al-Warafi was imprisoned on charges of connection to Al-Qaeda.
Nashwan News, a Yemeni online newspaper, said that Al-wrafi was sentenced to five years in prison in 2007 after he was convicted of affiliation to Al-Qaeda, and preparation to carry out suicide kabooms against government facilities in Marib and Hadhramout in 2006.
Nashwan News wondered how Al-Wirafi was recruited in the Central Security while he was an Al-Qaeda suspect.
About 96 soldiers were killed and 300 others were maimed at a military parade rehearsal on Monday.
Most of the casualties were from the Central Security Organization - a paramilitary force commanded by Yahya Saleh, a nephew of former President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Minister of Defense Mohammad Nasser Ahmed and Chief of General Staff Ahmed Ali Al-Ashwal who were present escaped uninjured.
Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen grabbed credit for the bombing, saying that the suicide kaboom was intended to avenge a U.S.-backed offensive against al-Qaeda in southern towns seized by the krazed killer movement last year.
The UN Security Council has condemned "in the strongest terms" the suicide kaboom, described the attack as a "heinous act" and vowed to combat "all forms of terrorism".
[Yemen Post] The Yemeni forces further advanced on Al-Qaeda cut-throats in Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... province on Wednesday and they are expected to retake control of Zinjibar, the capital, very soon, Alsahwa reported.
Al-Qaeda seized key towns in Abyan in mid-2011 including Zinjibar and the army has recently expanded the military operations against the cut-throats to recapture the towns.
The forces are now in the middle of Zinjibar and they have been stationed in key parts in the city, a move which came after some brigades could close the road between Azzan in the nearby province of Shabwa and Jaar, the most notorious stronghold of the cut-throats in Abyan, it said.
"The forces have controlled the only road where supplies for the cut-throats pass," it said.
The forces have made more gains in the past two days amid the plans to retake Zinjibar and other strongholds of the cut-throats including Jaar, which were seized last year, it continued.
Earlier today, Arclight airstrikes targeted several positions of the cut-throats causing Al-Qaeda big losses, it said.
With direct support from the US and tribal fighters, the Yemeni forces have recently stepped up the war on the cut-throats in southern and southeastern regions, mainly in Abyan, killing and injuring hundreds of them including big shots.
They have cleared cut-throats from some towns and areas in Abyan.
Meantime, observers said Al-Qaeda is trying to draw the attention from the blows it has received there through carrying suicide kabooms in far parts including the capital Sanaa.
On Monday, Al-Qaeda grabbed credit for a suicide kaboom on a military parade rehearsal on Monday, which killed more than one hundred central security forces and maimed hundreds others.
The group said the bombing was as a payback for the battles in Abyan, mainly the US role in them.
[Dawn] Police and security forces tossed in the slammer Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! 10 forces of Evil in a joint search operation in different areas of the district on Tuesday, sources said.
The operation was conducted in Sawaldher, Chora, Jabbar, Dubai Adda, Guli Bagh, Umarabad, Shakar Tangai, Bashkhali and Surpul areas from 4am to 5:30pm.
They said that a daylong curfew was imposed in those areas. Officials claimed that several hideouts of forces of Evil were also destroyed in the operation.
The roads leading to these areas were closed to traffic and residents of the localities were strictly instructed to stay indoors. Sources said that more than 70 suspects were tossed in the slammer Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! during the house-to-house search operation but later all of them except 10 forces of Evil were released after interrogation.
It is pertinent to mention here that these areas were already declared sensitive by the law enforcement agencies.
Few weeks ago, six coppers including the SHO of Rustam cop shoppewere maimed when their van was targeted with a remote controlled bomb.
In Nowshera, unidentified forces of Evil blew up a primary school for girls in the small hours of Tuesday.
Officials said that two bombs were planted at the building of Government Community Girls Primary School in Afrido Kallay, Risalpur that went off around 3:30am.
Officials of Bomb Disposal Squad said that three to four kilograms of explosives were used in the blasts that destroyed two classrooms, veranda, room of watchman, boundary wall and store of the school.
Risalpur police tossed in the slammer Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! the watchman of the school identified as Mir Baz Khan for investigation and lodged an FIR against unidentified jihad boys.
In Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central ...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth... , security forces destroyed houses of four alleged forces of Evil and recovered arms and ammunition during a search operation in Chamarkand tehsil on Tuesday.
Sources said that an operation was launched in the border areas of Chamarkand. "The action in these areas was launched with the help of local rustics and houses of four forces of Evil were destroyed," said an official.
Sources said that the jihad boys, whose houses were destroyed, were involved in killing of pro-government tribal elders.
Security forces also recovered weapons and explosives from the houses during the operation.
[Dawn] Twelve bully boyz were reportedly killed when fighter jets bombed turban hideouts in parts of northwest Pakistain's Orakzai Agency ... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers... , DawnNews reported on Wednesday.
An unspecified number of bully boyz was also reported maimed in the assault that destroyed four hideouts in the tribal region, security sources told DawnNews.
The hideouts were situated in Orakzai's Mamozai, Sama bazaar and Manzar Taap areas.
The casualty figures from the reported action could not be independently verified.
Security sources say over 92 per cent of Orakzai has been cleared of bully boyz in the ongoing military operation in the region.
The sources say 507 bully boyz have been killed in the operation during which 36 security forces' personnel have also bit the dust.
[Dawn] Pak authorities have sentenced a doctor accused of helping the CIA find the late Osama bin Laden ... who doesn't live anywhere anymore... to 33 years in jail on charges of treason, officials said, a move almost certain to further strain ties between Washington and Islamabad.
Shakil Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign, in which he collected DNA samples, that is believed to have helped the American intelligence agency track down bin Laden in a Pak town.
The al Qaeda chieftain was killed in a unilateral US special forces raid in the town of Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... in May last year.
"Dr Shakil has been sentenced to 33 years imprisonment and a fine of 320,000 Pak rupees," said Mohammad Nasir, a government official in the northwestern city of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, where the jail term will be served. He gave no further details.
Soon after his conviction, Afridi was sent to the Central Prison in Peshawar.
The court was headed by a deputy administrator responsible for Bara region.
Afridi was charged under the British-time Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) that unlike the Pakistain Criminal Code (CPRC), does not carry death penalty for high treason.
Afridi is the first person to be sentenced by Pak authorities in the bin Laden case.
US officials were strongly critical of the sentencing.
The US State Department said it saw no reason for Pakistain to detain or charge Afridi who has been accused of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden.
"We continue to see no basis for these charges, for him being held, for any of it," Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told news hounds, declining specific comment on the 33-year sentence given to Shakil Afridi on charges of treason.
Key US senators demanded that Pakistain pardon Afridi, warning that the decision could put US assistance at risk.
Carl Levin and John Maverick McCain ... the Senator-for-Life from Arizona, former presidential candidate and even more former foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution... , the top senators from the two major US parties on the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a joint statement called Afridi's sentence "shocking and outrageous.""What Dr. Afridi did is the furthest thing from treason.
It was a courageous, heroic and patriotic act which helped to locate the most wanted terrorist in the world -- a mass murderer who had the blood of many innocent Paks on his hands," the two senators said.
McCain and Levin urged Pakistain to pardon and free Afridi "immediately." "Dr. Afridi's continuing imprisonment and treatment as a criminal will only do further harm to US-Pak relations, including diminishing Congress's willingness to provide financial assistance to Pakistain," they said.
"Without commenting on specific individuals, anyone who helped the United States find bin Laden was working against al Qaeda and not against Pakistain," said Pentagon front man George Little.
Bin Laden's long presence in Pakistain -- he was believed to have stayed there for years -- despite the worldwide manhunt for him raised suspicions in Washington that Pak intelligence officials may have sheltered him.
Pak officials deny this and say an intelligence gap enabled bin Laden to live here undetected.
No one has yet been charged for helping the al Qaeda leader take refuge in Pakistain.
A government commission tasked with investigating how he managed to evade capture by Pak authorities for so long is widely accused of being ineffective.
Afridi's imprisonment will almost certainly anger ally Washington at a sensitive time, with both sides engaged in difficult talks over re-opening NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... supply routes to US-led troops in Afghanistan.
Senior US officials had made public appeals for Pakistain, a recipient of billions of dollars in American aid, to release Afridi, tossed in the slammer Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! within weeks of the raid that killed bin Laden and strained ties with Islamabad.
In January, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.... said in a television interview that Afridi and his team had been key in finding bin Laden, describing him as helpful and insisting the doctor had not committed treason or harmed Pakistain.
US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced legislation in February calling for Afridi to be granted American citizenship and said it was "shameful and unforgivable that our supposed allies" charged him.
VIOLATION OF SOVEREIGNTY
The US raid that killed bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad, just a few hours drive from the capital Islamabad, humiliated Pakistain's powerful military, which described the move as a violation of illusory sovereignty.
Intelligence cooperation between the United States and Pakistain, vital for the fight against militancy, has subsequently been cut drastically.
Afridi's prison term could complicate efforts to break a deadlock in talks over the re-opening of land routes through Pakistain to US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan, which are crucial for supplies.
Pakistain closed the supply routes, also seen as vital to the planned withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2014, in protest against last November's killing of 24 Pak soldiers in a NATO air attack along the Afghan border.
Afridi's case highlighted severe tensions between Pakistain and the United States.
He was placed in long-term storage Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw! soon after bin Laden was killed, and has not been publicly heard of since. Seventeen health workers who worked with Afridi on the vaccination drive were fired in March, according to termination letters seen by Rooters, which described them as having acted "against the national interest".
[Bangla Daily Star] Three people were killed and 18 others maimed in attacks in Iraq yesterday, security officials said, as Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... hosted key nuclear talks in its latest effort to emerge from decades of isolation.
Three people were killed and 14 others maimed in a shooting and three roadside kaboomings in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, a police lieutenant colonel and Dr Ahmed Ibrahim of Baquba General Hospital said.
And despite heightened security measures in and around the Iraqi capital, four people were maimed by a roadside kaboom near a Sunni mosque in Al-Yarmuk, west Storied Baghdad, an interior ministry official said.
Border Guard troops at the Hawara checkpoint in the West Bank set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! on Wednesday a young Paleostinian man carrying six improvised bombs and a knife.
The troops scrambled the bomb squad, who were working to disable the devices. The suspect was taken in for interrogation.
A gunman with ties to Al-Qaeda was arrested Thursday in Beirut after an hours-long standoff with Lebanese soldiers that also claimed the lives of two men, security sources said Thursday.
The apprehended gunman, Hani Ash-Shanti who holds a Lebanese passport, is part of a 13-member group affiliated with Al-Qaeda and is said to have been linked to the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the sources said.
The early morning standoff was sparked after two gunmen at an aprtment in Caracas began firing at members of the police who had been dispatched to the area following the sound of gunfire.
In response, the Lebanese Army, backed by Armed Personnel Carriers, was called in and the military cordoned off the area.
Taking up positions around the building, the army ordered the gunmen to surrender themselves.
After refusing to heed the army's calls, the gunmen began shooting and hurling hand grenades at soldiers.
At 6:15 a.m., an army team stormed the apartment and traded fire with the gunmen, killing one of the men and wounding the other.
Four Lebanese soldiers, including an officer, were also wounded in the exchange of fire.
Upon inspecting the apartment, the army also discovered the body of a dead man, who security sources said had been killed during a dispute at the apartment over a Syrian woman, Gharam al-Hussein.
[Al Ahram] Three Iranian truck drivers have been kidnapped by "armed opposition groups" in Syria, according to Iran's charge d'affaires in Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... quoted by media Wednesday. Abbas Golrou said the drivers, identified as Morteza Adeli, Hossein Alinejad and Esmaeel Mohammad Zeinali, were taking unspecified cargo from Iran to Syria when they were kidnapped on Monday.
[An Nahar] Regime forces Wednesday pounded rebel bastion Rastan, in central Syria, at an average rate of "one shell a minute," said a monitoring group, adding that six people were killed across the country.
Besieged by regime forces, Rastan is home to a large number of rebel fighters, according to opposition sources.
Most of Rastan's residents have fled after months of fighting, but regime forces have been unable to regain control of the town. On May 14, 23 regular troops were killed in fighting during a failed assault.
In the southern province of Daraa, one civilian was rubbed out near an army checkpoint at Inkhel, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In nearby Sheikh Meskin, several youths were placed in durance vile Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! , according to the Britannia-based watchdog.
Another civilian was killed by regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... , while in Qusayr in the central Homs province, a third civilian was rubbed out by a sniper, the monitoring group added.
In the suburbs of Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... , a blast killed three people on the international airport road, the Observatory said, without specifying whether they were civilians or soldiers.
A loud kaboom was heard in the capital Damascus, the Observatory said, without providing any further details on the blast.
Other blasts were heard in several Syrian provinces during the night, including in Harasta and Douma, two suburbs of the capital that have seen fierce fighting between regime and rebel forces in the past few days.
A total of 26 people, including 14 civilians and 12 soldiers, were killed in violence on Tuesday, the Observatory said.
Fighting has grown increasingly violent around Damascus, Aleppo and northwest Idlib, despite the presence of some 270 U.N. truce monitors on the ground.
More than 12,000 people have been killed in Syria since a revolt broke out in March last year, prompting the regime to launch a fierce crackdown on dissent.