May all those who had a good father be especially grateful today. If he is alive, let him how much his presence, strength and support have meant to you. If he is gone, remember him with gratitude and love.
My mother was, let us say, lacking ..... so I know the issue well.
Is there a man in your family or acquaintance who is a good father, or father figure - if not to you, than for others in your experience? At first, thinking about that re: mothers was salt in my wounds. But over time I was able all the more to celebrate those who were better than mine. FWIW and without in any way lessening your experience ....
How about a slight semantic change? I suggest some people might be happier with a "Male nurturer day" and "Female nurturer day"??? Despite biology, I hope everyone could recognize the older people who made a positive impact in their lives as a child.
SH6692, I'm 100% with lotp: Forgiveness is about getting free. I'm free. I'm good. I'm broke, but I'm free. The rest is up to God. Besides, I really just meant it as a bit of dark humor, not to be a total downer!
In the event that one day the information might be useful: what are the best gifts you guys have ever gotten for Father's Day?
(Sh. M. Network)-The Æthiopian troops operating inside Somalia to fight Al shabab fighters, have once again placed in durance vile Please don't kill me! on Saturday a senior TFG official in Gedo region after alleging in defiant the orders, reports said.
Official in Somali military forces in Gedo region, confirmed Shabelle Media the arrest of Diyad Abdi-Kalil, the police chief of Luq district for TFG. The placed in durance vile Please don't kill me! official was order to go back to Garbaharey town, the capital of Gedo region, where he originally come from before Somali and Æthiopian troops wrested towns in the region from Al shabab thugs.
"There ongoing negotiations to release Diyad Abdi-Kalail, the arrests official between Somali military and Æthiopian officers at Luq town, said a TFG official.
Sources said, It is not the first time that Æthiopian troops in Gedo to arrest Diyad Abdi-Kalil, who is one of the top TFG officials in Gedo region, south-westernSomalia.
(Sh.M.Network)- Heavy fighting ... as opposed to the more usual name-calling or slapsy... between Somali government soldiers and fighters loyal to the Al Qaeda-afflicted forces of Evil of Al shabab is reportedly flared up in parts of Gedo region, south west of the horn of Africa war-torn country.
Reports indicated the battle sparked after Al shabab agents launched an ambush attack on a convoy of vehicles mounting in Somali troops traveling at an area located on the outskirts of El Waq town in Gedo region.
"The fighting was ferocious and both warring sides have exchanged heavy and small weapons that caused heavy casualties on the combatants from the sides involved the combat" said a resident in El Waq town, adding that he could not verify the exact losses.
Some Somali troop officials in Gedo region told Shabelle Media that the fighting was an ambush one targeted on TFG soldiers by Al shabab fighters. They said the Government soldiers repelled the attack and inflicted casualty upon the beturbanned goons.
(Sh. M. Network) -- A huge car boom blast hit on Saturday Afgoye town, just 30 Km north-west Mogadishu, Somalia capital that recently wrested from myrmidon control by Somali and AMISOM troops, witnesses and officials said. They can't defeat even poorly trained troops, but they sure can blow up cars.
Reports said a boom-mobile at an army base at Bar Ismail area where Witnesses said they heard a large kaboom and saw smoke billowing or catching the winds. Conflicting reports are still emerging from the kaboom. Some reports suggest that a number of people sustained injures.
Abdikadir Nur Sidi, the governor of Lower Shabelle region for Somali government confirmed Shabelle Media the blast, saying a jacket wallah has carried out the blast, blowing himself up at Bar Ismail intersection locating Somali soldiers.
"A car packed with explosives drove from Mogadishu today went off in Afgoye town, especially at a base controlled by security forces of TFG. The troops intercepted the car and started to fire at him when he attempted to drive into a base for intelligence officers," said the governor.
Somali and AU troops seized the town, 30 Km on the outskirts of Mogadishu from Al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... snuffies after three days of fighting last month nearly 400,000 internally displaced people IDPs live in locations between Mogadishu and Afgoye, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
[Ma'an] An Egyptian newspaper reported Saturday that Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,-affiliated beturbanned goons had infiltrated into Egypt in a bid to disturb the peace ahead of presidential runoff elections.
A Hamas official dismissed the report as baseless.
According to the Al-Sharouk newspaper, Egypt's national security service tapped phone calls between the supposed infiltrators and their supporters inside Egypt.
Accordingly, Egyptian army and police deployed on routes followed by the infiltrators, and tanks and machine guns have been deployed along with helicopters to monitor the area.
Hamas had earlier denied Egyptian accusations blaming the Islamist movement of involvement in unrest during the revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... 's regime in 2011.
"These accusations are null and baseless especially at this sensitive stage as competitors for the presidency in Egypt are running media campaigns which reflect the great democratic change Egypt is witnessing," a Hamas official said.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Malian police have taken in the head of a key development agency in the north for questioning about contacts he is believed to have had with rebel groups, a security source said Saturday.
"The director general of the North Mali Development Agency, Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, was questioned for investigative purposes," a Malian security source said late Friday on condition of anonymity.
Mahmoud, an ethnic Tuareg, had been travelling in Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso ...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now... capital, shortly before a March 22 coup that opened the way for Tuareg and beturbanned fascisti to occupy the north of the country.
He recently returned to rebel-held Gao and held "talks with criminal groups and now he is in Bamako, it is normal that he be questioned," said the security source.
Mahmoud's family confirmed that he had been taken in for questioning.
His development agency is one of the most important state structures in the region.
Mahmoud reportedly met with the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) as well as Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), who are both occupying the vast north.
[Al Ahram] Libyan authorities on Saturday declared warring mountain towns in the west of the country a "military zone" and called for an immediate ceasefire. "As a result of the violence in the areas of Mizdah, Sheguiga and Zintan which has killed innocent people, the interim government... orders all parties to immediately stop their fire," Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib's office said in a statement.
"To reinforce this, the government has ordered the army chief and the interior ministry to consider the area of festivities a military zone and to use force and all means necessary to stop any shooting against innocent civilians."
The statement was backed by the ruling National Transitional Council and Dar al-Fitna, which represents Libya's highest religious authority.
The interim government called for the opening of safe passages to allow for the evacuation of the maimed and the delivery of humanitarian aid, and it commissioned a fact-finding mission to investigate the roots of the conflict.
The fighting which erupted Monday has pitted fighters of the Mashashia tribe against gunnies from the Gontrar tribe and the town of Zintan, 170 kilometers (105 miles) from Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... , according to official state media and local sources.
Sources in Gheryan, a city near the fighting zones, told AFP that dozens of families streamed in on Saturday seeking shelter from the fighting, while army front man Ali al-Sheikhi told AFP the "festivities were ongoing."
Several health ministry officials said the number of casualties was rising although they could not give numbers.
On Wednesday, the interim government said the fighting had claimed 14 lives and left more than 89 maimed.
Several sources say the festivities erupted after a resident of Zintan was killed at a roadblock set up by Mashashia rustics.
The rustics, meanwhile, accuse Zintan forces of shelling their village, Sheguiga, with tank and rocket fire.
Tensions have been high between former rebels in Zintan and Mashashia rustics since the 2011 uprising that toppled Libyan dictator Moamer Qadaffy.
Zintan fighters are credited with having led the units which captured Tripoli from Qadaffy's forces last August. They also placed in long-term storage Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! the slain dictator's son, Seif al-Islam, on November 19 and have held him since.
The Mashashia are accused of having backed Qadaffy's regime in last year's conflict.
Clashes between former rebels from Zintan and Mashashia rustics killed four people in December.
For a map, click here. For a map of Zacatecas state click here. Updated with new information
By Chris Covert
Two armed suspects were killed by Mexican security forces as criminal groups, said to be elements of a local drug gang, blocked several access roads to a major Mexican federal highway in Guadalupe municipality and in Zacatecas, the capital of Zacatecas state, according to Mexican news reports and Twitter posts.
According to a news report released by Notimex, the Mexican national wire news service, the roadblocks began at about 0800 hrs with armed suspects carjacking trucks and other vehicles, disabling them to make roadblocks.
La Silla Roja reported Saturday afternoon that a Policia Federal (PF) patrol unit had confronted a convoy of armed suspects beginning in the village of San Nicolas in Villa Gonzalez Ortega municipality at around 0600 hrs. Villa Gonzalez Ortega is about 30 kilometers due east of Zacatecas municipality on Zacatecas State Highway 144.
In a Sunday morning post on the website of El So, de Zacatecas news daily, three rifles, two handguns and communications gear were seized following the end of the pursuit. Three vehicles were also damaged in the pursuit, including a vehicle belonging to the Zacatecas ministerial police.
The blocked access roads in Zacatecas municipality included avenidas Sauceda de la Borda, Bulevar Bicentenario and the highway to San Ramon. The report says those roads block access to Mexico Federal Highway 45, which links the state of Aguascalientes to the south with Fresnillo municipality and Durango state to the northwest.
Further east of Zacatecas, in Guadalupe municipality, roadblocks were reported in the village of Santa Monica, while to the north of Zacatecas roadblocks were reported in the village of La Pimentas.
Wire reports say the roadblocks were removed within a half an hour.
An earlier Notimex report also presented a redacted compiled statement by Mexican security forces in the area that they did not know why roadblocks were taking place. However, Notimex later said the roadblocks were local criminal groups' reaction to a pursuit and gunfight between federal security forces and armed suspects.
Three days ago, news reports were that rival armed criminal groups were engaged in firefights in the hills between Villanueva and Sombrerete municipalities, as well as in Fresnillo. Even so, no reports have been published as to casualties in those firefights. Mexico Federal Highway 45 runs to the north of that area.
Mexico Federal Highway 45 between Sombrerete and Durango city is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in Mexico. It is also used by Los Zetas to move shooters and munitions north to Coahuila and Tamaulipas states.
Roadblocks are a tactic used by criminal groups to block security forces from intervening in fights with rival groups, whenever criminal groups suffer a sharp reverse and to cover criminal groups' movemment in an area. The tactic is in routine use in Nuevo Lardeo as well as other border cities in Tamaulipas.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
ę Copyright 2012 by Chris Covert
You must obtain permission to reprint this article.
[Dawn] At least a dozen more people were bumped off on Friday in different parts of the city just a day after six people, including a Muttahida Qaumi Movement ...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead... activist and a trader, had been rubbed out in separate incidents of firing mainly in southern and western districts of the metropolis.
With the fresh wave of killings, the number of people murdered during the week has reached 40.
When Additional IG Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... Akhtar Hussain Ghorchani was contacted for his version about the spate of killings, he said he had been on a leave of absence since Friday afternoon and the additional inspector-general of CID had the charge. Additional IG CID Shabbir Sheikh was not available for comments.
On Friday, a close relative of a man wanted by police in cases pertaining to the killing of MQM workers was rubbed out near his home in PIB Colony, officials said.
They added that Pir Daad, 45, a maternal uncle of Ahmed Ali Magsi, was in his car when four to six gunnies riding cycle of violences in the Baloch Para area fired at him and sped away.
According to the police, Magsi was nominated in the case pertaining to the murder of MQM PIB Colony sector committee member Mansoor Mukhtar and his brother on March 27, 2012.
Pir Daad sustained gunshot wounds to the head and leg and was rushed to a private hospital on Stadium Road, where he died during treatment, said an official at the PIB Colony cop shoppe. He added that the body was later shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.
Police Sherlocks said that AK-47 rifle and 9mm pistol were used in the attack.
Following the shooting, panic and fear gripped the locality compelling traders to pull down shutters. Heavy contingents of Rangers and police rushed to PIB Colony to avert violence as a backlash to the killing was feared.
Three killed in Garden
Three young men were killed in separate acts of firing within a span of a few hours within the remit of the Garden cop shoppe, officials said.
The Garden SHO, who was suspended following the drive-by shootings, described the attacks as part of ongoing assassinations on ethnic grounds.
Ayub Baloch, 27, and his friend, Nadeem Baloch, 30, sustained gunshot wounds in firing on their car near Gilani Masjid on Ghulam Hussain Qasim Road, the police said.
Both were taken to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi, where Ayub Baloch died during treatment, the officials added.
Garden SHO Mutahir Hussain said both victims hailed from Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... and had arrived to visit their relatives in the city.
Within the remit of the same cop shoppe, Razzak Baloch, son of Ata Mohammad Baloch, was targeted in firing at his carom club in Hassan Lashkari Village.
The victim was rushed to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! on arrival.
In yet another gun attack, an unidentified man was rubbed out on Nishtar Road within the remit of the Garden cop shoppe. The police shifted the body to the Edhi morgue for want of identification following medico-legal formalities at the CHK.
Man found rubbed out
Another unidentified man was found rubbed out in Dhobi Ghat, Pak Colony, police said.
They added that the victim had been trussed up before being shot in the head. The body was shifted to the CHK for medico-legal formalities. Later, the body was moved to the Edhi morgue for want of identification.
Earlier in the morning, a policeman was rubbed out in Pathan Colony within the remit of the Site-A cop shoppe.
Police constable Abdul Qayyum, 45, was sitting with his neighbour, Omar Bahadur, 23, outside their home during to a power breakdown when they were targeted. The constable was killed and his neighbour, Omar Bahadur, 23, maimed in the attack. The victim was posted at the Site-A cop shoppe.
Labourer rubbed out
A labourer was killed in a drive-by shooting at a bus stop in Orangi Town, police said. They added that Shuajat Fazal, 45, was at a bus stop in Bijli Nagar when two gunnies riding a cycle of violence came close to him, shot him dead and sped away.
Mominabad SHO Nasir Mehmood said that the victim had arrived from his hometown Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat...
around two months ago and used to work as a labourer.
Police suspected personal enmity as a possible motive for the killing.
Protest after killing
A number of people staged a protest demonstration on Jehnagir Road following the killing of a young man in the area, police said.
Asif Baloch was rubbed out near his home on Jehnagir Road in the early hours of Friday, said Jamshed Quarters SHO Khushnood Javed.
He said initial investigation showed that the dear departed was a drug-peddler and had a criminal record.
Angry people staged a protest demonstration over the killing on Jahangir Road, the police said, claiming that they reached the spot and managed to disperse the crowd.
Man killed in Liaquatabad
A young pedestrian was rubbed out in a drive-by shooting in Liaquatabad, police said.
They added that Saleem Khan was shot at by gunnies riding a motorbike in Liaquatabad No 8. The victim was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim!
The police said that the motive for the killing could be ascertained immediately.
Wounded engineer dies
A divisional engineer of the Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... Telephone Exchange, who was shot at outside the telephone exchange, died during treatment at the Civil Hospital on Friday.
Syed Abbas Ali Zaidi, 40, and Sagheer Kareem were maimed in firing outside the telephone exchange near Lea Market, said an official at the Kalakot cop shoppe.
Sanitary worker killed
A sanitary worker was rubbed out at the doorstep of his home in Khori Garden in what police sources described as a case of mistaken identity.
Sunny, 25, son of Shankar, was called out of his home and shot in the chest at point-blank range, said an official at the Kharadar cop shoppe.
"Actually another man with the same name is believed to be a member of the outlawed Amn Committee who lives in the same neighbourhood," disclosed an area police officer after initial investigation.
The police shifted the victim to the CHK, where he died during treatment.
SHO Agha Asadullah quoted the victim's family as saying that someone had called him at the door and shortly afterwards they heard a gunshot.
Man rubbed out in Korangi
A young man was rubbed out in Sector 36-C of Korangi 6 within the remit of the Awami Colony cop shoppe, said officials.
They added that Mirza Adeel Baig sustained two gunshot wounds and was struck down in his prime. The body was shifted to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities.
[Dawn] Security forces and a tribal lashkar repulsed a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain attack on a checkpost in Upper Dir from Afghan province of Kunar, killing six attackers and injuring many, official sources said on Thursday night.
However, ars longa, vita brevis... TTP, Swat, denied that Death Eaters had suffered any casualty.
According to sources, the bully boys, who had taken shelter in Kunar province ... which is right down the road from Chitral. Kunar is Haqqani country..... after the military operation in the Malakand division, attacked the Bin Darra checkpost in Brawal area with rockets and heavy weapons.
They said security forces and lashkar volunteers countered the attack and inflicted casualties on attackers.
This was the first attack in 2012 after the army's deployment in the border areas of Upper Dir.
In Kalaya area of upper 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... , nine Death Eaters were killed and four injured after jetfighters attacked their hideouts on Friday.
Jetfighters targeted bully boy positions in Adokehl and Botakhel areas of Mamozai area, a stronghold of bully boys. Sources in
security forces said three bully boy hideouts were destroyed leaving nine Death Eaters dead and four injured. The injured were taken to a hospital in Mir Qalamkhel.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter awoke groggily, his hand still stuck in the Ming vase... security forces advanced towards Alijo and Dogar areas without resistance.
However, ars longa, vita brevis... the development forced a large number of Mamozai rustics into vacating their houses and leaving for safer places.
It is learnt that assistant political agent Rafiq Mohmand ... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar... has called an urgent meeting to make a strategy for registration and relief activities of displaced people.
In Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, two children were killed in separate incidents on Friday.
Sources said two children were killed after they touched a landmine, which went kaboom! in the house of Juma Khel in Sheen Kamar-Zaodin area.
They said the house was recently vacated by bully boys, who had allegedly laid the landmine in the house.
Also in the day, two more children were critically injured when a stray mortar shell fell on the house of Lal Zamir in Gud Malang area of Akkakhel.
Local sources said mortar shells were fired by security forces against Death Eaters in the area.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter awoke groggily, his hand still stuck in the Ming vase... unidentified people attacked the Levies centre in Shah Kas area of Jamrud on Friday morning.
Local officials said myrmidons fled after retaliatory fire by the Levies present inside the centre.
They said an ambulance and a vehicle of the force were partially damaged due to the firing by myrmidons.
Local sources, however, said the centre was mistakenly targeted by security forces posted atop Besai hills overlooking the centre.
In Landi Kotal, local authorities on Friday demolished the houses of two alleged car lifters.
Local officials said the khasadar ...a rural policeman in Pakistain or India... force on Thursday jugged Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! Shafiullah and Kaptan Khan and seized a stolen car. The two were later shifted to the Landi Kotal lockup.
A mob attacked a cop shoppe in Pakistain on Saturday demanding a man placed in durance vile Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! for allegedly desecrating the Koran be handed over, leaving one person dead and 19 with gunshot wounds.
Violence erupted after police cooled for a few years Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! a "mentally retarded" man said to have burnt pages of the holy book in Kuchlak, about 16 kilometres north of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... province, senior administration official Qambar Dashti told AFP.
"Angry protesters, mostly Afghan refugees, torched several vehicles and pelted police with stones," Dashti said.
"Chanting the man should be killed for blasphemy, they later entered the cop shoppe and started firing," he said, adding that a police brass hat narrowly escaped while his police guard was maimed in the shooting.
Police fired tear gas shells and opened fire in self defence, Quetta police chief Qazi Wajid said.
The clash left one protester dead and 19 people maimed including eight coppers, he said. "All the maimed people have bullet injuries," he added.
The protesters said the man deserved death for blasphemy and demanded police hand him over to them, he said.
"The man appeared to be mentally retarded, we have taken him into custody and ordered an investigation," Wajid said, adding that control had been restored.
[Dawn] A bomb destroyed a market area in a northwest Pakistain tribal town near the Afghan border on Saturday, killing at least 25 people and wounding over 50, DawnNews reported.
"The corpse count is 25," from the blast in the main bazaar of Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal district, local administration chief Mutahir Zeb told AFP, adding more than 30 were maimed. Hospital officials confirmed the toll.
Zeb said there were 18 bodies at the Landi Kotal hospital while seven victims had died while being taken for treatment in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, the main town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... province.
The dead included three children aged nine, 10 and 12, he added.
Motor mechanic Sajidullah Khan, who was maimed in the leg, forearms and face, told AFP: "I was checking a car when I heard a huge blast nearby. I knew nothing afterwards and came to in the hospital."Shakoor Jan, an electrician, said he was sitting in his shop when the blast rocked the whole area. "There was fire in several shops," he said.
The blast took place in the main bazaar of Landi Kotal in Khyber tribal region, local administration official Arshad Khan said.
Khan said the blast appeared to be aimed at members of the pro-government Zakha Khel tribe, who oppose a local warlord, Mangal Bagh. ...a former bus driver, now head of the Deobandi bandido group Lashkar-e-Islam and the Terror of Khyber Agency... "The bomb was planted in a pick-up truck parked near the bus stand," Khan said.
Six shops were gutted and several damaged in the blast, which also destroyed at least eight vehicles, he added.
After the blast, a cylinder also went kaboom! in a bakery resulting in a huge fire that reportedly led to more casualties.
[Al Ahram] Al-Qaeda's Iraq affiliate has grabbed credit for Wednesday's attacks on Shiite pilgrims across Iraq that killed more than 70 people in the country's worst day of violence this year, a group that monitors thug communications said.
The U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which follows jihadist websites, said on Saturday that Al-Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq wing (ISI) claimed it carried out the bombings in Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... and other cities, targeting mainly Shiite pilgrims.
SITE said a statement issued on jihadist forums on June 15 said the ISI called the attacks the "blessed Wednesday invasion" and a "serious blow" to the enemy's security.
Iraq's Al-Qaeda affiliate was weakened by its long war with U.S. and Iraqi security forces, but since the last American troops left in December, the group and Sunni Islamist Islamic fascistihave carried out a major attack about once a month this year.
Thousands of Shiite pilgrims had gathered this week in Storied Baghdad to mark the anniversary of the death of imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
Al Qaeda in Iraq often hits Shiite targets in an attempt to stir up the kind of sectarian violence that drove Iraq to the edge of civil war and killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007. They also target security forces to try to show the Shiite-led government is failing to stamp out violence.
Earlier this month, ISI grabbed credit for a suicide kaboom on a major Shiite religious office in Storied Baghdad, which killed 26 people, maimed 190 and evoked memories of the darker days of the country's conflict.
Political tensions are already high as the Shiite, Sunni Mohammedan and ethnic Kurdish parties that make up the government feud over how to share power and Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fends off attempts at a vote of no confidence.
[Al Ahram] Car bombers targeting Shiite pilgrims in Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... killed at least 32 people on Saturday in the latest attacks by thugs.
It was the third day of bombings to strike Shiite pilgrims this week. On Wednesday, a wave of bombings killed 70 people across Iraq in the bloodiest violence since US troops left the country in December.
Saturday's car booms went kaboom! near Storied Baghdad's Kadhimiya district, scattering body parts and clothing along a route used by pilgrims marking the anniversary of the death of Shiite Imam Moussa Al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
"We rushed to the scene, there were dismembered bodies, shoes, plastic bags, women's robes left all around, and people were screaming everywhere," said Ahmed Maati, a policeman working nearby.
The recent attacks on Shiite targets are reviving fears Iraq risks slipping back into the broad sectarian slaughter of its recent past, especially as Shiite, Sunni and ethnic Kurdish parties that make up its fragile government feud over sharing power.
With security around Storied Baghdad's Kadhimiya district very tight for the religious festival, one bomber on Saturday posed as a taxi driver and picked up pilgrims to access the area. At least 14 were killed in that initial blast and more than 30 maimed, authorities said.
A second car boomwent kaboom! nearby and killed at least 12 more and maimed 28, police and hospital sources said.
Al-Qaeda's Iraq affiliate, Islamic State of Iraq or ISI, has grabbed credit for Wednesday's attacks, according to US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which follows jihadist websites.
Iraq's Al-Qaeda wing was weakened by its long war with US and Iraqi security forces, but since the last American troops left in December, the group and other Sunni Islamist Islamic fascistihave carried out a major attack about once a month this year.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq often hits Shiite targets in an attempt to stir up the kind of sectarian tensions that drove Iraq to the edge of civil war and killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007. They also target security forces to try to show the Shiite-led government is failing to stamp out violence.
Earlier this month, ISI grabbed credit for a suicide kaboom on a major Shiite religious office in Storied Baghdad, which killed 26 people, maimed 190 and evoked memories of the darker days of the country's conflict.
[Iran Press TV] A car boom has targeted Shia pilgrims in the Iraqi capital Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... , killing eight people and wounding several others, officials say.
The bomb went kaboom! on Saturday at about 12:15 pm (0915 GMT) when the pilgrims were returning from commemorations for Shia Imam Moussa Kazim (PTUI!) in the north of the capital, an interior ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
The official added that at least 15 people were also maimed in the kaboom that occurred on the highway near the Shuala area.
A medical source confirmed that the victims were sent to the Al-Hakim hospital in Shuala, but that a final toll was not yet available.
The source, however, said that that the Kadhimiyah and Al-Hakim hospitals had received 21 maimed people.
Violence has risen in Iraq since December 2011, when an arrest warrant was issued for runaway Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi for running a death squad that targeted Iraqi authorities and Shia pilgrims.
An Israeli truck driver who was the target of an attempted robbery in the West Bank fired shots and apparently struck and killed two Palestinians, police said Sunday.
The incident began when the tow truck driver made his way to the South Hebron Hills near Yatir. "It looks like he was lured to the spot by Palestinians who ordered his services," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The driver came under attack in the attempted robbery, and was struck on the head with a blunt object.
He fired six shots at his attackers. Soon afterwards, a Hebron area hospital reported receiving the bodies of two Palestinians with gunshot wounds.
Suspected Muslim terrorists separatists have killed three soldiers and injured six others in an attack in southern Thailand. The terrorists attackers hurled a grenade into a school in Yala province on Saturday while soldiers were receiving their daily briefing in the schoolyard.
UN observers suspended their mission to Syria on Saturday, blaming intensifying violence as troops rained shells down on rebel bastions including Homs, where the opposition warned a massacre was imminent.
The United States said the decision marked a "critical juncture" for Syria and that it it was discussing with its allies the way ahead for a "political transition" as set out in two UN Security Council resolutions.
The unarmed observers have been targeted almost daily since deploying in mid-April to monitor a UN-backed but widely flouted ceasefire, and they were likened to "sitting ducks in a shooting gallery" by Susan Rice, the US envoy to the United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... Explaining the suspension, mission head Major General Robert Mood spoke of an escalation in fighting and of the risk to his 300-strong team, as well as the "lack of willingness" for peace by the warring parties.
"There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days," Mood said in a statement.
"This escalation is limiting our ability to observe, verify, report as well as assist in local dialogue and stability projects -- basically impeding our ability to carry out our mandate.
"The lack of willingness by the parties to seek a peaceful transition, and the push towards advancing military positions is increasing the losses on both sides: innocent civilians, men women and kiddies are being killed every day.
"It is also posing significant risks to our observers.
"In this high risk situation, UNSMIS (United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria) is suspending its activities," Mood said.
The observers "will not conduct patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice," he said, adding that "engagement with the parties will be restricted."
Mood said the suspension would be reviewed daily, and that "operations will resume when we see the situation fit for us to carry out our mandated activities."
Reacting to the news, a White House official said it was discussing the latest development with its allies.
"At this critical juncture, we are consulting with our international partners regarding next steps toward a Syrian-led political transition as called for in Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043," said the official.
Resolutions 2042 and 2043 addressed the observers' deployment to Syria under a UN-Arab envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... 's peace plan aimed at "facilitating a Syrian-led political transition" leading to democracy, among other conditions.
The opposition Syrian National Council, meanwhile, warned of a looming massacre in the flashpoint central city of Homs, which it said was besieged by 30,000 troops and pro-regime militiamen.
"Regime forces are escalating their shelling of the city of Homs in an unprecedented way," the SNC said, adding it had contacted members of the "Friends of Syria," asking them to "stop the massacre that is being prepared."
A top SNC member, Burhan Ghalioun, urged the UN to send "peacekeepers to Syria on a mission with more people who would be able to protect themselves from the violence of the regime."
The shelling and shooting targeted several Homs districts and killed at least five people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said more than 1,000 families were trapped in the city.
The watchdog issued an "urgent call" to UN Secretary General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... "and all those with a sense of humanity to intervene immediately, in order to put a stop to the continuous shelling."
It also called for the "evacuation and protection of dozens of injured."
"More than 100 people are injured, many of them badly, and the lack of medical equipment means some of them will die," the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, adding there was also a lack of medical staff.
Home to several Free Syrian Army bastions, Homs has been under intermittent attack by regime forces ever since Baba Amr district was relentlessly pounded for a month earlier this year, according to the Observatory, and retaken by the regime.
Russia is sending armed troops to Syria amid escalating violence there, United States military officials told NBC News Friday, in a move certain to frustrate Western efforts to put pressure on the regime of President Bashir Assad.
It's their toe-hold in the Med; they won't allow themselves to be kicked out should Assad fall. That's the most conservative interpretation of this move.
Moscow has sent a ship carrying a small contingent of combat forces to guard Russia's deep-water port and military base at the Syrian city of Tartus, the US officials said. The U.S. officials also said Russia has not sent additional attack helicopters to the Syrian government, but replacement parts for the Russian helicopters the Syrians are already flying.
Tartus is one of Russia's most strategically-important assets, giving it military access to the Mediterranean Sea.
Russia and China, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council with veto power, frustrated attempts by key Western figures, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to enforce a United Nations peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.
Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday repeated Moscow's strong opposition to external interference in Syria, said it was not discussing plans for a Syrian political transformation following the exit of Assad. At a news conference after talks with his Iraqi counterpart, Lavrov said he had seen reports saying U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland had suggested Washington and Moscow were discussing a post-Assad strategy in Syria.
"If that was really said then it's not true," Lavrov said. "Such discussions are not being held and cannot be held, because to decide for the Syrian people contradicts our position completely. "We do not get involved in overthrowing regimes - neither through approval of unilateral actions by the U.N. Security Council nor by participation in any political plots."
He's a Russian, he can say stuff like that and keep his lips attached...
Nuland was asked at a news conference on Thursday whether the United States and Russia were discussing a transition of power similar to that seen in Yemen last year, in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh was replaced by a deputy.
"We are continuing to talk about a post-Assad transition strategy in that context," she said.
Lavrov said any broad international talks on Syria must include Iran and must only address ways to create conditions for a political dialogue in Syria - not the content of that dialogue or preconditions such as Assad's exit.
Russia, which has come under increasing criticism from the West for arms deliveries to Syria, responded to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's allegations that attack helicopters were on the way from Russia to Syria. In a statement on the Foreign Ministry website, Russia said it had made no new deliveries of military helicopters to Syria but under old contracts it had repaired helicopters sent to Syria "many years ago".
"There are no new deliveries of Russian military helicopters to Syria. All arms industry cooperation with Syria is limited to a transfer of defensive arms," the ministry said on its website.
"As regards helicopters, planned repairs of (helicopters) delivered to Syria many years ago were conducted earlier," it said. It did not say when they had been repaired or, if they were repaired in Russia, when they were returned to Syria.
The repairs include whole new helicopters. As spares. You never know when you'll need one...
Russia says it is fulfilling existing contracts for air defense systems against external attacks.
Except for external attacks by Israel, who has already demonstrated that they're not worried about Russian air defense systems...
President Vladimir Putin, due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama next week, said the weapons Russia sends could not be used in civil conflicts.
A source close to Russia's arms exporting monopoly Rosoboronexport said Clinton's comments may have referred to helicopters sent to Russia in 2009 for repairs and which may be on the way back to Syria. The source said on Wednesday at least nine Mi-25 helicopters were sent to Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad to be repaired by Oboronservis, owned by the Defense Ministry.
Russia delivered three different missile systems including Bastion anti-ship missile units and another anti-aircraft system to Syria last year. At least two ships carrying Russian weapons have reportedly travelled to Syria since the beginning of the year, though possibly not on behalf of state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.