[TEHRANTIMES] Al-Qaeda-linked snuffies detonated several bombs and breached the main UN compound in Somalia's capital Wednesday, sparking shootouts that killed at least 12 people. A UN official said at least three foreigners were believed to be among the dead.
The attack comes only six months after the United Nations ...an organization which on balance has done more bad than good, with the good not done well and the bad done thoroughly... expanded its presence in Mogadishu, where it had kept only a small operation because hard boyz had controlled much of the capital until being pushed out in an offensive in 2011.
Al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... said on its Twitter feed shortly after Wednesday's attack began that its fighters "are now in control of the entire compound and the battle is still ongoing."
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 security forces responded and took control of the compound about an hour later. The UN staff who sought refuge in the bunker then were evacuated to the secure military base and airport complex across the street, Parker said.
A UN official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not an official front man, said he believed three foreigners were killed: one Kenyan and two South Africans.
"There was not very much time to get into the safe area," said another UN official, Ben Parker, a front man for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia.
The top UN official on Somalia, Nicholas Kay, also works out of the building but was not inside the compound when it was attacked.
At 11:30 a.m. the compound was rocked by the first kaboom. At least two others followed, Parker said. Dozens of staff from UN humanitarian and development agencies were in the compound and many were moved to the secure bunker, he said.
Mohamed Ali, an ambulance driver, said he transported five dead civilian bodies and 10 people who were maimed.
An News Agency that Dare Not be Namednews hound who went inside the UN compound after the battle saw two dead bodies of what appeared to be al-Shabaab attackers wearing Somali military uniforms. An official said seven attackers died in total.
[An Nahar] An armed gang has raided a northern Nigerian village and killed 48 people in an apparent reprisal attack targeting a local vigilante group, a state official said Wednesday.
"There was an attack by armed bandidos early Tuesday on Kizara village where 48 residents were killed in apparent assassinations by cattle rustlers that have been terrorizing the state for some time now," said Ibrahim Birnin-Magaji, commissioner for information in Zamfara state, where the village is located.
Dozens of gunnies arrived in the village before dawn on cycle of violences, he told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"Some of them climbed up the hill overlooking the village and opened fire indiscriminately," he said.
"They later moved house to house, telling residents that they were looking for members of local vigilante whom they said had been disturbing them."
He said those killed included the local chief, the chief imam and the head of the vigilante group in the village.
Many villages in Nigeria form local vigilante groups to defend themselves against violent cattle rustlers or other criminal gangs, sometimes leading to a cycle of festivities and reprisal attacks.
Zamfara state, located in Nigeria's northwest, has seen a number of such incidents.
There was so far no sign of any link to Islamist krazed killer group Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... , which has been waging a deadly insurgency mainly in Nigeria's northeast. Nigeria's military is currently engaged in an offensive seeking to end Boko Haram's four-year insurgency.
[Pak Daily Times] A suicide kaboom rocked a market in Yemen's mainly Shia northern city of Saada on Wednesday, killing a civilian, a rebel group said.
The attacker, riding a cycle of violence, "went kaboom! at the entrance of the market where there were many passersby... One civilian was martyred," the Ansaruallah (Supporters of God) rebel group said on its website.
A rebel earlier told AFP the bomber had set off his charge in the middle of the market, but the statement said he had been unable to enter and so had blown himself up at the entrance.
The defence ministry said two people had been killed and 11 others maimed, without saying who the dead were. The rebels belong to the Zaidi sect of Shia Islam and have controlled the northern part of Yemen since a 2004 uprising they launched against the central government. Intermittent fighting killed thousands of people before a ceasefire was reached in February 2010.
[An Nahar] Yemeni rustics have kidnapped 11 soldiers, including two officers, and are demanding the release of a relative convicted of murder, tribal sources said on Wednesday.
Members of the Al-Marakisha tribe, in the southern province of 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... , kidnapped two colonels and nine soldiers, to pressure authorities to release Ahmed al-Marakisha, the sources said.
The man's son insisted on his father's release to set the captives free.
"We kidnapped today (Wednesday) two officers, and yesterday nine soldiers on the main road in Ahwar, in Abyan. We demand the release of my father who is behind bars since 2008," he said.
An army officer in Abyan confirmed the kidnappings.
[An Nahar] A Bahraini court sentenced six people to 10 years in prison on Wednesday after they were convicted of carrying out a bombing that maimed two people, the official BNA news agency reported.
The group were accused of "setting tires ablaze using a gas cylinder to create as much damage as possible to public and private property," public prosecution chief Muhanna al-Shayji was quoted as saying.
They are also charged with "intentionally causing a fire for terrorist aims that maimed" a woman and her son.
The statement did not say where or when the bombing took place, but judicial sources said the attack was in 2012.
Two soldiers were wounded when an explosive device was apparently detonated by militants in the Russian federal republic of Ingushetia. The Interior Ministry of the Russian North Caucasus said the explosion occurred in the village of Alkun that borders Chechnya.
[ABCNEWS.GO] A senior police official says snuffies attacked a military convoy with rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy weapons in northwest Pakistain, killing six soldiers.
Shafiullah Khan says two soldiers were maimed in the attack Wednesday, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the main northwest city of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. . Two vehicles were destroyed.
Khan says the soldiers retaliated, killing four Death Eaters.
No one has grabbed credit for the attack, but suspicion will likely fall on the Pak Taliban.
Communist insurgents killed five civilians and kidnapped five soldiers in the southern Philippines on Tuesday in the latest violence following the collapse of peace talks.
Philippine military spokesman Colonel Ramon Zagala said about 40 New People's Army guerrillas attacked a tree plantation on Mindanao Tuesday, killing five workers and burning equipment. Just the day before, NPA fighters in another part of Mindanao seized five soldiers as they were passing through on motorcycles, he added.
Zagala condemned the latest attacks saying, "This is clearly contrary to what they're saying, that they want to end violence through peace talks."
Regional military spokesman Major Leo Bongosia said the attack on the plantation is part of an extortion attempt. He said, "The plantation did not give in to the NPA's extortion demands. The usual tactic is to burn the equipment as a warning."
"Perhaps they fought back and resisted," Bongosia said when asked why he thought the civilian workers were gunned down by the militants.
In Davao City, an NPA unit abducted five soldiers as they were traveling unarmed in civilian clothes to buy supplies for a community food program. Local military chief Colonel Leopoldo Galon said the kidnappers wore military-style uniforms. The soldiers are being held at gunpoint by insurgents in Paquibato district. However, one officer escaped while his five other companions were taken hostage.
Sources say it is believed that top terrorists insurgents Aba Jeh-ali, Hubaideelah Romeulee, Karim Yama and Rosali Jehsoh met in Yala province before Tuesday night's attack that killed a police officer and injured seven others.
The funeral for slain Pol Captain Sama-air Luemaewas was held yesterday morning at a mosque in Raman district. Sama-air, sub-inspector at Krong Pinang police station, died from his injuries at the hospital. He and seven other policemen were hit by a bomb blast while on patrol.
The 30kg bomb was hidden in a drainage pipe running under the Krong Pinang-Ban Luemu Road and was detonated when the police vehicle drove by it. Police suspect this attack was carried out by a group of terrorists insurgents led by Aba Jeh-ali.
Ten minutes ahead of the attack, another incident took place in Pattani province where suspected terrorists insurgents armed with AKA rifles ambushed three plain-clothes paramilitary rangers on a motorcycle. After a 10-minute gunfight, one ranger was killed while the other two were rushed to the hospital.
[An Nahar] A videotape for a group claiming the killing of the four Lebanese men who died in Baalbeck's Wadi Rafeq region on Sunday was leaked to media outlets on Wednesday.
The group, Brigade of Jihadist Fighters on the Syrian-Lebanese Border, announced in their message that they are behind Sunday's incident.
However, facts are stubborn; statistics are more pliable... security sources told LBCI television that the videotape is "fabricated and that it might have been disseminated to distract attention away from the real perpetrators."
"Investigation is ongoing in Sunday's crime and some clues were revealed that could lead to tangible results soon," LBCI said quoting the security sources.
The same source also noted that the names of several possible attackers were identified.
"Handing over the suspects to concerned authorities is a must to avoid the worsening of the situation."
Several meetings took place in the Syrian border town of Arsal in the presence of the municipality's council, and other prominent figures in the village, and a released statement after the talks condemned Sunday's crime.
"We lift any political cover on all suspects proven to have played a role in the crime and we call on the security forces to pursue the investigation and try the perpetrators."
Four people were killed on Sunday, including two members of the Jaafar clan, when their car came under gunfire in Arsal's barren mountains, state-run National News Agency reported.
The person or persons unknownrubbed out "two members of the Jaafar family, an Amhaz family member and a Turk" in an ambush while they were smuggling fuel through the Qaa area, a security source told Agence La Belle France Presse, asking not to be named.
LBCI, however, said the four were killed in "Wadi Rafeq, a border area between al-Qaa's barren mountains and Ras Baalbek."
[An Nahar] Fighters from Hizbullah joined Syrian troops battling rebels near Damascus on Wednesday, monitors said, as Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Supressor of the Damascenes... 's regime kept up a push to cut off the Death Eaters' supply lines.
"Army troops and Hizbullah members fought rebels near the Khomeini hospital in Zayabiyeh village," southeast of Damascus, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"Hizbullah fighters, who have a strong presence at Sayyida Zeinab (in southeastern Damascus), are trying to seize control of villages near Zayabiyeh and Babila."
The Syrian army shelled both Zayabiyeh and Babila, said the group which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground for its reports.
Hizbullah's Al-Manar television said the army was advancing towards Zayabiyeh, just south of the confessionally mixed district of Sayyida Zeinab, named after an important Shiite Musselmen shrine.
The party has been fighting alongside the army for months in the district, which lies in an area that rebels from southern Damascus have used as their main rear base.
Activists say the regime is trying to crush the rebellion on the outskirts of Damascus in order to cut off supply lines leading into rebel pockets inside the capital.
"There is a fierce campaign against the (rebels) south of the capital," said Damascus-based activist Matar Ismail.
"The humanitarian situation is very critical... We believe the (regime) is trying to test the (rebels') strength, in order to try to advance on the south of the capital," Ismail told Agence La Belle France Presse over the Internet.
Ismail said Hizbullah and the Abu al-Fadl Abbas brigade -- a mostly Syrian Shiite force that has also attracted Shiite fighters from elsewhere in the region -- were playing a key role in the fight.
Hizbullah was also credited with an important role in the Syrian army's recapture of the former rebel stronghold of Qusayr in central Homs province earlier this month.
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has said the group will remain engaged in Syria's conflict.
The Syrian army meanwhile renewed shelling of other rebel areas near the capital, including northwestern Zabadani and Qalamoun to the northeast.
Both areas are also a short distance from the Lebanese border.
Elsewhere, fierce battles broke out between rebels and troops in Idlib, in northwestern Syria, the Observatory said.
Opposition forces captured an army post on the road linking the coastal province of Latakia to Ariha in Idlib province, and two tanks were destroyed.
In regime stronghold Latakia, an kaboom at an ammunition depot maimed at least 13 soldiers, said the Observatory.
State television said the blast was the result of a technical failure, and that only six had suffered light wounds.
Wednesday's violence comes a day after at least 83 people were killed across Syria, said the Britannia-based Observatory.
[IsraelTimes] Khader Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader's brother, was buried earlier this month in southern Leb after reportedly dying in battle in the Syrian town of Qusair in late May.
A video uploaded to YouTube showed crowds of Hezbollah supporters, holding yellow flags bearing the Shiite militia's emblem, pictures of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and garlands, accompanying Khader's coffin in a funeral parade in the southern village of Qana. Hezbollah fighters bore the coffin.
The Hezbollah chieftain was spotted by an Al Monitor news hound in the Syrian town of Qusair, weeks after the fight between Syrian rebels, Hezbollah, and Assad forces ended in a opposition defeat.
Nasrallah's son Hadi was killed in a firefight with the IDF in southern Leb in 1997, and his remains were exchanged in a swap with Hezbollah for the body of an elite IDF solider a year later.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.