[AnNahar] At least nine people were killed Thursday when a jacket wallahlet 'er rip at a funeral for the victims of a roadside kaboom in eastern Afghanistan, provincial officials said.
"A suicide kaboomer let 'er rip when he was identified by the police," said Khawani, the deputy security chief of eastern Laghman province where the attack took place, who goes by one name.
"Nine people were killed -- five police and four civilians -- as a result of the attack," he told AFP, adding that 34 people were also maimed by the bomb.
Earlier a local official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least eight people were killed in the attack in the city of Mehtarlam.
Laghman governor front man Sarhadi Zwak placed the corpse count at 16, with another 39 maimed.
No one has grabbed credit for the attack but suicide kabooms are a hallmark of the Taliban's war against foreign and Afghan cops, now in its fourteenth year.
The turbans are able to mount regular attacks across swathes of the country, particularly southern and eastern provinces.
Thursday's funeral was being held for a police commander and three other people who were killed in a roadside kaboom blast, according to Zwak.
Afghanistan saw a surge in violence last year as international forces wound down their combat mission, which began in 2001. It has now been downgraded to support and training duties to help the Afghan army and police.
About 17,000 foreign soldiers, most of them from the U.S., will remain in Afghanistan as part of the new mission.
But U.S. troop numbers are set to halve within 12 months and fall to almost nothing in two years.
Civilian casualties rose 19 percent from the previous year to a record high in 2014, with nearly 3,200 civilians killed and over 6,400 injured, according to a U.N. report released in December.
Casualties among children jumped a third and among women by 12 percent by the end of November, in the deadliest year for non-combatants, said the report.
Afghanistan is also grappling with political instability after politicians Wednesday rejected most of President Ashraf Ghani ...former chancellor of Kabul University, now president of Afghanistan. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. .. 's nominees for the new cabinet, a fresh setback for the newly formed "national unity government".
Ghani, like his predecessor Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... , has promised to reach out to the Taliban to find a lasting peace for his country, without compromising on fundamental values including women's rights.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. defense officials say three American contractors were shot to death by a gunman in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
One official said the shooting happened Thursday at the North Kabul International Airport complex in the early evening hours. Officials said a local Afghan national was also killed.
It was not immediately clear who did the shooting or whether the shooter was a member of the Afghan security forces.
The U.S. defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident was in the early stages of investigation. And the White House still refuses to call the Taliban terrorists, because you know whose side the White House is on.
Might just have been someone in a mood, too. It seems to happen a lot in that part of the world.
[Al Ahram] At least 26 people, including civilians, were killed Thursday when a series of murderous Moslem attacks, involving "boom-mobiles" and mortar rounds, struck several army and police positions in Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula, medical and security sources said.
A source in the local ambulance services said that 105 have been injured in the attacks in the town of Al-Arish, in North Sinai, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency that has spiked since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Suspected Lions of Islam fired mortar rounds and used "boom-mobiles" in the consecutive attacks that targeted the headquarters of the North Sinai security directorate in the quiet provincial capital of Al-Arish, a nearby army base, a hotel and several security checkpoints, state TV and the Ahram Arabic news website reported.
ًWalls of surrounding buildings were cracked and windows were smashed, as troops combed the area in search of suspects.
The office of Al-Ahram in Al-Arish, located near the targeted police building, was slightly damaged in the attack, office head Ahmed Selim said.
The building was vacant during the time of the attack due to a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in North Sinai late in October, following deadly murderous Moslem attacks that killed 31 soldiers earlier in the month, the worst violence on Egyptian troops in recent times.
One army personnel was killed and another maimed in a separate attack on a security checkpoint in the North Sinai town of Rafah.
The military said in a statement that the violence came in response to the "successful" security campaign against Lions of Islam in the restive province, without elaborating on the death or injury toll.
Egypt's army has struggled to crush the murderous Moslem insurgency in the peninsula, which has at times expanded to mainland cities, including Cairo.
Militants have mainly targeted police and troops, killing hundreds in the past 18 months.
Egypt's most active Jihadist group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, based in Sinai, has claimed some of the deadliest attacks. The group in November pledged allegiance to the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... , which has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq.
The violence has prompted the army to demolish houses and clear residents in the North Sinai border city of Rafah to set up a buffer zone aimed at deterring murderous Moslem infiltration and arms smuggling.
[AnNahar] Nigerian fighter jets have bombed the northeast town of Malam Fatori, controlled by 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... Islamists, the military said Thursday.
Witnesses and some media reports said troops and air force planes from neighboring Chad were involved in the operation on Nigerian soil but Abuja neither confirmed nor denied the claim.
There was no initial word on casualties or whether Boko Haram fighters had fled the area.
"Malam Fatori is within the area of operation covered by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of which Chad has always been a part," defense front man Chris Olukolade told AFP in a text message.
"The Nigerian air force has also been conducting (an) air mission there for two days now," he added. "It is all part of the ongoing efforts against terrorism."
The MNJTF was set up more than a decade ago to combat smuggling in the remote region but as the Nigerian Islamist insurgency in the area intensified, the mandate of the force changed.
Residents in the town of Bosso, which lies next to Malam Fatori but across the border in Niger, said the bombardment began early on Wednesday and lasted for several hours.
"At around 8:00 am (0700 GMT) we started seeing three military jets encircling Malam Fatori and soon after (they) began dropping bombs," said Idrissa Ari, a Bosso resident.
Reaching locals inside Malam Fatori is difficult given the collapse of the mobile phone network on the Nigerian side of the border.
The authorities in N'Djamena did not respond to requests seeking comment on their alleged involvement in the operation.
The Boko Haram uprising has become a regional crisis, with the four directly affected countries -- Cameroon ...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there... , Chad, Niger and Nigeria -- agreeing to boost cooperation to contain the threat.
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... 's annual summit in the Æthiopian capital Addis Ababa is this week expected to focus heavily on the threat from Boko Haram.
AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has called the insurgency "a threat to the whole continent".
A brutal attack this month on the Nigerian town of Baga, near Chad and Niger, killed several hundred people and raised fresh questions about the Nigerian military's capacity to face Boko Haram alone.
An aerial bombardment inside Nigeria by the Chadian air force, if confirmed, would mark a major development in bilateral security cooperation.
While it was unclear whether Chadian troops had begun operating in Nigeria, security sources said soldiers from Chad had arrived in Cameroon ahead of an expected campaign against the Islamists.
"The first Chadian soldiers were deployed yesterday (Wednesday) in Fotokol," a Cameroonian security source told AFP, requesting anonymity.
Fotokol is just 500 meters (0.3 miles) from the Nigerian town of Gamboru, currently controlled by Boko Haram.
A senior Cameroonian officer said the deployment was part of "preliminary action" for the Chadian army to take on Boko Haram alongside troops from Yaounde.
The forces of Evil control large parts of Nigeria's Borno state, which shares borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Meanwhile, ...back at the hanging, Butch continued with his last words, trying not to repeat himself too often...... local sources in three areas of Cameroon's far north reported that 10 people had their throats slit by suspected Boko Haram snuffies this week.
[YEMENONLINE.INFO] Yemeni officials said that Iranian catspaws have captured a key military base south of the capital, where U.S. advisers had previously trained counterterrorism forces.
They say that the Republican Guard camp captured on Thursday was used by American experts until 2012 to train local forces battling al Qaeda's powerful Yemeni affiliate. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The Iranian catspaws, known as Houthis, have seized a number of key military facilities in recent days, including the headquarters of the paramilitary special forces. They took control of the capital in September.
The captured camp was manned by forces loyal to 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... , who is suspected of quietly backing the rebels.
[YEMENONLINE.INFO] Two Yemeni soldiers were killed and two maimed when they were ambushed while on patrol by suspected Al-Qaeda gunnies in the central province of Marib, a regional official said Thursday.
Marib has most of Yemen's oil and gas fields and has long been a battleground between various factions, including local rustics, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ...the latest incarnation of various Qaeda and Qaeda-allied groups, including the now-defunct Aden-Abyan Islamic Army that boomed the USS Cole in 2000... (AQAP) forces of Evil and other Islamists, and government forces.
Now rustics say the province is subject to an advance by Iranian-allied Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ... fighters, who took over the capital Sanaa in September and brought about the collapse of the U.S.-backed government last week.
A CIA drone strike on a car in Yemen killed three suspected Al-Qaeda gunnies in Marib Monday, the first since the Sanaa regime stepped down, in a sign such U.S. operations will continue despite the political crisis.
Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said Tuesday his movement was seeking a peaceful transfer of power after the resignation of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and urged all Yemeni factions to work together to that end.
[DAWN] At least four hard boyz were killed in a US drone strike on Thursday in the Nazyan district near the Pak-Afghan border.
Intelligence sources say that the drone fired three missiles on hard boy positions, killing at least four.
A number of others have also reportedly been injured in the strike.
The identity of the hard boyz is yet to be ascertained, but the area is reported to be mostly inhabited by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) hard boyz let by Mullah Fazllullah and also some imported muscle.
According to security officials, hard boyz based in the Nazyan district had planned the devastating attack on the Army Public School in 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. , which left over 140 children and teachers dead and scores injured.
Strikes against hard boyz have increased on both sides of the border since the attack.
Pak security forces have also been carrying out ground offensives in Khyber Agency, particularly the Tirah Valley of Bara which borders Nazyan.
[IraqiNews.com] On Wednesday, Municipal Council of Muqdadiya district in Diyala province announced that the bodies of three Chinese ISIS elements were found in Ziraiya village north of the district.
Council Chairman Adnan al-Tamimi said in an interview for IraqiNews.com that, " Joint security forces backed by associate members found, in the outskirts of Al-Zour village north of Miqdadiya, the bodies of three ISIS elements with Chinese features," noting that, "These elements were killed in violent festivities that took place two days ago during an operation of liberating the village, which is considered as an important stronghold of the organization. "
Tamimi added, "Finding these bodies is another sign that the villages of north of Muqdadiyah were home for dozens of Arab and foreign elements."
[IraqiNews.com] On Thursday, a security source in Anbar province said, that 16 ISIS faceless myrmidons have been killed and 10 others were hurt in an air strike by the U.S.-led coalition in western Ramadi. The source stated to IraqiNews in an interview, "Warplanes of the international coalition have carried out two air strikes against military checkpoints of the ISIS group in the area of al-Ratba, located 310 km western Ramadi," pointing out that, "The air strikes resulted in killing 16 elements of the ISIS group and wounding 10 others."
[IraqiNews.com] A security source in Salahuddin province said Wednesday, that the ISIS group holy warriors have kidnapped 20 people from eastern Tikrit.
Like sheep for the shearing, like cultivated fields for the reaping.
The source stated to IraqiNews in an interview, "Elements of the ISIS group have carried out raids in the villages of Albu-Ajil and al-Alam, located in eastern Tikrit," noting that, "The group has kidnapped 20 civilians from the two villages."
"The hostages were driven to an unknown location," the source added.
"Paramilitary"? When did that particular denigration start for the most effective native military force in the country?
[IraqiNews.com] On Wednesday, a security source in Kirkuk province said, that 15 ISIS holy warriors have been killed in an ambush by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Daqouq, located in southern Kirkuk.
The source informed IraqiNews, "This evening, a force from the Peshmerga has set an ambush against the elements of the ISIS group in al-Banshakh village in the district of Daqouq, located 45 km in southern Kirkuk, ... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time... " pointing out that, "The ambush resulted in killing 15 ISIS elements and destroying two vehicles that belonged to the group."
"The operation is to be considered a painful blow to the group in Daqouq at the outskirts of Kirkuk," the source added.
[IraqiNews.com] On Thursday, a source in the Iraqi police announced, that the security forces have tossed in the clink Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! 30 individuals suspected of involvement in the U.A.E. plane accident in the west and north of Baghdad.
The source said in an interview for IraqiNews.com,"The security forces arrested yesterday afternoon, 30 people in the vicinity of Abu Qadai Abu Ghraib (west of Baghdad), and Taji (north of Baghdad)."
A source in the Iraqi police announced on January 26, 2015 that a U.A.E. aircraft was under fire at Baghdad International Airport.
[IraqiNews.com] On Thursday, a source in Salahuddin province announced that the ISIS organization blew up dozens of presidential palaces in Tikrit, and withdrew to the east of the city.
Did they loot the gold bathroom fixtures, too?
The source said in an interview for IraqiNews.com, "ISIS elements blew up this morning a number of presidential palaces after they stole its contents in the presidential palaces compound (in central Tikrit)," noting that, "The ISIS elements evacuated the compound and withdrew to al-Alam district east of Tikrit."
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, added, "The went kaboom! palaces include: al-Faruq, al-Nawaris, The Wooden Palace, Abbasi, al-Modif, al-Said, al-Sharfa, Slat al-Oyoun, Al Bajaa, and Shalal."
Noteworthy, the presidential palaces compound in central Tikrit has hundreds of presidential palaces and a large number of government and security departments, as well as homes of officials and judges. It is now taken by the ISIS organization as its headquarters after their entry in Salahuddin.
[IraqiNews.com] On Thursday, a source in the Iraqi police announced that violent festivities erupted between unidentified gunnies and the military forces west of Baghdad.
The source said in an interview for IraqiNews.com, "Unidentified gunnies clashed last night with forces of the Iraqi Army in Abu Ghraib district west of Baghdad."
The source added that, "Losses caused by the festivities are not known yet."
Noteworthy, Baghdad every now and then witnesses a series of bombings with boom-mobiles and boom belts, as well as sporadic attacks targeting civilians and security forces in different parts, which result in hundreds dead and maimed.
[IraqiNews.com] On Thursday, a security source in Anbar province said, that 16 ISIS Lions of Islam have been killed and 10 others were hurt in an air strike by the U.S.-led coalition in western Ramadi.
The source stated to IraqiNews in an interview, "Warplanes of the international coalition have carried out two air strikes against military checkpoints of the ISIS group in the area of al-Ratba, located 310 km western Ramadi," pointing out that, "The air strikes resulted in killing 16 elements of the ISIS group and wounding 10 others."
[IraqiNews.com) On Thursday, a source within the police force said, that 19 elements of the Iraqi Volunteer Forces have been either killed or maimed in three kabooms in northern Baghdad.
The source stated to IraqiNews in an interview, "This afternoon, three suicide kabooms have taken place in the area of al-Moshahda, targeting a gathering point for the Iraqi Volunteer Forces, also known as al-Hashed al-Sha'bi.," noting that, "The three kabooms resulted in killing 8 fighters and injuring 19 others among the volunteer forces."
"The security forces blockaded the area of the kabooms, while ambulances transferred the dead bodies to the Forensic Medicine Authority and the injured ones to a near hospital to receive medical treatment," the source added.
[JPOST] An Israeli citizen was arrested earlier this month after returning from Syria where he joined al-Qaeda affiliated rebel fighters, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday.
Amin Ahmed Salah Snobar, 24, from Kfar Yasif in the North was tossed in the calaboose Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! by Shin Bet and Israel Police on January 2 after returning from Syria, where he had been since July 2014.
Snobar admitted to his interrogators that he traveled to Syria via Turkey with the intention of joining rebel factions fighting against the regime of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... , the Shin Bet stated.
He trained with rebel groups Ansar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra ...the current nom de guerre of al-Qaeda in the Levant, which isn't to be confused with al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant... , al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate. He received training in weapons, preparing explosives and carrying out missions for the groups.
Snobar was indicted Thursday in Haifa District Court on charges of joining an illegal organization, conspiracy to commit a crime, illegally leaving the country and obstruction of justice.
[RFERL.ORG] Kurdish militia fighters have claimed that they have made advances against the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... (IS) group in the northern Syrian town of Kobani.
The Britannia-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) were in control of as much as 90 percent of Kobani early on January 26.
The fighters, led by Mahmoud Barkhadan, had advanced against IS snuffies in the neighborhoods of Kani Erban and Maqtalah, SOHR said.
An ethnic Chechen myrmidon from Germany who belongs to the IS group's Russian-speaking Katibat Al-Aqsa faction, which has been fighting in Kobani, said via an account on the Russian social network VKontakte on January 25 that the faction was sending its snuffies back from Kobani.
The fighter, who calls himself Adam al-Almani ("the German") wrote that, "they are reporting that the infidels [Kurdish forces] have taken Kobani, today the last ranks of our brigade returned."
In a later comment on January 25, Almani clarified his report. "Brothers who recently arrived from there [Kobani] told me that they are the last ones who have left from there," he wrote.
On January 23, Almani reported that the "infidels" -- the IS group's term for anyone it designates as non-Moslems, in this case a reference to the Kurds -- were making gains and threatening IS positions in Kobani. Almani's report also shows that the Kurdish forces have been supported effectively by U.S.-led air strikes.
"The infidels once again entrenched themselves on a hilltop near Kobani, fortified their position there and set up a big spotlight that illuminates the city from above, which allows the infidels to operate snipers. Naturally this was done to the best of their cowardice and boldness, after dropping several dozen bombs from the F11B2 airplane [a strategic bomber]," Almani wrote.
Almani is likely referring to Mistenur Hill, which overlooks Kobani and which Kurdish forces reported capturing in recent days.
Judging by Almani's comments, IS snuffies have had to change their fighting tactics in order to avoid the U.S.-led air strikes on Kobani. "By the grace of Allah, no one was there, the mujahedin [militants] are not so stupid as to be out in the open, Allah has given us enough experience in this case," Almani wrote.
According to Thomas Pierret, a specialist on Syria from the University of Edinburgh, "75 percent of all U.S. air strikes were on Kobani." "You give any force on the ground that kind of aerial support and they will get the upper hand," Pierret told the Kurdish news website Ekurd on January 18.
In this January 23 post, two days before he reported that IS snuffies -- at least from the Chechen battalion -- were withdrawing from Kobani -- Almani also offers some interesting insights into the IS group's strategy in Kobani and suggests that the snuffies might well retreat rather than surrender or admit defeat.
"The mujahedin are not going to surrender and retreat, they will withdraw only in the case that there is nothing to hold as a front line, as the infidels are bombing and demolishing entire neighborhoods," Almani wrote.
The ethnic Chechen IS myrmidon then said that the battle for Kobani was "only a small battle."
"Sooner or later we will win, if not in this town then in the next. It is not the first and not the last battle, the real battle is yet to come and the war will be won in Dabiq [a small town in northern Aleppo Province in Syria, where -- according to a hadith -- Moslems and "Rome" (i.e. the West) will fight a decisive battle] this is only a small battle in which Allah teaches us patience!" he wrote.
Almani's comment, of course, belies the resources and efforts that the IS group has poured into the fighting for the predominantly Kurdish town. According to Kurdish affairs analyst Mutlu Civiroglu, IS has lost "hundreds of fighters, millions of dollars of weapons, and the image that wherever IS goes no one can stop them."
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.