KABUL Video evidence recorded by fighter jets and the account of the ground commander suggest no more than 30 civilians were killed in a two-day battle in western Afghanistan this month, the U.S. military said Wednesday, a stark contrast with Afghan claims that 140 civilians died.
The footage shows insurgents streaming into homes that were later bombed, said Col. Greg Julian, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan. He said ground troops observed some 300 villagers flee in advance of the fighting, indicating that not many could have been inside the bombed compounds.
The figures, which the Americans called preliminary, are far lower than the numbers villagers provided to an Afghan government commission days after the May 4-5 battle in the villages of Gerani and Ganjabad in Farah province.
The Afghan government has paid compensation to families who claimed relatives were killed; the U.S. contends the money could have acted as an incentive for families to inflate the numbers of victims. A list of 140 names provided by villagers includes at least 60 females and more than 90 people under age 18.
Julian said the exact number killed might never be known and U.S. investigators were still trying to determine what happened. U.S. investigators initially visited the area and said the number and size of the mass graves did not support the Afghan claims of 140 dead. No corpses were exhumed.
Investigators later reviewed hours of cockpit video from the fighter jets as well as audio recordings of the air crew's conversation with the ground commander. Julian said the military would release the footage and other evidence in the coming days.
U.S. officials initially suggested that Taliban grenades may have been responsible for at least some of the civilian deaths. But in later statements, the military placed the blame on Taliban militants who put civilians at risk by dashing into their homes.
President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly called for an end to airstrikes and raids in villages, warning that civilian deaths are causing Afghans to side with the Taliban as the Obama administration pours more troops into the country to battle the raging insurgency.
The United States warns that as long as insurgents fight from civilian areas, there are likely to be civilian deaths. On Tuesday, a NATO airstrike aimed at 25 insurgents killed eight Afghan civilians in the southern Helmand province, the alliance said in a statement.
The Taliban, however, carry out suicide bombings against civilian targets in some areas and use fear and intimidation to gain support.
According to the U.S. military, the battle in Farah province began a day after Taliban fighters entered the two villages, demanded money from civilians and killed three former government employees. An Afghan force rushed in, only to be ambushed by as many as 300 insurgents who killed two policemen.
The provincial governor asked for U.S. military help, and American ground troops joined the battle, the statement said.
Before the battle was over, three other Afghan policemen were killed and a U.S. Navy corpsman was wounded trying to rescue a wounded Afghan soldier trapped by Taliban fire.
The troops then called in F-18 fighter jet airstrikes to help rescue the soldier, the statement said.
"Following this, one B-1 (bomber) provided fires in coordination with the ground commander on buildings and a tree grove insurgents were firing from or massing in," the statement said.
What happened next is a matter of dispute.
Video footage shows insurgents regrouping into houses that are then destroyed in airstrikes, Julian said.
He could not say whether civilians were inside the buildings as the bombs fell, which he described as isolated, small structures surrounded by poppy and wheat fields.
"There were these two large groups of insurgents running into these small rural farm buildings, where they were reorganizing. The intelligence information said these were definitely insurgents moving into these buildings and we destroyed them," Julian said.
U.S. military aircraft hit eight buildings with 13 missiles, Julian said.
Based on the new evidence, the investigating team "estimates that 60-65 Taliban extremists were killed in these engagements, while at least 20-30 civilians may have been killed during the fighting," the U.S. statement said.
"We regret the loss of any civilian life and express our condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this fighting with insurgents firing from and regrouping in villagers' homes," Julian said.
He said that because some 300 villagers were seen fleeing before the fighting, no more than 30 would likely have remained.
Villagers interviewed shortly after the battle said they had gathered children, women and elderly men in compounds near Gerani to keep them away from the fighting and that those compounds too were hit by airstrikes.
The international Red Cross has said women and children were among dozens of dead its teams saw in the two villages where houses lay in ruin following the bombing. An Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family were killed in an airstrike while sheltering in a house that was bombed, according to the Red Cross.
NATO-led troops, meanwhile, said eight Afghan civilians were killed in an airstrike by the military alliance in Helmand province on Tuesday.
The soldiers were attacked by 25 suspected insurgents south of the provincial capital, the alliance said in a statement.
"Their first option is always to try and extract themselves from that particular situation," said British Navy Capt. Mike Durbin, a spokesman for the force.
"They found themselves unable to do that and as a result, totally unaware that there were any civilians in the area called for air support," Durbin said.
Separately, Afghan troops killed 25 militants and recovered their bodies after a battle in Helmand's Nad Ali district Tuesday, said Afghan Gen. Ghulam Muhiddin Ghori.
The U.S. military reported that a roadside bombing outside Kabul on Wednesday killed two Americans a service member and a civilian working for the military. The vehicle was traveling from Kabul toward Bagram Air Field at the time.
The leader of Al Shabaab is reported to have been wounded and possibly killed in what appears to be an accidental explosion at a safe house outside Mogadishu.
Ahmed Abdi Aw Mohamed, the reclusive spiritual leader of the radical al Qaeda-linked terror group, was seriously wounded in the explosion on May 17. He is reportedly being treated at a hospital in northern Mogadishu, according to Garowe Online. Another source, Waaga Cusub, a Toronto-based Somali website aligned with the Hawiye clan in Mogadishu, speculated that Mohamed may have been killed, although the report has not been confirmed.
Eleven Shabaab fighters and three or four "foreign fighters" were killed in the incident.
One report indicated that three Pakistanis were among those killed.
One report indicated that three Pakistanis were among those killed. After the incident, Shabaab fighters immediately cordoned the home and prevented witnesses from getting near the site, making confirmation difficult.
Mohamed, who is also known as Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr and Godane, is reported to have been hosting a meeting of senior Shabaab commanders when the explosion occurred. No other senior leaders have been reported killed or wounded. The cause of the explosion is unknown. One witness told Waaga Cusub that
"Missiles" struck the safe house. No US airstrike has been reported in the region.
"missiles" struck the safe house. No US airstrike has been reported in the region. But the cause of the explosion appears to be a premature detonation of one or more bombs on site. A source close to Shabaab told Garowe Online that one or more car bombs detonated due to faulty wiring. "Red Wire Syndrome" strikes again!
Another witness told Waaga Cusub that one of the Pakistanis was training for a suicide attack against African peacekeepers and crossed the wrong wires. Don't ya just hate it when that happens?
After the explosion on Sunday, a Shabaab spokesman stated that three car bombs built for use against African peacekeepers had accidentally detonated. Honest, we don't make this stuff up.
But the cause of the explosion appears to be a premature detonation of one or more bombs on site. A source close to Shabaab told Garowe Online that one or more car bombs detonated due to faulty wiring.
Nairobi Somalia's Al-Shabab militia have recently captured several strategic towns near Mogadishu, but the group has yet to gain popularity among locals, observers said.
The onslaught has sent thousands of displaced civilians on the run again and crippled aid operations in the southern regions. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that 40,000 people have been displaced since fighting intensified on 7 May. Other aid workers say at least 150 people have been killed and more than 400 injured.
"The capture of Jowhar goes to the heart of the problem in Somalia and demonstrates that indeed the government in Mogadishu is by and large extremely weak," Timothy Othieno, an analyst at the London-based Overseas Development Institute, told IRIN. "The government needs to engage with the people who matter, including hardliners, who include Al-Shabab."
Al-Shabab has continued to expand its control of southern and central Somalia and captured Jowhar, 90km north of Mogadishu, on 17 May.
According to a political observer in the capital, however, the capture of Jowhar may be a sign that Al-Shabab has peaked. "In my opinion this is as far they will reach," he said. "They have entered hostile territory, where they are less popular than even the Ethiopians [troops] were." The Ethiopian soldiers were invited by the Transitional Federal Government in December 2006 to help oust the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).
Pointing to the recent defection of prominent opposition figure Sheikh Yusuf "Indha Cadde" to the government side, which he described as a boost, the observer said Mogadishu's apparent weakness "may in fact work to the benefit of the government by galvanising supporters to take the offensive".
Separately, a regional analyst, who requested anonymity, said: "The fall of Jowhar is less a sign of Al-Shabab's strength than the government's apparent disarray and paralysis. Either the opposition will maintain the initiative, fatally eroding the government's authority and cohesion; or the crisis will provoke a determined and unified reaction from the government."
The current fighting has had a devastating impact on the population and the fall of Jowhar will make it even more difficult to access those needing assistance, aid workers said. "For those who depend on them [aid workers] it means no help for now," one Somali civil society leader said.
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/21/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Shabaab
ION AFRICA REDDIT > POVERTY-STRICKEN ARMED SOMALI TROOPS DESERT TO JOIN PIRATES; + SUDAN WARNS IT WILL DESTROY ANY CHADIAN FORCES WHICH ENTER ITS TERRITORY.
* MARIANAS VARIETY > CHINA ASKS PAPUA NEW GUINEA TO PROTECT CHINESE CITIZENS [Mine labor clashes-looting]. Many Chin migrated and had been established in PNG since 1946. Local indigenous angry over lack of work, low standard of living, and Chin-blamed unscrupulous business-labor, etc. practices.
A Chittagong court on Wednesday gave CID police another six days to grill the two former NSI chiefs in custody in the sensational 10-truck arms haul case.
He's just not going to be feeling so well over the next six days ...
He's had five years to prepare for this. I'm sure he's found some wonderful recipes for a mixed grill with roasted vegetables on rosemary skewers... perhaps with honey and lemon glazed grilled fruit for dessert with freshly whipped cream.
The investigation officer of the case, CID SSP Moniruzzaman Chowdhury, produced retired major general Rezzaqul Haider Chowdhury and brigadier general Abdur Rahim in Chittagong Metropolitan Judicial Magistrate's Court at noon and appealed for 10-day remand. Metropolitan magistrate Osman Ghani, however, granted six days to quiz them in the taskforce interrogation cell.
The former chief did not divulge much information and parried questions tactfully, officials said.
Another accused in the case, NSI director, security, retired wing commander Shahabuddin Ahmad, in his confessional statement in the court on Friday that Rezzaqul and Rahim were involved in the scandalous arms haul.
Shahbuddin was arrested on May 3 at his house in Dhaka on the basis of NSI field officer Akbar Hossain Khan's confession.
On April 1, 2004 midnight, police had seized the 10 truckloads of arms smuggled in from the secured Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited jetty in Chittagong.
Three former and one incumbent NSI officers have so far been rounded up. Habibur Rahman and Taslim Mallick, the proprietor and the manager of Greenways, a Chittagong-based truck company which had supplied the trucks for carrying the arms, volunteered information regarding the involvement of Akbar Khan. Based on the clue, police arrested Akbar first and following up on the clues given by Akbar, Shahabuddin was arrested.
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/21/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
SYLHET, May 20: RAB and police arrested 142 BDR members at the Sylhet district headquarters of the border guards on on Wednesday morning for their alleged links to the Feb 25-26 mutiny, reports bdnews24.com. Sylhet chief judicial magistrate TM Musa ordered 140 of them into jail after the arrestees were produced before the court. The remaining two accused, sepoy Alamgir Hossain and batman Ruhul Amin, were admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital under police custody.
"Nurse Ratchet, get the digitalis ready. Two syringes!"
Kotwali police chief Syeduzzaman told bdnews24.com the border guards had been arrested in a sedition case filed on May 17 with the judicial magistrate''s court. They were arrested after the court issued warrant against them.
Police arrested 592 border guards on Monday from Netrokona, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Sunamganj, Moulvibazaar, Khagrhachharhi, Cox's Bazaar, Mymensingh and Jamalpur on charges of sedition pressed after the rebellion. The arrests pushed to the count outside capital Dhaka to over 1,500.
Gonna take a lot of EKG paper to document those 'arrests' ...
The Bangladesh Rifles on Tuesday published a list of 25 border guards who remained fugitive until May 17 since the Feb 25-26 Peelkhana carnage. The number had been much higher, but many were either arrested or surrendered on their own, BDR public relations officer Md Nurul Huda told bdnews24.com.
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/21/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
[ADN Kronos] Spain's police on Wednesday have arrested at least 17 suspects alleged to be members of an Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb cell in the northern city of Bilbao. The arrests were followed by raids in various neighbourhoods throughout the city.
The arrested - mostly Moroccan and Algerian nationals - are alleged to have financed Al-Qaeda by falsifying credit cards, as well as through drug trafficking and theft, Spanish media reported. A minor was also arrested in the raids.
The anti-terrorism operation was ordered by judge Eloy Velasco of the National Court of Spain, a senior court which hears cases related to terrorism and organised crime.
The arrests and raids took place early on Wednesday and continued throughout the morning.
The Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb evolved from the Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat, initially formed to create an Islamic state in Algeria, but is now believed to have more widespread goals.
Spain suffered a major Al-Qaeda-inspired terror attack in the capital Madrid in 2004, when a total of 191 people were killed and 2,000 were injured when 10 rucksack bombs exploded in four crowded commuter trains.
Twenty-one people, including a number of North Africans, were sentenced to over 40,000 years in jail for their roles in the attack.
It was carried out by a loosely knit group of Al-Qaeda-inspired Muslim militants and occurred three days before the country's general election.
Posted by: Fred ||
05/21/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Europe
Jeeze! Isn't there someplace safe where an Al Qaeda religious warrior can go for a little quiet R and R while on leave?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon ||
05/21/2009 4:04 Comments ||
little quiet R and R
Lotsa places, Richard. London. Washington DC. San Francisco. Brussels.
WASHINGTON A suspected al-Qaeda militant accused in the deadly 1998 bombings of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya will be tried in a civilian court in New York, making him the first Guantánamo Bay detainee to be tried in an American civilian court, the Justice Department said Thursday.
By prosecuting Ahmed Ghailani in federal court, we will ensure that he finally answers for his alleged role in the bombing of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
The decision to try Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani in New York stemmed directly from the review ordered by President Obama in January of the cases of all 240 terror suspects held at the Guantánamo detention center. Mr. Obama is scheduled to give what the White House has billed as a major speech on the handling of the detainees on Thursday morning.
The administration has encountered unexpectedly stiff opposition to moving some of the detainees to the United States, including overwhelming votes in both the House and Senate to oppose appropriating funds to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center.
Mr. Ghailanis case is probably one of the easier one to bring to the forefront. He faces charges in a pre-Sept. 11 crime; no one charged with Sept. 11 crimes has yet been tried in an American civilian court. The case against him also appears well-developed. And New York City has experience with terrorist trials.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Ghailani helped purchase the Nissan truck and the oxygen and acetylene tanks used in the bombing of the United States embassy in Tanzania, and that he helped load boxes of TNT, cylinder tanks, detonators, fertilizer and other materials into the truck before the bombing.
He was captured in July 2004 and, in September 2006, transferred along with other high value detainees to Guantánamo Bay.
While he is the first Guantánamo detainee to be sent to the United States for trial, he is the second detainee under the Obama administration to be shifted to the civilian court system. Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri was taken from a South Carolina brig to Illinois and has already pleaded guilty without incident, eliminating the need for a trial.
Mr. Ghailani, who is believed to be in his mid-30s, appeared in 2007 before a military review panel at Guantánamo Bay. He claimed ignorance of the purpose of the 1998 attacks, which killed more than 200 people, and issued an apology. It was without my knowledge what they were doing, but I helped them, he said, according to a transcript. Im sorry for what happened to those families who lost, who lost their friends and their beloved ones.
But he did acknowledge having once met Osama bin Laden, and also Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the senior Al Qaeda planner held at Guantánamo and the acknowledged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The charges facing him include murder, attacking civilians, destruction of property and conspiracy, as well as providing material support to terrorism.
Trying to calm concerns and retake the initiative in the detainee debate, President Obama is scheduled to give a major address on national security and on his philosophy about detaining terror suspects at Guantánamo at the National Archives on Thursday.
According to administration officials, he will contend that the Bush administrations policies were an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable a framework that failed to trust in our institutions, and that failed to use our values as a compass.
Four New York City men were arrested Wednesday in connection with an alleged plot to blow up New York City synagogues and other city locations, WNBC's Jonathan Dienst was first to learn. Raids by the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force in the Bronx captured the suspected ringleader and three followers in what law enforcement sources are calling a homegrown terrorist plot.
Investigators stress the suspects' meetings had been infiltrated early on and there was "no chance" the alleged plot could succeed. Some officials have called them an "unsophisticated" group.
Leave them alone and they could learn to do better ...
Investigators said several of the suspects are Muslims who allegedly talked about destroying two Jewish temples, including at least one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Prosecutors also said the men discussed trying to shoot down military planes at Stewart Airport using stinger missiles.
The men ordered and accepted delivery of materials they believed were bomb-making ingredients, authorities said. But investigators said they made sure the materials the suspects received were inert. Officials tell WNBC they moved in now so the alleged plot could not progress any further.
The four suspects were identified as James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen. The four men are in custody and are expected to be arraigned Thursday in White Plains federal court on terrorism-related counts.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered his thanks to the NYPD and FBI. "This latest attempt to attack our freedoms shows that the homeland security threats against New York City are sadly all too real and underscores why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent terrorism," Bloomberg said.
The motives behind the alleged plot are not yet known, but authorities said that Cromitie said his parents live in Afghanistan and he was apparently upset over the U.S. military presence there and in Pakistan.
Since the 9/11 attacks, authorities have arrested suspects in a number of alleged plots against area targets including the Fort Dix New Jersey military base, John F. Kennedy Airport, the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Last December, a New Jersey jury convicted five foreign-born men, living and working in the area for years, of conspiring to kill U.S. soldiers at Ft. Dix. Three were brothers from Yugoslavia; the others were born in Jordan and Turkey. The FBI arrested them after 15 months of surveillance after they tried to buy AK-47s and M-16s. The men had claimed they were set up by an unscrupulous informant.
In June 2007, four alleged Muslim extremists -- a 63-year-old former JFK airport cargo employee living in Brooklyn and three others from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago -- were charged with plotting to blow up fuel lines and gas tanks at the busy Queens airport. All four have pleaded not guilty.
Two men were convicted of plotting to bomb the Herald Square station including a Pakistani immigrant Shahawar Matin Siraj. He is serving 30 years in federal prison for conspiring to blow up the subway station on the eve of the 2004 Republican National Convention in nearby Madison Square Garden.
Al Qaeda operative Iman Faris of Columbus, Ohio, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kashmir, is serving 20 years in federal prison for planning to destroy American targets including the Brooklyn Bridge, which he cased in 2002 and 2003.
Others have been charged with material support for terrorism. Two American born Muslim converts, Bronx jazz musician and martial arts expert Tarik Shah and emergency room doctor Rafiq Sabir, who had worked in New York and Florida, were convicted in 2007 of conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda.
Queens resident Mohammed Junaid Babar, who immigrated to the U.S., pleaded guilty in 2004 to supporting Al Qaeda and has since testified against terror suspects who plotted attacks in London.
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/21/2009 00:05 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
How dare the government intrude in the affairs of - oh, they're not Muslim? Guilty as hell, send them away!
You imply they're not Muslim, but: Cromitie said his parents live in Afghanistan
If not, it appears at least one has strong sympathies that way. The plot against synagogues was not an anti-Juice thing, but a pro-Muslim/anti-US thing.
The FBI said the Muslim suspects were angry and full of hate for America.
"Hatred of the West. The leader of the group, James Cromitie was concerned about deaths at the hands of the U.S. military in Afghanistan," and also expressed anti-Jewish sentiment, Joseph Demarest the head of the New York FBI said.
According to the criminal complaint, Cromitie said "I hate those f-ing Jewish bastards." He bragged that it would be a "piece of cake" to bomb a Jewish Center in Riverdale, according to the complaint.
He said his father lives in Afghanistan and he was upset about U.S. military presence there.
The fact that this type of hatred exists means that we all have to be vigilant all of the time," city councilman Jeffrey Dinowitz said Thursday.
Cromitie was the first to approach the informant, authorities said. He told the informant he has ties to the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad. Authorities said Cromitie had 27 past arrests and had recently been working at a nation-wide discount retailer, authorities said.
The Brigadier General of the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations ("AFOSI"), announced the arrests tonight of JAMES CROMITIE, a/k/a "Abdul Rahman," a/k/a "Abdul Rehman," DAVID WILLIAMS, a/k/a "Daoud," a/k/a "DL," ONTA WILLIAMS, a/k/a "Hamza," and LAGUERRE PAYEN, a/k/a "Amin," a/k/a "Almondo," on charges arising from a plot to detonate explosives near a synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, and to shoot military planes located at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York.
In June 2008, an informant working with the FBI met CROMITIE in Newburgh, New York. CROMITIE explained to the informant that his parents had lived in Afghanistan and that he was upset about the war there and that many Muslim people were
being killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the United States Military forces. CROMITIE expressed interest in returning to Afghanistan and spoke to the CW about how if he, CROMITIE, were to die a martyr, he would go to "paradise." CROMITIE also
expressed an interest in doing "something to America." The following month, CROMITIE and the informant discussed the organization Jaish-e-Mohammed, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization based in Pakistan, with which the informant claimed to be involved. CROMITIE stated to the informant that he, CROMITIE, would be interested in joining Jaish-e-Mohammed to "do jihad."
I thought surely these guys would have been Mormon or Quaker or Amish. What a shock to find they were muslims. Jihad is part of their religion. I guess they were just doing their religious thing. They certainly don't fit any of the profiled groups in the Homeland Security Report that came out a couple of weeks ago.
I thought everything would be euphoric again in the new Obama kingdom! Wait. Now I understand. When he replaces the intelligence community with Clintonites, THEN all will be September 10, 2001 again. At least for a day or two...
The government has directed law-enforcement agencies to arrest seven highly trained militants and Al Qaeda masterminds in Iraq who according to reports by intelligence agencies have entered Pakistan, reported BBC Urdu. According to an official document the BBC claimed it had received, those who have entered Pakistan are planning to train like-minded people and target key government officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari, the chief ministers of the four provinces and intelligence agencies officers and commanders. The group could also target embassies of non-Muslim and pro-US Muslim countries in Islamabad. The intelligence report also said that Al Qaeda commanders met in Afghanistans Paktia province on May 3 and decided they would continue supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Posted by: Fred ||
05/21/2009 06:06 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
PESHAWAR: Residents of Kalam town in Swat took eight Taliban hostage after a clash with them on Tuesday, locals said. "Drop the rocket launcher! One false move and the Talib gets it!"
"He means it, Mahmoud!"
"Drop it, I said!... That's right! N-i-i-i-ice and easy!"
"Heavy clashes are taking place between Kalam residents and Taliban since Tuesday," residents told Daily Times by telephone on Wednesday. [BANG! BANG! BANGETY BANG!]
There were no reports of casualties on either side. "What do you mean, 'you blew off 19,000 rounds of ammunition and you didn't hit anybody'?"
"Sorry, sahib. Us tribesmen shoot really good. We just don't hit really good."
The Taliban have not been able to control Kalam since 2007 when Swat plunged into unrest. "You'll never run this town, Ahmed!"
On Wednesday, Taliban searched hotels in Maidan town looking for Kalam residents but could not find any, the residents added. "It's quiet, sahib!"
"Yeah. Too quiet!"
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/21/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: TTP
So how much can you get for a Taliban hostage? How much less if he's been neutered?
Posted by: Richard of Oregon ||
05/21/2009 4:08 Comments ||
Interesting thought, Richard. Prolly worth MORE neutered. Like steers. (Since they're clearly not good breeding stock.)
[Geo News] The number of internally displaced persons IDPs has crossed 2.5 million figure, Mian Iftikhar, provincial minister for information, said on Wednesday. Briefing media here, he said the ongoing operation would continue till the areas are cleansed from miscreants. Iftikhar said the number of people fleeing from the affected areas has reached 25,28,370, which is the highest figure of IDPs in the world. He called on the world aid agencies to contribute generously for the rehabilitation of displaced families. He said some 90 registration centres have been set up for the displaced persons, where 15 to 20 registration counters were in full swing. Regarding Bajaur and Mohmand Agency, he said displaced people from these areas have started returning to home and so far, up to 3,264 families have returned. The number of Humanitarian hub for the affected persons has been increased from 13 to 18, he said, adding that arrangements have been made to set up eight more such points in Peshawar, Mardan and Swabi. The minister said around 30 to 35 percent people were still under siege in the affected areas, and efforts were underway to evacuate them safely. He said security forces have strengthened their position in Sultanwas area of Buner, while people were still stranded in the Chakdara area of Dir.
[Geo News] Security Forces have cleared Sultanwas after intense clashes while 80 terrorists were killed during clearance of the area, Director General ISPR Major General Athar Abass said in a media briefing on Operation Rah-e-Rast, here on Wednesday. He said six vehicles of militants were also destroyed during the operation. Meanwhile, the ISPR confirmed that the security forces have successfully secured the Binai Baba Ziarat, near Shangla, a stronghold and a main terrorist den in the area. During the operation, the terrorists suffered heavy causalities.
In Matta, the security forces after crushing stiff resistance by militants, fanned them out and took over the portions in the town.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, Secretary Information and Broadcasting Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal and Principal Information Officer Shabbir Anwar were also present.
The Director General ISPR said that during the clearance of Sultanwas, the security forces encountered seven IEDs which were effectively defused. Sultanwas was main stronghold of terrorist-miscreants in Buner, where they have made concrete underground bunkers and ammunition dumps.
The local populace of Sultanwas had posed severe resistance to the terrorists and they were unable to get their positions in the area. But later, the terrorists through an effective suicide attack had taken over the positions.
He said one soldier embraced Shahadat while 9 others were injured during the last 24 hours in various areas of Swat.
In the Piochar area, the search and destroy operations by the security forces were underway while clearance of compounds and houses in Matta is also in progress.
Search and cordon operation also continued at Kanju where three soldiers were injured during the operation.
In Takhtaband, clearance operation of the village is in progress where one soldier embraced shahadat while six others were injured.
Answering a question, Major Gen. Athar Abbas said that around 10 to 15 % people of the total population are present in their houses in Swat, who have been asked to keep themselves aloof from the terrorists. He said they also have been asked to come forward and help the security forces in identifying the terrorists, especially those who have changed their garb.
When asked to confirm the killing of Maulvi Fazal Ullah and another terrorist leader, Major General Athar Abbass said that a number of terrorists have been killed in the last 24 hour operation but anything could be confirmed after investigations on the ground.
On any possibility of spill out of terrorists from the Operation area to other adjoining parts, he said, that the security forces have besieged the terrorists in the area and there is hardly any possibility of their sneaking out of the area. He said the planners of Operation had already given due preference to this aspect and the security forces are keeping strict check on this factor.
He said efforts are in hand to conclude the Operation in the shortest possible time with the minimal chances of the collateral damage caused to the life as well as the property.
Looks like the Pak government and many of the Pak people have finally figured that the Taliban could take over and if you aint one of them, you will die. Reason enough to launch a vigorous counter attack.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon ||
05/21/2009 4:01 Comments ||
i hope we are watching the border real well for the ones running like hell. Too bad the surge of troops isn't already there so it could kill even more before they scurry away
ISLAMABAD: Troops drove the Taliban out from a major urban stronghold of Sultanwas after intense clashes on Wednesday, killing 81. One soldier was killed and nine seriously wounded, the Inter-Services Public Relations director general said in a daily briefing.
The Taliban had made concrete underground bunkers and set up ammunition dumps in the town, Maj Gen Athar Abbas told reporters. Six vehicles used by Taliban clad in black Elite Force uniforms were also destroyed during the operation. The security forces also defused seven improvised explosive devices. To a question, he said the military was investigating where the Taliban got the Elite Force vehicles and uniforms from.
A search-and-destroy operation in the former Taliban stronghold of Peochar valley and clearance of compounds in Matta was in progress, the chief spokesman for the military told reporters. He said a search-and-cordon operation also continued in Kanju. Three soldiers were injured during the operation in Kanju and Ayub Bridge, he said.
An operation to clear the Takhtaband village was in progress, he said, in which one soldier had died and another six had been injured.
To a question, the ISPR director general said the army was trying to keep the loss of civilian life and property as low as possible and added the operation will be completed at the earliest.
General Abbas said Pakistan was facing a double threat one internal and the other on its eastern borders and until a long-term solution is found to resolve the issues, the threat will remain in place.
Asked about the dead bodies of the Taliban that the army says it had killed, the military spokesman said it was against the armys policy to release footage of the dead bodies of terrorists. He said the bodies had been buried in mass graves.
He declined to confirm the death of Mullah Fazlullah and Muslim Khan, but said they had been targeted. Gen Abbas said there was no authentic intelligence available to confirm they had been killed.
Oh we're definitely going to want to see the severed heads of those two ...
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/21/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
The three militants were arrested while traveling in a private vehicle from Bajaur tribal agency to Dir. [They] are believed to be of Tajik origin and belong to Al-Qaeda network.
Authorities here have arrested three suspected militants, who are believed to have links with Al-Qaeda network, in the tribal agency, bordering Afghanistan.
The three militants were arrested while traveling in a private vehicle from Bajaur tribal agency to Dir, the northern district where security forces are conducting operations against local Taliban militants, security sources told KUNA.
The militants are believed to be of Tajik origin and belong to Al-Qaeda network. It may be mentioned here that Mullah Fazlullah, commander of Sawat valley Taliban militants, swears allegiance to Baitullah Mehsud, one of the most influential commander of Pakistan Taliban and has his strongholds in South Waziristan and Bajaur tribal agencies.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Suicide bombers killed at least 22 people, including three U.S. soldiers, in the Iraqi capital and the northern city of Kirkuk on Thursday, officials said.
The soldiers died when a suicide bomber struck at a crowded market in Baghdad's southern district of Doura, making it one of the deadliest incidents in months for U.S. troops as they curtail activities ahead of a withdrawal deadline in 2012.
An eyewitness said U.S. soldiers and Sunni Arab militiamen, part of a U.S.-backed Iraqi government program to combat al Qaeda, were around the market's entrance when a man walked into the crowd and blew himself up.
"There was chaos," the witness said, asking to go unnamed. "Some people ran; others fell to the floor in fright." Twelve civilians were killed and 25 others wounded, police said. The soldiers' deaths were confirmed by the U.S. military.
A sheet covered a body lying on the street and empty bandage packets littered a shop floor streaked with blood. A nearby hospital was packed with blast victims, including an elderly woman and young men, some crying in agony.
A recent rash of major attacks has raised doubts about whether Iraq can avoid sliding back into greater violence as the local military assumes greater security responsibility and U.S. troops curtail their activities and look toward withdrawal.
In Kirkuk, police said they thought a bomber dressed in a security forces uniform had mingled with militiamen, part of the same Sunni Arab movement known as the Awakening, as they approached an army building to be paid.
The bomber triggered a vest packed with explosives, killing seven people and wounding eight others, police said.
Cars nearby were damaged by the blast, their cracked windshields spattered with blood. Shoes littered the area.
The blasts come less than 24 hours after a car bomb killed 40 civilians and wounded 82 others in Baghdad's poor, mostly Shi'ite, district of Shula late on Wednesday, police said.
The United Nations' Mission to Iraq condemned the two days of bombings. U.N. representative Staffan de Mistura called them "reprehensible crimes that ... indiscriminately targeted ordinary Iraqis" and, in a statement, he offered condolences to the bereaved families.
The bombing involved an explosive-strapped car parked close to the restaurant in the capital's Al-Shula neighbourhood
Victims of a bomb attack close to a restauraunt north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, rose to a total 106 deaths and injuries, Iraqi police said Wednesday. The bombing involved an explosive-strapped car parked close to the restauraunt in the capital's Al-Shula neighbourhood, announced Iraqi police earlier. The massive explosion led to the death of 32 people and the injury of 74 others, while causing damage to 11 vehicles and several shops in the vicinity.
Proof positive, if any was needed, that desire is the only thing stopping Muslims from warring among themselves. If it were allowed to proceed naturally, it would end with a livable solution and the perpetrators expelled from Iraq. As it is, we have the unenviable job of making a federation where only a conqueror stood.
Gates said he did not have information on whether the missile hit its intended target.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed to lawmakers on Wednesday reports that Iran conducted a successful medium-range ballistic missile test. Gates confirmed at the House Appropriations Committee hearing that Iran test-fired a new advanced missile, with a range of up to 1,200 miles. However, given problems with its engine, Gates said the range is likely to be lower.
"The information that I have read indicates that it was a successful flight test," Gates confirmed at the House Appropriations Committee hearing, adding that Iran's test-fire of the new advanced missile has a range of roughly 2000-2,500 kilometers. "Because of some of the problems they've had with their engines we think at this stage of the testing, it's probably closer to the lower end of that range, " Gates said he did not have information on whether the missile hit its intended target.
FREEREPUBLIC > seems IRAN's MISSLE TEST may had been intens timed by same as per upcoming US-ISRAELI MISLEXS OF SEVEEERAAL IMPOR, IMPROVED OR ADVANCED, TMG-GMD MISLSYS + CONCEPTS [e.g. ARROW, THAAD]???
In a recent post I predicted decapitation strike and an all out ME war in six month.
Cut that to four months now that we know this !
We cannot aford to wait for Bambi's Starry-eyed talk-talk with the Arabs/Iranians any more. They are pulling his leg while the centrifuges work silently...........
Who was it that said " If you wanna shoot, shoot dont talk...."
I'd better be ugly than dead
Posted by: Elder of Zion ||
05/21/2009 8:03 Comments ||
It was a more accurate solid fuel missile that can be pre-fueled and hidden, giving us little forewarning of impending launch. The O has delayed the Israelis and can take the credit when Islamists rule by nuclear-clenched fist.
On this day in history: May 21st.
878 Syracuse, Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily. (Religion of Peace)
1881 The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton.
1927 Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
1932 Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and thereby becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
1934 Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.
1979 White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
2001 French Taubira law officially recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.
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.