This Day in History:
1796 - Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.
1862 - American Civil War: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fight to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads.
1916 - Pancho Villa leads nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico.
1933 - Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to the Congress
1959 - The Barbie doll makes it's debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
1989 - A strike forces financially-troubled Eastern Air Lines into bankruptcy.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Canadian soldiers soared into western Zhari District Saturday to disrupt suspected Taliban compounds, the first air-assault mission done with Canadian helicopters in the country's military history.
"It was the experience of a lifetime," said Master Cpl. Scott Vernelli, of November Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, based out of Petawawa, Ont. "Landing combat with the Chinooks was pretty good; pretty cool. It's for sure something we can tell our friends and family back home."
The mission netted a small cache of weapons and bomb-making materials, but Canadians say the ability to quickly drop dozens of soldiers deep into Taliban territory is an important new tool here.
The 11-hour day began at dawn, with a Canadian Chinook helicopter joining two British CH-47s on the ramp to pick more than 200 soldiers. After a roughly 20-minute flight, the soldiers stood in unison when the helicopter's wheels touched down on the spongy ground. They disembarked and less than two minutes later the helicopter was back in the air.
The area was thought to be a hub for bomb-making supplies and other materials shipped across the Registan Desert from Pakistan. Canadians spent the day methodically searching compounds and grape huts in the area. Afghan men of fighting age watched the soldiers from the hills nearby, but never engaged the troops. Canadians took the lack of fighting as a sign they startled the insurgents.
The flight's pilot, Maj. Jonathan Knaul, said it was pretty special seeing Canadian soldiers in the back of the helicopter. "We made a major Canadian milestone for our troops here and for Canadian aviation in general," Knaul said. "I felt a great deal of pride to have been a part of that, so have been the one commanding the Canadian Chinook."
Canada has been flying six Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and eight Griffon helicopters in Afghanistan for more than two months now, but this is the first time they have been used to ferry troops on a combat mission. Canada had done similar assaults in the past, but relied on NATO helicopters.
Improving air support in Afghanistan was a key recommendation of last year's report to Parliament by former MP John Manley. The battle group commander, Lt.-Col Roger Barrett says the helicopters give soldiers here one more tool to use against the insurgency. "It allowed us to strike deep into this territory quickly, efficiently and extract out quickly and efficiently."
Of the ABCA (America, Britain, Canada, Australia-plus-NZ), Americans (Vietnam), Brits (Falklands) and Australians (Vietnam) did this kind of thing for real a while back. Glad to see that the Canadian Forces have joined the club. The next rite-of-passage is doing it while entering a hot zone (where the enemy is blasting away at you as you land).
KABUL - One NATO soldier was killed and two injured in a roadside bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Sunday. The soldiers, who were part of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), were attacked during a patrol on Sunday, the alliance said in a statement.
The statement did not disclose the nationalities of the soldiers, nor did it say where exactly in the eastern region the incident took place. Most of the soldiers serving under the banner of ISAF forces in eastern provinces are from the United States.
Posted by: Steve White ||
03/09/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
NEW DELHI, March 9 (Xinhua) -- India is reluctant to provide further evidence to Interpol on Mumbai terror attacks fearing it might result in Pakistan gaining insight into its intelligence operations, a senior government official said on Monday.
"India doesn't want Pakistan to gain knowledge of its intelligence operations," the official said, on condition of anonymity.
India has already shared evidence of the Mumbai terror attacks last November with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States.
"The country is not bound to share any information on the attacks to Interpol until it feels necessary," the official said.
Pakistan has reportedly rejected an offer of assistance from the FBI.
Interpol officials have praised Pakistan's efforts to find the plotters but chided India for not sharing the information with them.
"India has shared information with the FBI, they have kept Interpol largely out of the loop. So far, we have received no information from the government of India or any (Indian) police organization," Interpol official Noble told the media Sunday in Islamabad.
The France-based international police organization has also announced an agreement with Pakistan to aid an investigation into the masterminds behind the Mumbai attacks.
Islamabad has admitted that part of the Mumbai terr plot was hatched on Pakistani soil, but called on India to provide more information about the attacks.
Pakistan has also pledged to provide Interpol with DNA evidence that was recovered, which will be cross-referenced against its global database of 83,000 DNA profiles.
Local news media reported that the evidence included samples from relatives of various Pakistani suspects, including of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only suspected assailant in custody.
But Noble had said that "in order for these comparisons to be completed, India will be required to send Interpol the DNA profiles that they obtained in their investigation."
Posted by: john frum ||
03/09/2009 17:11 Comments ||
Maybe Interpol should mind it's own business.
Posted by: Mike N. ||
03/09/2009 21:37 Comments ||
While Lashkars top leaders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Yousuf Muzammil, Ahmad Bhai and Zarar Shah are said to be in Pak custody as part of the probe into the Mumbai attacks, the group is learnt to have replaced them with new commanders to resume their operations all Pak nationals who have operated in the Valley over the last decade.
Top intelligence sources said four new commanders Shahji, Hyder Bhayee, Huzefa and Walid have taken over the Lashkars reins, their initial focus being the Valley and the Doda-Rajouri-Poonch belt in Jammu.
Shahji was in north Kashmir after he infiltrated in the autumn of 1997. Active as Abu Anas, he was Lashkars divisional commander until he left the Valley in 2007. A resident of Bahawalpur, Shahjis name is Raza Ahmad.
Hyder Bhayee, known as Bilal and Salahudin in the Valley, operated in the jungles of Bandipore in north Kashmir for eight years until he crossed over to Pakistan in 2006. His exit, in fact, led to a sharp dip in suicide attacks particularly in Srinagar city.
Sources said Huzefa alias Khalid was active in Ganderbal in central Kashmir. And that his real name is Abdul Gaffar, a resident of Gujranwala. Walid was active in Lolab in north Kashmir for six years. Sources said hes the organisations top man for ammunition supply and finances.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald K Noble has said that links of seven different countries are found in the Mumbai terror attacks that killed more than 170 people. "Interpol and Pakistan are cooperating with each other to investigate into the Mumbai terrorist attacks, links of the seven different countries are found during the investigation. We are trying to help expose the terrorists wherever they are hiding," The Nation quoted Noble, as saying.
The head of Interpol said Sunday that Pakistan had agreed to provide DNA profiles and other data on suspected terrorists it obtained during a probe into the Mumbai attacks. "Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will send Interpol the DNA profiles that it obtained during its investigation," Interpol Chief Ronald Noble told a news conference after talks with Pakistani officials.
Interpol is a global organisation that facilitates cooperation among police forces of member countries.
During his three-day stay in Islamabad Ronald met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, Interior Advisor Rehman Malik and the DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Tariq Khosa. Ronald who himself remained top US law enforcer at various positions including Chief of Staff of the Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice said that Pakistan was cooperating with the Interpol firmly.
He showed his confidence in the investigations of the Mumbai attacks being carried out by the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
When asked whether Pakistan had sought the handing over of Ajmal Kasab the only alive actor of the brutal attacks at Mumbai currently under Indian custody, Noble did not reply saying, "This is the most difficult question to answer."
Noble added that Pakistan was providing the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) to the Interpol, which would be checked by the global data of the 187 countries maintained by the Interpol. He said that Pakistan understood that unless terrorists-related information was compared against Interpol's global database and shared among its global network, an international terrorist investigation can never be considered complete and all countries, which are not provided with this vital information, remain at risk.
Earlier Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency fears it may have to stop further investigations into the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks due to a lack of cooperation from India and other countries. A private television channel said the concerns were expressed in a letter addressed to the Interior Ministry.
The FIA, which is probing the Mumbai terror attacks, has informed the Interior Ministry that it would have custody of some suspects only for a few more days and it was thus imperative to get cooperation from other countries. The FIA said it "may have to stop further investigations" against the suspects due to the lack of cooperation by India and other countries, sources said.
The agency said it had not received a charge sheet against arrested attacker Ajmal Kasab from the Mumbai Police and that agencies from the US, Spain, UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have also not responded to requests for information.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/09/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Taiba
Gunmen shot dead two US-allied Iraqi militiamen at a checkpoint in western Baghdad on Monday, a security service official said. "Armed men opened fire on a Sahwa (militia) checkpoint in the Jihad district, killing two men," an official said. Sounds like the right district.
Sahwa (Awakening) councils are a decentralised network of Sunni Arab militias recruited by the US military from insurgent groups and tribesmen. Many of them fought US and Iraqi forces after the 2003 invasion toppled Saddam Hussein before they joined forces with the US military in 2006 to fight Al-Qaeda linked jihadists after Bush's surge convinced them that Al Qaeda would not prevail.
A suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up killing at least 30 people and wounding 57 more at a police academy in the Iraqi capital on Sunday, as the Washingron announced that it will reduce the number of troops in Iraq by around 12,000 in the next six months. "A suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd outside the (police) academy on Palestine Street," a police official told AFP. It looks like AQI has found their new Zarqawi.
The bomber activated his vest as he sped into the crowd, a police official said. The academy in Baghdad has come under repeated attacks. Fifteen people died and more than 45 were wounded in two blasts on Dec. 1 as al-Qaeda and other insurgents continued to target security forces around the country.
On Thursday, a truck bomb killed 10 people and wounded more than 50 at a crowded livestock market near Hilla, a mainly Shiite provincial capital south of Baghdad.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/09/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq
A suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd outside the (police) academy on Palestine Street
US Contracting giant DynCorp lost a young kid to sniper fire yesterday while part of a US State Dept personal security detail (PSD). The bad guys are stepping it up.... as many predicted they would. "W" had the buggers under control. Barry pissed it away.
Palestinian fighters in the blockaded Gaza Strip have launched rockets into Israeli towns, seen as a reprisal for a recent Israeli air strike.
Four Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on Sunday exploded in the southern Israeli regions of Eshkol and Sdot Negev, but left no injuries or damage as they landed in open areas, Israeli media reported.
The rocket firing came hours after the Israeli Air Force said it had attacked a northern Gaza Strip arms warehouse and two alleged smuggling tunnels suspected of being used by forces loyal to the Islamic Hamas resistance movement.
The Hezbollah Brigades, one of the armed factions in the Gaza Strip, claimed in a statement that it had launched two projectiles in retaliation to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the coastal enclave.
GAZA CITY -- Hamas security officials say Israeli aircraft targeted a Gaza City warehouse in a nighttime airstrike. The officials say the warehouse was empty and no one was injured. The Israeli military confirms the strike, saying the target was used by militants as a weapons warehouse. The military says aircraft also struck two smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border.
Palestinian militants launched a rocket and a mortar shell into Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries. Rocket fire by Gaza militants and Israeli retaliatory airstrikes have become nearly daily occurrences.
Posted by: Steve White ||
03/09/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
An Islamic teacher was shot dead here early Monday morning while riding his motorcycle home, police said. Abdulahsi Saleh, 35, an Islamic teacher of an Islamic school of Ban Padu Mosque in Tambon Lidlor of Muang district, was shot and killed at 1:10 am on a road in Batu Puteh village. His friend, Usaman Yango, 29, was severely injured. Police said the two were returning home.
Fierce fighting between Sri Lankan troops and ethnic Tamil separatists defending their last remaining enclave has left about 100 rebels dead in two days of fighting, the military said Sunday.
The army has ousted the Tamil Tigers from most of their strongholds in an all-out offensive the government hopes will end the South Asian island's 25-year civil war.
The rebel holdouts are confined to about 50 square kilometres of jungle and beach near Mullaittivu on the northeastern coast along with tens of thousands of increasingly distressed civilians.
Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said Sunday that troops had killed about 100 rebels in a series of clashes in rebel-held territory since Friday, though he cautioned that only about 50 bodies were found.
Troops also took casualties in three battles on the edge of the enclave, the army's Web site said. Nanayakkara would not say how many soldiers were killed or wounded.
In one clash, more than 200 rebel fighters attacked security forces near Puthkkudiyirippu, the last rebel-held town, before dawn Friday, the Defence Ministry said.
"Terrorist offensive waves were received with intense military counter attacks" that killed at least 30 guerrillas, the ministry said in a statement.
Rebel officials could not be reached and battlefield details can't be verified independently because journalists are barred from the war zone.
Concern is mounting for the fate of the civilians caught in the fighting.
The government has rejected calls from international aid groups for a cease-fire, saying it is on the verge of victory, while the rebels have ruled out any mass evacuation of civilians fuelling suspicion they are using them as human shields.
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.