Ann-Margret aka Kim MacAfee in "Bye Bye Birdie" aka Rusty Martin in "Viva Las Vegas" aka Melba in "The Cincinnati Kid" aka Bobbie in "Carnal Knowledge" aka Nora Walker in "Tommy" aka Ariel Truax in "Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men" (age 70)
This place is both sad and maddening on so many levels it is difficult to explain. If you're so inclined, or even if you're not, please say a prayer for the families of the dead, and for our brave young soldiers who have to go out on patrol and risk life and limb to VBIED's and SAF every day.
If you're going to carve it up, the best bet is a north-south split, with the Pashtun south having its capital as Kandahar, and Kabul with Khyber pass as the capital of the north, on a rough line west to south of Herat, at the Iranian border.
Pakistan might be encouraged to annex the South, so that there would be unified Pashtun tribes under a single authority. They have long used the border for mischief, and national unification would end that.
Without the Pashtun, northern Afghanistan would be both relatively peaceful and relatively prosperous, once various mines were opened up for development.
Evidence collected from the scene of an explosion on Thursday in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh confirms it was a bomb attack, the interior ministry said.
"Analysis of the early evidence collected at the site of the blast that occurred on Thursday at a cafe in Marrakesh confirms the theory of an attack," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official MAP news agency.
The blast in the iconic Jamaa el-Fna square is Morocco's deadliest bombing in eight years.
Earlier reports suggested that the blast may have been caused by a gas canister catching fire.
Witnesses reported rescue services pulling casualties from the cafe.
"There was a huge bang, and lots of smoke went up, there was debris raining down from the sky. Hundreds of people were running in panic, some towards the cafe, some away from the square. The whole front of the cafe is blown away," Andy Birnie, of north London, told The Associated Press by telephone. Mr Birnie is honeymooning in Marrakech
[Al Jazeera] An kaboom in Egypt's North Sinai has rocked a terminal that supplies natural gas to Jordan and Israel.
Flames shot into the air at the al-Sabil terminal on Wednesday, sending nearby residents fleeing from their homes. No casualties were reported.
A security official blamed saboteurs for the blast south of the town of El-Arish, 50km from the border with Israel.
"An unknown armed gang attacked the gas pipeline near Arish city," the unnamed security source told the Rooters news agency, adding that the flow of gas to Israel and Jordan had been hit.
Armed forces rushed to the scene to put out flames as high as 20 metres (65 feet) shooting from the ruptured pipeline, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
Several hours later, Gasco, the company responsible for the pipeline, said the fire had been brought under control. A technical committee has been tasked with evaluating the damage, Gasco president Majdi Tewfik said.
The attack would not immediately impact Israel's gas supply, Israel's National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau told army radio. Egypt supplies an estimated 40 percent of Israel's gas requirements.
Asked if he expected a shortage that would result in electricity cuts, Landau said: "No. There is still a certain amount of gas in the pipeline which we can use."
"After that, the electricity board must find alternatives by using gas from Yam Tethys or by using coal or fuel oil," he said, referring to Israel's existing gas field, which is on the verge of being depleted.
Amos Gilad, a bigwig at Israel's defence ministry, told public radio it is "essential for the Egyptian government to follow a clear policy to ensure the provision of gas and to maintain the peace accord."
"The situation is very delicate, the only possible policy is to rely on the Egyptians," he added.
Jordan's Energy Minister Khaled Tuqan confirmed Egyptian gas supplies had been halted after the attack. "Power stations are now depending on heavy fuel and diesel to generate electricity," he said.
But he warned Jordan now has only "enough supplies of heavy fuel and diesel for two weeks." A previous disruption in February cost the Jordan economy some $4.2 million a day, Tuqan said at the time.
Jordan imports about 240 million cubic feet (6.8 million cubic metres) of Egyptian gas a day, or 80 percent of its electricity needs.
On February 5, an kaboom at a different section of the pipeline severed gas exports to neighbouring Israel and Jordan in an incident that came during an 18-day popular uprising that forced former president Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... from power.
Egypt's natural gas company blamed the February incident on a gas leak, although local security officials said they suspected sabotage in that blast.
Bedouin rustics of the Sinai Peninsula attempted to blow up the pipeline last July as tensions intensified between them and the Egyptian government, which they accuse of discrimination and of ignoring their plight.
ARTIC = Good or bad, Syria is a MAJOR REGIONAL, EAST-WEST CROSSROADS + the COCKPIT = DRIVER'S SEAT OF THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST; US-NATO/Allies + Israel fear the POST-PROTESTS REGIONAL CONSEQUENCES, espec as per Radical Islamist empowerment, iff Baby Assad + Regime abdicate or are forcibly removed from power. IFF SYRIA DEVOLVES INTO FULL-SCALE CIVIL WAR, THE DOMINO/RIPPLE EFFECT WILL STRIKE AGZ JORDAN, LEBANON, TURKEY, + ARABIAN PENINSULA.
Syria has SCUDS + NucProgs + Air-Sea Ports which Rising Iran would like to use for access to the Mediterranean.
Again, iff radicla Islam succeeds in taking over or dominating the ME + North Africa [Central?], Iran will beome one of many sovereign, potentially NUCLEAR-ARMED, anti-US, anti-Israel, pro-Islamist Muslim Govts-States for the US-NATO/Allies to attack, + RADICAL ISLAM KNOWS THE US CAN'T ATTACK 'EM ALL.
* STRATEGYPAGE > SOMALI: PIRATES + TERRORISTS DEMAND MORE. Ditto for their Govt-Political Cronies whom protect + collude wid them.
* TOPIX > RISE IN SOMALI PIRATE ATTACKS THREATENS REGIONAL COMMERCE. Suez Canal trade to the Indian Ocean.
[Al Jazeera] Pro-democracy fighters are battling Muammar Qadaffy's, the Libyan leader, forces on the country's western border, while fighting continues in the besieged rebel-held city of Misrata.
A rebel front man told Al Jizz on Wednesday that heavy shelling had prevented ships from docking in Misrata to deliver humanitarian supplies and evacuate the maimed.
"The attacks have prevented a number of ships seeking to enter the port to evacuate the maimed from Misrata," Ahmed Hassan, the front man, said.
"Other ships are also waiting to unload shipments from humanitarian agencies."
The rebels said the Libyan army had withdrawn from central Misrata but that fierce fighting was still ongoing for control of the city's port.
"Qadaffy's forces retreated from the port area where they were positioned yesterday after air strikes
by the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the style of the American pants... forces," an opposition front man, called Reda, told the Rooters news agency.
"The strikes completely destroyed 37 military vehicles.
"Qadaffy's forces this morning started bombarding an area about 10km north of the city. It is known as the Steel area.
"The bombardment is still going on. They are using Grad missiles ... Warplanes are flying over Misrata's outskirts but I don't hear any sound of strikes."
[Al Jazeera] Al-Qaeda's North African arm has released a video showing four French nuclear workers kidnapped last year in north Africa urging La Belle France to pull its troops out of Afghanistan.
A copy of the video, distributed on Tuesday by SITE, a US-based terrorism watchdog, shows a series of photographs of Pierre Legrand, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dol and Marc Furrer with gunnies standing behind them.
Over the photos is recorded an audio track that appears to be the men reading a prepared statement, one by one.
"We urge the president of the French republic, Nicolas Sarkozy ...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit... , to respond positively to al-Qaeda's demand he withdraw French troops from Afghanistan, as the French have really no interest in the war in Afghanistan," they say.
According to the voices, the recordings were made on April 11, 12 and 13.
Reacting to the video, Laurent Wauquiez, La Belle France's minister for European affairs, told the French news network BFM-TV that Gay Paree would "not allow its foreign policy to be dictated by kidnappers".
In September last year, gunnies working for AQIM kidnapped seven people, including the four men in the video, from a uranium mining town
In February, three of the group, a French woman, a Togolese man and a Madagascan man were released, but sources close to the negotiations say that the group has demanded $132m in ransom for the remaining hostages.
It is believed the four men are being held in secret camps in the deserts of neighbouring Mali.
"Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is now starting to be impatient," said a source, who wished to remain anonymous, close to the hostage negotiations.
"Asking La Belle France for the departure of its troops from Afghanistan, it is impatience, it is a threat," the source added.
Mohamed Ould Sidy Ahmed, a politician from northern Mali, where AQIM is most active, said the video of the four hostages gave a "double message".
Firstly, while three others kidnapped alongside the French had been freed, the main condition for freeing the remaining four hostages would be meeting bin Laden's demand that French troops leave Afghanistan.
"The second message is also important," he said. "AQIM is increasing its tone vis-a-vis Gay Paree. To AQIM, La Belle France is dragging its feet. Threats are beginning to land."
Bokari Diko, a Malian journalist, also underlined the significance of the latest message.
"We are entering a critical phase for the kidnapped Frenchies," said Diko.
"Generally, after this kind of message AQIM steps things up a notch, following with an ultimatum and the execution of hostages."
Edwin Dyer, a British hostage and Michel Germeneau, a French hostage, were executed in 2009 and 2010 respectively following similar threats.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
[Iran Press TV] Forces loyal to embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffy ... a proud Arab institution for 42 years ... have fired grad rockets at the center of opposition-held town of zintan, destroying several houses in the area.
An opposition front man says Qadaffy's forces bombarded the western town with rockets on Wednesday.
Several houses and commercial buildings were also destroyed in the attack.
Meanwhile, ...back at the fist fight, Jake ducked another roundhouse, then parried with his left, then with his right, finally with his chin... Libyan revolutionaries say they have pushed back Qadaffy loyalists from the besieged city of Misratah.
They say they have managed to secure the port city a day after it came under heavy rocket fire.
The revolutionary fighters say NATO's overnight Arclight airstrikes helped them push back government forces.
A revolutionary leader says the Arclight airstrikes inflicted heavy casualties on pro-Qadaffy forces and enabled the revolutionaries to seize a large number of weapons.
Dozens of civilians and revolutionary fighters have also been killed in Libya since the Western military alliance launched aerial attacks on the North African country.
Meanwhile, ...back at the secret hideout, Scarface Al sneeringly put his proposition to little Nell... leaders and emissaries of 61 Libyan tribes have called on Qadaffy to step-down.
They declared in a joint statement that the country is facing growing threats due to Qadaffy's actions.
They also described his actions as harmful to the unity of the Libyan people, while lending support to a free and united Libya.
[Al Jazeera] The head of Bahrain's civil service has denied that any employees were sacked after the largely Shia pro-democracy protests that the Gulf Arab kingdom crushed last month with military reinforcements from some of its neighbours.
Bahraini opposition groups and rights organisations say hundreds of public employees were dismissed on the grounds that they took part in protests. The government argues it had taken steps only against those who committed crimes during the protests.
"Up to now, no one has been dismissed for disciplinary reasons," state media quoted Ahmad bin Zayed al-Zayed, the head of the civil service, as saying.
He said further that any disciplinary measures for alleged involvement in the uprising would be for strictly defined administrative and criminal offences.
In comments reported late on Tuesday on Bahrain's state news agency, al-Zayed denied "what has been said about the dismissal of a number of employees ... in positions under the umbrella of the civil service".
Bahrain, which hosts the Fifth Fleet of the US navy, has a free trade pact with the US which the AFL-CIO trade union confederation last week urged the US to pull out of in response to violations of human and labour rights by Bahrain.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialised agency of the UN that deals with labour issues, has sent a team to Bahrain to share its concerns with high-level government officials, a spokesperson told Al Jizz.
The representatives were due to meet members of the government, trade unionists and employer representatives on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the dismissals of trade unionists alleged to have participated in recent demonstrations.
They were also expected to raise the issue of judicial actions taken by the government against the General Federation of Bahraini Trade Unions.
Bahraini unionists called strikes in solidarity with the Pearl Roundabout protests in February.
Dragged from workplace
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), an opposition group central to the recent Shia-led anti-government protests, put the number of detainees at 817.
The figure included 71 women - in a clear breach of tradition in the conservative Mohammedan Gulf region, where women embody the honour of a family.
"This is a new phenomenon in Bahrain," Nabil Rajab, the head of the BCHR, said.
One woman who spoke to the AFP news agency said she was threatened with rape if she did not confess to taking part in protests.
"You'd better confess. Otherwise, I'd take you to the other interrogation room where men would make you talk," she said, quoting an officer's threat.
The woman said she was dragged from her workplace along with other Shia Mohammedan colleagues. In the bus to the cop shoppe, policewomen slapped their faces and made them chant pro-monarchy slogans, she said.
Bahrain is ruled by the Sunni Mohammedan Al-Khalifa family.
She asked for details of her job not to be disclosed because police warned those tossed in the slammer not to talk about their ordeal while in jug.
The woman said she eventually confessed to taking part in demonstrations at Pearl Square, the epicentre of the anti-regime protests, and also to protesting at work.
She said she shared a cell with several doctors, nurses and teachers. While being released, she said she saw teenage female students being dragged into a cop shoppe and beaten mercilessly by policewomen.
"They used to punish us psychologically by opening a door leading to the men's section of the cop shoppe so we could see them being beaten. We would hear their screams under torture," she said.
[Yemen Post] At least 85 antigovernment protesters were kidnapped by the elite republican guards and the central security forces after the deadly crackdown on a massive demonstration calling for the ouster of the regime in Yemen's capital Sana'a on Wednesday.
Activists and lawyers said that military vehicles were seen picking the protesters after the carnage that left 12 dead and scores injured when the forces fired live bullets and teargas at the hundreds of thousands and beat them with traditional daggers, Jambyas, and knives.
The patrols were said to have taken the protesters, including some of those who were maimed, to Al-Thawra stadium near the incident site, and some of the maimed were besieged, they said.
Eyewitnesses also said that the forces prevented the people from helping the injured leaving them bleeding on the street.
"Some tried to help, but the forces fired live bullets at them forcing them to run away," they added.
[Iran Press TV] Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked a medical center in the eastern town of Sitra, arresting several people, witnesses say.
It was not immediately clear whether those incarceratedwere maimed anti-government protesters or the medical staff.
According to witnesses, Bahraini security forces have also attacked a medical center in A'ali and jugged ten medical workers.
The latest attacks came while the Manama regime denies reports by human rights ...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you... groups that Bahraini authorities have raided hospitals, torturing doctors and injuring anti-government protesters in an effort to quell mass protests.
Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders and Physicians for Human Rights have charged Bahraini security officials with systematic attacks on doctors and patients.
Physicians for Human Rights say doctors and nurses have been jugged, tortured or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
"The excessive use of force against unarmed civilians, patients in hospitals and medical personnel that PHR's Sherlocks documented is extremely troubling and is cause for an immediate international investigation," said Hans Hogrefe, an official of the organization.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Hubba Hubba Club, Nunzio had his hands full of angry bleached blonde... anti-regime demonstrators are set to take to the streets on Wednesday to hold a candle-light vigil for those killed during the government's brutal crackdown on protesters.
More than 30 protesters have been killed and scores of others injured since the uprising began in Bahrain in mid February.
Many journalists, bloggers, doctors, lawyers and opposition activists have also been incarcerated as part of a widespread crackdown on anti-regime demonstrations.
Protesters, who demand an end to the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty, have vowed to continue their street rallies until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy as well as a proportional voice in the government are met.
[Iran Press TV] Families of victims of the brutal Yemeni crackdown on anti-government protests have rejected the regime's compensation offers, demanding that its ruler be brought to justice in a trial.
According to local sources, at least 300 people have been killed and tens of thousands maimed since the protests began at the end of January.
Families of the victims accuse President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, after serving as a lieutenant colonel in the army. He had been part of the conspiracy that bumped off his predecessor, Ibrahim al-Hamdi, in the usual tiresome military coup, and he has maintained power by keeping Yemen's many tribes fighting with each other, rather than uniting to string him up. ... of ordering the killings.
They have also refused the finical compensation offered by the Saleh regime, saying they only want the long-time president to be brought to justice.
"My father will never rest unless the regime faces trial," said a little girl who has lost her father in the violent crackdowns.
In the mean time, a number of human rights ...which often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless... organizations have condemned the use of excessive force against the protestors.
"This regime is killing more people every day. We receive the deaders' names and then we submit them to the general attorney for future prosecution," Mohammad al-Aroosi, a human rights activist, told Press TV.
Inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, people continue to organize anti-government demonstrations in the Yemeni capital Sana'a and other major cities.
The Yemeni people who are suffering from lack of basic human rights, equality, justice and freedom of speech say they will rest only after scrapping the corrupt rule of Saleh.
The latest development comes two days after the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council granted Saleh immunity from prosecution in exchange for his stepping down and handing power over to his Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi in thirty days.
According to the plan, the opposition will be allowed to form an interim national unity government after the president signs the deal.
Reports say both Saleh and Yemen's opposition have accepted the plan.
However, The ever-popular However... opposition groups believe Saleh's verbal acceptance of the plan is merely a ploy.
[Iran Press TV] Yemeni security forces have opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital, Sana'a, killing at least 12 demonstrators.
Nearly 130 others were also injured on Wednesday after security forces fired live bullets as well as tear gas on anti-government protesters that demanded the immediate ouster of Yemeni ruler President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh. ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, after serving as a lieutenant colonel in the army. He had been part of the conspiracy that bumped off his predecessor, Ibrahim al-Hamdi, in the usual tiresome military coup, and he has maintained power by keeping Yemen's many tribes fighting with each other, rather than uniting to string him up. ...
Ten of the maimed are reported to be at death's door.
Mohammed al-Ibahi, a doctor at the scene of the shooting, said many of the dead and maimed suffered gunshot wounds to the head and torso, AP reported.
Clashes between protesters and security forces in the southern Yemeni city of Aden also left one protester and two soldiers dead.
The fresh wave of anti-Saleh protests come amidst opposition calls for a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience to bring down Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years.
Witnesses say at least 18 Yemeni cities and towns have so far heeded the civil defiance campaign with shops and schools closed and government offices shuttered.
According to local sources, since the beginning of anti-Saleh demonstrations across Yemen in late January, at least 300 protesters have been reported killed with many others injured during festivities with riot police and armed forces loyal to the Yemeni president.
As Han Solo once said, "I dunno, kid, I can imagine a lot." Or something like that.
At least 480 prisons and detention facilities are scattered around North Korea, an NGO claimed Tuesday.
Based on testimony of about 13,000 North Korean defectors, North Korean Human Rights Archives said the regime operates 210 detention centers and 210 labor camps, 23 prisons, 5 indoctrination camps, 27 holding facilities, and 6 political prison camps including in Yodok, Pukchang and Hoeryong.
Detention centers are similar to police holding cells, but holding facilities and indoctrination camps are clandestine operations that have been used to hold repatriated defectors without trial since the early years of the millennium.
Prisons house convicts, who are subjected to forced labor, but the worst human rights abuses occur in political prison camps.
A defector who was detained at a prison in Hamhung in the late 1990s said security forces "took about 500 people to a barren wilderness, where they threw shovels at them and told them to dig tunnels to live. Many died later."
Almost no detention facilities provide inmates with foods, but they eke out a meager existence by tending vegetable gardens. In some facilities, guards turned livestock sheds into detention cells.
"They built walls around pigsties and used them as holding pens," said another defector who was held in a camp in the late 2000s. "More than 100 inmates were put into a cell that can accommodate only about 30."
The State Security Department routinely used violence in interrogations. A female defector testified, "I was raped by a guard at a holding center, and was forced to have an abortion later."
The regime has either hidden the concentration camps from the outside world or given out false information about them, NKHRA said. It officially admitted the existence of only three of the 23 prisons, using Sariwon Prison in North Hwanghae Province and Chonnae Prison in Gangwon Province as display showcases.
"The North is operating numerous detention facilities across the country," said Yoon Yeo-sang of NKHRA. "It seems the regime significantly increased the number of facilities to tighten controls on the people when the economic situation worsened after the 1990s."
ION TOPIX, DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > A POSSIBLE US RETURN TO THE PHILIPPINES?
IMO Artic read, FUKUSHIMA = LOSS OF JAPAN DUE TO RADIATION-LED ENVIRO DESTRUCTION; + LOSS OF TAIWAN DUE TO RE-UNIFICATION WID MAINLAND CHINA.
* OTOH TAIWAN BLOG = Any formal reunification of Taiwan + mainland China will not preclude or prevent China from politically, militarily defending its claims of sovereignty oer various Pacific islands + lands e.g. the SENKAKUS [China = Daoyus], OR OKINAWA [Ryukyu vassal kingdom], NOR EVEN AS PER GEOPOL DOMINATION OF JAPAN PROPER.
FYI, the PHILIPPINES = NORTHERN HALF OF SAME was + remains well-known in the USDOD as a likely target for CPLA attack + conquest in case of US-China or other major Regional war [Manila Bay, Subic Bay, Airfields, large Chinese minority].
My own preference would be to rework their munition to airburst, like a flying claymore, but using a more potent explosive than C-4. A claymore weighs 3.5lbs, but with a more advanced explosive, and the shell of the aircraft instead of the plastic case, a load of about 3lbs would not be impossible.
And a single aircraft could take out a squad or more of enemy.
I would like a switch between airburst and penetration fuzes. Take out infantry in the open and a light vehicle with the same armament. You could even get a top down penetrator option for taking out APCs and maybe tanks (if you get lucky).
[Dawn] ISLAMABAD: The security forces have picked up four alleged gun-hung tough guys affiliated with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), sources told Dawn on Tuesday.
The sources said they had a plan to target capital`s Red Zone and sensitive installations in Rawalpindi,
Mohammad Zahir, Umair Khalil, Zia and Zakir are the alleged members of Qari Zia group of the TTP, Bajaur chapter. Qari Zia is an Afghan national and operating his group from Mohmand ... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Bloody Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar... Agency. Shortly after the arrest, the alleged snuffies were shifted to undisclosed location for further investigation.
The sources said three gun-hung tough guys were picked up from Tarnol area and preliminary interrogation led to the arrest of their fourth accomplice from Rawalpindi. The maps of Islamabads Red Zone and sensitive installations and buildings located in Rawalpindi were also recovered from them, they added.
The sources said that the alleged snuffies revealed that their handler was somewhere in Raja Bazaar area in the guise of a shopkeeper. The security forces had launched a hunt for his arrest, the sources said.
[Dawn] The ongoing wave of assassinations gang wars claimed lives of four political activists in the city on Wednesday, as the menace remained beyond control of the provincial security establishment and the political administration, police and party sources said.
All the four killings were confirmed by officials at the central police office`s special cell, which has been recently set up on the chief minister`s directives to keep the exact record of assassinations in an effort to prevent misreporting of the incidents in the print and electronic media.
A gun attack near Ibn-i-Sina Hospital in Gulshan-i-Iqbal left a 42-year-old man and his nephew dead and their two friends maimed, the police said.
All the four victims were associated with the Pakistain People`s Party (PPP). "The dear departed victims have been identified as Hussain Abid and his nephew, Iqbal Khan," said Gulshan-i-Iqbal SHO Inspector Kanson Deen.
"They were residents of Liaquatabad and had come to the apartments along University Road in Block 6 of Gulshan-i-Iqbal to see their common friends, Ibrahim Jatoi and Ghulam Nabi Brohi."
The inspector said that all the four friends were at a cold drink shop near their home when two men riding a cycle of violence pulled up there. One of the riders opened fire on them and decamped along with his accomplice.
"The firing killed Iqbal and Hussain and maimed Ibrahim and Ghulam Nabi. Both the maimed victims were taken to a private hospital on Stadium Road."
"The attackers used a 9mm pistol," the SHO said, adding that Sherlocks had collected spent bullet casings of 9mm pistol found at the crime-scene.
The PPP leaders saw the incident as part of the frequent killings of political activists that had been going on for more than a month, "mainly targeting the ruling party".
The leaders said the victims were active party members.
"It is a brutal incident," said Sohail Abidi, a senior leader of the PPP`s Bloody Karachi division. "We have been a target for the past few years but it is the vision and reconciliation policy of the PPP leadership that has so far kept workers calm and peaceful."
Earlier, an Awami National Party (ANP) worker was targeted in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
The victim, identified as 29-year-old Asif Khan alias Angraiz, was bumped off in Block 13 of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
"He was associated with the construction business and was heading to work when two men riding a motorbike targeted him. A bullet hit him in the head and another in the left arm," said an official at the Sharea Faisal cop shoppe.
The police officials said that the victim was a resident of the Pehalwan Goth area.
An ANP front man condemned the incident and said the victim was an active member in the Bhitaiabad ward of the party`s organisational structure.
In a Bin Qasim area, a young man was found rubbed out with a bullet wound each in the head and chest, the police said.
The victim was identified as 36-year-old Muhammad Haris, an activist of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) and a resident of Juma Himayati Goth near Bhains Colony.
"The victim was found rubbed out at an abandoned place near the Port Qasim industrial area," said Sukkan SHO Sub-Inspector Ahmed Sheikh.
"He has been identified as a JSQM activist by area people but there is no such claim made by the party leaders. The body has been handed over to the family after medico-legal formalities at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre."
SSP Naeem Sheikh, who heads the CPO cell, said the four killings in the day were executed apparently on political grounds according to initial investigations.
But, he added, that "out of the four killings, there is some doubt about the incident that claimed the life of a JSQM activist. The motive behind his killing is not clear so far," he said.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Dawn] Militants blew up a government-run primary school for girls in Adezai area on the suburbs of provincial metropolis on Tuesday, police said
An official of Matani cop shoppe said that beturbanned goons planted five bombs at the three-storey building and went kaboom! them through a remote at about 1.25am. He said that each of the bombs weighed about five kilograms. He said that it was the second girls` school, which was blown up within a month in the area.
Adezai Qaumi Lashkar chief Dilawar Khan, when contacted, said that the school had been constructed with financial support of Germany where all basic facilities were available. In the prevailing situation the government was bound to make arrangements for protection of schools but it did not do so, he added.
"We have time and again asked police high-ups to assign duty to volunteers of the lashkar to protect schools but they are reluctant to do so," he said and added that police and Frontier Constabulary were stationed at one place and the rest of area was left for thugs.
Mr Khan feared if government did not take immediate steps against local suspects they would continue facilitating beturbanned goons in carrying out subversive acts.
In Swabi district, a tower of 1100 KV transmission line, supplying electricity from Tarbela Dam, was partially damaged when two bombs, planted by unidentified persons, went off on Tuesday.
The tower was completely damaged in 2009 and it was the second attempt to disrupt the main supply line from Tarbela Dam.
Officials said that total four bombs were planted at the tower but only two of them went off at 4am. The tower was partially damaged by the blasts. The locals and coppers rushed to the scene of occurrence to see the damage caused by the blasts.
Officials said that the remaining bombs, which did not blast, were defused. "We were lucky that all the four bombs didn`t blast. Had all of them blasted, they would have caused serious damage to the main supply line, causing suspension of power supply to the outage-ridden people of the country," said an official. He said that the bombs were locally made.
"Both the past and the latest incidents make it clear that myrmidons are present in the region," said an official, adding that local administration had taken all precautionary measures but it might be difficult for police to guard all the towers.
Come on, AQI, is that the best you can do? Some pipeline bombs foiled by Kirkuk coppers? If you blow up all the oil infrastructure, and you somehow manage to take back the country after the U.S. leaves and re-establish a brutal, bigoted Sunni regime over a majority Shia population, how will you get your Iraqi oil to market?
Oh, that's right, you only care about killing, stealing, and destroying, and you'll worry about government administration later. Way to go, fellas.
Posted by: American Delight ||
04/28/2011 13:12 Comments ||
"you only care about killing, stealing, and destroying, and you'll worry about government administration later"
I think you're wrong, AD.
Those clowns never worry about government administration. Killing, stealing, and destroying is their raisin date.*
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
04/28/2011 13:31 Comments ||
Five soldiers were wounded, and nine policemen were lucky to escape unharmed in two bomb blasts in Narathiwat province yesterday.
The soldiers were on a pickup truck heading from their outpost in Ban Dorhong in the morning when suspected terrorists militants detonated a 5 kg bomb by mobile phone. The terrorists insurgents shot at the victims but soldiers from a nearby base arrived in time to chase the terrorists insurgents away.
Meanwhile, nine policemen narrowly escaped a bomb blast near a bridge.
They were passing on a pick-up truck and motorcycles when the bomb blew up in Chanae district at 10:30 a.m. yesterday. They were setting up a checkpoint.
The bomb, about the same size as the bomb involved in the other explosion, was placed in a steel box in a garbage pile next to the bridge and was detonated by cellphone.
Meanwhile, authorities in southern Thailand are stepping up security for the seventh anniversary of the Krue Se mosque killings today.
Pattani governor Niphon Narapithakkul, who survived a roadside bombing in his province on Tuesday, said the attack has not intimidated him. He will continue doing his job as normal until his retirement in six months.
The chief of the Panare police station in Pattani said a gang of about six terrorists insurgents was behind the attack.
g(r)omgoru: Not so clear as all that. Pencil neck made a strategic error in that only his small part of the Alawites he takes care of. The bulk of them remain starving, rural peasants who hate his guts like everyone else.
To make matters worse, they are making it a point to join the demonstrators to show that this is not a Shiite Alawite thing against the Sunnis, but everyone unified to kick his rear end out.
And now, with word that Iranian officers are directing Syrian military units to shoot protestors, everybody, even other Syrian military, are getting right royally pissed off.
Hopefully with the fall of Assad, Iranians will become personna non grata.
So, will the community now accept the proposition that even if Israel disappeared tomorrow, they'd still be killing each other off? That the cause of their 'problems' isn't Israel but the persons they see in the mirror? /rhet question
If this is true then we do have one good option for engaging in this war: covertly resupply bullets and artillery shell to whichever side is losing, and switch to the other side as soon as the loser starts winning. Prolong this civil war until they kill each other off.
Posted by: The Other Beldar ||
04/28/2011 16:42 Comments ||
That's positively Machiavellian, OB.
She said admiringly.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
04/28/2011 18:14 Comments ||
A reasonably good article on the implications of the various religious groups in Syria.
And a further complication: The banned Muslim Brotherhood has called on Syrians to take to the streets to protest against the regime ahead of Friday prayers.
However they can do what they want, I'm going to be watching football and the Royal wedding tonight.
This is a wonderful opportunity - especially since we have forces right there on the border, and can put clandestine things in motion. But it would require guts and decisive action, and solid intelligence. None of which exist in the current administration.
The problem with Beldar's plan is some asshole would leak it to the NYT and the whole region will go up in flames and blame us no matter who wins/loses. Other than that, "lets you and him have a fight" is much preferable to taking sides with any of the the factions - about the only thing that looks to change is who wears the jackboots.
[Emirates 24/7] Syria's opposition warned President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators. Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor... Wednesday he will be toppled unless he ushers in democratic changes, as his troops kept their grip on the flashpoint town of Daraa.
And in a new blow to the regime, 30 members of the ruling Baath party in the restive city of Banias announced their resignation in protest at the deadly crackdown on protesters, in a statement received by AFP.
The warning came as world pressure mounted on Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... , with the European Union mulling sanctions and the UN human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... body calling for a special session in the wake of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Five EU countries are also summoning Syria's ambassadors over the violent crushing of dissent, La Belle France said, adding it was joined by Perfidious Albion, Germany, Italia and Spain.
According to human rights activists, the military assault on Daraa, 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Damascus, has left more than 30 people dead since Monday, with at least 453 civilians killed across Syria since protests first erupted in mid-March.
As the assault on Daraa, an agricultural town near the Jordanian border, entered its third day, the newly formed National Initiative for Change (NIC) warned Assad to institute real democratic reforms or risk "violence, chaos and civil war."
"Either the ruling regime leads itself in a peaceful transition towards democracy ... or it will go through a process of popular protests that will evolve into a massive and grassroots revolution that will break down the regime and carry Syria through a period of transition after a wave of violence and instability," a NIC statement said.
"If the Syrian president does not wish to be recorded in history as a leader of this transition period, there is no alternative left for Syrians except to move forward along the same path as did the Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans before them," added the NIC, an umbrella group of more than 150 opposition activists in Syria and abroad.
Popular uprisings since December in the Arab world have toppled veteran leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and unleashed a fiery rebellion in Libya.
Syrian protesters erupted into the streets in even greater numbers after Assad scrapped nearly five decades of draconian emergency rule and abolished the repressive state security court a week ago.
Testing his promised reforms, they staged protests across the country on Friday, demanding the end to the Baath party's grip on political power, the release of political prisoners and the right to protest freely.
However, The infamous However... the security forces cleared demonstrations with tear gas and live rounds, with scores reported killed and hundreds placed in durance vile.
On Monday, some 3,000-5,000 troops backed by tanks and snipers swept into Daraa, the epicentre of the protests killing at least 25 people, according to rights activists. At least another six people died on Tuesday.
The army said troops entered Daraa "in response to calls for help" from citizens to rid them of "extremist terrorist groups" behind a spate of killings and sabotage.
Security forces also deployed in the northern Damascus suburb of Douma on Monday.
The deadly crackdown against six weeks of dissent prompted members of the Baath party in the northern coastal city of Banias to quit.
"The acts carried out by the security services against unarmed citizens in Banias and neighbouring towns, namely Baida, are against all human values and the slogans of the party," they said in a statement.
"The security services have destroyed the values we were raised on. We denounce and condemn everything that happened and announce, without any regrets, out withdrawal from the party," it added.
The violent crackdown also has outraged the international community.
EU front man Michael Mann said member countries will discuss imposing sanctions on Syria at a special meeting Friday.
"All options are on the table. If there's any need for any concrete actions to be taken, that can be done very quickly," Mann said on Wednesday.
Germany said it would strongly back EU sanctions against Syria, which could include restricting the travel of top Syrian officials and seizing their assets, as well as cutting off EU economic assistance.
The UN Human Rights Council said it will hold a special session on Syria on Friday after a request filed by Washington, and 10 European states, as well as Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Senegal ... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees... and Zambia.
"The international community has been shocked by the killing of hundreds of civilians in connection with peaceful political protests in the past week," US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said.
Rights activists said that Friday's hearing in Geneva would deal a blow to Syria's plan to seek membership of the body for the term 2012 to 2014.
The Syrian Human Rights Organisation said a total of 453 civilians have been killed in Syria since the uprising erupted in mid-March.
Austria said steps were being taken to evacuate its nationals from Syria, while Syrian ally Turkey said it is sending envoys Thursday to Syria to press for reform.
"Of course the lifting of the state of emergency is a good start, but this is not enough... Syria must take many other steps," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Dozens of exiled Syrian dissidents also called Wednesday for immediate elections in Syria and an end to the bloody crackdown on protestors.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
See also PEOPLE'S DAILY FORUM > BAATHISTS QUIT GOVT. OVER SYRIA'S DERAA CRACKDOWN.
I would to say Milyuhns-N-Zilyuhns of Baathists, but actually 'tis only a couple hundred-plus.
If MOSSAD has ever done anything, I hope they are up to their eyebrows in Syria. It would easily be worth $10b to Israel to get rid of pencil neck, after making very sure that the Sunnis knew that those were Iranian officers directing the Syrian army to hose civilians.
Getting rid of Assad, with Syria hostile to Iran, would totally muck up Hezbollah, likely Hamas, and would screw up Iran's schemes for a decade or two.
[Iran Press TV] Syrian authorities say members of a terrorist group who were behind weeks of deadly unrest in the southern city of Deraa have been tossed in the clink.
A Syrian military source said on Wednesday that the members of the group have confessed to being paid by foreign organizations for causing mayhem in the city and killing security forces.
They also admitted that the killings were aimed at creating unrest and inciting sedition in the country.
According to the military source, large amounts of weapons, including pistols, hand grenades and automatic rifles, were seized from the group.
On Monday, at least seven people, including four soldiers, were killed during the overnight festivities in the city. Some reports, however, put the corpse count at 25.
Syrian authorities blame gangs and foreign elements for the violence.
Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... has repeatedly denied allegations that security forces were responsible for the death of protesters, saying security forces have been given clear instructions not to hurt civilians.
Two Syrian politicians have resigned to protest against security forces' failure to protect the people.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Al Jazeera] The UN Security Council has failed to agree on a statement condemning Syria's deadly crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Envoys attending a special open meeting on Syria in New York on Wednesday said Russia, China and Leb opposed the wording of a draft resolution distributed by European nations.
La Belle France called for "strong measures" if Bashir al-Assad, the Syrian president, rejects appeals to end violence which has killed hundreds.
The US said Assad must "change course now and heed the calls of his own people" for change.
Russia, after blocking a Security Council statement condemning the violence, however insisted that the Syrian crackdown did not amount to a threat to international peace and security, grounds that would justify international action.
"A real threat to regional security could come from outside interference," Alexander Pankin, the Russian deputy UN ambassador, told the council.
"Such approaches lead to a never ending circle of violence" and could set off civil war.
Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, welcomed the Security Council's inaction, saying his government was carrying out an investigation into the violence and that there was no need for a UN commission.
Al Jizz's Kristin Saloomey reporting from the UN said any hope for Security Council action is dead for the moment.
"The council was not able to agree on even the most basic form of the statement calling for calm and calling for an investigation."
Our UN correspondent said Russia offered the strongest opposition to the move saying they were concerned about violence in Syria, but on both sides.
"In the end there were isolated statements of concern from various countries, but no unified action by the council."
China and India called for political dialogue and peaceful resolution of the crisis, with no mention of condemnation.
Nawaf Salam, the Lebanese envoy, said his country shared a special relationship with Syria, and that "the hearts and minds" of the Lebanese people are with the Syrians, and are supporting Assad's lifting of the state of emergency and reforms.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Al Jazeera] Syria's UN ambassador has said the country is perfectly capable of conducting its own transparent inquiry into the deaths.
Bashar Jaafari said on Tuesday Assad had instructed the government "to establish a national commission of inquiry and investigation about all the casualties among civilians" and the envoy pledged "full transparency".
"We have nothing to hide," he said.
"We regret what's going on, but you should also acknowledge the fact that this unrest and riots, in some of their aspects, have hidden agendas," he said.
Jaafari accused some foreign governments of trying to destabilise Syria.
His comments came as Syrian opposition figures warned that their "massive grassroots revolution" would break the regime unless Assad leads a transition to democracy.
The statement on Wednesday from an umbrella group of opposition activists in Syria and abroad, called the National Initiative for Change, said a democratic transition will "safeguard the nation from falling into a period of violence, chaos and civil war".
"If the Syrian president does not wish to be recorded in history as a leader of this transition period, there is no alternative left for Syrians except to move forward along the same path as did the Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans before them," the statement said.
The opposition in Syria is getting more organised as anti-government protests gain strength, but it is still fragmented.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Al Jazeera] The Syrian army has sent more tanks and reinforcements into Deraa as part of a widening crackdown against opponents of the government, and sporadic kabooms are being heard in the flashpoint southern city, witnesses say.
Witnesses said a convoy of about 30 tanks were seen on the circular highway outside the Syrian capital, Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... , on Wednesday.
Troops have been deployed since Monday in Deraa and activists said more gunfire could be heard on Wednesday.
A resident of Deraa, speaking under the condition of anonymity for his own safety, said that security forces had taken over the town hospital, and were shooting at anyone who approached the building.
"Snipers are on top of all the buildings in Deraa and there are lots of bodies on the streets," the man said in a phone interview. "They were left on the street for three days and we couldn't remove them."
Troops had sealed off the town, and were searching homes at night.
Late on Tuesday, SANA, the official Syrian news agency, reported the army "continued to chase gangs and faceless myrmidons in Deraa who attacked military positions, cut off roads and forced passers-by to stop so they could hit them".
SANA also said funerals were to be held for six security personnel killed on Tuesday by "armed bad boy groups".
But Sawasiah, a Syrian human-rights organisation, said security forces had killed 35 civilians since they entered Deraa. The group said electricity, water and telecommunications were cut in the town and that supplies of blood at hospitals were starting to run low.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, another rights group, said it had collected the names of at least 453 civilians killed during almost six weeks of pro-democracy protests.
In a significant development late on Wednesday, 200 members of the ruling Baath Party from Deraa and surrounding regions resigned in protest against the ongoing military assault.
Resigning from the Baath Party, which has ruled Syria since taking power in a 1963 coup, was unthinkable before pro-democracy protests erupted in Deraa on March 18.
"In view of the negative stance taken by the leadership of the Arab Socialist Baath Party towards the events in Syria and in Deraa, and after the death of hundreds and the wounding of thousands at the hands of the various security forces, we submit our collective resignation," a declaration signed by the Deraa officials said.
A separate declaration sent to the Rooters news agency said a further 28 Baathists in the coastal city of Baniyas resigned on Wednesday in protest against the "practices of the security forces against honourable citizens... and torture and murder they committed".
In addition to the unrest in Deraa, security forces conducted sweeping arrests and raids elsewhere in the country, residents told news agencies.
Witnesses and human-rights activists said the army deployed tanks around the Damascus suburb of Douma and in Baniyas, the site of large demonstrations recently.
White buses brought in hundreds of soldiers in full combat gear into Douma, a witness told Rooters.
More than 2,000 security police deployed in Douma on Tuesday, manning checkpoints and checking identity cards to arrest pro-democracy sympathisers, the witness, a former soldier, said.
He said he saw several lorries in the streets equipped with heavy machine-guns and members of the plainclothes secret police carrying assault rifles.
He believed the soldiers to be Elite Republican Guards, among the units most loyal to Bashir al-Assad, the Syrian president.
Pro-democracy protesters have tried to march from Douma into the centre of Damascus in the last two weeks but have been dispersed by security forces.
Posted by: Fred ||
04/28/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
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.