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Tamil Tigers say they surrender
Today's Headlines
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Afghanistan
Three dead in rocket attack in Khost
Three Afghan civilians were killed in a rocket attack on Khost City, capital of Khost Province in the southeastern zone of Afghanistan, along the border with the troubled Wazoo region of neighboring Pakistan.

Four rockets landed on the city before dawn on Saturday killing three civilians and damaging some residential buildings, said locals and police officials. Five more people, all civilians, suffered injuries, they added. Police Chief of Khost Province Abdul Qayum Baqzoi confirmed the rocket attack and the civilian casualties. He added that more rockets were also fired on the city, but landed in uninhabited areas.

This comes just days after three serial suicide attacks in the same city on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Afghan and US officials say only civilians were killed in the said suicide attacks.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:


Africa Horn
Al-Shabaab captures Jowhar, but warlord joins gov't
Lotta red meat in this story...I had to cut out some fluff and all the reports of civilians killed. Neither side here cares much about civilians, other than their PR value, which is higher when they are starving and/or fleeing. The reports of dissension/tension between Al-Qaeda and the "moderate" Islamists are interesting...
Militant Islamist fighters captured a strategic town north of Mogadishu on Sunday, leaving government forces isolated in pockets of the country's capital and central region after two weeks of heavy clashes. "Al Shabaab captured Jowhar after serious fighting on Sunday morning," resident Ismail Farah told Reuters. "At least seven people including four civilians died."

Jowhar is 90 km (56 miles) from Mogadishu.

Somali Security Minister Omar Hashi Aden said the militants were being supported from outside. He has previously accused Eritrea of arming the insurgents, a charge Asmara denies. "They are fighting in Mogadishu, and central Somalia. They have also started a war in Jowhar. They are economically and militarily supported ... it is not cheap to sustain fighting."

DEFECTION

In a much-needed boost for the government, former warlord and powerful opposition leader Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Siad, also known as "Inda'ade," defected to its side over the weekend. "The opposition are bandits," Inda'ade told reporters. "We shall defend the Islamic government. They (opposition) do irreligious acts, and they kill innocent people."

Inda'ade's former group, Hizbul Islam, confirmed the defection but said it would not change anything. "(Inda'ade) and his troops have left us and joined the government ... but that will not affect us," said Hassan Mahdi, spokesman for the group. Hizbul Islam is an umbrella opposition group including militant leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, seen as a powerful figure among insurgents. Aweys said Inda'ade had given most of his weapons to him before defecting.

The International Crisis Group think tank said Somalia's opposition groups had become deeply divided. "There is now a battle shaping up between reportedly moderate Muslims and the extremists, such as Al-Shabaab," it said.

"We have killed 47 al Shabaab fighters including a white man in Mahas and Wabho," said the spokesman of the moderate Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca
On Friday and Saturday, fighting between Shabaab and a moderate Islamist group in two central towns killed some 68 people and sent 3,300 others fleeing from their homes, pro-government forces and a rights group said. "We have killed 47 al Shabaab fighters including a white man in Mahas and Wabho," Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf, spokesman of the moderate Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca, told Reuters, adding that three of their fighters had been killed.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/17/2009 12:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:


Bangladesh
Islamist militancy under control: RAB Chief
Islamist militancy in Bangladesh is under control, RAB director general Khandaker Hassan Mahmud has said in a private TV channel. "We can say very well that the religious militancy is under control. No major occurrence happened in recent times though we heard of many activities of the militant groups," the chief of the elite force said in a programme on ATN Bangla on Friday night.
Except that Mizan and his gang are out there making bombs ...
His comments came hours after the recovery of huge cache of explosives and grenades after the JMB explosives kingpin Boma Mizan and his wife were quizzed after arrest on Thursday and Friday.

Mahmud believed militancy can be curbed if public became more aware of the threat and more involved. He also hoped that the recently formed national committee on curbing and militancy and terrorism would also play a crucial role.

On the crackdown in the early hours of Friday he said they had been searching for Mizan for long. It was clear from the JMB operatives arrested and documents seized that Mizan was an important member of the party.

"It was too early to say that a good number of women are getting involved in militancy. But we have noticed they tend to get involved."

The RAB chief said women were being recruited by the male activists. "Otherwise their involvement is very little."
Posted by: Steve White || 05/17/2009 01:27 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Have them in the crosshairs, eh.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 05/17/2009 9:04 Comments || Top||


JMB has at least 50 bomb experts now
All of them learnt the ropes from 'Boma Mizan'
I have a rope they could learn from ...
Law enforcers suspect there are at least 50 operatives in the militant Islamist organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) who can make bombs, and almost all of them were trained by now detained Jahid Hossain Sumon alias 'Boma Mizan'.

'Boma Mizan', key-explosives expert of the banned outfit, has already admitted to Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) that his prime job was to train the operatives in making bombs and grenades.
The Bangladeshi press has been playing this arrest up. It appears that Mizan is more than your run-of-the-mill JMB hard boy, so perhaps his arrest will put a dent in their activities.
"We don't have the actual number of JMB members trained in explosives but information given by JMB members arrested on different occasions suggest the number is not less than 50," a top Rab official told The Daily Star yesterday. "JMB has books for its members with bomb-making process described in those," he said.

Seeking anonymity, he said almost all of the JMB men arrested with bombs and explosive substances admitted to investigators that they were trained by 'Boma Mizan.'

Mizan joined the JMB in 2000 and since then his main job was to make bombs and grenades, and train activists in the use of explosives. He is also an expert in small arms like pistol and revolver, the Rab official mentioned. He has confessed to the crime busting force that he had eight pistols in his possession, of which two were seized by Rab during its raid on two JMB dens at Uttar Pireerbagh and Monipur of Mirpur in the capital on Friday and the day before.

He also told Rab during primary interrogation that he had given six pistols to JMB members.

"We're expecting vital information from Mizan as he has been placed on a seven-day remand yesterday (Saturday)," said the Rab official.
After which he'll be caught in a cross-fire ...
A Dhaka court granted the seven-day remand when Mirpur police produced him before it praying for a 10-day remand for interrogation in connection with the recovery of arms, explosives and explosive substances from two houses that Mizan hired.

A team of Rab intelligence unit led by Lt Moyeen, which had spotted and captured Mizan from Taltola on Thursday evening, later raided his house at Uttar Pireerbagh, and arrested his wife. Sensing Rab presence, she had blasted a bomb injuring herself and her two children.
We covered this yesterday ...
Four Rab officials including Maj Momtajur Rahman, Maj Azam and Lt Mohiuddin entered Mizan's house around 2:00am on Friday to arrest his wife Sharmin. Rab also seized two grenades, two bombs and a pistol.

Acting on information from Mizan, Rab busted a den at East Monipur, used for training in explosives. The elite force recovered 35 kinds of bomb-making materials, detonators and grenade cages from the house. Some books on jihad were also seized.

Earlier on Friday night, three cases were filed with Mirpur Police Station in connection with the recovery of arms and explosives, and attack on Rab members on Friday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, Mizan's injured wife Sharmin and her two children were shifted to Orthopaedic Hospital in the city from Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/17/2009 01:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:


India-Pakistan
Talib Toe Tally
"Nine! Nine Talibs Tagged! Aaph aaph aaph!"
HANGU: At least nine Taliban were killed and another 13 injured when security forces attacked Taliban hideouts in Upper Orakzai Agency on Saturday, official sources said.

Political administration sources told Daily Times that security forces targeted Taliban hideouts in Dabori, headquarters of Upper Orakzai, using helicopter gunships.

Locals said all the dead were local Taliban and that no key Taliban commander was killed in the attack.
They were having a safe meeting in a Smart car ...
That would be harder to escape from than a den.
Local Taliban, however, denied that any of their men were killed in the attack on their hideouts in the agency.
"Lies! All lies!"
Helicopter operations are being carried out as part of a larger ground and air assault against Taliban hideouts in Malakand division.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AXPnH0C9UA

The Song of the Count, Lemon Demon version. Funny.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 05/17/2009 17:10 Comments || Top||


11 killed in car bomb blast in Peshawar: official
IRNA -- At least 11 persons, including women and children, were killed in a car bomb blast in the Pakistani northwestern city of Peshawar on Saturday, a senior official said. Witnesses said the car was parked outside a net café at Kakshal, a busy area in the interior city. Hospital sources said that around 40 people were also injured who were taken to the city's main Lady Reading Hospital.
"We love death more than we love life, especially when we can create involuntary martyrs."
No group claimed responsibility for the blast.
Oh, oh, who could it be? Let's run the list of usual suspects ... Lutherans? .. no .. Lapplanders? .. no .. snake-handling Anabaptists? .. no .. Samoans? .. no ...
District Coordination Officer Sahibzada Anis confirmed that 11 people were killed and 31 injured in the blast. He said two injured are in critical condition and others are stable. He said police are investigating of the attack and evidences have gathered from the site.

An injured man Amir Shad said that he heard the blast when he was returning from mosque after offering prayers.

"I did not know where the blast has happened. But shortly I saw smoke in the air. I saw the people started running," he said.

A local police officer said that the blast took place at 1:30 p.m. He said many people had gone for prayers otherwise the casualties would be high. Witnesses said that they heard heavy firing after the blast but it was not who opened the fire. Around seven cars were also destroyed and widow glasses of shops and buildings were also smashed in the blast. The area is famous of car workshop.

Locals said that a banned group had given threats to the net café to stop the business and it is believed that the café might be the real target. Witnesses said that a bus of school children was passing through the area when the blast happened. They said that several people were also seen fleeing the site after the blast.

President Asif Ali Zardari and PrimeMinister strongly condemned the bomb blast in a residential area in Peshawar and resolved to continue struggle against extremists and terrorists. President Zardari in message from Paris directed the provincial government to make best possible arrangements to look after the injured. He also directed that the matter be investigated and report be submitted to him. He expressed his deep sorrow and grief over the loss of life and said the government would not be deterred by such heinous acts.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  We love (Your)death more than we love life, especially when we can create involuntary martyrs."

There, Fixed it for you.

They're liars, if they loved death, they'd suicide and go on to their god and leave the rest of us alone.

What they really mean is "We're murderers, and by claiming GOD sent us, you cannot jail, hurt, or kill us in revenge"
Ummmm,then they're so shocked when we do it anyway. They've been lied to, It don't work that way.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/17/2009 15:48 Comments || Top||


47 militants killed; Pakistani forces getting close to main town
Pakistani security forces are 'getting close to Mingora', the main city in Swat valley under the Taliban control for two weeks, to 'isolate and block the movement of fleeing terrorists', the army said on Saturday. Taliban took control of Mingora, a city of around five hundred thousand, earlier this month and majority of its residents have left the city.

The army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that important terrorist commander Mukhtar alias Rashid Lala has been killed in Mingora. He told a news conference that terrorists have created various road blocks in Mingora city to impede and block movement on roads.
Strange, we were told yesterday that the Talibs had shaved their beards and fled ...
"Security Forces are closing in from different directions and have been able to inflict more casualties," the spokesman said. He said that during last 24 hours, the operation in all sectors Swat, Buner and Shangla areas have achieved great success and 47 terrorists have been killed in various areas of Dir district and 4 have been arrested. Three Security Forces personnel were injured. He said the security forces conducted search and destroy operation against terrorists' hideouts in villages of Swat.

Main terrorist leader of Shangla sector, Zaman has been killed while Sher Alam, another important terrorist leader from Malam Jabba in Swat was arrested in Shangla. He said in Dir, the house of a local mayor Hayasarai Zia ul Haq was engaged by Security Forces in a response to miscreants' reckless fire. "Resultantly, 45 terrorists were killed".

To a question about foreigners' involvement in the fighting, he said that 23 foreigners were killed who belonged to countries bordering Afghanistan. He said miscreants are running 36 FM radio stations and they keep on changing frequency in two to three minutes after they are jammed by the security forces. He said that around 4,000 militants are operating in Swat, adding that 90 per cent of militants are local and belong to Swat and only 10 per cent come from outside.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  population is probably closer to 100k, not 500k
Posted by: lord garth || 05/17/2009 0:57 Comments || Top||


U.S drone kills 25 at religious seminary in Pakistan
IRNA:
And who's more reliable than an Iranian press agency?
U.S drone Saturday fired two missiles on a religious seminary in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region and killed at least 25 people, locals said. Six other people were injured when the missiles struck the seminary at Khisur area, 25 kilometers south of Mir Ali, a main town in North Waziristan

A vehicle parked near the seminary was also destroyed, local tribesmen said.

They said that Taliban militants blocked roads to the seminary after two missiles hit it at 8 a.m. Two rooms of the seminary building and the vehicles were completely destroyed.
Posted by: Pappy || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's a start.
Posted by: gorb || 05/17/2009 3:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Religious seminary, terrorist training school - it's all the same with militant Islam.
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/17/2009 7:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Well it does make a change, as it is normally a wedding party.
Posted by: Dave UK || 05/17/2009 14:06 Comments || Top||

#4  think doofus's wife learned how to build that cum bomb at an Islamic Seminary?

/to quote the great Joe M: "I got nuthin"
Posted by: Frank G || 05/17/2009 16:01 Comments || Top||


40 militants die in NWA drone strikes
PESHAWAR/MIRAMSHAH: Forty people, most of them militants, were killed and several others critically injured in two successive attacks by US spy planes at Khaisur village of Mirali subdivision of North Waziristan Agency on Saturday morning.

"It is the biggest-ever loss for the Mujahideen in the tribal areas so far," militant sources claimed.
I'm just going to guess that the Pak military and ISI didn't have operational control over this flight ...
Tribal sources said two US spy planes were seen flying over Khaisur village, 20 kilometres south of the Mirali subdivision, the second major town of militancy-wrecked North Waziristan tribal region. The drones fired two missiles at a double-cabin pick-up parked close to a mud-house allegedly used as a hideout by the Taliban militants.
Trade yer ram-tough Plus-Cab Dodges for smart-cars, boys, and maybe you'll live, though your meetings will be smaller ...
According to sources, the militants had just sat in the vehicle and were due to travel to some undisclosed location when they came under attack around 8:00 am.
Pro'ly still chowing their Egg McMuffins ...
Soon after the attack, other militants staying at the building arrived and started rescue work. "They were recovering bodies of the slain militants when the drone fired two more missiles, almost 12 minutes after the first attack. It was terrible as almost all the Taliban involved in rescue work were targeted," stated a local militant commander based in Mirali.
Rescue work = rescuing Swat from the evil influences of wimmin, likker, and governance by insufficiently pious men with too-short beards ...
Pleading anonymity, he said majority of the militants killed in the attack were local tribal militants, and their bodies were badly burnt and split into pieces.

"We lost very trained and sincere friends. Some of them were very senior Taliban commanders and had taken part in successful actions in Afghanistan. Bodies of most of them were beyond recognition," the militant commander said in a choked voice.
"Please don't let the Americans kill me too!"
He vowed they would take revenge on the American forces in Afghanistan for the killing of the Taliban.
"We shall have Dire Revenge!"
"The Pakistan government has failed to protect us against the US aggression and, therefore, we will soon teach a lesson to the US troops in Afghanistan," the enraged militant commander maintained.

He said the militants had made all arrangements for their trip to Afghanistan and fight against the US-led forces there. The militant commander said a few of the victims were Arab fighters.

He denied reports that senior al-Qaeda operatives were among the victims of the drone attacks. "It's the biggest-ever loss of Mujahideen in any drone attack so far," he claimed.

The militant commander admitted that US spies had entered their movement and that's why the Taliban were now suffering heavy losses in drone attacks in North and South Waziristan tribal regions.
Including cousin Mahmoud. He's certainly a spy ...
"There is no question for strange people to enter our centres. It is impossible without the involvement of people having close liaison with the Taliban," said the Taliban commander.

Tribal sources in Mirali said the Taliban fighters cordoned off the venue after the first attack and did not allow the villagers to see what had happened to them. However, after the second attack, nobody was there in Khaisur village to retrieve the bodies of the slain militants. Even villagers were reluctant to go there and take part in rescue work.

It was later when the drones disappeared, the militants started arriving from the adjoining villages in pick-ups and cars in large numbers at the spot.
And that's when the drones should have re-appeared. Even if they didn't have any Hellfires just their presence would have made a delightful scene ...
The villagers said some of the militants could not control their emotions and cried over the loss of senior fighters.

A government official in Mirali confirmed the drone attack in Khaisur village but said he did not know about the exact losses of the militants. "Taliban always cordon off an area and don't allow even local tribesmen to visit the targeted building," the official said and declined to be named.
"And it's not like the Americans talk to me," he added huffily.
It is pertinent to mention here that Taliban in the tribal areas, particularly North and South Waziristan tribal regions where they are in full control, had killed dozens of people on charges of spying on the militants for the US forces in Afghanistan.

They usually behead the alleged US spies and then place their bodies at busy squares or roadside. However, they never punished their own people on charges of spying for the US forces.

It is astonishing that despite a full-scale military operation launched by Pakistan against the Taliban in the Malakand region, the US forces are yet to stop targeting the tribal areas while the drone strikes have been fuelling anger among the people against the Pakistan government and the armed forces.

AFP adds: Other intelligence officials put the death toll as high as 28, saying the dead were mostly local militants from a local Wazir tribe who had been preparing to leave for neighbouring Afghanistan to carry out attacks.
Posted by: john frum || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Soon after the attack, other militants staying at the building arrived and started rescue work. "They were recovering bodies of the slain militants when the drone fired two more missiles, almost 12 minutes after the first attack. It was terrible as almost all the Taliban involved in rescue work were targeted," stated a local militant commander based in Mirali.

Now that's more like it! Good to see they can't take what they dish out. More, please.
Posted by: gorb || 05/17/2009 3:17 Comments || Top||

#2  This double booming has been recommended here at the "Burg for years, I'm glad somebody finally wised up.
Sauce for the goose, Sauce for the Gander.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/17/2009 11:42 Comments || Top||

#3  Effing good stuff.
Posted by: Dave UK || 05/17/2009 14:13 Comments || Top||

#4  For the trifecta, keep the Predators hovering till they bleed out.
Posted by: ed || 05/17/2009 14:18 Comments || Top||

#5  NWA paled after Ice Cube left
Posted by: Frank G || 05/17/2009 16:02 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Mystery explosion kills Paleokiddie in Khan Younis
Alert the PCHR...
A Palestinian child was killed Saturday in a mysterious explosion at his home in Khan Yunis, south Gaza Strip. Palestinian medical sources said, "The child, Ahmed Ameen Hamdan, 11 years, was killed in an explosion at his home in Alamal neighborhood in Khan Younis, south Gaza Strip." Medical sources in Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis confirmed that they have received the child's body.
Posted by: Seafarious || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mama was dressing him for Temple in his suicide vest? He was playing with Papa's toys?
Posted by: Glenmore || 05/17/2009 8:02 Comments || Top||

#2  #1: Mama was dressing him for Temple in his suicide vest? He was playing with Papa's toys?
Posted by: Glenmore


Could be, Glenmore. More likely a propane canister exploded. Propane canister explosions are frequent in that part of the world.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 05/17/2009 9:01 Comments || Top||

#3  "Propane canister explosions are frequent in that part of the world."

I don't doubt it for a moment, OP, but have you any idea why? It's rarely heard of here. I've got 2 propane tanks sitting on the deck next to the grill, and a box of smaller Coleman cannisters in the emergency closet for power outages - and I can't say I've ever worried about them exploding.

(Of course, I don't beat on them with hard objects, attempt to penetrate them with a sharp object, or set them where a flame can impinge on them....)
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/17/2009 9:30 Comments || Top||

#4  Miss Barbara -

RE: The propane explosions, there's a couple of reasons for them, but they tend to boil down to the 'Inshallah Theory' of upkeep and use. Here in the states, you can't buy a canister that doesn't have a certain type of valve on it, or a certain thickness of metal, or a certain design - it's all mandated by law. But over there, tanks have very simple (and leaky) valves, and after a while the metal can corrode to the point where a child can punch through it, and design standards vary from maker to maker.
One other thought that may have more relevance here: in the mid-90s there was a low-grade fight going on in Bahrain. There were three participants - an Iraqi-backed faction that wanted to take over the country, an Iranian-backed faction that wanted to take over the country, and the Bahrani security services. The Bahrani security people had more smarts in their little fingers than the other guys could ever hope to have put together, and most of the fighting ended up between the two bad guy factions. Trouble was, since Bahraini security was so good, they had VERY few weapons to use against each other. So what they ended up doing was figuring out a way to light propane canisters as makeshift rockets to launch against one another. It didn't work all that well - they simply tended to go straight up and come back straight down, proving that Allah had nothing on Sir Isaac Newton. But it did provide a spectacular visual display (several friends of mine who visited there brought back videos - kinda looked like a scale model space shuttle launch) and it made the bad guys feel good. The people it landed on, not so much. But what I'm getting at here is that I wonder if the Palostineans have had the same idea. I mean, if the weapons pipelines are being shut down (fewer Qassams), and throwing rocks gets you dead, then why don't we try that Bahrani-propane canister thing?...

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 05/17/2009 10:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Thanks, Mike.

To sum it up, then, they're ignorant idiots.

But we knew that....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/17/2009 11:57 Comments || Top||

#6  To sum it up, then, they're ignorant idiots.

Understatement. Ever been to a Palestinian wedding?
Posted by: Zorba || 05/17/2009 14:46 Comments || Top||

#7  Not a chance in hell, Zorba.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/17/2009 14:56 Comments || Top||

#8  I can think of at least 3-4 ways to make a propane cylinder bomb, I ain't publishing a single idea.
I do NOT help the wicked.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/17/2009 16:15 Comments || Top||


Sri Lanka
Tamil Tigers say they surrender
"This battle has reached its bitter end," rebel official Selvarasa Pathmanathan said in a statement. "It is our people who are dying now from bombs, shells, illness and hunger. We cannot permit any more harm to befall them. We remain with one last choice — to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people. We have decided to silence our guns."
The Tamil Tiger rebels admitted defeat in their 25-year-old war with the Sri Lankan government Sunday, offering to lay down their guns as government forces swept across their last strongholds in the northeast.

The government rejected the last-ditch call for a cease-fire, saying the thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone all have escaped to safety and there was no longer any reason to stop the battle. The military said the remaining guerrillas were still fighting.

With a war that has killed well over 70,000 people nearing its end, Sri Lankans poured into the streets in spontaneous celebration. President Mahinda Rajapaksa scheduled a nationally televised news conference for Tuesday morning at Parliament, where he was expected to tell the nation the war was over.

The fate of the Tamil Tigers' top commanders remained unclear, including the whereabouts of the reclusive rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

A senior military official said troops found the bodies of several rebel fighters who had committed suicide Sunday when troops surrounded them. The bodies were suspected of being Prabhakaran and his deputies, but the military was still trying to confirm their identities, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The rebels, who once controlled a wide swath of the north, have been routed by government forces in recent months. On Sunday, Tamil Tiger suicide bombers targeted troops clearing out the last pockets of rebel resistance in the war zone and troops killed at least 70 rebels trying to flee by boat, the military said.

On Sunday afternoon, the tattered and nearly defeated rebel group offered to lay down its arms, saying it was acting to protect the wounded in the war zone.

"This battle has reached its bitter end," rebel official Selvarasa Pathmanathan said in a statement. "It is our people who are dying now from bombs, shells, illness and hunger. We cannot permit any more harm to befall them. We remain with one last choice — to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people. We have decided to silence our guns."

Pathmanathan said the bodies of thousands of dead and wounded civilians lay on the battlefield.

Media Minister Anura Yapa dismissed the appeal, saying government forces had rescued all the civilians.

"We are looking after those people. We want to free this country from the terrorist LTTE," he said, referring to the group by its formal name, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the rebels had not laid down their weapons. "Fighting is still going on in small pockets," he said.

With most journalists and aid workers barred from the war zone, it was not possible to verify the accounts of either side.

Troops on Sunday killed at least 70 rebels trying to escape the 0.4-square mile (one-square kilometer) patch of land that government troops have surrounded, the military said.

Thousands of Sri Lankans danced, set off celebratory fireworks and beat on drums in celebration Sunday after Rajapaksa made an initial declaration of victory.

"We are celebrating a victory against terrorism," said Sujeewa Anthonis, a 32-year-old street hawker.

As the fighting raged on in recent days, concerns mounted for the fate of the tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone amid heavy shelling and intense fighting.

But 63,000 civilians fled the area over the past 72 hours, clearing the way for the government to finish off the rebels, Nanayakkara said Sunday.

"We're relieved to hear that all civilians have come out of the combat zone," U.N. spokesman Gordon Weiss said. More than 250,000 civilians have fled the fighting in recent months.

Rights groups have accused the rebels of holding the civilians as human shields, which the rebels have denied.

The U.N. says 7,000 civilians were killed and 16,700 wounded from Jan. 20 through May 7. Health officials say more than 1,000 have been killed since then in heavy shelling that rights groups and foreign governments have blamed on Sri Lankan forces. The government denied shelling the area.

The war zone was wracked by chaos Sunday, as troops sought to mop up the final pockets of resistance, Nanayakkara said. At least one suicide bomber attacked troops in the morning, the latest in a wave of rebel attacks on the advancing forces in recent days, he said. He declined to say what damage the attack caused.

Rajapaksa raced home from a visit to Jordan after declaring victory in the war. Upon his arrival early Sunday, ministers and well-wishers cheered as he descended from his plane and Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu and Muslim clerics blessed him.

Many of those celebrating in the streets said the war had badly damaged the country for three decades.

"This victory will ensure a better future for the coming generations," said Prasanna Jayawardena, 38, who was lighting firecrackers in the streets of Colombo.

The rebels, who once controlled a de facto state across much of the north, have been fighting since 1983 for a separate state for minority Tamils after decades of marginalization by the Sinhalese majority. Responsible for hundreds of suicide attacks — including the 1991 assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi — the Tamil Tigers have been branded terrorists by the U.S., EU and India and shunned internationally.

The rebels also controlled a conventional army, with artillery units, a significant navy and even a tiny air force.

After repeated stalemates on the battlefield, the military broke through the rebel lines last year and forced the insurgents into a broad retreat, capturing their administrative capital at Kilinochchi in January and vowing to retake control over the rest of the country.

The rebels have insisted that if defeated in conventional battle, they will return to their guerrilla roots.
Posted by: || 05/17/2009 10:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This battle has reached its bitter end," rebel official Selvarasa Pathmanathan said in a statement. "It is our people who are dying now from bombs, shells, illness and hunger. We cannot permit any more harm to befall them. We remain with one last choice — to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people. We have decided to silence our guns."

Hang the lying bastard.(After a "Fair" trial, of course.)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 05/17/2009 11:48 Comments || Top||

#2  No, Jim - just hang him (or shoot him - I'm not picky).

"to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people We have decided to silence our guns"

Logic not your strong point, bubbe? They wouldn't be killing your people if you hadn't started this war. Idiot.

Rope. Tree. Some assembly required.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/17/2009 12:02 Comments || Top||

#3  Hang him high if they wish. But the world should draw a lesson; this is how wars end, one side admits defeat and the victors decide what peace will be. This is how conflicts get settled once and for all. And about 400 years later, no one remembers what it was all about, except when Muslims are involved.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 05/17/2009 12:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Finish off the fighters terrorists with a round to the back of the head.
Posted by: DarthVader || 05/17/2009 14:36 Comments || Top||

#5  The rebels have insisted that if defeated in conventional battle, they will return to their guerrilla roots.

Seems to me I heard a story about how the Romans defeated an army and rather than kill them they just blinded them all. They left one man out of a hundred with sight in one eye so they could lead the rest home to be a burden on their society.

I'm thinking it would be difficult to be a guerilla if your dominant eye was blinded or had diminished vision, you were missing both thumbs, both big toes, etc..
Posted by: gorb || 05/17/2009 16:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Logic not your strong point, bubbe? They wouldn't be killing your people if you hadn't started this war. Idiot.

Arguably the the war really started when a handful of Sri Lankan soldier were killed in an attack in the early 80s, and in response the government organized a pogrom that killed at least 1000 Tamil civilians and drove tens of thousands from their homes in Sinhalese majority areas. Which was a godsend to the Tamil Tigers.
Posted by: Gaz || 05/17/2009 19:55 Comments || Top||


Lanka army claims LTTE chief Prabhakaran dead
New Delhi: Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief V Prabhakaran could be dead with Sri Lankan army sources telling CNN-IBN that his body has been recovered and is being taken to an army camp in Colombo.

Sri Lankan army sources say they have recovered 150 bodies of LTTE cadres but the bodies are still being identified.

According to reports all civilians held hostage by the LTTE have now been freed from the battle zone.

The report comes even as the Lankan government announced it had captured the final stronghold of the LTTE, and that the top LTTE leadership may have committed mass suicide.

"I am proud to announce... that my government with the total commitment of our armed forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation, finally defeated the LTTE militarily," said Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Posted by: john frum || 05/17/2009 09:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1 

President Mahinda Rajapakse kneels on disembarking from his aircraft at the Colombo International airport on May 17, 2009 and walks into a hero's welcome on his return from Jordan. The president declared that the island's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels have been "defeated militarily" after decades of bitter ethnic bloodshed.
Posted by: john frum || 05/17/2009 9:34 Comments || Top||

#2  ...No fat lady singing yet - but hopefully she's warming up.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 05/17/2009 10:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Well, get the fat lady ready. We're on 24-hour confirmation watch.



Posted by: gromky || 05/17/2009 10:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Er, can someone fix the formatting there. Both pics are aligned right. Sorry for 2 pics but it's a special occasion, and it's flickr anyway.
Posted by: gromky || 05/17/2009 10:11 Comments || Top||

#5 
Posted by: gromky || 05/17/2009 14:57 Comments || Top||

#6  LOL Gromky!
Posted by: Frank G || 05/17/2009 15:35 Comments || Top||

#7  Some of the Boyz at PAKISTANI DEFENCE FORUMS have expressed their broad satisfaction of what they interprete as SRI LANKA'S DEFEAT OF INDIA???

OTOH, DAME > INDONESIA MAY HAVE AROLE IN INDIA'S REGIONAL PLAN. Indian milplanners told that SUNDA-BANKA, LOMBOK-MAKASSAR, + OMBON-WETAR regions are becom STRATEGIC SEA PASSAGES. CHINA's base on Myanmar's COCOS ISLANDS to monitor INdia's BALLISTIC MISSFACS = TESTING. INDIA DESIRES CLOSER INDIAN-INDONES MILECON COOPERATION-PARTNERSHIP.

* WORLD MIL FORUM > ARTIC favors INTENSIFIED CHIN CONSTRUCTION OF VARIOUS LARGE ROAD, RAIL, AIR INFRASTRUCTURE inside NORTH KOREA, including as a means of PROTECTING NOKOR FROM THE US-ALLIES VIA EASIER, RAPID CHIN DEPLOYMENT OF PLA FORCES INTO NOKOR TO DETER US-ALLIED ATTACK.

* RIAN > RUSSIA also desires to den major RAIL NETWORKS, RESOURCE DEVPROJS in MONGOLIA [ read, CHINA'S backyard]???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 05/17/2009 19:39 Comments || Top||


Huge explosions in Tamil Tiger zone followed by radio silence
The Army also said huge explosions were heard in the area where the LTTE leadership is hiding followed by thick black smoke seen rising up on the ground. They said after that LTTE radio communication went silent.
Well, that could be it! If Mario really went out, then we should know by Monday.
“Troops of 58 Division since last morning started maneuvering southwards along the coast on the Eastern border of the newly declared civilian safety Zone, and have been able to eliminate LTTE strongholds up to the Farah III shipwreck , located on the Kariamulliwaikkal coast.”

Farah 111 is the Jordanian Merchant ship the LTTE hijacked some years ago, when it was in the Mulaittivu waters.

“According to the sources, the shipwreck has been the main costal stronghold of the terrorists, on which their heavy machine guns were placed. The soldiers had to encounter stiff resistance from the terrorist manning the shipwreck when they posed the open beachhead this morning. Infantrymen of 11th Sri Lanka light infantry and 12 Gajaba Regiment upon reaching the location have attacked and destroyed the dinghy boats on which the terrorists had attempted to escape

“Meanwhile, a huge explosion has been reported in the civilian safety zone where the LTTE leaders are currently hiding in. According to the reports, the soldiers have heard the explosion around 6.30 P.M , after which they have observed thick black smoke rising above 200m from the ground. Following the explosion, all radio communications among the LTTE units have come to a standstill, the reports added.
Posted by: gromky || 05/17/2009 06:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That screaming sound you hear in the background is the UselessNitwits, collectively horrified that their pet terrorist group du jour is about to be OBLITERATED. By other non-whites, no less, so they can't blame Amerikka™ and/or the West.

Too bad we can't get the collective UN to go join them for their FINAL battle....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/17/2009 9:18 Comments || Top||

#2  Guess the government didn't need to listen in anymore to pick up intel.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 05/17/2009 13:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh come on Barbara they've got much too much imagination to quit so easily. It was obviously the Juice that did it in a secret cabal with the Lanka-poo.
Posted by: AlanC || 05/17/2009 13:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Yeah, I forgot about the Juice, Alan.

Funny that worldwide, the raving anti-semitics think that (a) the Juice are so powerful that they rule and/or are the cause of everything, and (b) the Juice can be destroyed.

Pick one, assholes. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 05/17/2009 14:45 Comments || Top||


Tamil Tigers trapped in a square kilometre
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan troops on Saturday seized the country’s entire coastline for the first time in a 25-year war with the Tamil Tigers, the military said, cutting off escape for separatist rebels now facing annihilation.
The Lankan military keeps saying that it's the end for the Tigers. One of these days real soon now that's going to be true ...
Two divisions marching from north and south sealed the coast, while a third completed the encirclement of the Tigers and their leaders, now trapped in barely a square kilometre of land without their umbilical access to the sea.

“Now we have linked up on the coastline and the Sea Tigers’ activities are no more,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said, referring to the Tigers’ naval wing. Troops were still closing in on the rebels, he said.

Another 4,500 people fled the sandy spit of land controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), bringing the total to nearly 20,000 since Thursday, Nanayakkara said.

Intelligence reports indicated that LTTE founder-leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran and other senior Tigers were in the remaining LTTE territory, Nanayakkara said.
I thought by now he'd be hob-nobbing and fund-raising with the ex-pat community in, say, Quebec City ...
The Red Cross called the civilians’ plight an “unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe” because of the lack of food, water and medical care in the battlezone, where the United Nations estimates 30,000-80,000 innocent people remain trapped. “My government, with the total commitment of our armed forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation finally defeated the LTTE militarily,” Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa said late on Saturday.

“I will be going back to a country that has been totally freed from the barbaric acts of the LTTE,” he said in a speech at an international gathering in Jordan.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:


Speculation ripe that Prabhakaran dead
Colombo/New Delhi/Amman/Stockholm, 16 May (Asiantribune.com): There is heightened speculation that Velupillai Prabhakaran, the megalomaniac responsible for the death of hundreds of thousand of innocents is dead. Just as the Asian Tribune's on-line poll predicted.

The speculation gained currency after reports trickled in from the War Zone that two army divisions marching different directions in the north on Saturday captured the last strip of the coastline held by the LTTE, killed many rebels in the confrontation and cut off all sea escape routes for the beleaguered rebels who are now confined to just 1.5 sq km territory encircled by the security forces. There has been a buzz of explosions in and around the New-Safety Zone (NSZ) as the military and the Tigers engaged in a no-holds-barred battle.

How and when Prabhakarans end came is still unclear. There is no official word as yet from any quarter -- Presidents office, Army headquarters or defence ministry.

It is said that the President would make an important announcement tomorrow after his arrival from Amman where he is at present to attend G-11 summit.

Only on Friday, President Rajapaksa vowed to stamp out the Tigers within 48-hours. It was rather unusual of him to make such a public declaration since he is given to the old school dictum of understatement.

So, if the speculation is true- there appears no need or even justification not to believe the grapevine for the first time in Colombo -- Asian Tribune can take credit for foreseeing the end of a person who had successfully sold the dream of Tamil Eelam and moulded the Tigers as the Khmer Rouge of Sri Lanka with an ultra extremist ideology.

In the on-going poll by Asian Tribune on "How Prabhakarans saga will end", 49 per cent of ATs global readership voted that Prabhakaran will be killed. 23 per cent said that he would flee the Vanni. Only 20 per cent voted that he would commit suicide by swallowing the cyanide pill. Just 8 per cent felt he could surrender to the armed forces, notwithstanding their skepticism.

A clear pointer to the possible end of Prabhakaran is the big blow the SL Navy had inflicted on the LTTE by 'capturing the wife and daughter of Soosai, the Chief of the Sea Tiger's. Soosai, whose real name is Thillaiyampalam Sivanesan, is a close confidant of Prabhakaran. He is also the senior most leader in the military wing of the LTTE. His brothers wife and daughter were also captured off Mullaitivu coast as all of them were trying to flee.

There has been a flurry of activity in Wanni and Colombo and also the rush of communications between Colombo and Amman where the President is on a short visit signaling that the dreaded 'man-eater had met his tryst with death finally.

Interestingly, the government released early in the day a photograph of President. It was of a beaming Rajapaksa in a T-shirt. The photo was circulated to the media outlets at home and abroad.

The caption said 'Gotabaya Rajapaksa Defence Secretary of Srilanka informs over the phone to President Mahinda Rajapaksa(16th morning) in Jordan latest update in the battle field.

Seen against backdrop of speculation about Prabhakarans end, the caption is perfect give away to herald celebrations over the death of a person, who had become a living scourge since he had set out on his killing mission in1975 beginning with the assassination of Alfred Duraiyappah, the peoples Mayor of Jaffna.
Posted by: john frum || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:


Good morning ...
Posted by: Steve White || 05/17/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Nickolas Janopoparopolis?" "Do you mind if I just call you 'Nick'?"



Always the Pixie

Daily Gam Shot

Off stage she's a soccer mom from Tyler Texas.

Heal!

Aging gracefully (63)

She now plays Miss Daisy

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/17/2009 1:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Bravo, Steve! You sure know how to pick 'em.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 05/17/2009 1:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Thank Pappy, the lovely Ms. Duncan was his suggestion.
Posted by: Steve White || 05/17/2009 1:37 Comments || Top||

#4  Happy Birthday: May 17th.

Horace Elgin Dodge - died 1920 (52) ""Ram Tough!"

Maureen O'Sullivan - died 1998 (87) "Jane in Tarzan the Ape Man - Mia's Mom"

Dennis Hopper - 73 "Rebel Without a Cause - Easy Rider" (Now)

***NSFW***
Brigitte Nielsen - 46 "Tall Freaky 'Actress?'" (Now)

On this day in history: May 17th.
1792 – The New York Stock Exchange is formed.
1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.
1943 – The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School to develop the ENIAC.
1943 – The Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams.
1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
1970 – Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean.
1973 – Watergate scandal: Hearings begin in the United States Senate and are televised.
1974 – Police in Los Angeles, California, raid the Symbionese Liberation Army's headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.
1983 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
1987 – An Iraqi fighter jet fires two missiles into the U.S. warship USS Stark (FFG-31), killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
1995 – After 18 years as the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac takes office as President of France.
2004 – Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 05/17/2009 1:55 Comments || Top||

#5  ...Miss Duncan has showed up a couple of times on 'Law and Order' as a thoroughly unpleasant lawyer - she could have made a hell of a comeback with that part.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 05/17/2009 8:46 Comments || Top||

#6  Her eye tumor really derailed a promising career. I remember as a 6-year old that my parents really enjoyed her sitcom.

I could totally see her as a spitfire second lead in the old-style 40's-50's musicals, she sure had the talent.
Posted by: ebrown2 || 05/17/2009 13:38 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2009-05-17
  Tamil Tigers say they surrender
Sat 2009-05-16
  Sri Lanka president declares victory in civil war
Fri 2009-05-15
  60 Talibs killed in Swat
Thu 2009-05-14
  Morocco dismantles Salafiya Jihadiya cell
Wed 2009-05-13
   113 deaders, thousands flee Somalia festivities
Tue 2009-05-12
  Pak commandos dropped into Taliban stronghold
Mon 2009-05-11
  200 Taliban killed in Swat operation
Sun 2009-05-10
  Scores dead as drone hits S. Wazoo Mehsud stronghold
Sat 2009-05-09
  1.2 million people leave Buner, Swat other areas
Fri 2009-05-08
  Gilani orders all-out war on Pak Taliban
Thu 2009-05-07
  Sufi Mohammad's son killed in Lower Dir shelling
Wed 2009-05-06
  Mashaal: Hamas wants 10 year cease-fire
Tue 2009-05-05
  Pirates captured after attacking the wrong ship
Mon 2009-05-04
  Khaled Mashaal re-elected Hamas political leader
Sun 2009-05-03
  64 civilians killed in Lanka hospital attack

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