[An Nahar] Malian soldiers clashed with Tuareg separatists from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad Wednesday in a town south of the rebel-held regional capital of Kidal, military sources told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Troops attacked krazed killer positions in Anefis, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Kidal, as part of an operation to retake the city from the ethnic Tuareg MNLA which is accused of "ethnic cleansing" after a wave of expulsions of black residents.
"Our troops have engaged armed bandidos in the Anefis area who have suffered heavy losses of men and vehicles," said Malian army front man Souleymane Maiga.
The festivities were confirmed by the MNLA and a regional military source.
"The Malian army has attacked our positions this morning in Anefis. It decided to resolve the situation through war and the Malian government will bear the consequences," MNLA vice-president Mahamadou Djeri Maiga told AFP.
"We never wanted to resolve the situation by war, but as this is so, we will defend ourselves until the end," he added, speaking from the Burkina Faso ...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now... capital Ouagadougou, where he is in talks with Malian officials over the staging of Mali's upcoming elections.
Malian troops have been deployed in four "battle groups" to encircle Kidal, the army told AFP on Tuesday.
The fighting came after more than 100 black inhabitants were expelled from the city by the lighter-skinnned MNLA fighters in an act denounced as "ethnic cleansing" by the government, which says the presence of troops in the city is "non-negotiable".
Eight men were convicted on terror-related charges in Kazakhstan's western city of Atyrau on June 5.
Seven of the defendants were given prison terms between 18 and 23 years. They were convicted on charges of terrorism, kidnapping, murder, car theft, burglary, and the illegal possession and distribution of weapons.
The eighth defendant was found guilty of not reporting the group's existence to police. He received a one-year suspended jail term.
The suspects were arrested in Atyrau between December 2012 and January 2013.
Judge Gulnar Kazhenova said the group planned to travel to Syria to fight alongside anti-government forces.
[Bangla Daily Star] Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... has been elected as Pakistain's prime minister after his surprise landslide victory in general elections last month.
Sharif received 244 votes in the 342-seat parliament, returning him to office for an unprecedented third time.
The newly appointed leader is due to be sworn in later on Wednesday.
He faces numerous pressing challenges, including reviving a weak economy and putting an end to bad boy attacks and US drone strikes.
The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says Sharif's priorities will be rejuvenating the economy and improving security -- both areas that require some speedy but difficult decision-making in a geo-strategic environment which is shaped and controlled by the military.
While the new prime minister favours talks with the Pak Taliban, many expect that once he gets into power, he will accept the army's view that all past negotiations have failed and the only option is to fight the jihadis who attack domestic targets.
He comes to power at a critical time in the battle against the Taliban -- as NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... forces begin the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Sharif has continually spoken out against US drone strikes in Pakistain although it is not clear how he can bring these to an end.
Infrastructure projects are another important priority -- he wants to stop power cuts and construct a bullet train between Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... and Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. Because his PML-N party has an outright majority in parliament -- with the support of some independent MPs -- the prime minister does not need to form a coalition.
He is expected to address parliament after being elected its leader but is not expected to go into policy details.
The ceremony is being attended by members of parliament, foreign diplomats and dignitaries, senior members of the judiciary and chiefs of the armed forces.
Although other candidates from the Pakistain People's Party and from Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who ain't the sharpest bulb on the national tree... 's Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... party were standing against him, Sharif's nomination was a formality because of the commanding majority of his party in parliament.
President Asif Ali Ten Percent Zardari ... husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, who has been singularly lacking in curiosity about who done her in ... -- his old political rival -- will administer the oath to him. He is also likely to swear in key members of Sharif's cabinet.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/06/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
A Bullet Train? The BK & BDTP Central Songs will be written, tales will be told of the Paki Paki Bang Bang.
Yes the Conductor knows the spot price of AK-47s in BDTP
[Dawn] Police on Monday recovered four dead bodies from Jam Goth in the Malir area of Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... who were bumped off after being kidnapped, DawnNews reported.
According to the police, the dear departed persons were kidnapped from Karachi's Landhi area on their way to work in the early hours of Wednesday. All four were employers at a private denim company.
The bodies were shifted to Jinnah Hospital's emergency and accident ward. Due to the ongoing strike observed by doctors, the dear departed could not be shifted to the hospital's mortuary deterring police personnel from launching criminal investigation into the incident.
[An Nahar] Militants set up a fake checkpoint in western Iraq and ambushed a convoy of 14 border coppers on Wednesday, killing all of them and setting fire to the bodies of two of them, officials said.
The checkpoint was set up along the main highway connecting Iraq to Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... , with the attack taking place near the town of Nukhaib.
At about 11:00 am (0800 GMT), the men were travelling along the highway in three unmarked cars to begin their shifts at various checkpoints, Major General Yasir Assem from the border guards said.
They were stopped at the fake checkpoint and bumped off, and two of their bodies set on fire.
A medic at the clinic in Nukhaib, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, confirmed the toll.
Nukhaib is in Anbar province, but is part of a tract of land claimed by neighboring Karbala province.
It was the site of a brutal attack in September 2011 that sent tensions soaring between the two provinces. Militants killed 22 Shiite pilgrims from Karbala aboard a bus bound for Syria.
Anbar province has long been a stronghold of Sunni Death Eaters, including those linked to al-Qaeda.
Many tribal militias turned against al-Qaeda and joined forces with the U.S. military from late-2006, but they have failed to completely eliminate such attacks, which often target the security forces in a bid to undermine confidence in the authorities.
Violence has been on the rise in recent months, with the number of people killed in May the highest since 2008. However, Switzerland ...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell... makes more than cheese... overall deaths remain far below levels registered during the brutal 2006-2007 sectarian war.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/06/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq
[An Nahar] Syria's rebels conceded on Tuesday they had lost the battle for the strategic town of Qusayr but vowed to fight "thousands of Lebanese mercenaries" after the army seized total control of it and the surrounding region.
The main opposition National Coalition shrugged off the defeat, declaring the "revolution will continue".
At the same time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters from Hizbullah, who had spearheaded the regime's assault, were in control of the town.
Control of Qusayr was vital for the rebels as it was their principal transit point for weapons and fighters from Leb.
It is also strategic for the regime because it is located on the road linking Damascus with the coast, its rear base.
"Yes our brothers, this a round that we have lost," the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution said on its Facebook page, but rebels seeking to oust Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Trampler of Homs... "will continue to fight the thousands of Lebanese mercenaries."
That was a reference to Hizbullah, a close ally of Assad's regime.
Earlier, Syria state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
said the army "totally controls" the strategic region of Qusayr after an offensive against rebel fighters that lasted almost three weeks.
The Britannia-based Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics on the ground, also confirmed that Qusayr had fallen.
"The army and Hizbullah have succeeded in taking Qusayr after an intense bombardment of the town overnight," it said. "The rebels have withdrawn to other areas because they were short of ammunition."
Official news agency Sana said the army had "reestablished total security in the town of Qusayr," while Hizbullah's al-Manar television, which has a correspondent on the ground, said the rebels had fled north toward the nearby villages of Dabaa and Buweida al-Sharqiya.
The Observatory said fighting continued in Dabaa and in Buweida al-Sharqiya, the last village under rebel control in the area.
Later, Syria's main opposition group said that the armed uprising against the regime of Assad will carry on despite the fall Wednesday of the strategic town of Qusayr.
"The blessed revolution will continue. Victory is on the side of the righteous, who resisted in the face of oppression and injustice," the National Coalition said in a statement.
The Coalition called on "the United Nations ...where theory meets practice and practice loses... and the great powers to fulfill their responsibility and intervene urgently to protect the civilians".
It also said the world must also "put a stop to the Assad regime's vengeful practices".
Assad forces and Hizbullah fighters launched an offensive on May 19 to retake the Qusayr region, which abuts Leb's northeastern border.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/06/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[An Nahar] The army vowed on Wednesday to trounce rebel fighters across Syria hours after recapturing Qusayr following a more than two-week assault on the strategic town on the border with Leb.
"After successive advances in the war against organised terrorists, our armed forces say they will not hesitate to crush the gunnies wherever they are and in every corner of Syria," it said in a statement.
"Our armed forces have been securing and cleaning the town since dawn after a series of delicate operations," said the statement carried by state news agency SANA.
The army said the "heroic victory" sent a "clear message to all involved in the attack on Syria, headed by the Zionist enemy (Israel) and its agents in the region and on the ground.
"The armed forces are ready to face any aggression against our country.
"Our battle against terrorism will continue to bring security and stability to every inch of our land," said the army statement.
Earlier, state TV had said that regime troops "restored security and peace" after successfully dismantling the "terrorist networks" operating in the town over the last few days.
Leb's al-Mayadeen TV, which has news hounds embedded with Syrian troops, was reporting live from the town, showing images of damaged buildings. The news hound said there was no sign of fighting.
Government troops, backed by Hizbullah fighters, began a wide offensive on the strategic town, which lies near Leb's northeastern border, on May 19.
Both sides in the conflict value Qusayr, which lies along a land corridor linking two Assad strongholds, the capital of Damascus and an area along the Mediterranean coast that is the heartland of his minority Alawite sect.
For the rebels, who had been in control of the town shortly ever since after the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, holding Qusayr meant protecting their supply line to Leb, just 10 kilometres away.
In the past week, rebels in Qusayr called on fighters from all over Syria to come to their aid in the town, and imported muscle were suspected to be playing a large role in the city's defense.
The Qusayr battle has also laid bare Hizbullah's growing role in the Syrian conflict. The party, which has been fighting alongside Assad's troops, initially tried to play down its involvement, but could no longer do so after dozens of its fighters were killed in the town and buried in large funerals in Leb.
Posted by: Fred ||
06/06/2013 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.