Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Bomb attack near Afghan capital kills influential governor.
Reuters | 15 Oct 2013 :: A bomb attack on a mosque in Afghanistan killed the governor of a province south of Kabul, a friend of the country's president, on Tuesday as he was making an address on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said.
Arsala Jamal was governor of Logar province, a strategically important province on the southern approaches to Kabul and home to one of Afghanistan's richest mines.
He had previously been governor of violence-plagued Khost province on the Pakistani border and the killing of such a senior official will raise new fears for Afghanistan's security as foreign troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.
"When the governor was giving a speech it detonated. He is martyred," said Jamal's spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish. He said one other person had been killed.
No one claimed responsibility.
Jamal was a close friend of President Hamid Karzai and served as his campaign manager during his successful bid for re-election in 2009.
He had already survived at least one attempt on his life, when a suicide bomber inv him, killing his guards and a local official in 2007.
Darwish said the bomb had been planted inside the mosque and detonated remotely. Police initially said a suicide bomber had been responsible.
A group supporting Afghanistan's administrative development said it suspected Jamal's work to get the Aynak copper mine in Logar province up and running was the reason he was killed.
"Jamal... had done considerable work for the excavation of copper at the Aynak mine," the Independent Directorate of Local Governance agency said in a statement.
"These activities were not acceptable to the enemies of the country and that is why they martyred him on the first day of Eid al-Adha," it said. It did not elaborate on who it thought was behind the attack.
Jamal spent part of his life in Canada, where his wife and two children continue to live.
Taliban insurgents fighting to expel foreign forces have stepped up attacks on government targets ahead of the withdrawal of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.
The Taliban have rejected government calls for peace talks and have denounced a presidential election due in April as illegitimate.
A Chinese consortium is running the Aynak mine under a $3 billion deal agreed in 2007.
It is Afghanistan's largest foreign investment project but Taliban attacks on the site have prevented work from getting going.
The Chinese investors in August demanded a review of the deal, putting the project at risk. Production was originally scheduled to start this year, but now is seen as unlikely before 2019.
The Taliban's elusive leader, in a message to mark the Eid holiday, urged his fighters to step up their fight against the government.
"My advice to all mujahideen is to stand up to the enemy firmer than before," Mullah Omar said in the message, distributed via email, referring to Muslim holy fighters. (Courtesy: Reuters)
Thursday, 10 October 2013
China arrests 139 Muslims for urging jihad.
AFP | 09 Oct 2013 :: China has arrested 139 people in Xinjiang for allegedly spreading jihad, state-run media said Wednesday, as it warns of growing religious extremism in the far western region home to Muslim Uighurs.
Beijing has pointed to violent incidents to indicate a rising militant threat among the ethnic minority, but information in the vast region is tightly controlled and Uighur organisations complain of cultural and religious repression.
Police in Xinjiang have "handled an increasing number of cases in which individuals have posted or searched for religious extremist content on the Internet", the China Daily said, citing an unnamed source in the Xinjiang Daily.
In the two months to the end of August, 139 people were arrested for "spreading religious extremism including jihad", it said.
Also citing the Xinjiang Daily, the Global Times said a farmer in Hotan was detained after he uploaded 2GB of e-books about secessionism which were read 30,000 times.
Dilshat Rexit, a spokesman for the overseas-based World Uyghur Congress, which Beijing calls a separatist group, said the claims were a "total distortion of the truth" aimed at blocking Uighurs from going online.
Those detained had "expressed discontent with Chinese rule and systematic repression in the area", he said.
China's goal "is to suppress Uighurs' use of the Internet to obtain information and express different points of view", he added.(Courtesy:Jihad Watch)
Five killed in Pakistan market bombing.
QUETTA |Pakistan | 10 Oct 2013 :: A bomb exploded outside a police station in a crowded market in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least six people, police said.
The blast in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, also wounded at least 30, said police official Mohammed Mohsin.In a telephone call to an Associated Press reporter, a spokesman for a small separatist group called the United Baluch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the bombing. Mureed Baluch said the attack targeted the police station in retaliation for what he said was authorities’ restricting aid to areas of Baluchistan hit on Sept. 24 by a massive, 7.7-magnitude earthquake.
The earthquake killed at least 376 people. Aid efforts have been hampered by repeated attacks by militants against the Pakistan military as it carries out relief operations.
Baluchistan is home to separatists who have waged a decades-long insurgency against the government.
Also Thursday, a bomb exploded in a busy market in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, killing one person, said police official Raj Tahir. The bomb, which was planted in a restaurant in the market, also wounded 11 people, he said.
No one claimed responsibility for that attack, but suspicion will likely fall on the Pakistani Taliban and their allies.
Islamic militants have carried out scores of attacks throughout Pakistan, but Lahore has been relatively peaceful in recent years.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, five members of a tribal police force were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded next to their vehicle on the outskirts of the city, said a police official, Mir Hassan Khan.
The officers were returning from protecting workers who were administering polio vaccinations, and Khan said he suspected they were attacked in retaliation for their anti-polio efforts.
Pakistan is one of three countries where polio is still endemic, and the government has carried out an intensive effort to eradicate the disease. But the vaccinators and those who are supposed to protect them have repeatedly come under attack.
Many militants have accused the polio campaign of being a cover for intelligence gathering efforts and say the vaccines are actually a western plot to sterilize Muslims.(Courtesy:The Washington Post)
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Iraq bombing kills eight: officials.
|Violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008,|
when the country was just emerging from a brutal
sectarian conflict. (Reuters)
09 Oct 2013 :: A roadside bomb exploded near a truck carrying workers in Iraq on Wednesday, killing eight people, a police officer and a hospital employee said.
The blast south of Baghdad also wounded seven, they said.
Violence in Iraq has reached a level not seen since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict.
This year's surge in violence has raised fears of a relapse into the kind of intense Sunni-Shiite bloodshed that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed tens of thousands of people.
Diplomats and analysts say the Shiite-led government's failure to address the grievances of the Sunni Arab minority - which complains of political exclusion and abuses by security forces - has driven the rise in unrest.
With the latest violence, more than 200 people have been killed so far this month, and over 4,900 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.(Courtesy:The Indian Express)
Monday, 7 October 2013
Ayodhya, other religious places in UP put on high alert.
Ayodhya | 05 Oct 2013 :: Security has been tightened in Ayodhya and other religious places in Uttar Pradesh following Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal’s revelation that a most wanted terrorist, Tahseen Akhtar, was planning to target religious places in UP.
“Name of Tahseen Akhtar figured in interrogation with Yasin Bhatkal after which district police chiefs have been alerted and his sketch has been provided to them,” IG (Law and Order) of Uttar Pradesh RK Vishwakarma told reporters in Lucknow.
Security agencies, during interrogation with Bhatkal, have come to know about Akhtar’s plan to target Ayodhya and other religious places, sources said.
Akhtar, wanted in connection with Hyderabad and other blasts, is an IM operative and carries Rs 10 lakh reward on his head.(Courtesy:NITI Central)
Iraq violence: Baghdad hit by series of deadly blasts.
BBC News | 07 Oct 2013 :: At least 22 people have been killed and dozens hurt in a series of explosions across the Iraqi capital, police say.
There are reports of at least six apparently co-ordinated bomb attacks in mainly commercial areas of Baghdad.
The majority were reported in mainly Shia districts, but a predominantly Sunni Muslim neighbourhood was also hit, according to Reuters news agency.
Iraq has seen a sharp rise in sectarian violence in recent months. Nearly 6,000 people have been killed this year.
Two of the explosions were reported in Doura and in the Husseiniya district, where a parked car was reportedly blown up in a busy street during the evening rush hour.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.The rate of attacks has quadrupled since the relative calm in the months before US forces pulled out in 2011.
Almost 1,000 were killed in Iraq during the past month alone, the UN has said, amid fears of a return to the sectarian conflict that peaked in 2008.
Most of the violence has been blamed on Sunni Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which belongs to the over-arching Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Iraq has also seen a spill-over of violence from the conflict in Syria, where jihadist rebels linked to the Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda, have risen to prominence.
In the past two months, Iraqi security forces have reportedly arrested hundreds of alleged al-Qaeda members in and around Baghdad as part of a campaign the government is calling "Revenge for the Martyrs".
But the operations, which have taken place mostly in Sunni districts, have angered the Sunni community and failed to halt the violence.(Courtesy:BBC News)
Official: few Tunisian women waging Syria ‘sex jihad’.
|Rebel fighters scouting in the Syrian city of Homs. (File photo: AFP)|
AFP | Tunis | 07 Oct 2013 :: The number of Tunisian women travelling to Syria to wage “sex jihad” by comforting Islamists fighting the regime is very low, a senior interior ministry official told AFP on Sunday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, seemed to play down previous government statements that suggested “sex jihad” was more widespread.
“At most about 15 Tunisian women went to Syria, most to care for fighters or to do social work,” the official said.
But some of them were forced to have sexual relations with Islamist fighters once they were in the country, the official said.
“Four of them came back from Syria, and one is pregnant,” he added.
“The pregnant woman said that she was caring for fighters and had to have sexual relations with them.”
The official said, however, that women from Chechnya, Egypt, Iraq, France and Germany had travelled to Syria for “sex jihad”.
“They were targeted for indoctrination over the internet and by foreign sheikhs,” he added, referring to information obtained from Tunisian women returning from Syria.
Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou told the National Constituent Assembly in September that Tunisian women had gone to Syria where “they have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100” militants.
“After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah’ -- (sexual holy war, in Arabic) -- they come home pregnant,” Ben Jeddou said at the time.
Ben Jeddou did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.
Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.
Meanwhile the head of the relief association for Tunisians abroad, Badis Koubakji, said “dozens of Tunisian women have come back” from Syria after carrying out the jihad al-nikah there and that “hundreds” were still there.
Koubakji said there was a camp for the women in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
“It’s a complete network and the interior ministry is not being transparent on this issue,” he said on Sunday.
He said that these young women aged between 17 and 30 would not talk about their experiences because their families wanted to “preserve their honour”.
NGOs in Tunisia have urged the government to do more to tackle networks recruiting young girls to travel to Syria.
The interior ministry said earlier this year that it had beefed up checks at airports to stop young Tunisians trying to reach Syria.
Ben Jeddou had said that since he assumed office in March “six thousand of our young people have been prevented from going there” to Syria.
Local media outlets in Tunisia have published several anonymous witness accounts from young women saying they had come back from Syria, but AFP has been unable to verify them.
Media reports say thousands of Tunisians have, over the past 15 years, joined jihadists across the world in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria, mainly travelling via Turkey or Libya.(Courtesy:Al Arabiya)
Sunday, 6 October 2013
27 including children killed in Iraq suicide blasts.
Reuters | 06 Oct 2013 :: Suicide car bombers attacked an elementary school and a police station in a small northern Iraqi village on Sunday while another on foot detonated his payload among Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people including children, officials said.
The attacks are the latest in a relentless wave of killing that has made for Iraq's deadliest outburst of violence since 2008. The mounting death tolls are raising fears that the country is falling back into the spiral of violence that brought it to the edge of civil war in the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Sunday's blasts began around 9:30 a.m. in the Shiite Turkomen village of Qabak, just outside the town of Tal Afar. The area around the stricken village has long been a hotbed for hard-to-rout Sunni insurgents and a corridor for extremist fighters arriving from nearby Syria.
One car bomb in the tiny village targeted an elementary school while children ages 6 to 12 were in class as another struck a nearby police station, Tal Afar mayor Abdul Aal al-Obeidi said.
The dead included 12 children, the school principal and two policemen. Another 90 people were wounded, he said.
The village is home to only about 200 residents, and part of the single-story school collapsed as a result of the blast, he said. Tal Afar is 420 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad.
"We and Iraq are plagued by al-Qaida," al-Obeidi said. "It's a tragedy. These innocent children were here to study. What sins did these children commit?"
Another suicide bomber, this time on foot, blew himself up hours later as Shiite pilgrims walked through the largely Sunni neighborhood of Waziriyah in the north of the Iraqi capital.
At least 12 people were killed and 23 wounded in that attack, according to police and hospital officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to brief reporters.(Courtesy:The Indian Express)
Gunbattle between Army, infiltrators enters 13th day.
|The Army operation against the holed up militants in Keran Sector|
along the LoC in Kashmir today entered the 13th day with
intermittent gunfire being exchanged.
SRINAGAR | 06 Oct 2013 :: The Army operation against the holed up militants in Keran Sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir today entered the 13th day with intermittent gunfire being exchanged.
"The operation is still in progress. No fresh casualties have been reported on either side so far," defence sources said.
Intermittent firing between the group of holed up infiltrating militants and the Army continued as security forces maintained a tight vigil over the cordoned off area, they said.
The Army launched a massive anti-infiltration operation in Shalbhatti village in Keran Sector on September 24 after noticing a group of 30 to 40 militants trying to sneak into the Valley.
The operation is going on in a vast area along the LoC and so far seven militants have been killed -- three in Gujjardoor village on Friday and four in Fateh Gali area of the sector yesterday.
Earlier, the Army had said 10-12 militants were believed to have been killed in Shalbhatti village but the bodies could not be retrieved as the operation against the remaining militants was in progress.
Five soldiers have been injured in gunbattle. The Army has termed as "absurd" the reports about capture of some posts by the infiltrators, saying the troops are in total control of the operation.
"We are in total control of the operation. The reports of our posts being captured by theinfiltrators are absurd," General Officer Commanding of the Army's 15 Corps Lt General Gurmit Singh has said.(Courtesy:The Economic Time)
Saturday, 5 October 2013
Somalia’s al-Shabaab says British, Turkish forces attacked its base.
Al Arabiya | 05 Oct 2013 :: Somalia’s Islamist militia al-Shabaab said on Saturday that a dawn raid at its strongholds in the small town of Barawe in the south of the country was carried out by British and Turkish special forces.
The commander of the British force, it said, was killed during the attack and four other SAS operatives were critically wounded. One Turkish soldier was also wounded, according to a statement by Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operation spokesman.
The statement by the militia could not immediately be independently verified and Turkish special forces said they did not take any part in the attack, according to a foreign ministry official.
A resident of Barawe - a seaside town 240 kilometers south of Mogadishu – told Agence France-Presse by telephone that heavy gunfire woke up residents before dawn prayers. An al-Shabaab fighter who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said “foreign” soldiers attacked a house, prompting militants to rush to the scene to capture a soldier. Mohamed said that effort was not successful.
The international troops attacked a two-story beachside house in Barawe where foreign fighters lived, battling their way inside, said Mohamed, who said he had visited the scene. Al-Shabaab has a formal alliance with al-Qaeda, and hundreds of foreign fighters from the U.S., Britain and Middle Eastern countries fight alongside Somali members of al-Shabaab.(Courtesy:Al Arabiya)
Friday, 4 October 2013
Syria: 12 killed in clashes between Army, al-Qaeda fighters at Damascus.
Beirut | Lebanon | 02 Oct 2013 :: Activists reported heavy clashes between Syrian troops and al-Qaeda-linked fighters in northern Damascus have killed at least 12 soldiers and pro-government militiamen.
International weapons inspectors are in Damascus to begin their complex task of overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons against the backdrop of the civil war.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that the 12 died the day before in the city's Barzeh district.
Clashes in Barzeh flared up on Monday when the army launched a push to dislodge the rebels, including al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, from the district.
The Observatory says the opposition has been trying to capture the area for months in an attempt to take the battle for the capital closer to President Bashar Assad's seat of power.(Courtesy:The Indian Express)
Russian embassy in Libya attacked.
04 Oct 2013 :: Gunmen have attacked the Russian embassy in Libya, according to the Russian foreign ministry.
The unidentified attackers shot at the Tripoli compound and tried to force entry, officials said.
A BBC journalist at the scene said the situation has now calmed down and security forces have arrived.
Officials said the attackers climbed the walls of the premises from three different directions.
The BBC understands the protesters were reacting to the recent alleged killing of a Libyan by a Russian woman.
"The group attacked the compound as an act of revenge," a security source told Reuters news agency.
Libya has been hit by many targeted killings of activists and security agents in recent months.
An attack last year on a US compound in the city of Benghazi killed four people, including the US ambassador.
In April, a car bomb outside the French embassy in Tripoli injured two French guards and a number of residents.
A car bomb was found outside the Italian embassy in June, while the UK withdrew some embassy staff in May over security concerns.(Courtesy:BBC News)
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
Pakistan again violates ceasefire.
|"Pakistan troops used small arms and automatics to target |
our positions in Mendhar sector of the LoC yesterday (Tuesday).
Pakistan firing started at 2.30 p.m.," Captain S.N.
Acharya, defence spokesman said.
JAMMU | 02 Oct 2013 :: Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire again by firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch district, prompting Indian troops to retaliate.
"Pakistani troops fired on Indian posts along LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch districtyesterday", Defence Spokesman S N Acharya said today.
Pakistani troops used small arms and automatic weapons to target positions in Mendhar around 2.30 PM yesterday, he said.
"Our troops retaliated with same calibre weapons and the exchange of firing continued upto 3.30 PM," he said, adding, "there was no loss or damage to our side in this firing".(Courtesy: The Economic Times)