Tuesday 17 February 2015

Egypt bombs IS targets in Libya after beheading of 21 nationals.

Egypt bombs IS targets in Libya after beheading of 21 nationals.

Cairo: The Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed  al Tayeb (right), offers condolences to Egypt’s Coptic  Pope Tawadros II at a cathedral on Monday
CAIRO | AFP | 17 Feb 2015 : :  Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border.
Egypt said the pre-dawn strike hit militant camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in neighbouring Libya, where civil conflict has plunged the country into near anarchy and created havens for armed factions.
While Cairo is believed to have provided clandestine support to a Libyan general fighting a rogue government in Tripoli, the mass killings pushed President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi into open action, expanding his battle against Islamist militancy.
“And let those near and far know that the Egyptians have a shield that protects and preserves the security of the country, and a sword that eradicates terrorism,” the military said.
Egyptian state television aired footage of fighter planes leaving a hangar with “Long live Egypt” emblazoned on the tails, followed by night-vision aerial footage showing bomb explosions and the aircraft returning in early daylight.
Libya’s air force also participated in Monday’s attack, which targeted Derna, an eastern coastal city seen as a base for Islamic State fighters in the oil-rich nation.
“There are casualties among individuals, ammunition and the (Islamic State) communication centres,” Libyan air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi told Egyptian state television, adding that dozens were killed.
Joroushi, who is loyal to Libya’s internationally recognised government that set up camp in the city of Tobruk after losing control of Tripoli, said there would be more strikes on Tuesday.
The rival Tripoli-based parliament, which is supported by some Islamist groups, said the strike was an assault on the country’s sovereignty. Omar al-Hassi, the premier of the self-declared Tripoli government, said three children, two elderly men and a 21-year-old woman were killed in the attack.
It was not possible to confirm either factions’ accounts of the number or nature of the casualties.
CHRISTIAN ANGER: Cairo called on the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to broaden the scope of their operations to include Libya, highlighting how the militant group has expanded its reach around the Arab world.
The US military estimated in December that only around 200 Islamic State fighters were operating in the country.
Egypt is not the only Arab nation sucked into confrontation with the group by the gruesome killings of its citizens.
The 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were marched to a beach, forced to kneel and then beheaded on video, which was broadcast via a website that supports Islamic State.
Before the videoed killings, one of the militants stood with a knife in his hand and said: “Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for.” Afterwards, he says: “And we will conquer Rome, by the will of Allah.” The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, condemned the beheadings.
“They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians,” he said at the Vatican. “It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians!” Egypt’s Coptic Christian pope was one of the public figures who backed Sisi when he, as army chief, ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against him.
France has said Egypt will order 24 Rafale fighter jets, a naval frigate and other equipment in a deal to be signed in Cairo on Monday worth more than 5 billion euros ($5.7bn).
French President Francois Hollande said on Monday that he and Sisi wanted the United Nations Security Council to discuss Libya and take new measures against the Islamic State. ( Courtesy : Dawn )

Pakistan Taliban kill 28 in attacks.

Afghan, Pakistan Taliban kill 28 in attacks on provincial police HQs.

Reuters | 17 Feb 2015 : : Four suicide attackers on Tuesday stormed a provincial police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan, killing 22 police, an official said. Taliban insurgents immediately claimed responsibility.

The attack in Logar province outside the capital, Kabul, was the latest to target Afghan security forces following the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops at the end of last year.

In neighbouring Pakistan, another Taliban suicide attack on a provincial police headquarters killed at least seven people in the eastern city of Lahore, in what militants called a revenge bid for the recent hangings of their colleagues.

The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are separate groups that share the goal of establishing hard-line Islamic rule.

In the Afghan assault, the four attackers rushed the gates of the police compound in early afternoon, with one detonating his explosives-filled vest at the main gate and killing one policeman, Logar government spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish said.

The attack triggered a 25-minute battle with police, he said.

Another of the militants reached the station's dining hall, killing 21 police and wounding seven when he detonated his vest, said Abdul Wali Toofan, Logar's deputy police chief. The other two attackers were killed with no further casualties.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility on his official Twitter feed.

Earlier on Tuesday, a bomb attached to a vehicle wounded one person in Kabul, police said, breaking a recent lull in attacks in the Afghan capital.

Kabul had been rocked by a string of bombings by insurgents late last year in the run-up to the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops from Afghanistan after 13 years of war.

A suspected magnetic bomb attached to a 4-wheel-drive vehicle exploded in the east of the city, Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said.
( Courtesy : Reuters )

Monday 10 November 2014

Suicide bomber kills 48 students in Nigeria.

Suicide bomber kills 48 students in Nigeria.

POTISKUM | Dwan | AP | 10 nov 2014 : : A suicide bomber disguised in school uniform detonated explosives at a high school assembly in the northeast Nigerian city of Potiskum on Monday, killing at least 48 students, according to survivors and a morgue attendant.
Soldiers rushed to the scene, grisly with body parts, in the capital of Yobe state, but they were chased away with stones and calls by people angry at the military's inability to halt a five-year-old Islamic insurgency that has killed thousands and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.
A suicide bomb attack in the same city killed 30 people one week ago, when suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked a religious procession of moderate Muslims.
Some 2,000 students had gathered for Monday morning's weekly assembly at the Government Technical Science College when the explosion blasted through the school hall, according to survivors who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
“We were waiting for the principal to address us, around 7:30 am, when we heard a deafening sound and I was blown off my feet, people started screaming and running, I saw blood all over my body,” 17-year-old student Musa Ibrahim Yahaya said from the general hospital, where he was being treated for head wounds.
Hospital workers said dozens are being treated including people with serious injuries that may need amputations.
A morgue attendant said 48 bodies were brought to the hospital and all appeared to be between the ages of 11 and 20 years old. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to give information to reporters. (Courtesy : Dawn.com)

Saturday 6 September 2014

Al Qaeda announces India wing, renews loyalty to Taliban chief

Al Qaeda announces India wing, renews loyalty to Taliban chief.

DUBAI | Msn News | 06 Sep 2014 : :  Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and "raise the flag of jihad" across the subcontinent.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist militancy.

Zawahri described the formation of "Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent" as a glad tidings for Muslims "in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir" and said the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.

Counter-terrorism experts say al Qaeda's aging leaders are struggling to compete for recruits with Islamic State, which has galvanized young followers around the world by carving out tracts of territory across the Iraq-Syria border.

Islamic State leader Abu Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls himself a "caliph" or head of state and has demanded the loyalty of all Muslims.

The group fell out with Zawahri in 2013 over its expansion into Syria, where Baghdadi's followers have carried out beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.

As well being an indirect repudiation of Islamic State, the announcement could pose a challenge to India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi. He has already faced criticism for remaining silent about several incidents deemed anti-Muslim, underscoring fears that his Hindu nationalist followers will upset religious relations in the majority Hindi nation.

However, while al Qaeda is very much at home in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, due to influential contacts and a long presence there, it is a minnow compared to local militant groups in terms of manpower and regional knowledge. (Courtesy : Retures, Msn News )

Wednesday 3 September 2014

910 'terrorists', 82 soldiers killed in North Waziristan.

Army says 910 'terrorists', 82 soldiers killed in North Waziristan.

ISLAMABAD | Dawn | 03 Sep 2014 : : A statement issued by the military on Wednesday put the official number of “terrorists” killed in Operation Zarb-i-Azb at 910 and added that 82 Pakistani soldiers had also lost their lives during the North Waziristan offensive.

The death tolls and their breakdowns could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the restive tribal region.

The statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) added that 27 explosives and arms making factories have also been destroyed and the operation in North Waziristan was on track and going according to plan.

The army says it has taken over complete control of major towns of Miramshah, Mirali, Dattakhel, Boya and Degan, which were previously considered militant strongholds.

The statement said the 88-kilometre-long Khajuri-Mirali-Miranshah-Dattakhel road and the Ghariom-Jhallar road have been cleared.

"Huge caches of arms and ammunition, communication equipment, and other logistics facilities used by terrorists have been destroyed; uprooting their ability to attack as a coherent force," the ISPR said.

"A total of 2,274 intelligence-led coordinated operations across the country have been carried out to avert any blowback of the operation and 42 terrorists have been killed and 114 hardcore terrorists detained in these operations." It further said that since the start of the operation 82 Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives and 269 were injured.

The ISPR said relief operations for those “temporarily dislocated” due to Zarb-i-Azb were continuing, adding that so far 19,376 tonnes of rations had been distributed among 97,570 displaced families at six relief delivery points in Bannu, Dera Ismail khan and Tank.

Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.

Nearly a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan and taken shelter at camps for the displaced. ( Courtesy : Dawn )

Friday 29 August 2014

Terrorists waiting to cross into Rajasthan from Pakistan, alert issued.

Terrorists waiting to cross into Rajasthan from Pakistan, alert issued.

Jaipur: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS )of Rajasthan Police has issued an alert over the possibility of a group of terrorists looking to enter Rajasthan from across the international border with Pakistan.
The alert has put the number of possible intruders at 15. Following the alert, the Border Security Force (BSF) has intensified patrolling in border areas, especially in Bikaner, Jodhpur, Barmer.
Strict vigil is being maintained to thwart any attempt to push in terrorists into India.
The ATS has also written to all SPs and IGs, warning them of the threat.
Infiltration bids from across the border remain a challenge for India given the long - 3,323 km - border we share with Pakistan.
Traditionally Jammu and Kashmir frontier has been the most active route for infiltration but with the Indian armed forces stepping up pressure there, Rajasthan has emerged as the new worry area.
Last week, the BSF had said it has spotted armed terrorists very close to the IB on at least three occasions. The BSF chief said the continued ceasefire violations are an attempt to help terrorists into India. ( Courtesy : Zee News )

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Suspected Israeli revenge killing of Palestinian triggers clashes.

Suspected Israeli revenge killing of Palestinian triggers clashes.

JERUSALEM | Reuters | 02 July 2014 : :  The body of an abducted Palestinian youth was found in Jerusalem on Wednesday, raising suspicions he had been killed by Israelis avenging the deaths of three abducted Jewish teens.
News of the discovery of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, who was last seen being bundled into a van earlier in the day, triggered clashes between rock-throwing Palestinians and Israeli police in the city.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Jewish settlers of killing Abu Khudair and demanded that Israel "mete out the strongest punishment against the murderers if it truly wants peace".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged police "to swiftly investigate who was behind the loathsome murder and its motive." He called on all sides "not to take the law into their own hands."
The United States also condemned the killing, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling it a "despicable and senseless abduction and murder." He urged both Israeli and Palestinian officials "to take all necessary steps to prevent acts of violence and bring their perpetrators to justice." Police said they had found a body in the wooded outskirts of Jerusalem. Abu Khudair's father told Reuters the force had told him the body was his son.
An Israeli security source said Israel suspected the youth had been kidnapped and murdered, possibly in retribution for the killings of the Israeli teens, whose corpses were discovered on Monday, nearly three weeks after they were abducted in the occupied West Bank. Israel says Palestinian Hamas militants killed them. The Islamist group has neither confirmed nor denied the allegation.( Courtesy : F World )