Sunday, 30 June 2013

In Pakistan, three bomb blasts kill at least 36.

In Pakistan, three bomb blasts kill at least 36.

Militants target a security convoy in Peshawar,
 a Shiite mosque in Quetta and anti-Taliban
militia members in SouthWaziristan. The dead
 include three children.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan | 01 Jul 2013 :: — Separate bomb blasts across Pakistan killed at least 36 people Sunday, the latest in a series of extremist attacks to hit the South Asian nation since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rose to power this spring.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, militants detonated a car bomb near a security forces convoy, killing at least 15 people. Shafeeullah Khan, a senior police officer in Peshawar, said the attackers planted explosives in a Suzuki compact car and parked it on a busy road. The bomb exploded as a three-truck convoy carrying paramilitary troops passed by, Khan said.
Many of the dead were civilians, and at least three were children. The explosives appeared to have been detonated by remote control. Khan did not know whether any of the dead or injured included members of the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force that provides security throughout the country's troubled northwest. The blast damaged the last truck in the convoy. At least 35 people were injured in the explosion, many seriously.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
In the southwestern city of Quetta, a suicide bombing killed at least 17 people at a Shiite Muslim mosque in a district that has been hit hard by bombings carried out by the Sunni Muslim militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, authorities said. Sunni militant groups regard Shiite Muslims as heretics and have pursued a campaign of violence against them in Pakistan for years. No one had claimed responsibility for the Quetta attack as of late Sunday.
A third bombing occurred in the tribal region of South Waziristan, where militants detonated a roadside bomb and killed four members of an anti-Taliban militia, local officials said. At least 15 people were injured, authorities said.
After his decisive victory in May parliamentary elections, Sharif promised to rein in the country's insurgents, including the Pakistani Taliban, a group responsible for many of the terrorist attacks on thousands of civilians and security personnel in recent years. However, even though he has talked of starting negotiations with Pakistani Taliban leaders to end the insurgency, the group has continued to launch bombing attacks across the country.
After meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Islamabad on Sunday, Sharif told reporters that Pakistan is "resolved to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism with renewed vigor and close cooperation with our friends."(Courtesy:Los Angeles News)

Four volunteers, three soldiers killed in blasts.

Four volunteers, three soldiers killed in blasts.

WANA/MIRAMSHAH |Dawn |01 jul 2013 :: A “mysterious” explosion near Wana killed four volunteers of an Amn Lashkar (peace committee) and wounded 15 others and a bomb blast claimed the lives of four soldiers and left 12 injured in Miramshah on Sunday.
Officials said volunteers of the Lashkar, formed to restore peace in the area by clearing it of Taliban militants, were chasing a group of suspects in the Tiarza area after a rocket attack on Wana when explosives placed along the road went off and hit their vehicle.
But local people said that security personnel had started firing and shelling after the rocket attack and the vehicle was hit by a mortar shell fired by them.
They said that one of the rockets fired from the nearby area dominated by the Mehsud tribe landed near the airport, another near a flour mill and yet another on a road. No casualty was reported.
The soldiers were killed when explosives went off on a road and hit an army truck which was part of a convoy going to Bannu from Miramshah.
According to the local people, a curfew had been imposed around villages along the main road in the area to ensure a “safe passage” of the convoy.(Courtesy:Dawn)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Taliban Launch Deadly Attack in Kabul.

Taliban Launch Deadly Attack in Kabul.

KABUL, Afghanistan |25 June 2013::  The third in a series of audacious strikes by the Taliban in the capital in recent weeks came early Tuesday, when one of two vehicles carrying attackers and explosives penetrated one of the most secure areas of Kabul, near the presidential palace and a C.I.A. compound, officials said.
Though the attackers caused relatively little loss of life — three private guards were killed — the assault’s progress past a major checkpoint troubled many. There were ripples far beyond the capital, as well. Afghan officials with the government’s High Peace Council said the attack would further jeopardize any hopes of salvaging a stalled effort to open negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar.
“Today’s attack will definitely have a negative impact on the peace talks,” said Musa Hotak, a member of the council. “The only conclusion from today’s attack that I can draw is that the Taliban want to put pressure on the Afghan government to accept their preconditions for talks and give up on some of its preconditions.”
The Afghan delegation to the talks remains in the country, stalled after Taliban envoys appeared to be using the opening of their political office in Doha to establish a higher international profile and stage a publicity coup. Though the Taliban later removed a flag and a sign that the Afghan government found offensive, the continued pattern of attacks within Afghanistan has kept the chill in place.
Tuesday’s attack, less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 17 people near the Supreme Court and a little more than two weeks after an attack on Kabul airport,underscored the capital’s continuing vulnerability.
“The tempo is quite relentless,” said one Western official here.
In the latest attack, the militants used the sole entrance to the secured area that had only one entry checkpoint. The other entrances have multiple barriers spaced at least 100 feet apart where vehicles and passengers are scrutinized, another Western official said.
Driving two vehicles with counterfeit vehicle passes and wearing international-style military uniforms, the militants approached the eastern gate to the government Green Zone early Tuesday, according to Kabul’s deputy police chief, Gen. Daoud Amin.
The first vehicle got inside, driving about 100 yards until it was close to one of the entrances of the C.I.A. compound. But the second was stopped by the checkpoint guards, who began shooting at the insurgents, according to both Afghan and international security officials. In early reports by Afghan officials, they said that the Taliban were driving sport utility vehicles that resembled those used by international forces here, but late Tuesday, some Western officials said that at least one of the vehicles was a smaller car.
The insurgents in the second vehicle began shooting, and at least one detonated his suicide vest. Three private security guards were killed and one was wounded, said Sediq Sediqi, the Interior Ministry spokesman.
In the meantime, the attackers in the vehicle that had entered the secure area were killed either by Afghan or Western guards during a long firefight near the C.I.A. compound’s gate. That compound was not breached, an American official said.
The total number of Taliban attackers was still unclear late Tuesday, but international officials put the number at between 8 and 10, while the Afghan authorities said there were five.(Courtesy:Google News)
Sharifullah Sahak, Sangar Rahimi and Habib Zahori contributed reporting.

Exclusive footage: Lebanese cleric turned mosque into military base.

Exclusive footage: Lebanese cleric turned mosque into military base.

Weapons were found inside Bilal bin Rabah mosque in Sidon
 city where firebrand Lebanese Sunni cleric Ahmed
 al-Assir leads Friday prayers. (Al Arabiya)
Firebrand Lebanese Sunni cleric Ahmed al-Assir has turned his mosque into a military base, exclusive Al Arabiya footage shows.
The Lebanese army took control of Abra, an area which is home to the Bilal bin Rabah mosque where Assir leads Friday prayers, after fighting on Monday that killed 17 soldiers and 50 Assir loyalists in the southern city of Sidon, a Lebanese military source said.
The footage shows the mosque was used to store weapons and ammunition, including hidden stashes discovered by the army.
Barrels filled with sand placed at the entrance of the mosque and around its circumference made it look like a military barricade.
The whereabouts of the cleric are unknown.
“The battle has ended after the army took full control over the area and after the escape of” Assir, a military source told Al Arabiya.
Meanwhile, military sources told Al Arabiya on Tuesday that about 110 Assir loyalists were arrested. The military is also combing areas that his followers are known to frequent.Read More>>>

Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace, CIA office; three guards killed.

Taliban attack Afghan presidential palace, CIA office; three guards killed.

KABUL |AFP |25 June 2013:: Taliban militants attacked an entrance to the Afghan presidential palace with gunfire and car bombs on Tuesday, just a week after insurgent leaders opened an office in Qatar for peace talks.
Three Afghan security guards were killed when Taliban gunmen and bombers attacked the presidential palace and CIA base in Kabul on Tuesday, officials said.
“Three guards assigned at the first entrance are dead and another of them is wounded,” Rafi Ferdous, a government spokesman, told AFP
t was one of the most brazen attacks in the capital since President Hamid Karzai narrowly escaped assassination in April 2008 when the Taliban attacked an annual military parade in Kabul.
Gunfire and explosions erupted for more than an hour after the attack began at 6:30 am, sending smoke into the air above a high-security area of Kabul that also contains many embassies and official buildings.
Two four-wheel-drive cars using fake Nato International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) badges tried to pass through a checkpoint to access the sprawling palace grounds, police said.
“The first vehicle was checked and let in, and as the second car tried to get in the guards became suspicious and tried to prevent it,” Mohammad Daud Amin, the Kabul deputy police chief, told AFP. “The clash started and the cars were detonated. All the attackers were killed.”
Police said the cars had been fitted with radio antennae to make them look like ISAF vehicles and that the three or four attackers were also wearing military uniforms.
No civilians were hurt in the attack, but police were unable to confirm if any palace security guards had been injured.(Courtesy:Dawn)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Nigeria says 11 killed in Islamist sect school attack.

Nigeria says 11 killed in Islamist sect school attack.

Sunday's attack will raise fears that, as with past surges, a month-long offensive by government troops has merely pushed militants into hiding or across borders to Niger, Chad and Cameroon, where they can regroup and prepare new attacks.
"Two teachers and two insurgents were killed when Boko Haram terrorists attacked the Government Secondary School ... Also seven innocent students lost their lives," Eli Lazarus, military spokesman in Yobe state, said in a statement.
Boko Haram, which roughly translates as "Western education is sinful", has attacked several schools in the past. It was not clear how two of the attackers were killed.
Vigilante groups armed with machetes and sticks have joined the effort to oust Islamist insurgents in the northeast, prompting concerns by some residents that this will lead to a breakdown in law and order.
The military has cautiously welcomed the support, while warning it must not lead to witch-hunts or the settling of scores.
Lazarus said three soldiers were critically wounded during a separate attack by Boko Haram targeting the military in Damaturu, and three insurgents had been arrested.
Nigerian forces say their offensive has enabled them to wrest back control of the country's remote northeast from Boko Haram. They say they have destroyed key bases and arrested more than 150 suspected insurgents in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa -- all covered by a state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan last month.
Some Nigerians saw the push as long overdue. But rights groups and aid agencies fear the longer it goes on, the more the region's vulnerable local population, which includes some of the poorest people on earth, will suffer.
The offensive has forced more than 6,000 refugees - mostly women, children and the elderly - to flee to neighbouring Niger, the U.N. refugee agency said last week.(Courtesy:REUTERS)

Iraq Bombing: At Least 24 People Killed.

Iraq Bombing: At Least 24 People Killed.

The latest attack near a Shi'ite mosque follows on from a wave of apparently coordinated bombings.

This car was wrecked in an explosion on Sunday

 UK |  18  June  2013 :: At least 24 people have been killed in a suicide bombing by a Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad.
And 52 others were injured in the blast - the latest in a coordinated string of attacks on the country.
The first bomber detonated his explosives at a security checkpoint near the mosque in the middle-class, Shi'ite-majority area of the northern Qahira neighbourhood in an apparent attempt to distract the authorities, two police officers said.
Amid the commotion, a second bomber slipped into the mosque and blew himself up while worshippers were attending midday prayers, according to police.
A medic in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualties.
There was no immediate claim of who was responsible for the killings, but suicide bombings and attacks against Shi'ite worshippers are frequently the work of al Qaeda's Iraq arm.
The bombing has revived fears that the country is heading back toward the widespread sectarian bloodshed that pushed it to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.
Violence has surged in Iraq in recent months, along with sectarian and political tensions. Insurgents frequently attack Shi'ites considered by Sunni extremists as infidels and non-Muslims.
The bloodshed in Iraq has risen to levels not seen since 2008. Nearly 2,000 people have been killed since the start of April, including more than 220 this month.
On Sunday, a wave of apparently coordinated bombings and a shooting killed at least 51 people.
Fifteen people were killed in bomb attacks on Monday, including one caused by a suicide bomber who set off his explosives-laden belt among a group of policemen in Fallujah, west of Baghdad.(Courtesy:Sky News)

Afghanistan to kick off Taliban peace talks in Qatar: Karzai.

Afghanistan to kick off Taliban peace talks in Qatar: Karzai.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai. — Photo by Reuters
KABUL |18 June 2013 :: Afghanistan will send a team to Qatar for peace talks with the Taliban, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday, as the US-led Nato coalition launched the final phase of the 12-year war with the last round of security transfers to Afghan forces.
Karzai's announcement was the first possible step forward in the peace process, which has struggled to achieve results despite many attempts, and is likely to be applauded by his Western backers.
“Afghanistan's High Peace Council will travel to Qatar to discuss peace talks with the Taliban,” Karzai said in Kabul, referring to the council he formed in late 2010.
“We hope that our brothers the Taliban also understand that the process will move to our country soon,” Karzai said of the group that ruled the country with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001.
There was no immediate comment from the Afghan Taliban.
Karzai said three principles had been created to guide the talks — that having begun in Qatar, they must then immediately be moved to Afghanistan, that they bring about an end to violence and that they must not become a tool for a “third country's” exploitation of Afghanistan.(Courtesy:Dawn)Read More>>>

Monday, 17 June 2013

Afghan police chief survives car bomb attack.

Afghan police chief survives car bomb attack.

Afghan Policemen investigate a damaged
 car following a suicide car bomb attack
 in Helmand province southern Afghanistan,
 Monday, June 17, 2013. - AP Photo
KABUL | 17 June 2013::An Afghan police chief survived a suicide car bomb attack on his convoy that wounded three officers early on Monday, officials said. It was the latest apparent attempt on a commander's life in an intense Taliban assassination campaign.
Broken glass and the charred remains of the bomber's car were strewn in a main road in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah after the attack.
Helmand provincial Police Chief Mohammad Nabi Elham sustained only minor injuries when the car bomber struck as he was on his way to his office at about 7 am.
The force of the blast tore off the door of Elham's vehicle. Three police officers travelling in the convoy were wounded, provincial spokesman Ummar Zawaq said.
''Thanks be to God that it was so early in the morning,'' Elham said later in an interview. ''If it had been 8 or 9 in the morning, there would have been labourers here who are building a road for a mosque. Shopkeepers would have been here, and how many people might have been killed?''
Taliban insurgents have been targeting police and civilian officials and attacking government positions around the country as Afghan police and army prepare to officially take over full responsibility for security from international troops.
The toll on Afghan forces has been high, more than doubling from last year's spring and summer fighting season. In May alone, at least 271 police were killed in attacks, and total deaths for all security forces including the army and community-based forces known as the local police was 400 for the month.
At the same time, casualties among the US-led military coalition have been reducing as the international forces pull back to let the Afghans take the lead. In May, 21 Nato troops were killed in the country, down from 44 during the same month last year.
The coalition said that one of its service members died in a non-battle-related incident in southern Afghanistan on Sunday but released no further details. The death brings June's toll for international troops to 20.(Courtesy:Dawn)

Bomb in Syrian capital kills 10 soldiers.

Bomb in Syrian capital kills 10 soldiers.

BEIRUT | 17 June 2013:: A car bomb targeting a checkpoint near a military airport in an upscale neighborhood of the Syrian capital has killed 10 soldiers and wounded 10 others, activists said Monday.
The attack, which took place late Sunday in the Mazzeh district in western Damascus, comes as President Bashar Assad's forces press ahead with an offensive to regain territory they lost to the rebels trying to topple his regime.
The army has scored major victories in key battlefields in western and central Syria in the past weeks, and is now setting its sights on the country's largest city, Aleppo, in the north, parts of which have been opposition strongholds.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that 10 soldiers died in the attack in Mazzeh and 10 were wounded. The upscale neighborhood houses several embassies and a military airport. The Observatory, which relies on a network of informants inside Syria, did not state how many were deaths or how many were injuries.
Syrian state media confirmed there was a blast near the military airport late Sunday but did not release any casualty figures.
At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict since it erupted in March 2011, according to a recent U.N. estimate.
Millions have been displaced and the civil war is increasingly being fought along sectarian lines, pitting Sunni Muslims against Shiites. It is also threatening the stability of Syria's neighbors, including Lebanon and Iraq.
Sunnis dominate the rebel ranks while the Assad regime is mostly made up of Alawites, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam.
Sectarian divisions deepened in the conflict a few weeks ago, when Lebanon's Iran-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah joined the fight inside Syria on the regime's side. Earlier this month, Assad's troops dealt a major blow to the opposition forces after they pushed the rebels out of the strategic town of Qusair near the Lebanese border, largely with Hezbollah's help.
The battle for Qusair shifted the balance of power on the battlefield in favor of the Damascus regime, which is now looking to keep the momentum and aims to take back control of Aleppo, the country's commercial hub. The rebels captured parts of the city last summer during an offensive in the north along the border with Turkey.
While the rebels had been able to capture territory from the government in the past month, they have been unable to hold on and govern it effectively because of the regime's superior firepower.
The opposition forces appealed to Western backers for weapons to be sent to them as soon as possible if they are to keep parts of Aleppo, where fighting raged on Monday, the Observatory said.
President Barack Obama authorized lethal aid to the rebels for the first time last Friday, after Washington said it had conclusive evidence that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons. Syria accused Obama of lying about the evidence, and says he resorted to fabrications to justify his decision to arm the rebels.
Russia, one of Assad's main allies, also criticized Obama decision.
Syria and especially the increasingly opposed positions of the U.S. and Russia over the civil war are expected to be high on the agenda of G-8 leaders meeting in Northern Ireland on Monday. Obama is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The host, British Prime Minister David Cameron, met separately with Putin on Sunday in London, where both said they're hopeful Syria's warring factions can hammer out their differences at upcoming peace talks tentatively planned for next month in Geneva.(Courtesy:The Daily Star)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

"Jihad" Graffiti Found On Wall In Delray Beach, Florida.

 Word "Jihad" Found On Wall In Delray Beach.

Posted By: Karl Man/CBS 12 News
Delray Beach, Fla –It was hard to miss on Saturday, laced in bold black lettering, nearly twenty feet high a piece of graffiti work reads “jihad”.
In Arabic that term is used to describe a holy war. 
Thousands of drivers saw the large message clearly when traveling northbound on I-95 in Delray Beach near the Atlantic exit. That spray painted word jihad created a fight that only CBS 12 caught on tape.
With our microphone flipped on and our camera rolling our news crew was quickly caught in the middle of this war of words. CBS 12’s Karl Man was interviewing Damon Rosen about the jihad spray painted message, something that disgusted him, that’s when an unidentified man left his car and just like that it was on. 
Things quickly escalated, the unknown man who did not oppose the jihad message shifted his shouting to a crowd of bystanders. 
“You’re all brainwashed!”
The group of on-lookers hurling profanity back at the man.
“You’re going to lose your job bit--!”
Rosen then jumping in with his own choice language...
“Take that shi-- back to the Muslim land”, screamed Rosen. 
Things then getting very heated as the unknown man left his family in the car to get face to face. 
The finger pointing and yelling all caught on tape. 
The man who did not see the big deal about the jihad message made one last statement to those nearby before he sped off. 
“Just for the record there are no fu--ing terrorists”, he screamed.  
Rosen came back to where we were before to finish the interview; he laid out why the spray paint sign irked him so much and why he stopped to get a closer look. 
He said that it had nothing to do with race, rather the ideology behind the jihad meaning saying it is something that has caused terror in our country time and time again. Promoting the meaning in such a public way like this message along I-95 according to Rosen is the last thing we should be doing with our time.  
Police found spray paint cans on the scene and are still looking into who wrote this large graffiti message. 
They couldn't tell us if they thought this was some kids pulling a prank or a legit threat of terrorism. FDOT was on scene this evening painting over the jihad sign, they say it will be gone by Saturday night.

Somali Muslim went on a stabbing inside an UK mosque with sharp knife. Three men - including a policeman seriously injured.

Mosque Stabbings: Police And Locals 'Heroic'

Three people were "seriously" injured when a knifeman went on a stabbing spree inside the mosque.

UK | News Sky dot Com |  16 June 2013::  Police have praised the efforts of officers and the community as "heroic" after three men - including a policeman - were stabbed at a mosque.
They were stabbed with a large combat knife by a fellow worshipper inside the Washwood Heath Muslim Centre in the Ward End area on Saturday night.
A group of worshippers confronted the attacker, who is not known to the mosque, before police arrived minutes later at around 11pm.
One officer used a taser on the suspect but it failed to have an affect on him, said Chief Superintendent Alex Murray. The policeman was knifed in the chest and stomach, around his stab-proof vest.
Chief Supt Murray said: "The work of those officers was heroic and the work of some of the people in the mosque assisting those officers was also heroic."
A 32-year-old man, believed to be of Somali origin, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody.
Reports suggest an argument may have broken out between members inside the building prior to the attack. Police said there was no information to suggest it was a hate crime.
Witness Arshad Mahmood told Sky News: "Everyone was frightened you know, it was so sudden and he had a proper knife with him.
"A few of us we went to stop him, one of the guys was strong enough to stop him. Then I held his hand - the guy who also tried to stop him had an injury on his thigh.
"After a few minutes, a police officer came and he also attacked the police officer."
Three victims, including the officer, suffered "serious" injuries but they are all said to be "stable". One worshipper was stabbed in the arm and one in the leg, while another was slightly hurt.
Mohammed Shafiq, the leader of national Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, said a nearby resident overheard an argument coming from inside the mosque and believes it followed a dispute between members. See more>>>

Al Qaeda-linked militants blow up Shiite hall in Syria

Qaeda-linked militants blow up Shiite hall in Syria: activists.

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen in 
Ain-Assan village during what theysaid was an operation to 
occupy it, in southern countryside of Aleppo, June 15, 2013. 
REUTERS/George Ourfalian
BEIRUT | AFP | 16 June 2013:: Extremist fighters claiming to be from an Al-Qaeda-linked group have blown up a Shiite religious building in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, activists said on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Right said the attack occurred on Friday in the eastern village of Hatlah, where rebel fighters killed at least 60 Shiites earlier in the week.

"Videos show the destruction of a Shiite hussainiyah by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the village of Hatlah in Deir Ezzor," the group said.

"The destruction was apparently carried out the day before yesterday (Friday)," it added.

Two videos distributed by the Observatory showed fighters who identified themselves as belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant inside the religious building, stepping on Shiite books.

The filming then continues from outside the building, as a powerful explosion rips through it to cries of praise from the fighters.

Several then run towards the rubble of the building, waving the black flag associated with extremist Islamist movements.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is the name for the group created by a merger between Al-Qaeda's Iraqi branch and the jihadist Syrian Al-Nusra Front.

But the merger, announced unexpectedly in April by the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was rejected by Al-Qaeda's top leadership and received cautiously by Nusra's chief.

Earlier this month, Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri ruled that the Islamic State of Iraq and Nusra should operate independently, but on Saturday Baghdadi insisted the merger would proceed.

The destruction of the hussainiyah comes after fighting between rebels and armed Shiite residents of Hatlah on Tuesday, which left at least 60 Shiites dead, according to the Observatory.

The clashes came after Shiite militiamen from the predominantly Sunni village attacked a nearby rebel checkpoint, the group said.

At least 10 rebels were killed in the subsequent attack on Hatlah, and the fighting prompted most of the villages Shiite residents to flee.

On Saturday, activists said another Shiite religious building was burned by extremist fighters in a nearby village in Deir Ezzor, but there were no additional details on the incident.

The Syrian conflict pits a Sunni-led opposition against the regime dominated by Alawites, whose faith is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

The fighting has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones, particularly with the entry into the conflict of extremist fighters from other Arab countries.(Courtesy:The Daily Star)

Wave of car bombs kills 20 in south Iraq.

Wave of car bombs kills 20 in south Iraq: officials.

BAGHDAD | AFP | 16 June 2013:: A wave of car bombs in southern Iraq killed 20 people on Sunday as the country grapples with a spike in violence and prolonged political deadlock, sparking fears of all-out sectarian war.
In all, seven vehicles rigged with explosives went off in five cities south of Baghdad during morning rush hour, leaving 56 people wounded in primarily Shia Muslim areas of Iraq.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militant groups linked to Al-Qaeda frequently target Shia, whom they regard as apostates, in coordinated attacks.
Car bombs went off in Kut, Aziziyah, Mahmudiyah, Nasiriyah and Basra, officials said.
In Kut, provincial capital of Wasit and 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in an industrial area packed with vehicle repair garages, killing seven people and wounding 15.
Another car bomb in nearby Aziziyah in the town's main marketplace and near a Shia mosque killed five and wounded 10.
Twin blasts in the southern port city of Basra, meanwhile, killed five people, including a bomb disposal expert looking to defuse one of the rigged vehicles.
Three others were killed in bombings in Nasiriyah and Mahmudiyah.
The violence was the latest in a spike in attacks nationwide, with last month registering the highest death toll since 2008, sparking fears of a return to the all-out sectarian war that blighted Iraq in 2006 and 2007.
There has been a heightened level of unrest since the beginning of the year, coinciding with rising discontent among the Sunni Arab minority that erupted into protests in late December.
Analysts say a lack of effort by the Shia-led authorities to address the underlying causes of the demonstrations has given militant groups fuel and room to manoeuvre to carry out their activities.
The outgoing UN envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler has warned the violence is “ready to explode”. (Courtesy:Dawn)

Female suicide bomber responsible for Quetta attack.

Female suicide bomber responsible for Quetta attack.

People extinguishing fire off the blast 
after a blast at Sardar Bahadur Khan

 Women University.—Online Photo
SYED ALI SHAH | QUETTA | 16 June 2013:: Intelligence officials revealed today that a female suicide bomber carried out the first attack on a bus carrying students of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University earlier on Saturday.
At least 25 people, including the deputy commissioner of Quetta, 14 students of a women’s university and four nurses were killed on Saturday when a bomb tore through a bus, followed by a suicide attack and a gun-battle in the Bolan Medical College hospital, where the injured students were taken for treatment.
Banned outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts.
An intelligence official, who requested not to be named, told that a female suicide bomber managed to sneak into the university bus. "When all the students gathered inside the bus, she blew herself up", he said.
Officials said they had no information about the identity of the female suicide bomber.
Moreover, intelligence officials said after the female bomber blew up herself in the bus, a second male bomber followed suit and struck inside the crowded Bolan Medical Complex Hospital to wreak maximum damage.
According to the intelligence personnel, the male suicide bomber was waiting inside BMC Hospital ward for the arrival of high level officials, including the Chief Secretary, and blew up himself when they reached.
Quetta Police Chief Mir Zubair Mehmood also told that the Deputy Commissioner of Quetta Abdul Mansoor Kakar was killed as result of firing outside the hospital. (Courtesy: Dawn)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Pakistan militants blast bus, attack hospital; at least 21 dead.

Pakistan militants blast bus, attack hospital; at least 21 dead.

QUETTA | Pakistan | 15 June 2013:: Militants in western Pakistan bombed a bus carrying women students on Saturday and then seized part of the hospital where survivors of the attack were taken, killing at least 21 people, officials said. At least 27 were injured.

The gunmen in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province long plagued by sectarian violence, were holed up in the emergency ward of a hospital, engulfed in a firefight pitting them against the security forces.

Security forces had forced their way into part of the Bolan Medical Complex, where dozens of patients and staff were believed to be trapped. Television footage showed troops surrounding the building and a helicopter hovering overhead.

"They are several in number, we are still facing resistance from them, and people are stranded inside the hospital. We are trying our best to rescue the people," said Jan Mohammed Bulaidi, spokesman for Baluchistan's new chief minister, who took office last Sunday.

The attack in resource-rich Baluchistan was Pakistan's most lethal since the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office last week and followed earlier explosions in a nearby town that killed a policeman and destroyed a historic building.

Quetta is a hotbed of sectarian violence, much of it targeting the Hazara ethnic minority, who are Shia Muslims.
The province is also racked by a separatist insurgency. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the bus and hospital attacks, or whether they was aimed at the Hazaras.

City police chief Mir Zubair Mehmood told Reuters that the students on the bus were from various ethnic groups, including Hazaras, targets of a series of bombings this year.(Courtesy:The Daily Star)

Roadside bomb kills 5 police in Afghanistan.

Roadside bomb kills 5 police in Afghanistan.

A shoe of a civilian is seen at the site of a suicide
 car bomb attack in Kabul June 11, 2013. 

REUTERS/Omar Daily Star
KABUL | 15 June  2013:: A roadside bomb struck a police van in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing five police as they were on their way to a training session, authorities said.

Seven other police were wounded in the early morning blast in Paktika province, a statement from the provincial governor’s office said.
The van was taking the officers to a training centre in Janikahil district for exercises between the Afghan National Police and the village-level Afghan Local Police, separate branches of the security forces that international troops have been training. Among the five dead were two national police and three local police.
Bombings, assassinations and gun battles have soared in recent months. The Taliban and other militants have stepped up attacks as Afghan police and soldiers take over full responsibility for security and international forces draw down. The intense militant campaign has pushed violence to levels matching some of the worst of the 12 year-old war. (Courtesy: The Hindu)

26/11 trial: Lakhvi, 6 six others shifted to Islamabad court.

26/11 trial: Lakhvi, 6 six others shifted to Islamabad court.

Fire at Taj Hotel in Mumbai in this November
27, 2008 picture. Photo: Vivek Bendre
Attack by saitanic islam In a move with significant ramifications, the trial of seven Pakistanis, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks was on Saturday shifted from a court in Rawalpindi to a new anti-terrorism court in the capital here.
Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court accepted an application from the prosecution to move the case to the anti-terrorism court of Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi in Islamabad, sources told PTI.
Judge Zaidi’s court was established recently to hear a case filed against former President Pervez Musharraf under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Till then, Islamabad had no anti-terrorism court and all terrorism cases were heard by courts in Rawalpindi.
Legal experts said fresh proceedings would have to begin in the court in Islamabad and the judge would take some time to acquaint himself with the details of the case. There were no other proceedings during Saturday’s hearing conducted by Judge Rehman behind closed doors.
The government is yet to appoint a new chief prosecutor to replace Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali of the Federal Investigation Agency, who was assassinated by militants in Islamabad on May 3. Besides the Mumbai attacks, Mr. Ali was also handling the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
Islamabad Police have arrested a militant with links to the Taliban for alleged involvement in Mr. Ali’s murder.
The Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court has been handling the Mumbai attacks case since 2009 though the judge has been changed five times.
The seven Pakistani suspects have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai in November 2008.(Courtesy:The Hindu)

One killed, eight injured in two explosions on Karachi's Manghopir Road.

One killed, eight injured in two explosions on Karachi's Manghopir Road.
Rangers personnel stand guard
 at an area cordoned off during
 a house-to-house search operation
 in Karachi Orangi Town. — Photo by AFP
KARACHI|15|June|2013:: A policeman was killed and eight others, including police and Rangers personnel, were injured in two explosions on Manghopir Road in Karachi's Pirabad area.
Those injured in the explosions near Kati Pahari also included a rescue volunteer.
The first explosion was a cracker blast which reportedly targeted a Rangers check post in the area.
The first blast took place when unknown men riding a motorbike lobbed a hand grenade on Manghopir Road.
The attackers escaped, however, a second blast occurred as police and Rangers personnel arrived at the site of the explosion.
A policeman was killed and several were reported injured in the second blast, including Rangers and police personnel. A volunteer who was engaged in the rescue operation was also wounded in the second explosion.
The injured were shifted to Abbasi Shahid Hospital for treatment.(Courtesy:Dawn)