Showing posts from January 1, 2012

Grenade Attacks towards Chinese Cargo Ships on Mekong

Thai police stated that a rebel group on the Mekong River has attacked one Burmese patrol ship, and four Chinese cargo ships using grenade launchers on Wednesday. Xinhua, Chinese state media agency, reported that the unknown group of attackers attacked the vessels near a Burmese port on the Mekong using two M79 grenade launchers in the early hours of morning. One grenade fell into the water, and the other exploded near the ships, but left no casualties or damage to the vessels. Another Chinese media source, The People’s Daily, identified three of their cargo ships involved as the Baoshou 8, Baoshou 9 and Yuanfeng. News of the violent and unprovoked attacks surfaces just a few months after the October gun slaughtering of 13 Chinese sailors in October on the Mekong River, spanning the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. The fatal outcome of that attack is still undergoing trial, and as Thai police investigate the incident, they discovered foul play within their own country’s se

Joining The Crusade Against China

In the south, security forces chip away at the criminal infrastructure that supports the smugglers and Islamic terrorists. The smuggling has long been a major part of the economy and local culture. The government generally tolerated it as long as the gangsters were discreet. Radical Islam is something that was always just beneath the surface. In the last few decades, Islamic radicalism became fashionable and found material, if not moral, support from the smuggling gangs. That made the Islamic terrorists much more difficult to find and catch. The terrorists are being protected by the same loyalties and secrecy that has long protected the criminal gangs. But even some of the gangsters are getting tired of all the violence, and additional security forces, the Islamic terrorism has brought to the neighborhood. In addition to making peace with Cambodia, the government has hustled of late to improve diplomatic and economic relations with the newly elected government of Burma. Although army

US Rescues Iranians Held Hostage by Pirates

A U.S. navy ship has rescued 13 Iranians being held hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. Navy announced Friday that it encountered the pirates' skiff and the Iranian fishing vessel, the Al Molai, on Thursday after receiving a distress call from the Iranian vessel. In a statement, the navy said a team of military personnel from the destroyer USS Kidd boarded the Iranian vessel, or dhow, and detained 15 pirates who were holding the Iranians hostage. The statement said the Iranian vessel had been under the control of the pirates for more than a month and was being used as a headquarters for pirate operations. It said the hostages are believed to have been forced to help with piracies. The Navy said the Iranians were given food and medical care before being released, and are now on their way home. The pirates - believed to be Somalis - are in detention at sea on a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis. Iran recently has threatened to close the Strait of Ho

UN Rights Group Slams Saudi Over Death Penalty

The U.N. Human Rights Office is expressing alarm at the significant increase in the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. It says the number of people executed in 2011, a total of 79, was almost three times higher than in 2010 Last month, one woman was executed on charges of sorcery and witchcraft, said spokesman Rupert Collville. “What is even more worrying is that court proceedings often reportedly fall far short of international fair trial standards, and the use of torture as a means to obtain confessions appears to be rampant," Colville said. We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to respect international standards guaranteeing due process and protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, to progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and to reduce the number of offenses for which it may be imposed.” Colville said people face the death penalty for a wide range of offenses and crimes, including drug offenses, murder, sorcery, rape, blasphemy, ap

Kazakhstan Shows Western Human Rights Interventions Remain Hypocritical

Recently, I published an article on PolicyMic entitled "Kazakhstan, Libya, and the Double Standards of Western 'Humanitarian' Intervention." It argued that it was hypocritical of the West to use human rights as a reason to intervene in other countries when it is so clearly dismissive of those rights elsewhere in the world. Comments on the piece were largely critical, and as the different commentators mostly raised the same points, I’ve decided to address them together rather than piece-meal in the comments section of the original article. The first point raised was “Kazakhstan is much more remote than Libya, and borders Russia, so how can you expect a humanitarian intervention to take place there?” This is a reasonable question and I can’t say that it never crossed my mind while I was writing the article. However, in response, I would ask readers to take a moment to imagine if Kazakhstan’s recent crimes had taken place 25 or 30 years ago, when Kazakhstan was stil

8 NATO troops killed in 24 hours in southern Afghanistan

KABUL — Eight NATO troops were killed in southern Afghanistan in a 24-hour period ending Friday, Western military officials said. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force did not disclose the nationalities of the troops, but most of those serving in southern Afghanistan are American or British. The south of Afghanistan includes the volatile provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, the traditional heartland of the Taliban. Four of the eight were killed Friday in a single explosion, military officials said in a statement, and a fifth died as the result of an earlier “insurgent attack,” a phrase often used to characterize a firefight with Taliban militants. Late Thursday, military officials announced that three troops were killed in the south by a makeshift bomb. Such crude but powerful bombs remain the largest single killer of Western troops in Afghanistan. U.S. troop fatalities fell in 2011 for the first time in four years, and overall NATO deaths dropped as well. About 10,000 U

Management of Maoist fighters as main challenge of peace

'BHAKTAPUR: CPN-UML leader KP Sharma Oli has said the management of Maoist former combatants and their arms was the main challenge of the hour to establish peace in the country. Opening the second district convention of the Press Chautari Nepal, Bhaktapur chapter here on Friday, UML senior leader Oli expressed doubt the new constitution could not guarantee peace in the country if it was promulgated without managing the Maoist former fighters and their arms. He also accused the Maoists of causing obstructions in concluding the army integration process. Also speaking on the occasion, President of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Shiva Gaunle said the Federation was committed to fight for the rights of media workers. The convention has elected a 13-member new working committee for the next two years under the leadership of Som Sharma Bajgain. Source

Maoists lay trap, ambush three cops

PHULBANI: Maoists on Thursday lured a police team into a virtual deathtrap killing three near Padiapanga village in Kotagarh area of Kandhamal district. The police team was ambushed in a landmine explosion that left three other cops injured. The team was on way to the site of a blast triggered on Wednesday. The radicals have declared a two-day bandh in the State and are going all out to ensure their diktat is obeyed. On Thursday, the landmine went off when the team, with two trained dogs, was going in a Sumo vehicle on Kotagarh-Srirampur road. The bomb disposal squad personnel, who were following the team, escaped unhurt. The explosion took place barely three km from a CRPF camp. The deceased __ two police constables and a home guard __ were identified as Sunasir Mohanty, Umakant Jani and Sangram Lenka. The injured were Pandaba Dehury __ the home guard driver, Naha Pradhan and Basanta Behera. The three were rushed to the nearby health centre and then to Baliguda hospital before being

Explosion rocks busy New Road area in Kathmandu

Bystanders gather at Peepal Bot of New Road after a big bang rocked the area on Friday afternoon, January 6, 2012. KATHMANDU: An "explosion" occurred at a busy junction in New Road of Kathmandu on Friday afternoon, terrorising the passersby and bystanders. A pressure cooker without lid but stuffed with pieces of paper was found at the Peepal Bot area after the incident at around 3:20 pm. Confused bystanders and local vendors in the area ran in terror after the big bang was heard. But there was no crater formation at the site and no damage was caused by it. Police confiscated the vessel, and said there was no trace of explosives in what was believed to be bomb. However, further examination will be carried out at laboratory to find out how the sound was produced. No casualty has been reported. Source

Ivano-Frankivsk council declares 2012 year of Ukrainian Insurgent Army

Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Council on Thursday, Jan. 5, declared 2012 the year of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine. Ivano-Frankivsk council declares 2012 year of Ukrainian Insurgent Army Yesterday at 18:18 | Interfax-Ukraine Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Council on Thursday, Jan. 5, passed a decision to declare 2012 the year of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine. It also decides to hold events commemorating the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Bandera Movement, the OUN-B), Yaroslav Stetsko, and the Hero of Ukraine Oleksa Hirnyk. The regional council plans to provide funding for the celebration of these anniversaries. Read more:

Explosions rock anew Zambo village

Friday, January 6, 2012 TWO explosions have rocked anew an east coast village of Zamboanga City, a top police official said Friday. The explosions, which took place 10 minutes apart Friday in the village of Mampang, nine kilometers east of the city, came a day after two grenades exploded in the same place. Ready for Sinulog 2012? Check here for updates. No one was however reported killed or wounded in Friday's separate explosions. The Police Station 6 reported that the first explosion took place around 12:20 a.m. Friday at the back of the house of Delfin Pioquinto, a village councilor. The police said ten minutes later, another explosion took place at a vacant lot near Pioquinto's residence. The police have also recovered empty shells of caliber .45 pistol aside from the safety levers of MK-2 hand grenade from the explosion site. Around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, two grenades exploded separately at Alvarez and Galvez Drives, also in Mampang village. No one was killed

Belarus curbs Internet access to extremist; sites

Belarus will restrict access to a range of foreign and domestic websites deemed "extremist" in what appears to be a move by authorities to further curb the opposition's activities. The new law, which will come into force on Friday, will also ban Belarussian firms from advertising goods and services on any website that is not registered in the ex-Soviet republic. President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has taken an increasingly hard line against the opposition whose activities he has often said are funded and promoted from abroad. Opponents of the 57-year-old authoritarian leader used social network sites to coordinate a wave of "silent" protests against him last summer, in which groups of people gathered and clapped in public. Since his re-election in December 2010, and mass street protests that followed, Belarussian courts have jailed many political opponents. Two opposition politicians who ran against him remain in prison. T


(AGI) Herat - An Italian soldier was "slightly injured" by a bomb blast, north of Bala Murghab, the Italian contingent reports. Spokesman Col. Vincenzo Lauro said it happened at 3:05pm local time (11:35am in Italy), "during a joint operation with the ANSF. A team of the 151st Regiment 'Sassari', left on foot by the Task Force Nord, was struck by the sudden blast of a crude bomb (improvised explosive device) and an Italian soldier was slightly wounded". It happened about 10 km north of Bala Murghab, in a village near the "Mono" combat outpost, in the northern sector, under Italian control. The spokesman said that "the rescue squad immediately rushed to the spot and took the soldier by helicopter to the Forward Operating Base 'Columbus', headquarters of the 151st regiment 'Sassari'". The soldier never fainted and has already informed his relatives by phone. Source

Syria: Dozens killed in police bus bomb blast in Damascus

A Syrian official said at least 25 were killed and 46 wounded in a Damascus suicide bombing that targeted a police bus in a central district. By Our Foreign Staff11:20AM GMT 06 Jan 2012 State TV also reported a blast in the Damascus central neighborhood of Midan, which killed and wounded a number of people. Friday's explosion comes two weeks after two blasts in Damascus targeting security buildings killed 44 people. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to talk publicly to the media, gave no further details. The"terrorist" bombing rocked Damascus on Friday causing casualties among civilians and the security forces, state media reported, barely a fortnight after two suicide bombers killed 44 people in the Syrian capital. The "powerful explosion" struck in the Midan neighbourhood in the heart of the city, state television said. "The attack took place in a heavily populated working-class neighbourhood near a school

IN WESTERN VISAYAS ‘Negros may be last to be freed of NPA’

Negros Occidental may be the last province in the Western Visayas to join the list of those liberated from the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army- National Democratic, Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said. Lactao said this is because Negros Occidental has more armed NPA fighters and cadres and influenced areas, compared to Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique and Guimaras. But he said less than 200 NPA armed members who have established influence in some hinterland barangays of the province, are still operating in Negros Occidental, Military records show that Aklan recently joined the 23 provinces declared insurgency-free, as contained in a resolution, unanimously approved by the Department of Interior and Local Government, and Governor Carlito Marquez. In a statement it issued, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said a resolution declaring Aklan an insurgency–free province, shows the success of the united efforts of all stakeh

Religious extremism is out of control

Recent news reports describing the antics of several groups of religious fundamentalists have piqued my curiosity. Priests fighting each other in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher over who will clean up what, while the church itself is falling down because the priests can’t decide who has the right to do what. Ultra-conservatives spitting on an 8-year-old while walking down a public sidewalk and demanding that women sit in the back of a public bus. All in the name of God. Who are these people? And how did they get to decide what God wants of us? Could it be they are just nuts? I find it very difficult to give up the ideas of love and forgiveness and compassion for “Submit or burn in hell forever” or “Do not think for yourself, only we know the true meaning of God’s word.” Looking back in time and considering the troubles caused by these folks (burning witches, the Crusades, 9/11), I think I’ve answered my question: They’re crazy. Source

Police face new questions over approach to protest groups

The City of London Police was facing fresh questions over its approach to protest groups last night after it emerged that it regularly included them in communiques warning businesses in the City about extremist activity. News that the force had referred to the demonstrators camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral in a single terrorism bulletins was dismissed as a drafting error when it came to light a month ago. Now City of London Police has admitted that it included Occupy London in the “domestic” section of the warning letter on seven separate occasions since the camp sprung up. It was also revealed that anti-cuts group UK Uncut has been mentioned in two of the warning letters, while the union-led demonstrations at the end of last November were included. The communiques were released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to academic Rizwaan Sabir during the course of his research on UK counter-terrorism. A spokesman for Occupy London said that the approach would “intimidate”

Court lifts fines imposed on extremists

ČTK | 6 JANUARY 2012 Brno, Jan 5 (CTK) - The Brno Regional Court mitigated the sentences imposed on six members of the outlawed ultra-right Czech Workers' Party (DS) over extremist statements they made on May Day 2009, lifting the fines given to four of them yesterday. Appeals court panel chairman Karel Hortik justified the verdict saying the fines were imposed at variance with law. However, the court found the six persons guilty and upheld the original suspended sentences. The six former DS members were given suspended sentences of four to eight months in prison and fines of 20,000-30,000 crowns in November 2010. The then DS chairman Tomas Vandas was sentenced to four months in prison with a 20-month probationary period and a fine of 25,000 crowns. However, the DS members appealed the verdict and the Regional Court cancelled it. It ordered reconsideration of the case along with a detailed questioning of court extremism expert Michal Mazl. Mazl confirmed that the state

Muslim Brotherhood Realities New and Old

January 6, 2012 Steve Emerson The votes still aren't fully counted in Egypt, but the Obama administration has seen enough to reverse long-standing and well-rooted policies to shun the theocratic, global Caliphate-minded Muslim Brotherhood, whose philosophy spawned terrorist movements from Hamas to al-Qaida. High level meetings between American and Brotherhood officials reflect a "new political reality here [in Egypt], and indeed around the region," the New York Times reported in a front-page article Wednesday, "as Islamist groups come to power." What is astounding and dangerous about the new U.S. recognition is the fact that Brotherhood leaders became more openly radical and militant once Mubarak was thrown out, issuing incendiary speeches calling for "martyrdom" operations against Israel and aligning with Hamas and other terrorist groups. Yet as the New York Times wrote, the Obama administration accepts as truthful "the Brotherhood'


(AGI) Juba- In the past week over 3,000 people, mostly women and children, were killed in violent ethnic clashes in South Sudan. The clashes took place in the Jonglei state. Commissioner for Pibor county in Joshua Konyi launched the alarm, "There have been mass killings, a massacre. We have been out counting the bodies, and we calculate so far that 2,182 women and children were killed and 959 men died". Source


(AGI) Kabul - Eight Nato soldiers have died in the last 48 hours in a series of attacks in southern Afghanistan. Five soldiers were killed in separate attacks today while three others were killed yesterday. The ISAF has not yet announced the nationality of the victims. Source

Turkey: Ex-military chief arrested over plot

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – A former military chief was jailed Friday, accused of leading a terror organization and conspiring to bring down Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, his lawyer said, becoming the most senior officer to face trial in a series of investigations into alleged anti-government plots. By Burhan Ozbilici, AP In this 2010 file photo, Turkey's former Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug speaks during the International Symposium on Global Terrorism and International Cooperation in Ankara. Gen. Ilker Basbug was arrested and placed in a prison near Istanbul overnight after seven hours of questioning by prosecutors investigating allegations that the military funded dozens of websites aimed at discrediting the Islamic-rooted government in 2009. Some of the suspects already charged in the case, including senior generals and admirals, have said they acted in a chain of command. Basbug, who retired in August 2010, led the military at the time. The j

Hezbollah planning to target Israelis in Europe

Tourism Ministry increases security around Israeli, Jewish sites and known tourist hubs in Europe following terror concerns Yossi Yehoshua Recent terror alerts have prompted Jerusalem officials to ask Bulgaria and other European nations to increase security measures concerning Israeli and Jewish sites as well as known tourist hubs, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday. Danny Shenar, head of security at the Tourism Ministry alerted European authorities to the threat. Bulgarian authorities in particular were asked to remain on high alert. Shenar's request was reportedly accepted. Security sources said that while there was no specific threat, there was intelligence suggesting that Israelis traveling in Europe would be targeted by terror groups. According to the report, the defense establishment is concerned by Iranian threats to retaliate over what it calls "the systematic elimination" if its nuclear scientists. Possible target? The Great Synagogue in Sofia (Photo:

Karachi's new terrorist groups

Recent crackdowns have revealed a number of small previously unknown groups associated with Al Qaeda and Taliban operating in Karachi Law enforcement agencies have found several small previously-unknown militant organisations operating in Karachi, during recent crackdowns. Most of them are linked to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. "Militants linked with the TTP are increasingly moving to Karachi because of military operations and US drone strikes in the tribal areas," said Chaudry Aslam, head of the Anti-Extremism Cell (AEC) at CID Karachi. They get logistics and manpower support from the militant organizations already established in the city. Such groups include the Punjabi Taliban, the Al Mukhtar group, Kharooj, Al Furqan, Badar Mansoor Group and Jundullah - all discovered within the past year. "All such little-known militant outfits are linked with the TTP," Aslam told TFT. "It is TTP's strategy to operate in Karachi in smaller cells to dodge law enf

2 persons shot dead in Balochistan

Islamabad, Jan 5 (PTI) Two persons, including a police officer, were shot and killed while two law enforcement personnel were injured in a bomb blast in the restive Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today, police said. Unidentified gunmen shot dead a sub-inspector and a civilian in two separate incidents in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, police said. Two personnel of a law enforcement agency were injured when suspected militants detonated a remote-controlled bomb in Dera Bugti area. The bomb planted by the roadside went off when the security personnel were passing the area. Source

Thousands need aid after South Sudan ethnic violence: UN

* UN humanitarian coordinator says ‘a massive emergency operation is needed to help people JUBA: Thousands of South Sudanese who fled the latest wave of bloody ethnic violence in the troubled Jonglei state are in dire need of emergency aid, the United Nations warned Wednesday. A column of some 6,000 rampaging armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe last week marched on the remote town of Pibor, home to the rival Murle people, whom they blame for cattle raiding and have vowed to exterminate. "A massive emergency operation is going to be needed in the weeks ahead to help people uprooted by the violence," the UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Lise Grande said in a statement. "Hundreds of people are returning to the town from the bush. They are highly vulnerable and they need help," she added. Gunmen burned thatch huts and looted a hospital and a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders in the worst flare-up in a dispute that has left more than 1,000 dead

From terrorists to high flying leaders of new South Africa

Top ANC leaders were also deemed international terrorists -- the United States only removed Mandela from its terrorist watch list in 2008 For decades, activists in the ANC were jailed and exiled as terrorists. Now its top brass are titans of South African politics and business, in lives far removed from ordinary members. The party, which celebrates its 100th anniversary Sunday, has produced four presidents since taking power in the first all-race elections in 1994. Three spent at least a decade in prison, and the fourth lived in exile for 28 years. "In many people's eyes we were still terrorists and former prisoners with no experience of running the country," Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale told AFP, remembering the African National Congress's transition from a banned liberation movement to a ruling party. "We never saw ourselves as terrorists, we were satisfied in our minds that we were freedom fighters and we were supported in this by the entire world,&quo

Princess raps S Arabia on rights abuses

A Saudi princess has criticized the Riyadh regime for corruption, poverty and serious violations of human rights in the oil-rich Persian Gulf Kingdom. Princess Basma Bint Saud Bin Abdul Aziz, who is a niece of King Abdullah and a social activist, told British media she would not remain silent about what is happening in her native country. The princess, currently living in London, slammed what she called the lack of fairness in the distribution of wealth and power between the loyal family and ordinary people. “You have 2,000 [royals] who are multi-millionaires, who have all the power, all the wealth and no-one can even utter a word against it because they are afraid to lose what they have," Princess Basma said. "If you are poor man and you steal, your hand is cut off after three offences. But if you are a rich man, nobody will say anything to you," she added. She also accused Saudi officials of ineptitude, adding they are not held accountable for what they do.

Commentary: Threats to watch in 2012

« Commentary: Arnaud de Borchgrave Commentary: Threats to watch in 2012 Published: Jan. 5, 2012 at 7:31 AM WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- On Dec. 18, 2010, a police slap of a vegetable-cum-fruit peddler in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid triggered an "Arab Spring" that no one had forecast and that quickly spawned a long, dark Arab winter. Before the end of January 2011, violent unrest had spread to Egypt. By Feb. 11, after 18 days of riots, the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak ended. Less than a week later, Libya exploded. And on Oct. 20, Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's dictator for 42 years, was mauled and killed by angry revolutionaries. The top military man in Tripoli is Abdelkrim El Haj, the former al-Qaida operative in Libya who was captured during Gadhafi's regime, turned over to the United States, renditioned to, and tortured by, Thai authorities. He now says he isn't holding the United States accountable but expects "those responsible to be brough

Iraq attacks death toll climbs to 78

The death toll from the multiple bomb attacks that rocked southern Iraq and the capital Baghdad has risen to 78. The attacks began during morning rush hour on Thursday when explosions struck the capital's mainly Shia neighborhoods of Sadr City and Kazimiyeh, killing around 30 people. Around 48 people were killed several hours later in another bombing incident in the city of Nassiriya, 320 kilometers southeast of Baghdad. Nassiriya attack targeted a group of Shia pilgrims walking to the holy shrine city of Karbala for the commemorations marking the 40th day after the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (PBUH). Thursday's attacks were the deadliest Iraq has witnessed in the past month, following the multiple bomb explosions of December 22, 2011 where dozens of people were killed in nine neighborhoods in the capital. Source

Saudi Arabia to harbor MKO terrorists

Saudi Arabia has reportedly accepted to give refuge to at least 70 members of the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) following the group's planned expulsion from Iraq. According to the reports coming from Baghdad, the US has asked its allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Qatar and Pakistan, to give refuge to MKO members for conducting espionage activities on their soil. The move came after the Iraqi government expressed determination to close Camp Ashraf, the base of the terrorist group located in the eastern province of Diyala and to expel all MKO members from the country. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has repeatedly said that the Iraqi government cannot permit a criminal gang to remain in the country. Meanwhile, the terrorist group has also announced that it is ready for a gradual pullout from Camp Ashraf. The Ashraf Camp, about 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) west of the Iranian border, currently houses more than 3,400 MKO mem

Sixteen kidnapped Pakistani troops killed by Taliban

The bodies of sixteen Pakistani troops who were kidnapped nearly two weeks ago were found Thursday in North Waziristan, officials said. The Tehreek-e-Taliban, a Pakistani militant alliance with al Qaeda links, has claimed responsibility. By News Wires (text) AFP - The bodies of 16 members of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Constabulary (FC) were found Thursday, almost two weeks after they were kidnapped from a northwestern town, officials said. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the killings. "We have received information that the 16 kidnapped FC men have been killed in Shawa," a small town in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border, senior local FC commander Ali Sher Mehsud told AFP. "We are in touch with authorities in North Waziristan tribal region, who have taken possession of the dead bodies." All the corpses had bullet wounds, he added. A local intelligence official also confirmed the killings. Tali

Grenade found near Civil Service office

Thursday, January 5, 2012 COTABATO CITY -- A grenade was found near the office of the Civil Service Commission-Davao Region (CSC 12) on Wednesday morning. According to Cotabato City Police Office director, Senior Superintendent Danny Reyes, security guards of CSC 12 in barangay Rosary Heights 7, discovered the grenade with the pin already removed around 9:20 a.m. Plan your Sinulog week ahead and find out what's in store for Sinulog 2012. Responding members of the Army's 6th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team defused the grenade. It was learned that the grenade was defective and didn’t detonate after it was lobbed. Mayor Japal Guiani believes that the grenade was lobbed sometime in the evening but was only discovered the following morning. Officials of the CSC admit they have received threats in the past but ignored them. Guiani ordered the police to conduct a thorough investigation on the incident and identify those behind the crime. (Edgardo Fuerzas) Source http

Bomb defused in southern Lebanese town

The scene of a bomb blast in Sidon last July. A bomb packed with six kilograms of explosives was defused overnight in a residential neighbourhood of the southern Lebanese coastal town of Sidon, a security official said Thursday. AFP - A bomb packed with six kilograms of explosives was defused overnight in a residential neighbourhood of the southern Lebanese coastal town of Sidon, a security official said Thursday. He said the bomb, wired to a cell phone primed to detonate the device, was discovered under a cardboard box in a parking lot late Wednesday by residents who alerted authorities. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was unclear who was targeted and that no one had claimed responsibility. The bomb scare comes amid heightened tension in the region following a series of explosions in recent weeks, one of which targeted French troops serving with the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon (UNFIIL). Source

British voice behind a call to arms for Somalia's Islamic terrorists

A militant Islamist group in Somalia that has declared its allegiance to al-Qa'ida is using a young British man to file video propaganda from the front lines of the country's civil war to try to draw English-speaking Muslims to the Horn of Africa for jihad, The Independent can reveal. The man, who remains masked throughout his videos, speaks in fluent English with a clear London accent and presents breathless reports of battles that the militant groups have fought against Somali government and foreign forces. Intelligence sources and terrorism experts believe the man was either born in Britain or spent considerable time here and that he may have even had some media training before heading abroad to join the militant network. The Independent has collected at least three videos in which the man features. The first – which runs for 11 minutes and is titled "African Crusaders" – was released in June 2010 and only contains the man's voice. A second 21 minute long

OIC expresses deep concern over destruction of Mosque in China

Geneva: The Spokesperson of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has expressed his deep concern over reports of a clash between local villagers and police resulting in numerous casualties and the destruction of a Mosque in Taoshan village near the town of Hexi, Tongxin County in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China. According to information available to the OIC, the incident took place when the police raided the re-inauguration gathering at the mosque and the local villagers attempted to prevent the destruction of their place of worship, which was first constructed in 1987 and was recently renovated. The apparent heavy handed response of local authorities appears to have resulted in several deaths, as well as approximately 50 injured and 100 arrested. The OIC expresses its concern at the destruction of a place of worship and the loss of life which is deeply regrettable. The OIC expects the authorities in China to fully accord the rights of Muslims to construct and maintain t

Two indian soldiers die in mysterious circumstances in Kashmir

Srinagar: An official of Indian border guards and a paramilitary soldier were found dead in mysterious circumstances at different places in Indian administered Kashmir on Tuesday. A police spokesman said BSF (border guards) inspector Omprakash Maan was found dead at a camp in Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s today. “Proceedings under section 174 CRPC have been initiated in this regard,” he said. He said in another incident, paramilitary CRPF man Leela Ram (No. 115320228) posted at Humhama in central Kashmir was found dead in mysterious circumstances in his camp this morning. “Police has launched investigations,” he said. Source

Somalia: Bomb blast in Beledweyne

5 Jan 5, BELEDWEYNE, Somalia Jan 5 2012 (Garowe Online) - A bomb blast went off Wednesday night when a grenade was thrown at a military convoy that was passing by in the city of Beledweyne capital of Hiran province, Radio Garowe reports. Local forces alongside Ethopian troops recently conducted military operations that forced Al Shabaab insurgents to flee the city of Beledweyne which was a stronghold for their terrorist organization. Local sources say that a grenade was thrown at a military convoy that had conducted the military operations that led to Al Shabaab insurgents fleeing the city although the are no reports of deaths that have surfaced from the blast. The local forces in Beledweyne alongside Ethiopian troops conducted searches of homes in the area, reports say that some people were arrested on charges of suspicion. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) have intensified their fight against Al Shabaab. Al Shabaab retreated from Mogadishu the capital last August, al

Has neoliberalism knocked feminism sideways?

Feminism needs to recapture the state from the neoliberal project to which it is in hock in order to make it deliver for women. It must guard against atomisation and recover its transformative aspirations to shape the new social order that is hovering on the horizon, says Rahila Gupta About the author Rahila Gupta is a freelance journalist and writer. Her work has appeared in The Guardian and New Humanist among other papers and magazines. Her books include Provoked (Harper Collins, India) and Enslaved:The New British Slavery (Portobello Books) How should feminists read our current times? A major economic crisis rocks the developed world. While austerity measures don’t appear to be working across Europe, the mildly Keynesian efforts of Obama to kick-start the US economy has had only a marginal effect. The Occupy movement has gone global and the public disorder in the summer, with more disorder being predicted by the police, are an indication of deep discontent with the system. Yet we