Showing posts from June 7, 2015

4 suspected Bodo militants arrested in Bengaluru

In a joint operation, the state internal security division and Assam Police arrested four wanted suspected Bodo militants from a house here in the wee hours today. The suspected militants, identified as Sandan Basumatri, Naseen Basumatri, Jibal Nursey and Tomar Basumatri, and aged in their twenties, were working in a factory at Peenya Industrial area here and hiding in the city for the past one year, police said. They would be produced before the magistrate for transit to Assam, police added. Rajgopalnagar police have registered a case and are investigating. Earlier, in January the city police had arrested top Bodo militant, Bikhang Basumatri, who was allegedly involved in the December violence in Assam. Basumatri was linked to the killing of eight Adivasis at Lungsung on December 23 last year and six Hindi-speaking persons at Serfanguri in Kokrajhar district on January 16, 2013. Next  I am aiming to breach the double ton mark now: Vijay Source

Air strikes kill 20 suspected militants in Pakistan: military

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Air strikes killed 20 suspected militants in the restive northwest of Pakistan on Saturday, the military said, as it marked the one-year anniversary of an anti-Taliban offensive in the area. The air strikes took place around Datta Khel in North Waziristan, the military said in a statement. The mountainous region along the Afghan border used to be a key Taliban stronghold, with insurgents controlling all the major urban centers. But one year ago, as NATO prepared for the complete withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan, the Pakistani military launched a long-awaited push to clear militant havens on the Pakistani side of the border, in a campaign known as 'Zarb-e-Azb'. "So far, 2,763 terrorists killed, 837 hideouts destroyed. 253 tons (of) explosive recovered," military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said in a tweet. He said 347 officers and soldiers had also been killed. It is unclear how many civilians have died or how reliable the casua

At least 17 Afghanistan police officers killed in insurgent attack

An overnight attack on a police checkpoint killed at least 17 members of the Afghan national police in southern Afghanistan, officials said Saturday. The attack began late Friday evening in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district, long a stronghold of insurgents, when “anti-government forces” converged on the checkpoint, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor. Dozens of fighters stormed the checkpoint in the assault that lasted until early Saturday morning. Zwak said two police officers were also wounded in the attack. An Afghan official quoted by the Associated Press in an early report said at least 20 police officers died. Musa Qala, in northeast Helmand, has been the site of some of the fiercest fighting of the Afghan conflict between the Taliban and NATO forces, primarily U.S. Marines and British soldiers. No group claimed responsibility for the overnight attack. According to figures released by NATO, the first five months of 2015 have seen more than 2,300 deaths among

Sweden car blast kills four people

Police say four people, including a young girl, were killed when a car exploded in a roundabout in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. The cause of Friday's explosion was unclear but police said they had started a criminal investigation. After initially releasing few details, police confirmed on Saturday three people were pronounced dead at the scene while the girl was taken to hospital where she died. They didn't the release the ages or identities of the victims or say whether they were related. Rescuers said the car exploded in a roundabout near a fire station and was destroyed by the time they got there. Gothenburg is Sweden's second-largest city and has seen a surge in violent conflicts between rival criminal gangs, including a restaurant shooting in March that left two people dead. AAP Source

Islamic State suicide attacks on Iraq security posts kill 13

Four suicide bombers driving explosive-laden cars rammed into two security checkpoints and a military headquarters in the al-Hajaj area within a 15-minute span, killing 13 Shiite militiamen and troops and wounded 24, police said.  Al-Hajaj lies on the road between Beiji and Tikrit in Salahuddin province. The key refinery town of Beiji has been the scene of fierce fighting between Islamic State militants and government troops, backed by Shiite militias, that took control of the town's center a few days ago.  Meanwhile, police said security forces repelled Islamic State suicide attacks near the town of Garma, east of militant-held city of Fallujah.  The attackers used four suicide cars in the assault that left no casualties among the government forces, they said.  Recently received U.S. anti-tank missiles were used to destroy the suicide cars, police and military officials there said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures from the Salahuddin province attacks.  All officia

US social media websites to refuse to hand over private details of suspected terrorists

Left: court artist drawing of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. Right: Lee Rigby   One of the main areas of concern is that British spies are unable to monitor communications between potential terrorist suspects on ​some social media ​websites​  Social media websites based in America will set themselves on a collision course with the Government today by refusing to co-operate with demands contained in a major report to hand over private details about suspected terrorists. David Anderson, who will on Thursday publish a review of the Government’s plans for terrorism legislation, is expected to warn that there are currently “capability gaps” in the ability of Britain’s intelligence services to keep track of jihadists. One of the main areas of concern is that British spies are unable to monitor communications between potential terrorist suspects on ​some

Bombs kill 8 people around Baghdad, coalition targets IS

BAGHDAD Bomb attacks killed eight people in and around Baghdad on Wednesday as U.S.-led coalition warplanes targeted Islamic State insurgents west of the capital, police and medics said. A suicide bomber in a car killed five civilians in the Shula neighbourhood and wounded 15 other people, they said. Hours earlier, a roadside bomb exploded on a commercial street in al-Mahmoudiya district just south of the capital, killing three civilians and wounding seven. Iraq is facing multiple security challenges, including Islamic State militants who have seized large parts of the north and west of the country, an oil producer and OPEC member. The country is also gripped by a sectarian conflict mostly between Shi'ites and Sunnis that has been exacerbated by the rise of the ultra-hardline Sunni militants of Islamic State. U.S.-led coalition warplanes killed four Islamic State insurgents north of the city of Falluja, which is held by the group. Insurgents fired mort

More than 230,000 killed in Syria conflict: monitor

BEIRUT: Syria's brutal conflict has left more than 230,000 people dead including almost 11,500 children since it broke out in 2011, a monitoring group said today.   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented the deaths of 230,618 people.  The toll includes 69,494 civilians, among them 11,493 children and 7,371 women.  Combatants account for a majority of those killed, with 49,106 regime forces and 36,464 government loyalists among the dead.  The loyalist fighters killed were mostly members of local militias, but also included 838 from Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah and 3,093 Shiite fighters from other countries.  The Observatory documented the deaths of 41,116 rebels, Syrian jihadists and Kurdish fighters.  Anti-regime foreign fighter deaths numbered 31,247, most of them jihadists.  Abdel Rahman said another 3,191 of those documented killed in the conflict remained unidentified.  The Britain-based Observatory relies on a broad net

Senior police official gunned down in Karachi

KARACHI: A senior police official was today gunned down by unidentified assailants in Pakistan's port city of Karachi.   Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Majeed Abbasi was shot dead by assailants while he was travelling in a police mobile van in Karachi's Shah Latif Town area.  "He was posted as SP of Site town and going for duty when the assailants attacked him and he died later in a hospital," IG police Ghulam Qadir Thebo told the media.  Thebo said four assailants had gunned down Abbasi. Last month, unidentified target killers gunned down two DSPs in different incidents in Orangi town and Shah Faisal colony.  Police officials have been frequent targets since last year in Karachi as militants and criminals have reacted to the ongoing clean-up operation in the city.  Prime minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned Abbasi's murder and sought a report.  The premier also expressed his concern over the number of police officials targeted in Karachi in the last fe

Human Rights in Saudi: Three beheaded in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded a Syrian drug trafficker and two Saudis convicted of murder, despite concerns raised by rights' experts that trials are not conducted fairly in the kingdom.   Their cases bring to 97 the number of executions of locals and foreigners carried out in the conservative Muslim kingdom this year.  That compares with 87 for all of 2014, according to AFP tallies.  The Syrian, Mohammed Hussein Abdulkareem Halwani, was executed in Jubail, on the kingdom's Gulf coast, after a court found him guilty of smuggling methamphetamines, the interior ministry said.  The ministry, in statements carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, named the two Saudis executed as Hussein al-Qahtani and Jibran al-Qahtani.  They were convicted of separate murders with firearms and were put to death in Abha, in Asir region, the ministry said.  Under the Gulf state's strict Islamic sharia legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery and apostasy are all pu

Racism in USA: Texas policeman resigns after video shows him toppling teen: Media

AUSTIN, Texas: A Dallas-area white policeman seen in a viral video tossing a bathing suit-clad, black teenage girl to the ground resigned on Tuesday from the McKinney Police force, local broadcaster Fox 4 and others cited his lawyer as saying. McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of how he responded to the disturbance on Friday in the city about 30 miles north of Dallas, an incident that has raised fresh questions about racial bias in US policing. In the video, Casebolt is seen shouting obscenities at black youths in a multiracial crowd, shoving a black teenage girl, briefly pointing his gun at black youths and throwing the girl in her bathing suit to the ground, burying his knees in her back. The seven-minute video, viewed 9 million times on YouTube as of Tuesday morning, shows officers responding to the incident, which police said started when scores of young people attended a party with a disc jockey at a community p

Reporters evacuated from White House after bomb threat

WASHINGTON: White House reporters were evacuated from the media briefing room in the middle of press conference by the presidential spokesperson Josh Earnest, after law enforcement agencies received a bomb threat call.   The reporters who were escorted to the nearby Eisenhower Executive Building on Tuesday by Secret Service were allowed to re-enter the White House and the press briefing room about half an hour later, after it was found safe.  President Barack Obama remained inside his Oval Office and the First Lady Michelle and the family inside the White House while the Secret Service did their security sweep.  The Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary attributed the evacuation to a "telephonic bomb threat concerning the White House briefing room" that was called in to the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington.  Following the evacuation, the briefing room was swept for explosives as a precaution. The evacuation was confined to the briefing room, the Secret Service said

Thousands Flee Into Turkey From Syria as Kurds Fight Islamic State

Akcakale:  Thousands of people crossed from Syria into Turkey today to flee a battle pitting Islamist insurgents against Kurdish and opposition forces for the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad. A Reuters photographer at the scene said many of them were women and children and they had entered Turkey through a make-shift border crossing between official gates. Turkish gendarmerie officers oversaw the transfer, he said. Islamic State is in control of the border town in Hasaka province. The hardline group last week launched a counter-offensive in the provincial capital, Hasaka city, that is divided into zones run separately by the government of President Bashar al-Assad and a Kurdish administration. "There are 2,000 people today that are being processed," a Turkish official said, explaining that they undergo registration and health checks before being allowed to enter. "They are escaping coalition bombardments as well as YPG advancement," he said, referring to the Kurdish

US embracing a new approach on battling ISIS in Iraq

WASHINGTON:   In a major shift of focus in the battle against the Islamic State, the Obama administration is planning to establish a new military base in Anbar Province and send 400 American military trainers to help Iraqi forces retake the city of Ramadi. Although a final decision by the White House has yet to be announced, the plan follows months of behind-the-scenes debate about how prominently plans to retake another Iraqi city, Mosul, which fell to the Islamic State last year, should figure in the early phase of the military campaign against the group. The fall of Ramadi last month effectively settled the administration debate, at least for the time being. American officials said Ramadi is now expected to become the focus of a lengthy campaign to regain Mosul at a later stage, possibly not until 2016. The United States Central Command's emphasis on retaking Mosul depended critically on efforts to retrain the Iraqi Army, which appear to have gotten off to a slow start. Some Ira

FARC’ causes 2nd environmental emergency in south Colombia within 48 hours

FARC  rebels allegedly blew up an oil pipeline in the southwest of Colombia, causing the second environmental emergency within 48 hours. According to the authorities, members of the FARC’s Daniel Aldana unit blew up the Trandandino pipeline which transports crude oil from the wells in southern Colombia to the Pacific coast. The incident took place in Tumaco, a town that has seen an increase in rebel activity after the FARC suspended a unilateral ceasefire they had been upholding since December. The bombing of the oil pipeline caused an oil spill into the Caunapi river that flows towards the Pacific Ocean. The attack is the second on southern Colombia’s oil industry within 48 hours. On Monday, alleged rebels of the 48th Front forced 19 oil trucks to spill more than 200,ooo gallons of crude oil, causing major pollution in the Amazon jungle region. ‘FARC forces 19 oil trucks to empty tanks in Colombia’s Amazon jungle’ Also in Tibu, a municipality in the northeast Colombia, alleged members

Colombia ‘getting fed up’ with FARC peace talks

Colombians are getting “fed up” with  peace talks  between the government and rebel group  FARC , a key senator belonging to President  Juan Manuel Santos ‘ governing coalition said Tuesday. The peace talks aim to end 50 years of war, but have been ongoing for more than two and a half years without any indication they may end successfully soon. This lack of visible progress, combined with ongoing FARC attacks, is wearing out Colombians’ patience, said Senator Armando Benedetti, a key senator of the president’s  U Party . “The people are getting fed up with this peace process … either something positive that unlatches the peace process happens or there is no way the people will support this process ever again,” Benedetti was quoted as saying by newspaper El Espectador. By the end of April — less than two weeks after the FARC violated its self-imposed unilateral ceasefire killing 11 soldiers — support for the talks had dropped to 52% from 69% in February. Since then, intents by both the


MARIUPOL, Ukraine — Sergeant Ivan Kharkiv of the Azov Battalion is 21 years old but seems years beyond his age. He nods as the battalion’s press officer, Natalia, introduces us. The young officer invites us to walk with him through the yard of the dilapidated former School #61—now an Azov Battalion base on the   east side of the city of Mariupol . The Azov is a volunteer militia of the Ukrainian Nation Guard that has proven fiercely effective in battle. It answers directly to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and works closely with the Ukrainian intelligence service, the SBU, handing over prisoners and providing intelligence. Sergeant Ivan Kharkiv is soft-spoken but his language is strong. “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to take Mariupol, he must know that at least 10,000 of his guys will die.” Kharkiv lets these words settle and continues, “We know all of Mariupol. We control the roads and the high ground. He may try to use air forces but it does not matter.” Sergeant Khar

Neo-Nazi suspect Zschäpe sacks lawyer in NSU trial

Beate Zschäpe, the central figure at the Munich trial of neo-Nazi terror cell suspects, has requested the removal of one of her three court-appointed defense lawyers. The trial has been running since 2013. The Munich court adjourned proceedings on Wednesday without hearing its intended witness, saying that Zschäpe had formally applied for the dismissal of defense counsel Anja Sturm (pictured left). Sturm, together with two male colleagues, has represented  Zschäpe  at the two-year trial centered on a killing spree by the so-called National Socalist Underground (NSU) between 2000 and 2007. A year ago, Zschäpe sought the dismissal of all three counsels but that application was rejected by the Munich court. Zschäpe faces 27 charges linked to  bombings and murders of 10 people  on mainly racist grounds. Eight of the victims were German residents of Turkish origin, one had roots in Greece. The tenth was a German policewoman. Two of the NSU leading members, Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos, app


Teachers in Britain are scared of reporting suspected Islamist extremism among their students out of fear of being labelled ‘Islamophobic’, the head of an anti-radicalisation group has said. From July this year, British teachers will have a legal requirement to report students they believe to be at risk of radicalisation. But Sara Khan of counter-extremist group Inspire  told   The Guardian  that many teachers could be too scared to perform their new duty – a fact that the newspaper saved for paragraph 20 of its 26 paragraph report into the monitoring of students. “Some teachers have told us ‘we’re scared of being accused of being Islamophobic’ … and when some Muslim and Islamist organisations are saying this is Islamophobia, or other teachers say this is spying on Muslim kids, you can see why some feel like that. “Safeguarding children from extremism is not Islamophobic, but you’ve got to make sure the way you do it is appropriate. If people don’t understand the issue or don’t seek ex

How a new Pakistani comic is challenging religious extremism

When Gauher Aftab was 13-years-old, he was singled out, groomed, and recruited into a life of religious extremism by a man he says he did not know was a jihadist. Aftab had only recently moved to Pakistan from his native Saudi Arabia a year prior, and as a young teenager in an unfamiliar place, he felt a deep sense of uncertainty. Language and cultural barriers both fed into a profound loneliness that Gauher now recognizes made him a potential target. The man who first suggested that he take up the militant cause was his Islamic studies teacher. “The lectures he used to give were less about Islam and more about his propagation and ideology of Islam,” Aftab told  The Friday Times . “He followed a very convincing pattern that I feel the extremists have perfected over the span of 30 years. [Their] narrative first delegitimizes the family or societal authority, negates Sufism, encourages followers to think outside the box and then victimizes Muslims.” Aftab says that his indoctrination int

Is The Tibet Issue Dead?

Beijing believes that only ‘development’ can bring ‘stability’ in the TAR and Tibetan-inhabited areas of Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai; in such a scenario, Beijing solves the Tibetan issue and the Dalai Lama becomes irrelevant. A few days before Prime Minister Modi departed for Beijing, the news agencies announced that a scheduled meeting between BJP president Amit Shah and the Dalai Lama would not happen. The encounter, to be held in Dharamsala, was cancelled after a message from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that it would be ‘highly inappropriate’. A senior BJP leader later clarified that the cancellation of meeting did not change India’s relationship with the Tibetan spiritual leader. This and other recent happenings raise a serious question: where is the Tibetan issue at? A few months ago, The Global Post published a story about the Dalai Lama, asking: ‘is the Tibet issue dead?’. It mentions South Africa’s denial of a visa to the Tibetan leader to attend the 14th worl