Archive | July, 2011

Afghan Nato forces ‘kill 35 Pakistan Taliban militants’

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

ISLAMABAD,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :-At least 35 Pakistani Taliban fighters have been killed in US air strikes in Afghanistan after they attacked a convoy of foreign troops, reports from the Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan said on Tuesday. The reports said that a group of 100 Pakistani Taliban militants fired missiles and rockets at a convoy of foreign forces in Paktiya on Friday. US ground forces sought air cover and NATO fighter jets targeted the Pakistani militants, killing 35 of them. Over a dozen rebels were injured. They were brought to hospitals in North Waziristan Agency, the reports said. Those who were killed included militants from Pakistani Taliban groups led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mullah Nazir. Punjabi Taliban militants too were among the dead and injured, residents of Waziristan said. The Taliban factions led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mullah Nazir have struck peace deals with the Pakistan government but they are accused by the US of sending fighters across the border into Afghanistan. US drones routinely target militants of both groups in Waziristan. Pakistani militants are now trying to transfer the bodies to Waziristan, sources said. But local residents said most of those killed were local tribesmen and people were visiting their relatives to offer condolences.

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Mexico prison shooting: 17 dead in Ciudad Juarez clash

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

MEXICO CITY, (GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 — At least 17 people were killed in a shootout with police in a prison in the northern Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, local authorities said on Tuesday. Inmates exchanged fire with police after grabbing weapons from security forces during a failed breakout attempt late Monday evening, Mexican press reported. City spokesman Manuel del Castillo told local press that after the shootout the police entered the prison and found that 17 people were dead, including one woman. The shooting happened after a fight erupted between the two gangs “Aztecas” and “Mexicles”, which led to a riot and an attempt by a group of prisoners to escape from the prison. The spokesman said the incident began at 10 p.m. Monday (0300 GMT Tuesday) when around 20 prisoners from the “Mexicles” gang called on fellow prisoners to rebel and disarm the guards. The guards confronted the mutineers but after that a confrontation with firearms began. Members of the other gang ” Aztecas” was involved in the clash. Prison authorities asked for military and federal help to bring events under control. After several hours of rioting local and federal police, supported by military forces, regained control over the prison. There has been a number of escape attempts by prisoners in Mexico in recent months, including an incident on July 15 in which seven prisoners died and another 62 managed to escape from a prison in Nuevo Laredo in the northern state of Tamaulipas. Five guards were reported to be implicated in the event.

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Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is ‘depressed and refusing food’

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

Egypt,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :- Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is depressed and is refusing to eat solid food as he awaits trial in hospital, where he is being treated for a heart condition, the state-run MENA news agency reported. Hospital officials in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, where Mubarak is being held in custody, say he is weak, losing weight and “not eating enough food to keep him alive,” the BBC reported, quoting MENA. Mubarak stepped down in February after weeks of sometimes violent turmoil in which more than 840 people died. He has been charged with corruption and killing protesters during the popular uprising that toppled his autocratic, US-backed regime and is due to stand trial in a week. said Mubarak’s critics say he is trying to avoid standing trial by feigning illness. “There does now seem to be growing evidence that he is an increasingly enfeebled old man,” it said, quoting Cairo correspondent Jon Leyne. Several former ministers, officials and businessmen associated with Mubarak’s regime are on trial, as the country’s transitional military rulers try to make good on their promises to swiftly atone for past wrongs. But there are mounting public concerns that justice is too slow and is too often taking place in military tribunals.

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South Korea hit by fatal landslides

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

S.Korea,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :-At least 17 people have been killed after two separate landslides hit South Korea, officials say.
They said rescue workers on Wednesday were helping those trapped and searching for missing people in the affected areas.
The first landslide crashed into a mountain resort in Chuncheon, killing five people and leaving two people missing, the officials said.
Eight of those killed in the early morning disaster were college students who had been doing volunteer work.
They were staying in a resort cabin in Chuncheon, about two hours northeast of Seoul, when the mud and debris engulfed them, Byun In-soo of the town’s fire station said.
About 500 rescuers searched for two students who were still missing after the landslide.
Separately, in southern Seoul, five people were killed in Wednesday’s second landslide, a police official in the Bangbae area said.
The dead had not yet been identified. One child was also missing.
Fast-moving muddy water filled the streets. Local broadcaster YTV showed the dramatic rescue of group of people who had scrambled onto the roofs of their partially submerged cars to escape the gushing water.Elsewhere, water filled some subway stations and spewed from sewers.About 800 houses flooded, according to a city disaster official who declined to be named because of office policy.
South Korea has been buffeted by strong rain this week: about 400mm of rain fell in Seoul in just 17 hours starting on Tuesday afternoon.More than 250mm fell on Chuncheon in the last two days.Weather officials say another 10 inches could fall till Friday in the north of the country.

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Kandahar mayor killed in suicide bomb attack: Afghan police

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

KANDAHAR,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 : Afghanistan — The mayor of Kandahar, a close ally of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was assassinated in a suicide attack Wednesday — the latest in a string of political murders in the key southern region. The killing came two weeks after Karzai’s powerful brother was shot dead in the city and is a further setback for US-led efforts to control the Taliban’s spiritual home as foreign troops start to withdraw. The suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden in his turban and killed mayor Ghulam Haidar Hameedi, who was talking to locals in the courtyard of Kandahar’s city hall, police chief Abdul Razeq. Those involved in the talks said Hameedi had been discussing a land dispute with residents after he ordered the destruction of illegally built homes and two children reportedly died during demolition work on Tuesday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying that a volunteer suicide attacker had come forward after the deaths of the children. Karzai condemned the killing of his ally, who had a rare reputation for resisting corruption in the volatile region. “The enemies of the people and country martyred a man this morning who spared no effort, day and night, to reconstruct the country and lost his life on this path,” said Karzai in a statement from his palace. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force praised Hameedi as a “strong leader and voice for a terror-free and progressive Afghanistan” and said it would work with local forces to bring those responsible to justice. The 65-year-old mayor leaves behind five daughters and two sons. Kandahar, home to Karzai’s family and scene of some of the war’s bloodiest fighting over the course of a decade, is a hotbed of tribal rivalries over local influence and money. Kandahar-based analyst Yunos Fakoor said the death of Hameedi, who had lived for years in the United States until he took his post in 2006, was another blow to the president’s support base in the south. “(He) was under direct support of the Karzai brothers. Kandahar-wise, it is again another big loss for President Karzai,” said Fakoor. Hameedi escaped an attack on his car in 2009, though his last two deputy mayors were both shot dead in 2010, and the Kandahar province police chief and its deputy governor have also been killed this year. The president’s half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, known as the “king of Kandahar” was shot dead in his home in the city by a close friend two weeks ago, in a killing also claimed by the insurgent group. Wali Karzai’s death was followed a few days later by the assassination of Jan Mohammad Khan, a senior adviser to Karzai and the former governor of the southern province of Uruzgan. The new US ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker, condemned the mayor’s death as “horrific”, but said the string of assassinations did not signal defeat for coalition efforts in Kandahar. Comparing the recent violence to political killings during his tenure as ambassador in Iraq, Crocker said assassinations could reflect the Taliban’s inability to mount more organised attacks. “Afghans are pretty tough people and it may well be that their reaction to all this is to get pretty pissed off if they perceive that it’s the Taliban trying to undo the progress that’s been made,” Crocker told reporters. With no obvious successor to Wali Karzai, who pinned together the area’s corrupt commercial, political and security networks, there are forecasts that recent security gains made by foreign troops could be reversed. The avowedly anti-Taliban Wali Karzai maintained an uneasy alliance with US forces and he allegedly informed for the CIA, but he was accused of being a corrupt authoritarian who controlled much the area’s militia and drug trade. In northeastern Kapisa province, three Afghan civilians were shot dead and three wounded when a French soldier opened fire on their vehicle after it failed to stop on request, the French military said, apologising for the deaths. The Afghan presidency condemned the incident that took place Tuesday night and urged NATO troops to take more care to avoid casualties of civilians — by far the greatest victims of the nearly 10-year war. The latest incidents come after the first phase of security transitions from foreign to local forces’ control. Seven parts of the country were ceremonially handed over to Afghan forces last week. Critics have said the process is premature because Afghan forces are not ready to hold off the Taliban, and they say it is motivated by a political timetable as coalition nations start to bring some of their troops home. All Western combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014.

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Syrian regime launches deadly Damascus raids on suspected protesters

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

Syrian,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :-Around 20 people have been killed as Syria’s security forces launched a series of raids against suspected anti-government protesters in and around the capital, Damascus. The renewed clampdown on Wednesday morning came just days before the start of Ramadan on Monday when protests are expected to intensify. Activists said locals tried to stop the troops advancing into Kanaker, a southern suburb of Damascus, by throwing stones and closing roads with burning tires. Electricity and telephone lines to the area were cut off, and several people were wounded. Two 10-year-olds were among those killed. Ten of the victims have been identified by members of local co-ordination committees helping to monitor pro-democracy protests. “Military security fired and went house-to-house arresting around 300 men between 15 and 40 years of age,” Ammar Quarabi, head of the National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria, told the Guardian. Arrests were also reported in other areas in the capital and surrounding areas including Zabadani, Barzeh, Midan, Harasta and Barzeh, suggesting that the regime is attempting to prevent an escalation of protests during Muslim holy month. The government continued with a flurry of reforms this week with Syria’s cabinet giving its backing to a draft law on general elections which “completes the package of laws translating the announced political reform programme”, the state media agency Sana reported. But reform pledges have failed to satisfy protesters, as activists said security forces were selectively killing protest leaders and activists who have become more adept at organising protests and relaying information on the rest to the world. The local co-ordination committees named Hady al-Jundi, Khalid al-Afnan and Diyaa al-Najjar who were shot dead in the central city of Homs last month as cases of targeted assassinations on the eve of a meeting of Syrian activists in Istanbul. The aim of the meeting on Wednesday is to develop co-ordination between the many disparate groups, activists said. Late on Tuesday, the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, became the first prominent figure from his country to call on President Bashar al-Assad to resign. In his first news conference for Arab media Peres, whose country remains officially at war with Syria, paid tribute to demonstrators, who he said “are fighting for peace and who want to live like human beings”. His comments are an important indicator of a change in the mood among Syria’s neighbours who have long disliked Assad but have seen him as key to stability in the region. Despite Damascus’s backing of Hezbollah and Hamas, both Islamist groups with militant wings, Israel has feared that without a strongman Syria would fall into civil strife, unleashing chaos on its border as well as those of Lebanon and Iraq. While Turkey continues to encourage reform, diplomats say Arab neighbours, who have remained silent, believe Assad will have to go. Syrians have criticised the silence of the international community in the face of over 1,500 people killed and thousands detained — the highest death toll in the Arab spring after Libya. But diplomats say they are keen not to be seen as interfering, playing into regime narratives of foreign conspiracy. There is no appetite for military intervention, leaving limited cards in foreign governments’ hands.

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UK recognizes Libyan rebels, expels Gaddafi envoys

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

UK,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :-Britain is expelling the Libyan chargé d’affaires and all eight remaining Libyan embassy staff in London after David Cameron and William Hague ruled that Libya’s national transitional council (NTC) was now the “sole governmental authority” in the country. The chargé was summoned to a meeting at the Foreign Office, where he was given three days to leave Britain. Other diplomats at the Libyan People’s Bureau, in Knightsbridge – which has been under heavy police guard since the launch of the military campaign in March – have been told to leave over the course of the summer. Hague announced the expulsions at a Foreign Office press conference on Wednesday as he invited the NTC to nominate an ambassador and other diplomats to take over the Libyan mission. The foreign secretary said: “The prime minister and I have decided that the United Kingdom recognises and will deal with the national transitional council as the sole governmental authority in Libya. “This decision reflects the national transitional council’s increasing legitimacy, competence and success in reaching out to Libyans across the country. “Through its actions, the national transitional council has shown its commitment to a more open and democratic Libya, something that it is working to achieve in an inclusive political process. This is in stark contrast to Gaddafi, whose brutality against the Libyan people has stripped him of all legitimacy.” Hague said Britain – which has temporarily closed its embassy in Tripoli – now runs its largest diplomatic mission in north Africa after Cairo in the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi. This will be designated as an embassy if the NTC requests an upgrade. The decision to recognise the NTC as sole governmental authority led to the unfreezing of £91m in UK assets belonging to the Arabian Gulf Oil Company, a Libyan oil firm under the NTC’s control. Foreign Office sources said the assets were unfrozen after the NTC gave assurances that the funds would be used to purchase fuel and not arms, which would be illegal under UN security council resolutions. Hague also announced at his press conference that: • The appearance on Libyan television of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, showed it had been a mistake by the Scottish justice minister to release him in 2009. • Britain only decided to recognise the NTC after it was certain that Libyan students in Britain, who are funded by their embassy, would continue to be supported. • No deadline has been set for the military campaign against the Gaddafi regime. British military chiefs have advised ministers they can continue with the bombing indefinitely. The decision to recognise an opposition group is a rare step for Britain, which declined to follow the example of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who recognised the NTC at the start of the conflict. Britain said at the time it could not recognise the NTC because it recognises states rather than governments. It decided to relax its position after the international Libya contact group decided at a recent meeting in Istanbul “to deal with the national transitional council … as the legitimate governing authority in Libya”. A Foreign Office source said Britain would continue to abide by the convention by which it recognises states rather than governments, saying: “These are exceptional circumstances. It was an anomaly that we had these people here still representing Gaddafi. “We dragged in the chargé d’affaires. He and his colleagues are now packing their bags.” Hague, who appeared to indicate earlier this week that Britain was more relaxed about Gaddafi’s personal future, made it clear that it would be better if he left Libya. The foreign secretary said, however, that Britain could not dictate the outcome of a political settlement to the Libyan people. “Let’s point out though, at the same time, that the view of the chairman of the NTC is that any successful political settlement does involve Gaddafi leaving Libya and that is what we continue to say is the best solution,” he said. “So don’t make any mistake about that, but we’re saying we can’t impose that or guarantee that.” Hague also said Britain was committed to ensuring that Gaddafi faces justice before the international criminal court. The foreign secretary denied that discussions about Gaddafi were part of a back channel communication with the regime, but did not deny that such a channel existed. The renewed diplomatic offensive comes as British aircraft stepped up the bombing against Gaddafi’s security and intelligence apparatus before the start of Ramadan on 1 August.

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Norwegian PM Forms Commission to Probe Attacks

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

EU,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :-Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said an independent commission will be set up to review events surrounding the bombing and shootings on July 22, which killed at least 76 people.Mr Stoltenberg said that the comission would analyse everything that happened.Questions have been raised on the speed of the police response to the second attack on Utoeya island.The Prime Minister added that Norway would not be intimidated by Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks, calling them a “national tragedy”.In a news conference he said that the violence would be met by more openess and democracy.Mr Stoltenberg said that Norway would review police reponse and security measures after a mourning period for the attacks.He said: “(Police) organisation and capacity will be part of an evaluation.”The Norwegian Prime Minister welcomed a debate on security adding that he believed the attacks on Friday July 22, would lead to an increased interest in political activity amongst Norway’s citizens.
“I believe the result of this will be more participation, more political activity,” he said.

“Our commitment to our core values will grow stronger.”

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Fai admits he took money from ISI

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

ALEXANDRIA,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 ::- In a federal courthouse, nearly two and a half hours after his case was scheduled to begin, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai was brought into Courtroom number 501, filled primarily with his supporters and journalists from the subcontinent.
As Fai’s wife and friends watched on, Gordon Kromberg, the prosecution lawyer, began by telling the court that Fai had admitted to receiving funds from the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency.
However, Fai’s lawyers, Nina Ginsberg and Khurram Wahid, painted a case of Fai maintaining independence from the ISI’s viewpoint. According to the defense, Fai had received funds over the years from the ISI but he had always raised the voice for the cause of Kashmiris, and in the events that he organized, he always took care to present a balanced point of view, by inviting both Indians and Pakistanis. He may have received bullet points from them on subjects, but on many occasions, said his lawyers, Fai’s stance on Kashmir differed from that of the Government of Pakistan.
The defense also called FBI Agent Sarah Linden to testify, who has been named in the affidavit prepared by the FBI against Fai. Agent Linden said that Fai had in the past denied having links to the ISI or his handlers. When asked about three handlers by the FBI, Agent Linden said that Fai denied knowing two of them, and in the third person’s case, Fai said he had last spoken to the person ten years ago. However, said the prosecution, Fai had admitted to receiving funds from the ISI after he was questioned following his arrest.
In an absurd twist to the case, Agent Linden also talked about a paper clipping that had been found in Fai’s luggage after he had returned from a visit by the airport authorities. The newspaper clip was about the Raymond Davis case, however, Fai had said that the flip side of the newspaper bore his photograph, which is why he had saved and carried the newspaper clipping with him.
After the arguments by both the prosecution and defense, the judge set a bond of $100,000 for Fai, which is to be signed by his wife as the co-guarantor. Amongst conditions set by the judge, Fai will be placed under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device, and will not be allowed to leave the Washington area. Fai’s wife has also been asked to surrender her passport to US authorities; Fai’s passport is already with the USG.
Fai has also been asked to not maintain any contact with any foreign government or witness.
Speaking to the media after the court proceedings, Fai’s lawyers handed out a statement prepared by Fai. According to the statement, “It has been my lifelong commitment to the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their religious background and cultural affiliations to help achieve the right of self-determination to decide their future. God willing, I will continue to do that in days, weeks, months and years to come.”
Fai was arrested earlier this month, and was working as the director of the Kashmiri American Council. He has been charged with not informing the US government that he was in the pay of the Pakistan government while lobbying for the Kashmir cause and donating funds to Congressmen. Fai’s lawyers said that they have waived the 30-day speed trial option, and will, over the next few months, be studying the documents associated with the case.

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Al Qaeda threat to Kerala shrines, Jaya?

Posted on 27 July 2011 by GGS News

GURUVAYOOR,(GGS NEWS) 27 July 2011 :-A letter posted from Chennai has warned of a bomb attack by the Al Qaida on two of Kerala’s most popular temples – the Guruvayoor and Sree Padmanabha Swamy shrines, police said. It claimed to be from the Al Qaeda and also mentioned that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalaalitha would be assassinated in the coming days. The letter was in English and was addressed to the Guruvayoor Circle Inspector here. As soon as the letter arrived, police officials rushed to the famed Sree Krishna Temple near here along with a bomb squad and made a detailed inspection in the temple compound and also in the temple town. The other shrine mentioned in the letter is the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which has lately been in the news worldwide after the discovery of rare jewellery, rubies and diamonds stored in a vault which had not been opened for 150 years. Ever since the news, the temple has been under heavy security with every devotee entering the temple being frisked. But after the letter threat, top police officials are leaving nothing to chance. Police say further investigations into the letter are on.

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