Pakistan Takes Drone Issue to UN
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to raise
the issue of US terror drone strikes during his upcoming
speech at the UN General Assembly, a report says.
will represent Pakistan in the 68th session of the UN
General Assembly scheduled from September 23 to September
Senior Foreign Ministry officials say the prime
minister will present Islamabad's viewpoint with regards to
the ongoing US drone strikes within Pakistani territory
while addressing the global platform, English-language
newspaper Dawn reported.
The developments come as a
recent US drone strike left at least seven people dead in
the country's troubled northwestern region. The unmanned
vehicle fired four missiles at two houses in North
Waziristan tribal area on Sunday.
Sharif has been a
vocal critic of US drone strikes since his party won the
general election in May.
He has frequently condemned the
US assassination drone strikes in his country, describing
them as a violation of international law and the UN
Washington claims to target militants in the
country but reports indicate that many of the drone strike
victims are civilians. US President Barack Obama recently
defended the use of controversial drones as “self-defense.”
A recent report by the British Bureau of Investigative
Journalism says over 3,500 people have been killed in
Pakistan by US drone attacks since 2004. Several prominent
politicians and critics argue that the civilian deaths cause
people to join militant groups.
Over the past several
years, Washington has been launching drone attacks on Muslim
countries, including Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, claiming
that militants are the targets. However, casualty figures
clearly indicate that civilians are the main victims.
The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and
children, has strained relations between Islamabad and
Washington. The strikes have also triggered massive protests
The United Nations says the US-operated
drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the
international rule of law.
Philip Alston, UN special
envoy on extrajudicial killings, said in a report in late
October 2010 that the attacks were undermining the rules
designed to protect the right of life.
Alston also said
he fears that the drone killings by the US Central
Intelligence Agency could develop a "play station"
**** Leaked internal data produced by
Pakistani officials documenting drone strikes on the ground
reveal a high civilian death toll, countering US claims that
the targeted assassination campaign results in “exceedingly
Death Toll From Nairobi Attack
Hits 59 , Somali Militants Claim Responsibility
NAIROBI, Kenya (Dispatches) - The death toll from an attack
by Somali militants on a Nairobi shopping mall has reached
59 and 175 injured as there are between 50 to 200 hostages
are still being held in the Westgate center.
Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said on Sunday, “We still
have hostages in the mall, and this makes the operation
delicate. We have 59 people who have been killed so far.”
Lenku also confirmed that at least 175 people were injured
in the attack that began at about 12:00 local time (09:00
GMT) on Saturday.
Lenku added that about 1,000 people
have been rescued, but there are still a number of hostages
held by attackers inside the Westgate mall.
“A number of
attackers are still in the building, and range between ten
to fifteen gunmen,” the Kenyan minister stated.
believe there are some innocent people in the building that
is why the operation is delicate.”
An operation is
underway by police and soldiers to bring an end to the
An al-Shabab spokesman said in a statement
issued on Saturday night that his group was behind the
Among the killings, three Britons have been
confirmed dead in an attack on a Nairobi shopping mall by
Somali Islamist militants and the British toll is likely to
rise, the Foreign Office in London said Sunday.
British nationals are confirmed dead. The next of kin of
those nationals have been informed," a ministry spokesman
said. "The number of British nationals confirmed as killed
is likely to rise as further information becomes available."
French, Canadian, Chinese, Indian, South Korean and Ghanaian
citizens are among those confirmed to have been killed in
the siege at the mall, which is popular with wealthy Kenyans
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier
pledged to “hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run
Kenya has stationed 4,000 troops in the south of
Somalia in support of Somali government against the
militants since 2011.
The Kenyan troops are part of the
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) that gets training
and equipment from the United States.
The United Nations
Security Council condemned the attacks and "expressed their
solidarity with the people and Government of Kenya" in a
***A woman who had been held hostage reacts in
shock on after she was freed following a security operation
at an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi.
Minister: Turkey May Never Become EU Member
(Dispatches) - Turkey’s chief negotiator with the European
Union censured the "prejudiced" attitudes of the EU’s
current members, saying his country will probably never
become a member of the bloc.
According to an article
published in London's Telegraph newspaper on Saturday,
Egemen Bagis, who is also Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister, said
Ankara is more likely to hold negotiations on special access
to the EU market, like Norway.
"In the long run, I think
Turkey will end up like Norway. We will be at European
standards, very closely aligned but not as a member," he
Bagis added that Turkey had suffered from
"prejudice" in both its treatment by the EU and its defeated
"They) the EU (should understand that they
are not hurting me by putting me on the back burner; they
are hurting themselves," Bagis stated.
He also urged the
EU to grow by putting prejudice away and accepting "young
dynamic nations like Ukraine and Turkey."
Turkey began EU
accession negotiations back in 2005. It has not much
progress largely because of French and German resistance and
Turkey's tensions with Cyprus.
Paris has always been a
strong opponent of Ankara's EU membership while Berlin
objected sharply to the degree of force used by the Turkish
security forces to break up anti-government protests in the
city of Istanbul in June.
The two countries are also
afraid that Turkey's cultural differences and its size will
make it too hard to integrate.
In July, Germany’s Finance
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble openly expressed Berlin's
opposition to Turkey’s bid to join the EU, saying the
country was not part of Europe.
Economy Min. Threatens To Resign
ROME (Press TV) -
Italian Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni has threatened
to step down if Prime Minister Enrico Letta's government
refuses to consider the EU deficit limit in favor of tax
cuts as Milan continues to grapple with economic slump.
Referring to senior members of the fragile coalition
government which consists of Letta's Democratic Party (PD)
and former premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) who
vowed to go ahead with tax cuts, Saccomanni also said on
Sunday, "I must defend my credibility, and I have no
The minister also called for
political stability needed for the management of public
accounts in the debt-ridden country.
Italy started to
experience recession after its economy contracted by 0.2
percent in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.7 percent in
the fourth quarter of the same year.
Over the past
decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the
eurozone as tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and
pension changes have stirred serious concerns for many
people already grappling with the European country’s ailing
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Berlusconi
threatened to bring down the government if the Italian
senate dismissed a recommendation by a senator of his People
of Freedom party (PDL) that the former premier should be
able to keep his parliament seat despite his tax fraud
In August, Rome’s Court of Cassation
convicted Berlusconi of tax evasion in a final ruling and
sentenced him to carry out one year of community service or
be put under house arrest.
However, the senate went
against his demand. Berlusconi then vowed to remain in
politics even if he would be expelled from parliament.
Swiss Region Set to Ban Full-Face Veil
GENEVA (AFP) — Switzerland's Italian-speaking region was on
course Sunday to ban the wearing of a full-face veil,
projected results from a referendum showed.
Italian-language broadcaster RSI said a partial count of
votes in the canton of Ticino showed that 65 percent of the
electorate backed the measure to ban the covering of faces
in public areas by any group, including Muslims.
dubbed the "anti-burka" initiative, the measure does not
single out Muslims directly.
But it was the brainchild of
activists known for their criticism of Islamists, and has
been slammed by Switzerland's Muslim community and Amnesty
Referenda are the bedrock of Switzerland's
system of direct democracy, with citizen-campaigners able to
force votes if they collect enough signatures from voters.
If the measure passes it will be the first time that any of
Switzerland's 26 cantons -- the equivalent of US states --
has imposed such a ban.
In 2009, Switzerland faced
criticism from Muslims and supporters of religious freedom
over a nationwide referendum which led to a ban on the
construction of new mosque minarets beyond the four already
built in the country.
JINAN, China (AFP) —
A Chinese court Sunday sentenced former leading politician
Bo Xilai to life in prison after a sensational corruption
trial that exposed intrigue and lavish lifestyles in the
higher levels of the ruling party.
Bo, a member of the
Communist Party's 25-strong elite politburo before his
dramatic downfall, was convicted of bribery, embezzlement
and abuse of power.
"The court sentences Bo Xilai to life
imprisonment for taking bribes, deprives him of his
political rights for life and confiscates all his property,"
the Jinan Intermediate People's Court said on its verified
page on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
state servant Bo "abused his power (and) caused heavy losses
to the interests of the country and the people", it said,
adding the circumstances of the case were "particularly
Bo was ousted from office last year after a
scandal which saw his wife convicted of the murder of
British businessman Neil Heywood.
The court sentenced Bo
to life after finding him guilty of taking 20.4 million yuan
($3.3 million) in bribes.
It also sentenced him to 15
years in prison for embezzlement and seven for abuse of
The life sentence was more severe than many
analysts had expected.
ROME (Dispatches) Former Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi has been accused by the ruling Democratic
Party (PD) of making an attempt to dictate policy via
ultimatums and push the country's coalition government to
The secretary of Premier Enrico Letta's
center-left party said on Friday that it was unacceptable
for Berlusconi to impose his policies by threatening to sink
"It's clear the Berlusconi no longer
wants a peace-making government, he wants the program of
policies of the centre right," Guglielmo Epifani stated.
The remarks came as Berlusconi’s center-right People of
Freedom (PdL) party has threatened to pull its support if
their policies were not approved.
“The fall of the
government does not seem to me to be a good thing for the
center-right...But the risk is that we are in for continual
trials and turmoil, with threats and blackmail alternating
with moderation,” Epifani warned.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AFP) – A brand new commercial
cargo ship making its orbital debut experienced trouble with
a computer data link Sunday, and its arrival at the
International Space Station was delayed at least two days.
The rendezvous was aborted less than six hours before the
scheduled arrival of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Cygnus
capsule, packed with 1,300 pounds of food and clothes for
the space station crew.
The Virginia-based company said
it is working on a software repair, but it will be at least
two more days until another approach is attempted.
Orbital Sciences said the two orbiting vessels established
direct contact early Sunday, four days after the Cygnus'
launch from Virginia. But the Cygnus rejected some of the
data, which interrupted the entire rendezvous. Until then,
everything had been going well.
RENO, Nevada (AFP) –
A World War II soldier's heartfelt letter to his daughter
has finally reached her, seven decades after it was written.
Peggy Eddington-Smith received the letter penned by her
father, Pfc. John Eddington, as well as his Bronze Star and
Purple Heart medals, during an emotional ceremony Saturday
in Dayton, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Reno.
father she never met wrote the three-page letter shortly
after she was born and shortly before he died in Italy in
June 1944. He sent it while stationed in Texas, just before
he was sent overseas.
Getting his medals was nice, but
the letter meant more because it made her feel closer to her
father, Eddington-Smith said. of men don't put that kind
of emotion in writing. I'm just overwhelmed by everything,
trying to absorb everything."
Hezbollah Missile Power 8th in World
OCCUPIED PALESTINE (FNA) - As Zionist think tanks are
still conducting research on Hezbollah's increasing missile
power, some Israeli army generals say the Lebanese
resistance movement enjoys the eighth missile power in the
The recent statements of the Zionist regime's
generals reflected their concern over Hezbollah increasing
missile power which was estimated by the Northern Corps
Commander, Major General Noam Tayfoon, to be the eighth in
the world, Al-Manar reported.
Tayfoon relied in his
estimates on the rockets and the missile launchers as well
as mortar cannons that Hezbollah possesses.
intends to paralyze the entity in the coming war," he said,
"The Zionist entity cannot tolerate such paralysis for days
Although he stressed that the Israeli army is
ready for any imminent war, Tayfoon considered that the
mission would be complicated, especially that most of the
Israeli soldiers have not experienced fighting in Lebanon.
"Hezbollah is a smart organization and has accessed advanced
technology, so it is a dangerous enemy," Northern Corps
For his part, the Head of the Division of
Technology and logistics in the Zionist regime's army, Major
General Coby Barack asserted that Hezbollah possesses
hi-tech devices which can hit the targets accurately, like
the power plant in Northern occupied Palestine, the military
complex in Tel-Aviv or Ben Gurion airport.
logistical military centers and the military naval bases
will be also targeted."
Zionist generals consider
the Lebanese resistance movement the world’s eighth missile
US Terror Drone Kills 7 in
ISLAMABAD (Press TV) - Seven people have
died and two others have been wounded in a US assassination
drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Province.
attack was carried out on Sunday, when a US drone fired four
missiles at two houses in Shawal area, about 55 kilometers
(35 miles) west of Miranshah Town.
Reports say the
latest drone strike is the 19th of its kind in Pakistan in
More than 110 people have lost their lives in such
strikes in the country so far this year.
government has repeatedly protested against the US drone
strikes, saying they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently blasted the
aerial assaults in his country, describing them as a
violation of the international law and the United Nations
Washington claims its drone strikes target
militants, although casualty figures show that Pakistani
civilians often fall victim to the attacks.
States often uses its assassination drones to hit targets in
Pakistan and some other countries including Yemen and
US President Barack Obama has defended the
use of the controversial drones as “self-defense.”
airstrikes, initiated under former US President George W.
Bush, have been escalated under the Obama administration.
The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes in
Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the international rule
US assassination drones (file photo)
US, UK Back Taliban Violence
KABUL (Press TV) - An Afghan MP says the Taliban forces
in the northeastern province of Badakhshan carry out their
operations with the support of British and American forces.
Abdul Latif Pedram, Leader of the National Congress Party of
Afghanistan, who is one of the nine representatives of the
Badakhshan Province, told a lower house of parliament’s
session on Saturday that “the Taliban have unleashed the
recent [wave of] violence and conflict in Badakhshan
Province, especially in Warduj district with the support of
the US and Britain”, Afghan Voice Agency reported.
Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed on Friday that at least
31 Afghan police officers were killed and injured last week
when they were trapped by the Taliban forces in Warduj
"The acting interior minister is deeply
saddened about the killing of 18 policemen and wounding of
13 others in a terrorist attack in Warduj district of
Badakhshan," a statement from the interior ministry said on
"A group of Afghan police forces on their return
from a clean-up operation on the outskirts of Warduj
district faced an enemy ambush and it resulted in the
killing of brave Afghan policemen," it added.
incident led the Ministry to order a special commission to
investigate the attack.
Warduj has been one of the
volatile districts in Badakhshan and has been a hub of
violence after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Taliban insurgents killed 17 Afghan soldiers in the district
in March after taking them hostage while they were guarding
Last year, the Taliban took 15 police officers
hostage in the area who were freed thanks to mediation by
Vote Count Gets Under Way
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Officials
were counting votes on Sunday after Iraqi Kurdistan's first
election in four years, with opposition groups hoping to end
the decades-old dominance of the two main former rebel
The vote itself went off largely without
incident on Saturday, with turnout pegged at 73.9 percent.
But sporadic violence hit the main opposition grouping in
the run-up to the elections, and one man was reported killed
in a shooting after polls closed. The United Nations praised
the "smooth conduct" of the vote, with preliminary results
due in the coming days. The election for the semi-autonomous
region's parliament came as two and a half years of turmoil
around the Middle East raised renewed questions about the
political future of the Kurds, who are spread across a
number of neighboring states. Supporters of Iraqi
Kurdistan's biggest bloc, the Kurdistan Democratic Party
(KDP) of regional president Massud Barzani, took to the
streets of regional capital Arbil after polls closed,
honking car horns, waving KDP flags and firing off
celebratory gunfire. Similar scenes were reported elsewhere
in the three-province semi-autonomous region, with
supporters of various parties in a festive mood. About 2.8
million Kurds were eligible to vote. The campaign centered
on calls for more to be done to fight corruption and improve
the delivery of basic services, as well as on how the
energy-rich region's oil revenues should be spent. The
elections, the first since July 2009, saw three main parties
jostling for position in the 111-seat Kurdish parliament,
with implications beyond Iraq. The KDP is widely expected to
win the largest number of seats, although it is unlikely to
obtain a majority on its own. But the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK), which for decades has held a duopoly on
power alongside the KDP, faces a challenge from the Goran
movement in its Sulaimaniyah province stronghold. The
challenge has been heightened by leadership questions as the
party's veteran chief, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani,
recuperates in Germany from a stroke. After polls closed in
Arbil, one man -- apparently a PUK supporter -- was reported
killed in a shooting; although election officials insisted
the death was unconnected to the vote. Internationally, the
focus is likely to be on the region's drive for greater
economic independence from the federal government, with
which it is locked in multiple disputes over oil revenues
and territory. Arbil has sought to establish a pipeline that
would give it access to international energy markets, sent
crude across the border to neighboring Turkey, and signed
deals with foreign energy firms. It has also capitalized on
its reputation for greater safety and stability, as well as
a faster-growing economy than the rest of Iraq, to solicit
investment independent of the federal government. All this
has angered Baghdad, and the two sides are also locked in a
protracted dispute over the Kurds' long-standing demands for
the incorporation of other traditionally Kurdish-majority
areas into their semi-autonomous region. The region has also
become increasingly embroiled in the conflict in Syria.
Clashes last month between Kurdish forces and jihadists
seeking to secure a land corridor connecting them to Iraq
pushed tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds across the border,
seeking refuge in Iraq's Kurdish region. Barzani has
threatened to intervene in the Syrian conflict to protect
Kurdish civilians. Iraqi Kurdistan enjoys a high level of
autonomy from Baghdad, and the regional parliament has
passed laws on a wide range of issues.
counting votes after Iraqi Kurdistan's first election in
Blast Kills 56
ISLAMABAD (Dispatches) - A blast at a
Christian church in Northwest Pakistan killed at least 56
people and wounded more than 120, authorities said Sunday.
The attack took place at Cathedral Church, in the
violence-plagued city of Peshawar.
Witnesses told CNN
affiliate Geo News that at least one bomber blew himself up
in a crowded bazaar near the church entrance as crowds of
worshipers were leaving a Sunday morning service.
the victims were children, the witnesses said.
outside of the church was peppered with debris, and crowds
of men and rescue officials were covered with blood.
Peshawar's commissioner Sahibzada Anees told reporters the
bombers struck when the service had just ended.
the wounded are in critical condition," Anees said, adding
special security had been in force to protect the church.
"We are in an area which is a target of terrorism and within
that area there was a special security arrangement for the
church. We are in a rescue phase and once it is over we will
investigate what went wrong," he added.
Nazir Khan, 50, said the service had just ended and at least
400 worshippers were greeting each other when there was a
"A huge blast threw me on the floor and
as soon as I regained my senses, a second blast took place
and I saw wounded people everywhere," Khan told AFP.
Television footage showed ambulances rushing the wounded to
Grieved relatives gathered outside the church
and shouted slogans against police over the security lapse.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the
"Terrorists have no religion and targeting
innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all
religions," he said in a statement.
Sharif said such
"cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane
mindset of the terrorists".
He expressed his solidarity
with the Christian community and deep sympathies with
bereaved family members.
Only two percent of Pakistan's
population of 180 million are Christian.
US Pressuring Russia Into Passing
Resolution on Syria
MOSCOW (Dispatches) - The US is
pushing Russia into approving a UN resolution that would
allow for military intervention in Syria, in exchange for
American support of Syria’s accession to OPCW, Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not
support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw
our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete
departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John
Kerry',” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel
1's Sunday Time program.
Chapter 7 of the UN charter
would allow for potential military intervention in Syria.
The head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry went on to say he was
surprised by the West’s “negligent” approach to the
“Our partners are blinded by an ideological
mission for regime change,” said Lavrov. “They cannot admit
they have made another mistake.”
Slamming the West’s
intervention in Libya and Iraq, the foreign minister stated
that military intervention could only lead to a catastrophe
in the region. Moreover, he stressed that if the West really
was interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict that
has raged for over two years, they would now be pushing for
Syria’s entry into the OPCW in the first place, not for the
ouster of President Bashar Assad.
“I am convinced that
the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the
shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized
approach,” said Lavrov.
Lavrov harked back to last
year’s Geneva accord which was agreed upon by the
international community, including Russia and the US.
However, when the resolution went to the Security Council
the US demanded that Chapter 7 be included.
repeating itself. Once again in Geneva an agreement has been
reached which does not contain any mention of Chapter 7. But
the Security Council wants to redo the document in its own
way to include it.”
He called on the West to observe
international law and stop writing resolutions motivated by
their “geopolitical ambitions.”
Sergey Lavrov has also
insisted that opposition forces take part in the
decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.
“The solutions currently being worked out at the OPCW
suggest that all stocks of Syrian chemical weapons must be
brought under control and ultimately destroyed.”
Strike on Russian Embassy
Two people were slightly
injured when a mortar shell struck the Russian embassy in
Damascus, a Russian embassy source said Sunday.
shell exploded on the embassy’s territory," a source said
adding that the attack was "apparently an accident".
source said two people were hurt by stones at the blast
scene. Another source told RIA Novosti the shell had left a
1-meter diameter hole. The victims are receiving medical
assistance. The embassy continues to operate as normal.
Earlier this month, Russia’s embassy in Damascus was also
hit by a mortar shell. No casualties were reported. Russia’s
Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as a "barbaric act".
In early June, five shells hit the Al-Adwi district of
Damascus, where the Russian Embassy is located, killing a
civilian and injuring a Syrian security officer. No embassy
staff was hurt in the attack.
Minister Sergey Lavrov
Zionist Regime to Explain Seizure of Palestinian Aid
BRUSSELS (Dispatches) - Senior European Union officials told
Israel to explain why its soldiers seized a truckload of
humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians, saying they
deplored the confiscation.
Israeli soldiers manhandled
European diplomats on Friday and seized tents and emergency
aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose
homes were demolished this week.
A reporter saw soldiers
throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers
and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French
diplomat out of the truck before driving it away.
representatives have already contacted the Israeli
authorities to demand an explanation and expressed their
concern at the incident," a statement issued by the
spokesmen for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and
Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said on
Relations between Israel and the EU have been
strained over the EU's decision, announced in July, to bar
financial assistance to Israeli organizations operating in
the occupied territories from next year.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced that move as meddling
in Israel's bilateral relations with the Palestinians.
Israel retaliated by blocking the EU from aiding tens of
thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israeli soldiers demolished their houses, stables and a
kindergarten at Khirbet Al-Makhul on Monday after Israel's
high court ruled that they did not have proper building
Israel's army said security forces had tried to
stop locals erecting tents in the area on Friday and locals
and "foreign activists" had responded by throwing stones.
The military said it was looking into allegations that
foreign diplomats had "abused their diplomatic privileges".
Palestinians have accused the Israeli authorities of
progressively taking their historical grazing lands in the
West Bank, territory seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle
East war that Palestinians want for a future state.
Israelis and Palestinians resumed direct talks last month
after a three-year hiatus. Palestinian officials have
expressed serious doubts about the prospects of a
4 Egyptian Soldiers
Wounded in Roadside Bomb
CAIRO (FNA) - Four Egyptian
soldiers were injured by an explosion in the Sinai
Peninsula, security officials said.
The soldiers were
traveling in an armored vehicle on the el-Arish - Rafah road
when a roadside bomb exploded on Saturday, Ma'an reported.
Two of the soldiers were critically wounded and were
transferred to a military hospital in el-Arish.
military forces raided several militant strongholds in the
Northern Sinai peninsula on Saturday.
At least 15
suspected militants were detained in the operation.
Four Egyptian soldiers were injured by an explosion in the
UK Army Seeking to
Stay in Afghanistan
KABUL (Press TV) - British army
commanders are pushing plans to keep the country’s military
presence in Afghanistan even after 2014, when foreign forces
are due to leave the war-ravaged country, media reports
Senior military sources said they have put
forward proposals that would see up to 200 British troops
stay at Camp Bastion in the southern province of Helmand to
work as advisers at the headquarters of Afghan army
corps, The Telegraph reported.
“This group would advise
at corps level and provide a link to mentors we might want
in Kabul in the Afghan ministry of defense,” a senior
There are currently about 8,000 British
troops in Afghanistan, with a planned reduction to 5,200 by
the end of 2013.
Foreign forces are scheduled to
withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand over
responsibility for the country’s security to the Afghan
Earlier in March, British Defense Minister
Philip Hammond also said London will extend its military
presence in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline.
US-led war in Afghanistan, which began in 2001, removed the
Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across
the Asian country, despite the presence of thousands of
British Royal Marine Commandos in the
town of Barikju, Northern Helmand, Afghanistan.
3 ISAF Troops Killed in Afghan Insider Attack
KABUL (FNA) - Three NATO-run ISAF troops were shot dead
in a so-called Afghan "insider attack".
An Afghan in a
security forces uniform turned his gun to foreign special
forces personnel on Saturday killing three soldiers and
wounding another, Afghan and western military officials
said, Al-Alam reported.
"Three International Security
Assistance Force service members died when an individual
wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform shot them
in Eastern Afghanistan today," ISAF said in a statement.
An Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
the three soldiers killed were special forces, though he
declined to comment on their nationality.
"We can confirm
that three ISAF service members were killed and one wounded
by an individual wearing an ANSF uniform in Gardez," said
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi.
The attacker was shot dead by Afghan soldiers immediately
after the attack, Azimi said.
US forces provide the bulk
of ISAF troops in the East of Afghanistan. The attack was
the seventh reported insider attack this year, and 12 ISAF
personnel have been killed.
The last reported insider
attack was on July 9, when an Afghan soldier at a military
base in Kandahar shot dead one soldier and wounded three
Last year saw a record number of such attacks.
Figures have dropped considerably this year, partly due to
increased security and partly due to a reduction in the
interaction between Afghan soldiers and their foreign
counterparts, western officials have said.
Syrian Terrorists Attack 2nd Christian Town
DAMASCUS (FNA) - Armed terrorists in Syria launched mortar
attacks on Christian-populated residential areas in Reef
(countryside of) Damascus in the Southern parts of the
Muslim country, a second attack in kind after they raided
the Christian town of Maaloula earlier this month.
armed rebels attacked the Christian-populated town of
Jermana in Reef Damascus with five mortar shells, and
injured several civilians.
Earlier today, the armed
terrorists launched mortar attacks on a Christian-populated
district and also the Russian embassy in the capital city of
The terrorists attacked the historical and
Christian-populated district of Bab Touma in Damascus with
mortar shells today, killing several civilians and wounding