Afpak / Iraq Sweep July 1, 2011 Afghanistan



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AFPAK / Iraq Sweep

July 1, 2011


Afghanistan

1 a) In Khash Rod district of western Nimroz province, thirteen Afghan civilians, including children, were killed and 33 wounded when a roadside bomb hit their passenger bus on June 30. SOURCE


1b) Intelligence police chief of Nimroz Province, Haji Mohammad Musa Rasuli, stated that a landmine hit the passenger bus. No one has claimed responsibility yet. Afghan Islamic Press via BBC TRANSLATIONS


2) Sherkhan Farnood and Khalilullah Ferozi two former executives of Kabul Bank were arrested in connection with a scandal. The scandal has led to hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid to Afghanistan being withheld this year. SOURCE.
3) Two Frenchmen kidnapped on December 30, 2009, were freed in exchange for a hefty ransom paid (millions of dollars) in Pakistan. The kidnappers were identified as loyalists of Qari Baryal, one of the main Taliban leaders in Kapisa province. SOURCE


Pakistan
1a) By warning Pakistan about a whole range of consequences, the United States has succeeded in convincing the military leadership to reconsider its decision of drastically reducing American intelligence and military footprint in the country. Diplomatic sources say, the two countries are set to resume their discussions on counter-terrorism cooperation under the rubric of Strategic Dialogue this week. The meeting will be held in Islamabad. DAWN via BBC TRANSLATIONS.
1b) The strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the United States is said to be postponed indefinitely. Talks are reported to be delayed after the US refused to go ahead with the process until ongoing differences between the two countries are resolved. SOURCE

2) On June 30, in Tehsil Lachi, Kohat District police have defused three suicide jackets, three remote control bombs, 61 hand grenades, nine mortars, 14 rockets, 94 dynamites, 24,586 crackers, 102 detonators, 50 detonating cards and 234 kg of high explosive materials that were seized by the 11 police stations. The NEWS via BBC TRANSLATIONS.


3) Three more security checkposts have been set up in Loy Shelman and Sheen Pokh areas along River Kabul's bank near the Pak-Afghan border. Daily Times via BBC TRANSLATIONS.
4) Minister for Interior A. Rehman Malik on Thursday [30 June] said that difference of opinion is ingredient of politics and misunderstanding if any with MQM would be removed. APP via BBC TRANSLATIONS
5) Frontier Corps spokesman Major Fazl said on Thursday [29 June] that 40 militants and one security man had been killed in clashes over the past three days. Security forces have cleared most of the conflict ravaged Baizai tehsil in Mohmand Agency after inflicting heavy casualties on militants. DAWN via BBC TRANSLATIONS.
6) At least twelve people including a woman have been killed while more than sixteen others sustained injuries in various incidents of firing incidents in Karachi. Geo TV via BBC TRANSLATIONS
7) Industrial area police Circle Islamabad on Thursday [30 June] arrested 80 suspects during search operation conducted in its area, said a police spokesman. APP via BBC TRANSLATIONS.
8) The issue of Sindh Governor’s resignation has become a mystery as spokesman for the President House has denied receiving it. On the other hand, Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khuhro has refused to receive the resignations of MQM provincial ministers. SOURCE
9) The Pakistani Taliban are trying to lure back Fazal Saeed, a senior militant commander who recently quit the group, because he controls strategic routes into Afghanistan and Pakistan and can block off militants’ escape paths. SOURCE
10) Two people were killed and 15 others injured in a blast at the busy Shuba Bazaar Chowk on the evening of June 30. Peshawar SSP (operations) Ijaz Ahmed said the blast occurred inside a jeep and two people were burnt to death. SOURCE
11) One person was killed in a landmine blast in the Yaro area of Dera Bugti on July 1. SOURCE


Iraq
1) At a press conference on June 30, Iraq's Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Mohammed al-Askari reported that four more members of the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) have fled Camp Ashraf and defected to the Iraqi forces. Press TV via BBC TRANSLATIONS.
2) Police security sources said that two cops and one Kurdish security member (Asayish) were killed by gunfire directed against them by armed men wearing military attire north of Mosul city SOURCE.
3) A security source announced today that the Oil Police force killed a suspect and wounded another for stealing crude oil from a pipeline for smuggling, north west of Mosul SOURCE.
4) Security sources said that a civilian was wounded today by a bomb blast in west Mosul SOURCE.
5) Officials say two police officers have been killed in an overnight ambush at a fake checkpoint in Wana, a town about 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Mosul SOURCE.
6) "Production from the Al-Ahdab oil field, operated by China National Petroleum Corp, started today (Friday) with 60,000 barrels per day, and that will increase to 120,000 barrels in six months," said Ahmed Abdul Redha, the official in charge of operations. SOURCE
Full Articles

Afghanistan

1a) Roadside bomb kills 13 Afghan civilians
SOURCE

KABUL | Fri Jul 1, 2011 2:22am EDT


(Reuters) - Thirteen Afghan civilians, including children, were killed and 33 wounded when their passenger bus was hit by a roadside bomb late on Thursday in western Afghanistan, police said on Friday.

The bomb in Khash Rod district of western Nimroz province had been planted by the Taliban, according to provincial police chief Abdul Jabar Purdeli.

Violence across Afghanistan in 2010 hit its worst levels since the Taliban were toppled by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001. It has flared again since the Taliban began their spring offensive at the start of May.

Military deaths hit record levels in 2010 -- and are following the same pattern this year -- but civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict.

May was the deadliest month for civilians in Afghanistan since the U.N. mission began compiling statistics four years ago.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Alistair Scrutton / Daniel Magnowski)


1b) Landmine strikes bus in Afghan west, killing 20 civilians

Text of report by private Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency

Herat, 30 June: Twenty civilians have been martyred in a mine blast. A landmine struck passenger bus No 303 in the Khashrud District of Nimroz Province today, killing 20 civilians and wounding another one.

The intelligence police chief of Nimroz Province, Haji Mohammad Musa Rasuli, told Afghan Islamic Press [AIP] that today, 30 June, at around 1950 hrs local time, passenger bus No 303 was on his way from Kandahar to Nimroz province when it hit a landmine in an area between the villages of Kotalak and Dehmazang in Khashrud District as a result of which all the 20 passengers in the bus, including children and women, were martyred.

He added that one person was wounded in the incident and was rushed to hospital for treatment.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the incident.

It is worth pointing out that, in the past, a large number of civilians have also lost their lives in similar incidents in western Afghanistan.



Source: Afghan Islamic Press news agency, Peshawar, in Pashto 1730 gmt 30 Jun 11

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2) Two Kabul Bank chiefs arrested over scandal SOURCE

Update on: 02 Jul 11 01:53 AM

Afghan authorities have arrested two former executives of Kabul Bank in connection with a scandal at the troubled country's biggest private lender.

Sherkhan Farnood and Khalilullah Ferozi, the bank's former chairman and chief executive, had initially been held under a loose form of house arrest in Kabul but had now been taken into detention.

"We detained them and transferred them to the detention centre of Kabul province," Afghanistan's deputy attorney general Rahmatullah Nazari told local television.

Wednesday's move followed the flight of Afghanistan's central bank governor Abdul Qadir Fitrat to the United States, Nazari added, without giving details.

Fitrat said he fled abroad this week in fear of his life but some Afghan officials have claimed the move was linked by a possible investigation into his role in the Kabul Bank case by the attorney general.

Farnood, an international poker player who founded the bank in 2004, and Ferozi lost their jobs last year over nearly a billion dollars of off-the-books loans to executives, many of them with links to President Hamid Karzai's government.

The scandal has led to hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid to Afghanistan being withheld this year.

This is because of the current lack of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance programme to Afghanistan -- effectively a rubber stamp for foreign aid donors.

The IMF wants Karzai's government to take steps to ensure a similar scandal does not happen again before agreeing a new programme. But its demands have caused serious tensions with Kabul.

3) 'Huge ransom paid' for French hostages SOURCE

Update on: 02 Jul 11 12:42 AM

New details have emerged of how two Western hostages in Afghanistan were freed in exchange for a hefty ransom paid in Pakistan and the release of two brothers from a mafia-style, Taliban-linked group.

French journalists Herve Ghesquiere and Stephane Taponier, whose 18-month ordeal made them the longest-held Western hostages in Afghanistan, were released in a painstakingly brokered deal, say experts and Taliban sources.

The French government denied paying any ransom, but Western experts say cash for hostages is routine policy in Europe and interpret the public remarks merely as an attempt to discourage future hostage taking.

The Taliban announced from their fiefdom in southern Afghanistan that there was a prisoner swap for reporter Ghesquiere and cameraman Taponier, but sources close to the case say it was only ever about the money.

"A ransom was paid -- an enormous amount -- millions of dollars. The money was handed over in Pakistan," a Taliban member close to central command told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The kidnappers were identified as loyalists of Qari Baryal, one of the main Taliban leaders in Kapisa province where the Frenchmen were kidnapped on December 30, 2009, and also seen as close to criminals.

"The Qari Baryal group is very organised and has a good reputation among the Taliban, but sometimes they go against their ideals, such as taking hostages for ransom," the Taliban member said.

Afghanistan's former deputy interior minister General Abdul Hadi Khalid said criminal groups gravitated around Baryal.

A Western expert went further, describing the network as "pure mafia" when talking to AFP on condition of anonymity.

"If you take into account the profile of these 'Taliban', it clearly wasn't a political release and it is highly likely that the ransom was several millions of dollars," the expert said.

Ghesquiere himself told the BBC that he believed that a deal involving money and prisoners secured his release.

In Paris, an official who dealt with the crisis sought to play down talk of a multi-million dollar ransom, but said "apparently hundreds of thousands of euros rather than millions" had exchanged hands.

According to several Taliban sources contacted by AFP, at least two commanders in the Qari Baryal group, identified as brothers Noor Ullah and Abdullah Haq, were released.

One of these sources said 15 other Taliban fighters from different areas were also released in exchange for the two journalists.

Islamist insurgents never publicly admit to taking cash for hostages, which could alienate their sympathisers and harm their propaganda campaign.

But a number of Western hostage takings have ended with wads of cash being handed over, say foreign and Afghan officials.

One source close to the Taliban told AFP that the money was handed over in the infamous Karkhano smugglers market on the edge of Peshawar, Pakistan's northwestern city and gateway to the tribal belt on the Afghan border.

The tribal belt, which lies outside direct government control, is awash with Taliban strongholds and groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda.

The guarantor received the money about 10 days before handing it over to the kidnappers when the hostages and their Afghan colleague were released, according to another source very close to the Taliban.

"Qari Baryal always had the upper hand in negotiations," said the Taliban source.

Everyone interviewed by AFP said that the central Taliban command of supreme leader Mullah Omar -- called the Quetta shura after the southwestern Pakistani city where they are believed to be based -- tried to take over, but in vain.

"Kapisa isn't his area of influence. At the end of the day, the Quetta shura didn't get its way," said the Western expert.

"It is the perfect illustration of centralised Taliban command being an illusion," the expert added.

So if everyone agrees that a sum of money was paid, why did Foreign Minister Alain Juppe insist that France does not pay ransoms?

"No country will ever admit to paying for hostages and especially how much they paid because if the figure gets out, it fixes the price for other hostages," said the Western expert.

"In Europe, practically everyone pays for hostages, but not the British, for example," said one of his colleagues.




Pakistan

1a)

Pakistan paper says military "reconsidering" decision to reduce US "footprint"

Text of report by Baqir Sajjad Syed headlined "US warning of consequences: Military forced to reconsider steps" published by Pakistani newspaper Dawn website on 1 July

Islamabad: By warning Pakistan about a whole range of consequences, the United States has succeeded in convincing the military leadership to reconsider its decision of drastically reducing American intelligence and military footprint in the country.

In an indication of lessening tensions, diplomatic sources say, the two countries are set to resume their discussions on counter-terrorism cooperation under the rubric of Strategic Dialogue this week. The meeting will be held in Islamabad.

Visas for close to 70 CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] operatives have already been issued, while several other cases are in the pipeline. Besides, the military command is seriously reconsidering its decision of sending back military trainers in reaction to the 2 May US raid on Abbottabad that killed Usamah Bin-Ladin.

Besides, some steps are also being taken to tamp down rhetoric. If something else doesn't go wrong in coming days, official statements from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Washington would not be having the same bite that had become their hallmark over the past several weeks.

"We have instituted a new system by streamlining the procedures for grant of visas for CIA and US military personnel, which places a lot of emphasis on documentation and disclosure of exact nature of activities," a senior government official told Dawn on Thursday [30 June] about the resumption of the process of issuing visas for the American spy agency.

The change of heart in Islamabad comes after the US had completed withdrawal of intelligence and military personnel on Pakistan military command's request.

The official said: "We could not have afforded a complete breakdown in ties."

The disclosure about a rethink coincided with the announcement of the Obama administration's new counter-terrorism strategy that underscores the need for remaining engaged with Pakistan terming its cooperation as 'essential' in continued counter-terrorism operations.

The relations that had been deteriorating since the start of the year because of the CIA operative Raymond Davis episode worsened with subsequent drone attacks and touched the lowest ebb with the Abbottabad raid. But reduction in the numbers of military and intelligence personnel turned the troubled relationship toxic.

The Pakistani authorities had withheld 'no-objection certification' for 229 US visa requests at the peak of the crisis in ties, documents seen by Dawn show. These included visa extension cases, visas for incoming replacements and short-term assignments and one exit visa.

Publicly there was a flurry of visits by senior US functionaries from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, CIA Chief Leon Panetta, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry to Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides and Deputy Special AfPak Envoy Frank Ruggiero for defusing the tension.

But, significantly and something that isn't public yet, these visits were followed by Washington's behind-the-scenes strong-arm tactics.

Excerpts of one such letter from the US Office of Defence Representative in Pakistan (ODRP), which represents the Pentagon in the country, shared with Dawn detail the steps the Pentagon could take if the decision of cutting the footprint was not reversed. The letter gave a precise timeline for various consequences Pakistan could face, including stopping the overhauling of MI-17 helicopter fleet, halting of supply of equipment like night-vision goggles and spares for Cobra helicopters, substantial delays in disbursements of Coalition Support Fund and ceasing sharing of intelligence information " just to name a few.

The position taken by the ODRP was that the unavailability of human resources would prevent continuation of all the programmes supporting Pakistan military.

A Pakistani officer, commenting on the letter, admitted that the US used pressure tactics to get its men back in Pakistan, but at the same time said the other option was that of being deprived of equipment and benefits.

"We need their technical support for which we depend on their expertise," he added.

Source: Dawn website, Karachi, in English 01 Jul 11

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© Copyright British Broadcasting Corporation 2011


1b) Pak, US strategic dialogue postponed ‘indefinitely’ SOURCE
By Kamran Yousaf
Published: July 1, 2011

‘Trust-deficit is widening as US prepares for the Afghanistan endgame’.



ISLAMABAD: 
The strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the United States is said to be postponed indefinitely, in the latest sign of worsening ties between the key war-on-terror allies.
 
Talks are reported to be delayed after the US refused to go ahead with the process until ongoing differences between the two countries are resolved, official sources told The Express Tribune.
 
Tensions between Islamabad and Washington have been rising since May 2 when a US midnight raid in Abbottabad killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
 
During her trip to Pakistan after the Osama raid, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton indicated that the two countries would soon resume the strategic dialogue, but so far the two sides have failed to fix dates for the talks due to differences on certain issues.
 
“There is no chance of strategic dialogue taking place any time soon,” said a security official familiar with the on-ground situation.
 
“The reason is obvious, there are more pressing issues that the two countries are trying to overcome at this stage,” said   the official, who requested not to be identified.
 
A Pakistani diplomat, posted in Washington, also confirmed that the US was showing little interest in resuming the strategic dialogue at this stage. “It is not possible in the present situation,” the diplomat added.
 
The US Embassy in Islamabad has no updates either on the status of the strategic dialogue.
 
The dialogue, which covers a wide-range of issues from Pakistan’s energy needs to health and education sector woes, was initiated by the Obama administration as part of its effort to ally fears that the US might repeat the mistake of the 1980s when it left Islamabad ‘high and dry’ after driving out  Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
 
It was also meant to remove the widely held perception that relations between the two countries were confined only to security matters.
 
The last round of the strategic dialogue was held in October 2010 in Washington. The dialogue was supposed to take place in March this year, but was delayed because of the controversy over the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor in January.
 
The two sides, however, agreed to resume the process in May after the contractor, Raymond Davis, was freed in a deal with the heirs of the victims.
 
But the talks could not go ahead as planned due to the Bin Laden raid and have now been delayed indefinitely.
 
The latest development is the clearest indication as yet that the relations between Pakistan and the US have hit a new low.
 
Official sources say the trust-deficit between the two countries is widening as the US prepares for the end game in Afghanistan.
 
On Wednesday, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar confirmed that Pakistan was pushing the US to abandon the Shamsi airbase, which the Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly been using for years to undertake its drone attacks inside the country’s tribal belt.
 
On its part, the US is learnt to have threatened to cut of military aid to Pakistan and even withheld the latest tranche of a $500 million payment which is part of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).
 
Officials insist that the US is exerting pressure after Pakistan’s security establishment launched a crackdown against the CIA network in the country as part of the cleansing process to reduce the CIA footprint but at the same time appears reluctant to go after the Haqqani network allegedly based in North Waziristan.
 
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011
2) Police says high explosive material defused in northwest Pakistan

Text of report headlined "Kohat police defuse explosives" published by Pakistani newspaper The News website on 1 July

Kohat: Police claimed to have defused a huge cache of explosive materials seized by the 11 police stations here on Thursday in Tehsil Lachi, District Kohat. Police have defused three suicide jackets, three remote control bombs, 61 hand grenades, nine mortars, 14 rockets, 94 dynamites, 24,586 crackers, 102 detonators, 50 detonating cards and 234 kg of high explosive materials that were seized from the possession of accused by the 11 police stations.



Source: The News website, Islamabad, in English 01 Jul 11

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3) More checkposts set up to "monitor" militants' entry near Pakistan-Afghan border



Text of report published by Pakistani newspaper Daily Times website on 1 July

Landikotal: Three more security checkposts have been set up in Loy Shelman and Sheen Pokh areas along River Kabul's bank near the Pak-Afghan border.

Sheen Pokh is a remote area of Landikotal bordering Afghanistan to the east and west and Mohmand Agency to the north, which is around 40 kilometers from Landikotal Bazaar in the north. It was usual with militants to come across the River Kabul into Sheen Pokh for carrying out subversive activities.

The step has also been taken to obstruct likely penetration of insurgents from across the border in Afghanistan into Pakistan via ghost porous routes, APA Landikotal Iqbal Khattak said while talking to local media men.

"Security forces and the political administration's Khasadar Force will have to jointly perform their duties at these newly setup checkposts in the far-off Sheen Pokh and Loy Shelman area in Landikotal," APA maintained.

"Landikotal administration and the security forces jointly set up these security checkposts along the Pak-Afghan border in the far-flung areas of Loy Shelman to ensure peace internally and externally," Khattak elaborated.

He said that steps for erecting security posts had been taken after noticing infiltration of militants into Upper Dir and Bajaur Agency from across the border.

"The cooperation extended by tribes in Shelman and Sheen Pokh areas towards the local administration is also worth appreciating," Khattak admitted. "Landikotal sub-division will again be made an abode of peace and tranquillity," he vowed, adding that the remaining few small pockets of the banned Lashker-i-Islam in the far-flung Zakhakhel area would be cleared shortly to establish writ of the government.

The administration officer said that development schemes would be launched in the whole of Landikotal sub-division of Khyber Agency to satisfy tribesmen that the government was resolute in bringing these backward areas at par with developed areas of the country.

"I am a servant of people. That's why it is my responsibility to serve them and resolve their long-standing problems," Khattak promised. He said that militants could no more disturb law and order situation in Landikotal subsequent to the newly established checkposts that are jointly patrolled by security forces and personnel of Khasadar Force. "There is a need to motivate tribesmen that they play their positive role for peace and development in their respective areas," APA Landikotal Iqbal Khattak concluded.



Source: Daily Times website, Lahore, in English 01 Jul 11

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4) Minister says misunderstanding with Pakistan's Sindh-based party to be removed



Text of report by official news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)

Islamabad, 30 June: Minister for Interior A. Rehman Malik on Thursday [30 June] said that difference of opinion is ingredient of politics and misunderstanding if any with MQM would be removed.

Talking to media men, he said "difference of opinion is ingredient of politics as well as democracy. MQM is a separate and independent party and every miscommunication between PPP and MQM would be tackled".

He said that he favors the efforts of MQM to approach to the people in other provinces and said that Altaf Hussain is a wise and seasoned politician and he always learned something from him. Over the issue of seat-adjustment with MQM in AJK elections, he said that political parties talk with each other on various issues and if something has created misunderstanding with MQM, it would be removed. Rehman Malik said the elections were postponed on various seats as the Chief Election Commissioner expressed some concerns over the security issue there. "I am in touch with my friends and issues will be settled soon," he added. He said that situation in Karachi is improving due to effective coordination among intelligence agencies. He urged the media to play its role to strengthen Pakistan and regretted over the attitude of those criticizing the institutions of the country.



Source: Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad, in English 1456gmt 30 Jun 11

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5)


Pakistan paramilitary official says Mohmand tribal area cleared of militants

Excerpt of report headlined "Mohmand area cleared of militants: official" published by Pakistani newspaper Dawn website on 1 July

Ghalanai, 30 June: Security forces have cleared most of the conflict ravaged Baizai tehsil in Mohmand Agency after inflicting heavy casualties on militants.

Frontier Corps spokesman Major Fazl said on Thursday [29 June] that 40 militants and one security man had been killed in clashes over the past three days.

Talking to reporters, he said an offensive had been launched against militants in Baizai and Safi tehsils along the Afghan border about three months ago and most of the areas had been cleared.

He said the mountainous area was now under the security personnel's control and they had strengthened their positions.

The spokesman said that troops had regained control of Wali Dad Top along the Afghan border. Militants had made incursion from the Afghan side on 20 June and overrun the Wali Dad post.

Meanwhile, residents of Alingar and Chamerkand decided to set up peace committees to strengthen security along the border and stop infiltration of militants.

The decision was taken at a jerga [council of tribal elders] attended by a large number of tribal elders and Assistant Political Agent Roushen Mehsud. The jerga promised to cooperate with the authorities.

[Passages omitted]

Source: Dawn website, Karachi, in English 01 Jul 11

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© Copyright British Broadcasting Corporation 2011

6)


Firing incidents kill 12 in Pakistan's Karachi - website

Text of report by leading private Pakistani satellite TV channel Geo News website on 1 July

Karachi: At least twelve people including a woman have been killed while more than sixteen others sustained injuries in various incidents of firing incidents in the metropolis.

According to the police, clash between two groups claimed four lives including woman and injured 12 others, triggering tensions in Godhra area of New Karachi. Injured people have been taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

Unidentified men gunned down two more men and injured one other near Sindhi Hotel in New Karachi.

Earlier, a government servant was also shot dead by unidentified men in Nazimabad. In Malir, a body of another man was found.

In another incident of firing, a man was killed in Shah Faisal while in separate incident another man was killed by armed men in Gulistan e Jauhar.



Source: Geo News TV website, Karachi, in English 01 Jul 11

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© Copyright British Broadcasting Corporation 2011

7)


Police arrest 80 suspects in Pakistan's Islamabad search operation

Text of report by official news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)

Islamabad, 30 June: Industrial area police Circle Islamabad on Thursday [30 June] arrested 80 suspects during search operation conducted in its area, a police spokesman said. Following the directions of Inspector General of Police Islamabad Bani Amin Khan, SP Industrial area Ishaq Warraich supervised the search operation in the area of I-9 police station and Sabzi Manid. SHO Industrial Area Sajjad Bukhari, SHO Sabzi Mandi Ghulam Muhammad Baqir and police team participated in it and nabbed 80 suspects. Fake CNICs were recovered from these 15 nabbed persons while it came to know about 20 persons that they had remained jail birds. Out of these nabbed persons, five were proclaimed offenders. IGP Islamabad Bani Amin Khan has appreciated the performance and directed all police officials to launch massive crackdown and search operation in their respective areas.



Source: Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad, in English 1449gmt 30 Jun 11

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© Copyright British Broadcasting Corporation 2011


8) Mystery surrounds resignation of Sindh Governor SOURCE


Updated at: 1711 PST,  Friday, July 01, 2011
 KARACHI: The issue of Sindh Governor’s resignation has become a mystery as spokesman for the President House has denied receiving it, Geo News reported.

On the other hand, Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khuhro has refused to receive the resignations of MQM provincial ministers, saying that he is acting Governor and that Sindh Governor is on leave. He said that Sindh Governor himself will receive and approve the resignations.

Meanwhile, MQM Rabitta Committee Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar told ‘Geo News’ that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has delivered his resignation to the President. He added that if the President House had not received it than why there were news of its approval.

According to the sources, Sindh Governor is in Dubai.


9) Pakistan Taliban try to woo back ex-comrade SOURCE


Published: July 1, 2011

BAGGAN: The Pakistani Taliban are trying to lure back a senior militant commander who recently quit the group because he controls strategic routes into Afghanistan and Pakistan and can block off militants’ escape paths, his supporters said on Friday.

Analysts say last week’s defection of Fazal Saeed, a Taliban leader in the Kurram region, is a serious blow to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), blamed for many suicide bombings across the country.

Saeed’s faction controls important roads used by both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban militants based in North Waziristan’s tribal region for attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Saeed has now formed a new group called the Tehrik-i-Taliban Islami (TTI), comprising some 500 militants and is said to have close ties to Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the most brutal faction of the Afghan Taliban.

TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud has sought help from Haqqani for a truce with Saeed, who quit the group to protest against what he called “brutal” attacks on civilians, militant sources said.

“A six-member delegation of Afghan commanders is meeting commander Saeed at the request of Hakimullah Mehsud to ask him to rejoin the group,” a militant source close to Saeed told a group of reporters.

“They have asked him to open roads he has blocked for militant movements, which are import routes linking Pakistani tribal regions to Afghanistan,” the militant source said.

Saeed said he intends to continue to attack US troops in Afghanistan.

A Reuters’s reporter was part of a group of journalists who were to meet Saeed at his invitation, but the meeting had to be postponed because of the Mehsud delegation’s visit.

A spokesman from the TTP was unavailable for comment.

Saeed has been at odds with Mehsud for several months over militant activities in his stronghold of lower Kurram but their ties deteriorated after one of Saeed’s commanders was killed about a month and a half ago, his supporters say.

The roads Saeed controls are vitally important for Mehsud’s men to reach other tribal regions, and to use as escape routes in case of a military operation in North Waziristan.

Kurram is one of seven tribal agencies, semi-autonomous ethnic Pashtun regions. Its roads are open to the Haqqani network, but not the TTP.

 

The United States has long demanded that Pakistan attack the North Waziristan region to eliminate the Haqqani network.



Pakistan has been reluctant to do so but it has come under increased pressure after al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Abboattabad by US special forces in May.

Pakistani forces have launched many offensives in the tribal areas against militants, but have failed to weaken their resolve as insurgents continue to attack the army in the northwest.

The Taliban have vowed to avenge Bin Laden’s death and have stepped up attacks, including a bombing that killed 80 army recruits, a brazen attack on PNS Mehran naval airbase and an assault on a US consular vehicles in Peshawar.

10) Two die in Peshawar jeep blast


SOURCE

PESHAWAR: Two people were killed and 15 others injured in a blast at the busy Shuba Bazaar Chowk on Thursday evening, police said.

Peshawar SSP (operations) Ijaz Ahmed said the blast occurred inside a jeep and two people were burnt to death.

He said the injured included those travelling in vehicles that passed by the area at the time of the blast.

He said that one Nasir Hussain, a trader, owned the jeep which was parked outside a hotel.

An official of the bomb disposal unit, Abdul Haq, said the blast occurred due to a fault in the gas cylinder. He said a petrol tank had also exploded.

“We have found some casings of cartridges and a pistol in the jeep,” the official said

11) One killed in landmine blast in Dera Bugti SOURCE


DERA MURAD JAMALI: One person was killed in a landmine blast in the Yaro area of Dera Bugti on Friday.

“Unidentified men had planted a landmine on the road in the Yaro area and it exploded when the foot of a passerby hit it,” police said.

As a result of explosion, the passerby sustained wounds.

He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, police said.



Iraq

1) Iranian opposition group members escape from camp in Iraq

Text of report by Iranian news channel Press TV website

Four more members of the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) have fled Camp Ashraf and defected to the Iraqi forces, a senior Iraqi official says.

Iraq's Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Mohammed al-Askari said in a news conference on Thursday [30 June] that the MKO defectors have escaped from the camp in Diyala province 60km north of Baghdad, a Press TV correspondent reported.

"The Iraqi government has announced in many occasions that the remaining the camp inside the country is not an option, and we will do our best to evacuate the camp in the near future," al-Askari added.

The defected MKO members said that since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the leaders of the terrorist organization have turned the camp into a prison and the residents of the camp are completely cut off from the outside world.

"The residents are not allowed to use the phones, internet and satellite receivers. We don't anything about the world we feel like are in a prison," said Zahra Baqeri, a defected MKO member.

They also said that the leaders of the camp have ordered the members to encounter the Iraqi forces if they tried to enter the camp.

In April the MKO members clashed with the Iraqi security forces. The MKO claimed that the Iraqi forces killed 34 of its members in the clashes. But Iraqi forces rejected the claim, saying they have been killed by the organization itself.

"The leaders of the camp changed their strategy in 2003. They started training residents the ways to counterattack the Iraqi forces without saying the reason but now we know why," said Mohammad Reza Gholi, another defected MKO member.

The former MKO members said many residents of Camp Ashraf, who are under immense pressure, want to escape but are afraid and unsure of the future. They said scores of MKO members have been killed by the organization recently.

"Everyone who wants quit the organization is getting killed," said Ghaffar Balafkandeh, who is another MKO defector.

"We have information from inside the camp that many residents do not want to stay, but remain there under coercion and threats from leaders of the group," said al-Askari.

The MKO has carried out many acts of terror against Iranians and cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq.

The group is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the International community.

Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has been blocking the expulsion by pressuring the Iraqi government.

Three months ago another four MKO members defected the camp and according to the Iraqi Defence Ministry the number of the defected MKO members has risen to 58 members.



Source: Press TV website, Tehran, in English 0102gmt 01 Jul 11

BBC Mon ME1 MEPol sh
2) 2 cops, 1 Kurdish security killed in Mosul SOURCE

7/1/2011 12:15 PM

NINEWA / Aswat al-Iraq: Two cops and one Kurdish security member (Asayish) were killed by gunfire directed against them by armed men wearing military attire north of Mosul city, police security sources said.
 
The source added that the armed men erected a phony checkpoint to inspect a number of vehicles.
 
They took the three under the pretext of investigation, to be found later shot in the head in a nearby area.
 
Mosul city, the center of Ninewa province, lies 405 km north of the capital, Baghdad.

RM (TP)/SR


3) Suspect killed, 1 wounded in crude oil theft SOURCE

7/1/2011 12:17 PM

NINEWA / Aswat al-Iraq: A security source announced today the Oil Police force killed a suspect and wounded another for stealing crude oil from a pipeline for smuggling, north west of Mosul.
 
The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the pipeline was extending from Ain Zala gto  Syria in Rabee'a area, 120 km north west Mosul, near the Iraqi-Syrian borders.
 
The wounded smuggler was detained for investigation.

Mosul, the center of Ninewa province, lies 405 km north of the capital, Baghdad


 
RM (TP)/SR
4) Civilian wounded by bomb blast SOURCE

7/1/2011 3:54 PM

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: A civilian was wounded today by a bomb blast west Mosul, security sources said.
 
The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the bomb was not directed against security forces.
 
Mosul, the center of Ninewa province, lies 405 km north of the capital, Baghdad.

RM (TP)/SR



5) Gunmen ambush, kill 2 Iraqi police officers

SOURCE Updated 07:45 a.m., Friday, July 1, 2011

BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials say two police officers have been killed in an overnight ambush at a fake checkpoint in a northern Iraqi town.

Iraqi police said on Friday that the two officers were heading home late Thursday when gunmen in military uniforms stopped their car in Wana, a town about 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city.

After checking their IDs, the gunmen killed the two officers execution-style.

A morgue official confirmed the deaths.

Attacks on Iraqi security forces have stepped up in recent months as the U.S. military is preparing to leave Iraq by the end of the year.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

6) Iraq's Al-Ahdab oil field begins production SOURCE
AFPBy Essam -al-Sudani | AFP – July 1, 2011

The Al-Ahdab oil field in central Iraq, operated by China National Petroleum Corp, began production Friday with 60,000 barrels per day, a senior official told AFP.

"Production from the Al-Ahdab oil field started today (Friday) with 60,000 barrels per day, and that will increase to 120,000 barrels in six months," said Ahmed Abdul Redha, the official in charge of operations.

Meanwhile, Mahdi Hussein Zubaidi, the governor of Wassit province where the field is located, said the oil revenue would create jobs and finance reconstruction.

"Oil production from this field is an important resource for reconstruction projects and will reduce unemployment," he said.

The contract with CNPC, signed in 2008, allows the Chinese company to develop the field for 23 years.



Output will mostly be exported, but some will be used to fuel power generation stations nearby to ease electricity shortages.

Under the agreement, CNPC will charge a service fee of $6 a barrel, decreasing it eventually to $3.


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