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Showing posts from March 27, 2013

French fight in Mali's hostile desert

They call it "planet Mars." French soldiers have been marching in the Tegharghar mountains of northern Mali for weeks. The valley of Terz has been bombarded by French Mirage planes over the last month; the hunt is now conducted on foot.
But the sound of jets is constantly echoing over our head and through the valley.
Nearly 2,000 French soldiers are deployed all over the rocky desert, with as many troops from Chad in support.
They are searching for jihadist fighters and their hide-outs in the mountains - part of the Adrar des Ifoghas near the Algerian border.

“Start Quote We broke al-Qaeda's neck” End QuoteGen Bernard Barrera The terrain is treacherous and unforgiving. The foreign legionnaires who we were embedded with looked exhausted; their noses and lips were sunburnt, they were caked in dust and hadn't showered in days. Each soldier carries more than 50kg (8 stone) and under their boots, the rocks are as jagged and as sharp as gla…

North Korea warns South president

North Korea has hit out at South Korean President Park Geun-hye, a day after she urged Pyongyang to change course and abandon its nuclear goals.

Warning her against "slandering", it told Ms Park to behave with discretion to avoid "horrible disaster".

Ms Park's comments came as she marked three years since the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship.

Overnight, meanwhile, South Korea briefly placed a border military unit on its highest alert.

The alert happened early on Wednesday after a South Korean soldier discovered a "strange object" at the border, military officials said. The alert prepares troops for a possible incursion from North Korea.

The soldier, who was at a military post in Hwacheon, in South Korea's north-eastern Gangwon province, threw a grenade at the object at around 02:30 local time (17:30 GMT), officials said. The alert was lifted at 09:20 local time.

'Lowest ebb'

Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula following multipl…

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

A soldier from the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) has been killed in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The soldier was serving in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province when he was injured in an attack by insurgents on Monday.

In a statement the MoD said he had been flown to hospital for treatment "where, sadly, he succumbed to his wounds".

His next of kin have been informed of his death.

Task Force Helmand spokesman Major Matt Allen said: "His death comes as a great loss to all serving in Task Force Helmand. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his family and friends at this difficult time."

The death takes to 441 the number of UK service personnel who have lost their lives since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

He is the third to die so far in 2013 and the first for more than two months.

The last to die was Kingsman David Shaw on 16 January.

British troop numbers were reduced from 9,500 to 9,000 before Christmas 2…

8 suicide bombers strike Afghan police station in country's east, killing 5 officers

KABUL - Eight suicide bombers struck a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least five officers, a security official said.

The attack in Jalalabad, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Kabul, came on the second day of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the Afghan capital.

First, an insurgent in an explosives-laden car detonated his vehicle in front of the Jalalabad Police Quick Reaction Force. Then, seven other attackers wearing vests rigged with explosives stormed the compound, police said.

Three attackers blew themselves up inside the complex while police shot the remaining four during a gunfight that lasted more than an hour.

Some of the attackers wore uniforms resembling those worn by the U.S.-led NATO coalition, said police chief Mohammad Sharif Amin in Nangarhar province, where Jalalabad is the capital.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

In other violence, a roadside bomb killed two police officers …

North Korea Orders Military to Combat Ready; Target U.S.

By Cheryl K. Chumley
March 25, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"Washington Times" - North Korea on Tuesday ordered its long-range artillery units to stand at combat ready, prepared to attack sites on mainland America, as well as Hawaii and Guam.

The order comes in response to U.S. bombers flying sorties perceived as threatening to North Korea, Reuters reports.

“From this moment, the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army will be putting into combat duty posture No. 1 all field artillery units, including long-range artillery units and strategic rocket units, that will target all enemy objects in U.S. invasionary bases on its mainland, Hawaii and Guam,” the North's state-run news agency said, as reported by Reuters.

This is just the latest military threat issued by the North’s “supreme command,” Reuters says. But it’s likely just more talk. South Korea reports no signs of actual military action on the part of the North. The South said it will continue to …

Dangerous crossroads: Threat of pre-emptive nuclear war directed against Iran

By Michel Chossudovsky
March 26, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"RT" -  For more than a decade, Iran has been doggedly accused without evidence of developing nuclear weapons. The Islamic Republic is relentlessly portrayed by Western media as a threat to the security of Israel and of the Western World.
In a bitter irony, the assessment of America's Intelligence Community concerning Iran's alleged nuclear weapons capabilities refutes the barrage of media disinformation as well as the bellicose statements emanating from the White House. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE): "judges with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” (2007 National Intelligence Estimate Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities; November 2007, See also Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)) "We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not kn…