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Showing posts from February 11, 2016

Al-Shabab 'planning Somalia attacks using AU uniforms'

African Union says armed group is hoping to stage attacks disguised as AMISOM troops, using uniforms it took from them.

The African Union (AU) says the al-Qaeda-linked armed group, al-Shabab, is planning attacks in Somalia using AU troop uniforms as disguises.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said the uniforms were stolen by al-Shabab fighters from military camps belonging to the 22,000-strong UN-mandated mission.

"AMISOM has information that due to panic [al-Shabab] have plans to masquerade as AMISOM and dress in AMISOM troop's uniforms," AMISOM said in a statement on its Twitter account.

"These uniforms were accessed from AMISOM camps in the past and disguised as such, AS [al-Shabab] are organising to carry out atrocities. Planned atrocities are in areas generally controlled by FGS & AMISOM in order to turn the people against AMISOM by depicting it as the enemy," AMISOM said.

Several AMISOM bases have been recently overrun by the al-Qaeda-linked g…

Japan to slap new sanctions on North Korea over rocket

Japan bans North Korean ships from its ports, as South Korea announces closure of joint industrial park on border.

Japan is to impose new sanctions on North Korea to protest against a rocket launch seen as a test of missile technology.

The sanctions will include expanded restrictions on travel between the two countries and a complete ban on visits by North Korean ships to Japanese ports, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced at a news conference on Wednesday.

"Despite our repeated requests to stop nuclear tests and missile development, (North Korea) pushed ahead with the launch. It has a direct impact on Japan and we need to show our strong determination," Suga said.

He said, however, that Japan will keep a door open for dialogue to resolve the still-outstanding issue of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea decades ago.

North Korea launched a long-range rocket into space on Sunday carrying what it said was an Earth observation satellite. The l…

Saudi invasion of Syria: The Bluff That Could Ignite World War III

By Finian Cunningham

The Saudi plan to send ground troops into Syria appears to be just a ruse. But this is precisely the kind of reckless saber-rattling that could ignite an all-out war, one that could embroil the United States and Russia.
Saudi rulers have reportedly amassed a 150,000-strong army to invade Syria on the alleged pretext “to fight against terrorism” and to defeat the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIS/ISIL). Saudi officials told CNN that in addition to Saudi troops there are ground forces from Egypt, Turkey, Sudan, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem gave a categorical response, saying the move would be seen as an act of aggression and that any invasion force regardless of its stated reasons for entering Syria will be sent back in “wooden coffins”.

Nevertheless, US President Barack Obama has welcomed the Saudi plan to intervene in Syria.

Obama’s Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is this week due to m…