New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 10:06 PM

Islamic World News ( 11 Jun 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Erdogan's AKP set to sweep Turkey elections

Pakistan tells CIA chief no US boots on the ground

Blasts kills 36 in Pakistan, as CIA chief visits

Two journalists among 36 killed in Peshawar blasts

Afghan Suicide bombings kill 21

Roadside Bomb kills 15 Afghan civilians; May deadliest month

Blasts kill 20 in Afghan towns

Fighting in Yemen kills 21 Qaeda

Fighting with militants in Yemen kills 40

25 killed in Syria as US, Turkey slam regime

10 killed in separate attacks in Iraq

21 al-Qaeda suspects, 10 troops killed

Al-Qaeda's E Africa chief killed in Mogadishu

Violence kills nine in Iraqi capital including five of Sunni family

Libya rebels battle into key oil port near Tripoli

Gaddafi offered way out Heritage site shelled

Fighting erupts in Zlitan, Turkey offers Gaddafi exit

Turkey offers Gaddafi way out amid deadly clashes

Egypt secularist forces want constitution first, elections later

Helicopters open fire to disperse Syrian protesters

Hillary warns Africa of 'new colonialism'

Karzai calls on Pakistan to eradicate militants

Syrian troops attack northwestern town

Hamas rejects Fayyad as next Palestinian PM

Thousands rally for reform in Bahrain

Bangladesh opposition calls new general strike

Sudan leaders to meet on border conflict

Saleh health ‘bad’ a week after blast             

Syria slammed as crackdown accounts mount

Kashmir shuts down to honour those dead in protests

US agents to counter Taliban in Afghan Army

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/erdogan-s-akp-set-to-sweep-turkey-elections/d/4817

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Erdogan's AKP set to sweep Turkey elections

Only question is whether prime minister will win enough votes to secure a mandate to rewrite the country's constitution

Constanze Letsch in Istanbul

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 12 June 2011 18.53 BST

Voters in Turkey look set to make Recep Tayyip Erdogan the most successful prime minister in the history of the country's multiparty system and after an election that could open the door for fundamental changes to the constitution.

Erdogan's centre-right Justice and Development party (AKP) has governed since a landslide victory in 2002, and all indicators are that it will win easily again after Sunday's vote. "The sole question is if the AKP will win with a margin sufficiently large enough to secure them a constitutional majority,” Gencer Ozcan, professor for international relations at Bilgi University, said.

Under Turkey's current constitution, a party must win at least 10% of the national vote to enter the country's 550-seat parliament. Only two of the 15 parties standing for election are expected to achieve that, with pollsters suggesting the main opposition Republican People's party (CHP) will have up to 30% of the votes.

The rightwing Nationalist Movement party (MHP) may be stopped from reaching the threshold after a sex tape scandal caused the resignation of 10 senior party members. Some 28 independent candidates, who are not bound by the 10% rule, are also expected to be elected.

The AKP has vowed to change the constitution, which has remained largely unaltered since it was implemented in 1982 in the aftermath of a military coup two years earlier.

If the MHP fails to get 10% of the vote, the AKP has a chance of securing a supermajority, which would allow Erdogan to rewrite the country's constitution without having to consult the rest of parliament.

"In one way or another, Erdogan wants to implement a presidential system," Ozcan said. "This is the main goal of a new constitution. This is the first time that the prime minister handpicked all AKP candidates, assuring absolute loyalty within his own party. In previous terms, there was a form of balance of power within the AKP, but this is now over."

Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian stance has raised concerns in Turkey and abroad, and government critics accuse him of wanting to "Putinise" the country in an effort to remain in charge beyond 2015, when he would under current rules be barred from serving as prime minister again. "He strongly dislikes any kind of checks and balances," Ozcan said.

Four years ago the debate centred on whether Erdogan wanted to turn Turkey into an Islamic state, with the military threatening to overthrow the government.

"The only reason that I give my vote to the CHP today is to push the AKP out of power," said Seyhan Namli, as he went to the polls in the Cihangir neighbourhood of Istanbul. "I am not afraid of an Islamisation of Turkey at all," she said. "But the AKP disregards the poor, the disenfranchised. They do politics only to fill their own pockets."

Even were it to win a constitutional majority in parliament, the AKP will face a rocky third term. Analysts predict an overheating economy, and Turkey's "zero-problem" foreign policy is being challenged by regional uprisings such as that in neighbouring Syria, long an ally of AKP-ruled Turkey. Journalist Oral Çalislar told the Guardian: "Prime Minister Erdogan has already indicated that after the elections, the honeymoon with Syria will be over. Turkey will take a much harder stance, and side with the EU to solve the Syrian problem." The handling of Turkey's large Kurdish minority will also be a key issue.

In a ballot station in the predominantly Kurdish area of Dolapdere, Süleyman Demir expressed his dissatisfaction with the AKP. "We don't expect anything from the government anymore", he said. "Erdogan has made his view on Kurdish rights only too clear over the past weeks." During the election campaign Erdogan adopted a harsher and more nationalistic tone which, critics say, has alienated many Kurds.

"There is no comparison anymore to the Erdogan of 2002 and 2005. He has turned his stance by 180 degrees," said 34-year-old Demir. He, like many other Kurds, voted for one of the independent candidates backed by the Kurdish BDP. "We don't want any canals, bridges or airports," he said in reference to Erdogan's regeneration schemes. "We don't need any 'crazy projects'. All we want is peace, and an end to the bloodshed in the south-east."

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/12/erdogan-set-to-win-turkey-election

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Pakistan tells CIA chief no US boots on the ground

June 12, 2011

CIA director Leon Panetta told Pakistan’s army and intelligence chiefs that he was concerned about a reduction of US troops allowed in the country, but was bluntly told no American boots would be allowed on the ground, Pakistani military officials.

Panetta, nominated to take over as defence secretary next month, arrived in Pakistan Friday in an unannounced visit, his first trip since a secret US raid that killed Osama bin Laden and severely damaged ties between the allies.

Pakistan’s army said Thursday it had drastically cut down on the number of US troops allowed in the country and set clear limits on intelligence sharing with the United States.

‘He (Panetta) expressed concerns over the reduction of trainers and operatives. We told him very clearly ‘no boots on our soil is acceptable’,’ said the Pakistani military official.

Panetta held talks with army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, head of military intelligence.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/22081.html

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Blasts kills 36 in Pakistan, as CIA chief visits

Jun 12, 2011

PESHAWAR: Two explosions went off minutes apart in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Sunday, killing 34 people and injuring nearly 100 in one of the deadliest attacks since the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden last month, officials said.

The blasts, one of which was caused by a suicide bomber, occurred just after midnight in an area of the city that is home to political offices and army housing.

The attack took place as CIA Director Leon Panetta and Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Islamabad, 95 miles (150 kilometers) to the east, to speak separately with senior Pakistani officials about intelligence sharing and efforts to reconcile with the Taliban.

The first explosion was relatively small and drew police and rescue workers to the site, said Dost Mohammed, a senior local police official. A large explosion rocked the area a few minutes later, causing the fatalities and injuring 98 people, 18 critically, said Rahim Jan, a senior doctor at a local hospital.

The second blast was caused by a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle packed with 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of explosives, said Ejaz Khan, a senior police official. The source of the first explosion was unknown.

No group claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban have pledged to carry out attacks in retaliation for the covert US Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden in an army town outside Islamabad on May 2.

Saturday's attack took place across the street from the offices of the top political agent to Khyber, part of Pakistan's volatile tribal region, and only about 100 yards from army housing units. Peshawar borders the tribal region and has been repeatedly hit by bombings over the past few years.

The dead included at least one journalist, said Mohammed Farooq, a hospital doctor. Another four journalists and at least 10 police were injured, he said. Many of the people killed were so badly burned they were difficult to identify.

Jamal Khan, a 22-year-old student, was in his apartment when the first blast went off. He rushed to the scene as the second explosion occurred, peppering his face and arms with flying debris.

"The explosion was so huge I will never forget it all my life," said Khan as he recovered in a hospital. "It was deafening, and then there was a cloud of dust and smoke. When the dust settled, I saw people crying for help and body parts scattered everywhere."

The attack followed a second day of meetings between Panetta, the CIA chief, and senior Pakistani officials. The talks were slated to focus on the size and scope of US intelligence activities in the wake of the raid that killed bin Laden, said a Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The bin Laden operation plunged an already strained relationship between the CIA and Pakistan's main intelligence agency, the ISI, to new lows and threatened cooperation that is key to the US fight against al-Qaida and Taliban militants battling foreign troops in Afghanistan.

The US also needs Pakistan's help to promote and guide negotiations with the Taliban that can help end the decade-long Afghan war. Pakistan and Afghanistan inaugurated a joint peace commission Saturday during a visit by Karzai, the Afghan president.

In an attempt to rebuild their relationship, Washington and Islamabad have agreed to form a joint intelligence team to track down militant targets inside Pakistan, drawing in part from the trove of records taken from bin Laden's personal office during the raid.

Panetta and Pakistani officials planned to discuss what US intelligence officers will be permitted to do, and how many will be allowed into the country as part of the team, said the Pakistani official.

But new suspicions have marred this attempt at renewed cooperation.

As an act of faith to restore relations with the Pakistanis, US intelligence shared the suspected location of explosive material held by the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network at two compounds in the Pakistani tribal areas, according to a Pakistani and a US official.

The US official said that after the intelligence was shared, the explosive material was moved. The Pakistani official told The Associated Press that they checked out the locations, but nothing was there, and that they intend to investigate to dispel US suspicions that the Pakistani intelligence service had tipped off the militants.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence operations.

Panetta's visit is his first to Pakistan since the bin Laden raid. His ties with Pakistan will be key in his new role as US defense secretary, presuming he is speedily confirmed by Congress.

The US wants the proposed joint intelligence team under discussion Saturday to pursue a list of five high-value targets it handed to the Pakistani leadership recently. The target list included al-Qaida's military operations chief in Pakistan, Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reportedly killed by a drone strike in the Pakistani tribal areas June 3.

Karzai pressed Pakistan for support in facilitating negotiations with Taliban militants with whom the Pakistani government has historical ties.

There is a significant level of distrust between the two countries, but Pakistan promised to help as Afghanistan sees fit.

"We both want stability in Afghanistan and in Pakistan," said Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in a news conference held with Karzai after the first meeting of the joint peace commission. "Our only aim is to support the peace process, which is Afghan-led."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Blasts-kills-34-in-Pakistan-as-CIA-chief-visits/articleshow/8819272.cms

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Two journalists among 36 killed in Peshawar blasts

Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:49 PM

PESHAWAR: Khyber Union of Journalists has strongly condemned the suicide attack in Peshawar that killed two journalists among 36 other people and injured over hundred including five media persons.

A minor blast took place at a local restaurant in the Khyber Super Market in the military cantonment area at 11.45 pm on the night between Saturday and Sunday. Hearing the bang, the people, media persons and police rushed to the spot, when a suicide bomber on a motorbike struck causing huge losses.

Located just next to the Army Flats, the area is dominated by newspaper offices. Office of The News, Geo television, Daily Times, Pakistan Today, Khyber News, Akhbar-e-Khyber, Kawish television network, Independent News Pakistan, Online news agency, NNI news agency, Frontier Star, Afra Tafreeh magazine and others. The journalists, who work in the nearby offices and reside there as well, rushed to the spot and two among them lost their lives, while five others injured.

The deceased included Asfandyar Khan, who worked with different media organizations and had recently joint Akhbar-e-Khyber, and Shafiullah, a young graduate, who had recently joint The News, International as a trainee reporter.

The injured were Safiullah Mehsud, bureau chief Dunya News, Barakatullah Marwat, sub-editor, The News International, Mohammad Tufail of The News, Hashim Ali of Khyber News and Sheheryar and Riaz of Akhbar-e-Khyber. The injured were, however, in stable condition after receiving first aid.

In a press statement President Khyber Union of Journalists Arshad Aziz Malik and Yousaf Ali strongly condemned the incident and urged the government to take steps for protection of the media people.

They said that this was the second incident in the past one month exactly at the same area where journalists were targeted. On May 10, they said, Nasrullah Afridi was attacked in his own car at the same location.

They informed that some of the newspaper and television offices had received threats of attack and the employees working there have been asking their management repeatedly to shift the offices from the area but to no avail.

Yousaf Ali, General Secretary, Khyber Union of Journalists

Well-known journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai wrote: In a way it was a close call as the blast happened near our office. I along with some colleagues was in the office when the explosion took place. Three of our staff members were downstairs and were injured. Barkatullah Marwat and Mohammad Tufail received minor injuries, but trainee Shafiullah who joined us a week ago was critically injured and is fighting for life. Pls join me and my colleagues in prayers for this young man who belonged to North Waziristan and was so keen to make a career in journalism.

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Afghan Suicide bombings kill 21

June 12, 2011

KABUL: A string of attacks across Afghanistan, including a suicide bomber pushing an ice cream cart, killed at least 21 people Saturday, officials said.

The worst attack Saturday took place in the Khakrez district of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, where a roadside bomb killed all 16 people, including eight children, traveling in a minibus, said provincial police chief Abdul Raziq.

Raziq said the bomb was planted by the Taleban and was intended for NATO or Afghan forces.

In the eastern province of Khost, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the local police headquarters in the Shai Kali area, killing three policemen and a child, according to provincial police chief Sadar Mohammad Zazai.

Among the four people killed in the blast was a local police chief, Mohammad Zahir Khan, Zazai said. It was not immediately clear whether Khan was specifically targeted.

Provincial health director Hedayatullah Hamidi said 25 also were wounded in the attack.

And in the central Afghanistan province of Ghazni, a suicide bomber pushing an ice cream cart exploded in the provincial capital, killing one child and wounding three others, according to provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain.

“The suicide attacker was a young boy with a thin beard and mustache wearing a scarf,” said an eyewitness who identified himself as Asadullah. “He was pushing an ice cream cart. I was just standing 20 meters from him and then he exploded.”

The violence came the same day the United Nations released an interim report on civilian deaths that shows that last month 368 people were killed in the conflict and 593 were wounded, making May the deadliest month for Afghan civilians since 2007.

The UN said insurgents are responsible for 82 percent of those civilian deaths, while 12 percent were attributed to the international alliance and Afghan forces. Homemade bombs, such as the roadside device that struck the minibus in Kandahar on Saturday, were the leading cause of death, according to the report.

NATO airstrikes, a frequent cause of tension between the Afghan government and the alliance, were responsible for three percent of civilian deaths in May.

The UN, which is preparing a midyear civilian casualty report for 2011, said it decided to release interim numbers because of the high rate of civilian killings in May.

Meanwhile, a bomb killed two policemen and wounded nine others who were investigating an earlier explosion late Friday at a satellite television network office in Mehterlam city in the eastern province of Laghman, said Faizelullah Patan, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The Taleban announced its spring offensive several weeks ago and has been stepping up its attacks around the country. The insurgency has focused on Afghan security forces in a bid to undermine training and recruitment efforts of the international coalition, which hopes to transition security to the nascent Afghan force in targeted areas.

Security along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan has been fraught, however, with Taleban fighters filtering in from Pakistan to stage spectacular attacks in the eastern part of the country.

A NATO service member died as a result of a noncombat related injury Friday in eastern Afghanistan, according to the international alliance. NATO did not release any other details about the death.

http://arabnews.com/world/article452330.ece

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Roadside Bomb kills 15 Afghan civilians; May deadliest month

June 12, 2011

KABUL: Fifteen Afghans, most of them children, were killed by a roadside bomb blast on Saturday, as a report from the United Nations said May was the deadliest month for civilians in the country since the UN mission began compiling statistics.

The Interior Ministry said eight children, four women and three men were killed when a bomb hit their vehicle in the Haji Lahore region of southern Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban and one of the most violent regions in Afghanistan.

Another six civilians were wounded when insurgents fired mortar rounds into a district in volatile eastern Kunar province, near the border with Pakistan, the ministry said.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) said it had documented 368 “conflict-related” civilian deaths in May this year and 593 civilian injuries.

“More civilians were killed in May than in any other month since 2007 when Unama began documenting civilian casualties,” said Georgette Gagnon, the Unama Director for Human Rights.

“We are very concerned that civilian suffering will increase even more over the summer fighting season which historically brings the highest numbers of civilian casualties. Parties to the conflict must increase their efforts to protect civilians now,” she said in a statement.

Violence across Afghanistan in 2010 hit its worst levels since the Taliban were toppled by US-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.

Civilian casualties are one of the most contentious issue between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers, even though figures by the United Nations show that insurgents are responsible for the overwhelming majority.

In its latest findings, the United Nations said “anti-government elements” were responsible for 301 of the civilian deaths in May, or 82 per cent. Forty-five civilians, or 12 per cent, were killed by “pro-government forces” in May, it said.

The remaining 22, or six per cent, could not be attributed to either side and were most likely the result of Afghan civilians being caught in the crossfire.

The figures roughly track previous statistics released by the United Nations.

UN figures showed that 2,777 Afghan civilians were killed in 2010, a 15 per cent rise on 2009. That report said insurgents were responsible for three-quarters of those killed.

Nato-led forces have significantly tightened the use of “night raids” and air strikes as they hunt insurgents. The 2010 UN report found there was a 52 per cent drop in civilian deaths from air strikes compared with 2009.

However Karzai and Nato commanders are fundamentally at odds over the use of air strikes and night raids.

The Afghan leader wants air strikes to end and night raids to be taken over by Afghans, but military commanders see them as their most effective weapons against insurgents who rarely take on Nato and Afghan forces on the open battlefield.

Karzai angrily warned Nato commanders last month that such tactics were “not allowed” any more.

His fiery but unspecified threat came after a spate of recent civilian casualty incidents, including the killing of at least nine civilians, most of them young children, in the south last month.

Underscoring the incident in Kandahar, the Unama report said “improvised explosive devices” — or IEDs — were responsible for 40 per cent of civilian deaths attributed to insurgents in May.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/11/bomb-kills-15-afghan-civilians-may-deadliest-month.html

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Blasts kill 20 in Afghan towns

June 12, 2011

A series of bombs and explosions killed 20 people in Afghanistan's southern and eastern flashpoints yesterday, among them at least eight children and four women, government officials said.

The attacks came as the UN said that May was the deadliest month for civilians in Afghanistan since at least 2007, with 368 deaths and 593 injuries of documented.

In yesterday's deadliest incident, a vehicle hit a mine in Arghandab district of the southern province of Kandahar.

"Today at 10:00am, 15 civilians were killed, including eight children, four women and three men," the ministry said.

The interior ministry said six civilians, including a woman and two children, were wounded by mortar bombs fired at a district police headquarters in the eastern province of Kunar.

In the eastern province of Khost, a suicide bomber yesterday killed three people including the commander of a provincial Afghan police rapid reaction force and wounded 12 others, officials said.

Two policemen were also killed and nine wounded when two successive blasts hit the eastern province of Laghman, in the border with Pakistan.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189628

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Fighting in Yemen kills 21 Qaeda

June 12, 2011

SANAA: Fighting around Lawdar and Zinjibar on Saturday, killed 21 al Qaeda terrorists and 19 soldiers, the Defence Ministry and a local government official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information.

Yemeni soldiers battled terrorists in an attempt to drive them from several southern towns under the control of hundreds of the fighters. The clashes killed 40 people on both sides, officials said.

In a twist, the army commander leading the campaign to drive back the terrorists is among several top military figures, who have turned against the country’s president and thrown their support behind the massive protest movement pushing for the autocratic leader’s ouster.

The commanders who abandoned Yemen’s embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, accuse him of trying to sow chaos and letting the southern towns fall into the hands of terrorists in an effort to persuade the US and other Western powers that without him in charge, al Qaeda would take control of the country. The surrounding Abyan province is one of the strongholds of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which the US considers a more immediate threat than the terror network’s central leadership sheltering along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\06\12\story_12-6-2011_pg7_1

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Fighting with militants in Yemen kills 40

June 12, 2011

SANAA: Yemeni soldiers battled militants Saturday in an attempt to drive them from several southern towns under the control of hundreds of the fighters. The clashes killed 40 people on both sides, officials said.

In a twist, the army commander leading the campaign to drive back the militants is among several top military figures who have turned against the country’s president and thrown their support behind the massive protest movement pushing for the leader’s ouster.

The commanders who abandoned Yemen’s embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, accuse him of trying to sow chaos and letting the southern towns fall into the hands of militants in an effort to persuade the US and other Western powers that without him in charge, Al-Qaeda would take control of the country.

Saturday’s fighting around Lawdar and Zinjibar killed 21 Al-Qaeda militants, the Defense Ministry said. Nineteen soldiers were also killed, said a local government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

The surrounding Abyan province is one of the strongholds of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which the US considers a more immediate threat than the terror network’s central leadership sheltering along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article452481.ece

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25 killed in Syria as US, Turkey slam regime

June 12, 2011

DAMASCUS: Syrian forces backed by helicopters killed at least 25 people at nationwide protests for democracy on Friday, as the United States said it is stepping up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

The latest deaths came as security forces launched a long-feared crackdown in the northwest flashpoint town of Jisr al-Shughur near the border with Turkey.

Protesters poured on to the streets of main towns and cities after the weekly Muslim main prayers, many chanting slogans against Assad and in support of Jisr al-Shughur residents.

Security forces shot dead at least 25 anti-regime protesters, including 11 in the northwest, rights activists said.

In Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, security forces fired on a large crowd and killed at least 11 people, activists said.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported “helicopters flying over” Maaret al-Numan as another activist who spoke on condition of anonymity said “helicopters bombarded the town.” Abdel Rahman said protesters seized a police station after security forces fled, and helicopters then fired on the building.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/11/25-killed-in-syria-as-us-turkey-slam-regime.html

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10 killed in separate attacks in Iraq

June 12, 2011

BAGHDAD: Twin car bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and an attack by eight gunmen on the home of a school teacher in the center of the country left at least 10 people dead, government officials said on Saturday.

Violence is raking Iraq as the Shiite-led government and other political factions are debating a request for some American forces to remain in the country beyond the Dec. 31 deadline for all US troops to withdraw after more than eight years.

While violence is well below what it had been during intense Shiite-Sunni sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, militants are again stepping up deadly attacks around the country. That has led to concerns about what happens when the 47,000 US troops still in the country are withdrawn.

Police and hospital officials in Mosul said two car bombs exploded in quick succession, killing six people. At least one of the bombs seemed aimed at a police patrol. Mosul is Iraq’s third largest city, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. It has been one of the most stubborn insurgent strongholds.

Abdul-Rahim Al-Shimmari, a member of the provincial council said two policemen were killed and 52 people were wounded.

In the other attack, eight gunmen stormed the house of a school teacher overnight and killed his three sons and daughter, said Mohammed Al-Asi, the spokesman for central Salahuddin province.

He said the gunmen were in a minibus and fled after the midnight attack in a village outside of Tikrit. Authorities were investigating the motive behind the killing to see whether it was an act of insurgents or tribal conflict, he added.

Tikrit is Saddam Hussein’s hometown and is located 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article452436.ece

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21 al-Qaeda suspects, 10 troops killed

June 12, 2011

Ten Yemeni soldiers and 21 suspected al-Qaeda militants were killed in clashes in south Yemen yesterday, the defence ministry said on its news website.

Fierce clashes erupted in the city of Zinjibar, in Abyan province, between gunmen who have seized control of most of the city and besieged troops from the 25th mechanised brigade, a military official said on the 26Sep.net website.

"Eighteen terrorists were killed and dozens wounded when gunmen attacked the base of the brigade," the official said, adding that "nine soldiers fell martyrs."

Meanwhile, the official said three "al-Qaeda terrorists" were killed and 10 others wounded, while a soldier was killed and three wounded when gunmen ambushed a military convoy near Loder, also in Abyan.

Troops loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh have launched an attack to regain control of Zinjibar. A military official said on Thursday that 10 al-Qaeda fighters and three soldiers were killed in clashes on the outskirts of the city.

Yemen is the home of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of slain Osama bin Laden's militant network.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189648

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Al-Qaeda's E Africa chief killed in Mogadishu

June 12, 2011

The United States believes the presumed head of al-Qaeda in east Africa, Fazul Abdullah Muhammad, is very likely dead, a US official said yesterday.

"There's strong reason to believe that this senior al-Qaeda terrorist is dead," the official told AFP.

Fazul Abdullah, 38, is wanted for blowing up the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He is thought to have planned the massive truck bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam that killed 224 people in 1998 and has a $5 million bounty on his head.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189651

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Violence kills nine in Iraqi capital including 5 of Sunni family

June 12, 2011

Violence north of Baghdad yesterday killed nine people, including five members of a Sunni Arab family slain early in the morning, Iraqi security and medical officials said.

In yesterday's deadliest attack, a primary school teacher and his family were gunned down inside their home in the village Al-Jalam, near the town of Al-Dour in Salaheddin province.

"Two gunmen stormed the house of Yunis Hassan Salman after midnight and they killed him, his wife, their two sons and their daughter before running away," an Iraqi army first lieutenant said on condition of anonymity.

Mainly Sunni Arab Salaheddin province was a key battleground in the insurgency that followed the US-led invasion of 2003 that overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime.

In the main northern city of Mosul, four people were killed and 55 others wounded in two apparently coordinated explosions near the provincial governor's official residence.

The attacks come with just months to go before all US soldiers must withdraw from the country, with American officials pressing their counterparts in Baghdad to decide whether or not they want an extended US military presence.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189642

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Libya rebels battle into key oil port near Tripoli

June 12-06-11

ZAWIYA, Libya: Libyan rebels battled their way back into a major oil port just 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli on Saturday, forcing Muammar Qaddafi’s troops to close the vital coast highway and key supply route from Tunisia. The renewed rebel offensive marked a significant rebound for opposition forces who were crushed and driven out of the city nearly three months ago.

Rebels first took Zawiya in early March, but were brutally expelled less than two weeks later in an assault by members of an elite brigade commanded by Qaddafi’s son Khamis. That had left rebels with only tenuous footholds in Libya’s far west.

On Saturday, Guma el-Gamaty, a London-based spokesman for the rebels’ political leadership council, said opposition fighters had taken control of a large area on the western side of the city. A rebel fighter who fled Zawiya at the end of March said “there are clashes inside Zawiya itself.” The rebel, who identified himself only as Kamal, said “the fighters are back in the city” and that he had spoken with them.

While too early to mark a breakthrough in the stalemated civil war between Qaddafi forces and the rebels, who control roughly the eastern third of the country, an opposition offensive so near the capital was bound to put a nearly intolerable burden on Qaddafi forces.

They have been riddled by defections, badly hurt by ongoing UN-sanctioned NATO airstrikes and facing huge resupply problems as a result of the naval blockade that has clamped off ports. The international actions are designed to help the four-month-old rebel uprising to drive Qaddafi from nearly 40 years in power in the oil-rich North African country.

Apparently prompted by the Zawiya clashes Saturday, Libyan soldiers sealed off parts of a crucial coastal road leading from Tripoli west to the Tunisian border.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article452478.ece

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Gaddafi offered way out Heritage site shelled

June 12, 2011

Turkey said it has offered Muammar Gaddafi guarantees to leave Libya but has yet to receive a reply, as rebels on Saturday accused

his forces of shelling a UNESCO world heritage site.

Fresh NATO-led strikes send up plumes of smoke on a daily basis in Tripoli, but the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, warned that the air war on the strongman’s forces could be in peril because of military shortcomings.

In a military update on Friday’s strikes, the British defence ministry said its fighters had destroyed four tanks ‘hidden in an orchard’ near the town of Al-Aziziyah, southwest of Tripoli.

Tornado and Typhoon jets also bombed a military base at Al-Mayah on the western outskirts of the capital, it said.

NATO said a tank and a rocket launcher were also targeted on Friday near the rebel-held city of Misrata.

The rebels said pro-Gaddafi forces were shelling the western city of Ghadames, close to the borders with Tunisia and Algeria, which boasts a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its Roman-era ruins.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/22174.html

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Fighting erupts in Zlitan, Turkey offers Gaddafi exit

June 12, 2011

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi shelled for the first time the world heritage-listed city of Gadamis, some 600 kilometres southwest of the capital on the Tunisia and Algerian border, opening a new front in the five-month long civil war.

World powers gave mixed signals on how the deadlocked civil war might play out, with Russia trying to mediate reconciliation. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he had offered a "guarantee" to Gaddafi if he left Libya, but received no reply.

With diplomacy stalling, rebels said fighting was erupting on new fronts.

Ahmed Bani, a military spokesman in Benghazi, told Reuters clashes had broken out in Zlitan on Thursday and resumed on Friday with Gaddafi forces killing 22 rebels.

Zlitan is one of three towns that are under government control between the rebel-held Misrata and the capital and were it to fall could act as a stepping stone to allow the anti-Gaddafi uprising to spread from Misrata, the biggest rebel outpost in western Libya, to Gaddafi's stronghold in Tripoli.

"Large numbers of troops are surrounding Zlitan from all directions and are threatening its residents with having their women raped by mercenaries if they do not surrender," Bani said, adding the rebels controlled parts of the city.

Rebels also said the oasis town of Gadamis with a population of about 7,000 people, mainly Berber, was under attack after an anti-government protest in the old Roman city on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/14083/World/Region/Fighting-erupts-in-Zlitan,-Turkey-offers-Gaddafi-e.aspx

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Turkey offers Gaddafi way out amid deadly clashes

June 12, 2011

Heavy fighting between pro-Gaddafi troops and rebels broke out in a Libyan city just 160 kilometres east of Tripoli, potentially opening the coastal road to the capital, and in besieged Misrata as Turkey said it has offered Gaddafi guarantees to leave Libya.

World powers gave mixed signals on how the deadlocked civil war might play out, with Russia trying to mediate reconciliation. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he had offered a "guarantee" to Gaddafi if he left Libya, but received no reply.

With diplomacy stalling, rebels said fighting was erupting on new fronts.

Ahmed Bani, a military spokesman in Benghazi, told Reuters clashes had broken out in Zlitan on Thursday and resumed on Friday with Gaddafi forces killing 22 rebels.

Zlitan is one of three towns that are under government control between the rebel-held Misrata and the capital and were it to fall could act as a stepping stone to allow the anti-Gaddafi uprising to spread from Misratato Gaddafi's stronghold in Tripoli.

"Large numbers of troops are surrounding Zlitan from all directions and are threatening its residents with having their women raped by mercenaries if they do not surrender," Bani said, adding the rebels controlled parts of the city.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government had offered exit "guarantees" to the embattled Libyan leader, whom rebels have been trying to oust since February following a bloody crackdown on pro-reform protests.

Gaddafi "has no other option than to leave Libya -- with a guarantee to be given to him," Erdogan said on NTV television.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189622

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Egypt secularist forces want constitution first, elections later

June 12, 2011

Liberal and secular political forces mobilized during the past few days, with the objective of stepping up pressure on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) to amend the constitution ahead of parliamentary elections, scheduled next September. Youth movements of the 25th January Revolution are now contemplating the staging of a million-man demonstration at Tahrir Square under the slogan "Constitution First Friday”.

“Constitution First” calls began to gain momentum on the Second Friday of Anger organized at Tahrir Square on 27 May. Tens of thousands of the 25th Revolution Youth, joined by civil society and human rights organisations brandished placards bearing just two words “the constitution first.” One week later, key 25th January youth  movements boycotted a national dialogue organized by SCAF in  a bid to reach a common ground on the agenda of political reform. They said they "can not  join a dialogue lacking a clear agenda of priorities" and voiced sharp criticism of SCAF, accusing it of imposing its will without consulting political forces first.

The “Constitution First” call gained further momentum when a “National Consensus” conference, organized by the government and led by deputy prime minister Yehia Al-Gammal, concluded its meetings on Thursday, stating that “Egypt is in a pressing need for a constitution first ahead of any elections – be they parliamentary or presidential.

The Conference’s Electoral Systems Committee (ESC) recommended that “a constitution be drafted first, because this is the best guarantee against a certain force – widely believed to be Muslim Brotherhood –  does not impose its Islamist ideology on the next constitution.“

According to SCAF-drafted constitutional declaration announced on 30 March, the new parliament would select a 100-member constituent assembly to be entrusted with drafting the new constitution.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/14072/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-secularist-forces-want-constitution-first,-e.aspx

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Helicopters open fire to disperse Syrian protesters

June 12, 2011

Syrian helicopter gunships fired machineguns to disperse pro-democracy protests, witnesses said, in the first reported use of air power to quell unrest in Syria's increasingly bloody three-month-old uprising.

The use of the aircraft came on a day of nationwide rallies against President Bashar al-Assad, as unrest showed no sign of abating despite the harsh crackdown by his authoritarian state.

The helicopters opened fire in a northwestern town after security forces on the ground killed five protesters, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"At least five helicopters flew over Maarat al-Numaan and began firing their machineguns to disperse the tens of thousands who marched in the protest," one witness said by telephone.

"People hid in fields, under bridges and in their houses, but the firing continued on the mostly empty streets for hours," said the witness, who gave his name as Nawaf.

Syria's state television, in contrast, blamed violence in the area on anti-government groups. It made no mention of attack helicopters but said an ambulance helicopter had come under fire over Maarat from "terrorist armed groups," injuring crew.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/14075/World/Region/Helicopters-open-fire-to-disperse-Syrian-protester.aspx

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Hillary warns Africa of 'new colonialism'

June 12, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday warned Africa of a creeping "new colonialism" from foreign investors and governments interested only in extracting the continent's natural resources to enrich themselves and not the African people.

Hillary said that African leaders must ensure that foreign projects are sustainable and benefit all their citizens, not only elites. A day earlier, she cautioned that China's massive investments and business interests in Africa need to be closely watched so that the African people are not taken advantage of.

"It is easy, and we saw that during colonial times, it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave," Clinton said. "And when you leave, you don't leave much behind for the people who are there. We don't want to see a new colonialism in Africa."

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189624

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Karzai calls on Pakistan to eradicate militants

June 12, 2011

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Pakistan to eradicate militant sanctuaries at "detailed" talks yesterday about a peace process with the Taliban that inaugurated a joint peace commission.

"The facts are so bare and the wound is so clear and hurting that it requires both of us to work diligently and extremely aggressively and effectively to curb terrorism and radicalism in the region," Karzai said.

In another effort to improve ties, a transit trade agreement between the countries signed last year, is due to come into effect on Sunday, Islamabad said.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189647

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Syrian troops attack northwestern town

By BASSEM MROUE

Jun 12, 2011

BEIRUT: Under the rattle of heavy gunfire and loud explosions, Syrian army troops and tanks moved into a restive northwestern town from two sides Sunday, extending the crackdown on a region that is historically hostile to the Damascus regime.

The Local Coordination Committees, which documents Syrian anti-government protests, said the town was attacked from the southern and eastern sides by troops in about 200 vehicles, including tanks. It said blasts were heard as helicopters clattered overhead.

The region near Turkey’s border has a history of hostility toward the Syrian regime and is posing the biggest challenge yet to President Bashar Assad’s struggle to crush the anti-government revolt. Thousands of Syrians in the region have crossed into Turkey in recent days, taking sanctuary in refugee camps.

The Syrian government has said the town was under the control of “armed men” who it said killed 120 police officers last week. Activists said the victims were killed when soldiers and police mutinied, turning their weapons on government forces.

Syrian forces told an Associated Press reporter invited to travel with them to Jisr Al-Shughour that they were arresting “gunmen” in the largely evacuated city, normally home to about 40,000 people. Many of those who remained behind fled on Sunday, if they could.

The AP reporter said government soldiers took reporters into the town’s National Hospital where they saw at least two corpses.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article453089.ece

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Hamas rejects Fayyad as next Palestinian PM

Jun 12, 2011

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Hamas has rejected the rival Fatah movement’s nominee to head a transitional Palestinian government, complicating plans to unify the dueling factions ruling the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamas’ objection could also compromise foreign support for the Palestinian Authority.

Fatah has nominated Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, to head the caretaker government.

Fayyad, a US-educated economist, enjoys the respect of foreign donors. His reappointment would ease Western concerns that donor money would fall into the hands of Hamas, which the West considers a terror organization.

Hamas official Salah Bardawil told The Associated Press on Sunday that “Hamas will not agree to grant Salam Fayyad the confidence to run the national unity government.”

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Thousands rally for reform in Bahrain

By ERIKA SOLOMON

Jun 12, 2011

MANAMA: Thousands of Bahrainis shouting “we are victorious” gathered for a rally for political reform on Saturday, in the first large demonstration since the Gulf state crushed a democracy protest movement in March.

Bahrain brought in troops from neighboring states in March and introduced martial law, which ended last week, to stop the protests against the government.

The government said the protests had a sectarian agenda and help from Shiite power Iran, just across the Gulf waters. The opposition denies this.

“Some try to manipulate our demands, to make them Shiite demands. This is not true. We are not calling for an Iran, but to build up our political reforms together, Shiite and Sunni, which will benefit all Bahrainis,” said Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the Wefaq opposition group which organized the event.

“We will continue peacefully and we will continue our peaceful demonstrations,” he said, as the crowd roared back: “Peaceful, peaceful!“

The rally will likely be seen as a show of strength by Wefaq, Bahrain’s leading Shiite opposition group, as it heads to a national dialogue called by the king for next month.

“Wefaq wants to encourage people to get back out after months of fear. It’s a good sign ,” said protester Fatima.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article452591.ece

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Bangladesh opposition calls new general strike

By FARID HOSSAIN

Jun 11, 2011

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s main opposition parties have called a general strike for Sunday to protest government moves to amend the constitution, marking the second nationwide shutdown this month.

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally Islamic fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami say they will enforce the 36-hour strike beginning at dawn Sunday.

The opposition says the government wants to repeal a provision that requires it to hand over power at the end of its term.

Under the constitution, prime ministers must step down after a five-year term to allow a nonpartisan administration to conduct new polls in three months. A former chief justice is usually chosen to head the caretaker administration.

The change would mean the next general election due in 2014 would be overseen by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article452333.ece

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Sudan leaders to meet on border conflict

June 12, 2011

The presidents of north and south Sudan are to meet in Addis Ababa today to discuss the crises in the border regions of Abyei and South Kordofan, China's envoy for African affairs said yesterday.

"There will a meeting tomorrow between President (Omar al-) Bashir and his Vice President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa to discuss the issues of Abyei and South Kordofan," Liu Guijin said after meeting Bashir in Khartoum yesterday.

SUNA state news agency said the talks would also be attended by Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi and former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who heads an African Union team trying to resolve outstanding issues between north and south ahead of southern independence on July 9.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=189639

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Saleh health ‘bad’ a week after blast

June 12, 2011

Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh is in poor condition and suffering breathing problems in a Saudi hospital, an informed source said on Saturday, a week after a bomb blast wounded the embattled president.

‘The information we have says that president Saleh is still in bad condition, mainly as he suffers problems in the lungs and respiration,’ the source, a Yemeni in Riyadh, said.

Saleh was flown to Riyadh on June 4 on board a Saudi medical aircraft to be treated a day after an explosion ripped through a mosque where he was praying inside his Sanaa presidential compound.

‘What confirms this (Saleh’s bad state of health) is that many Yemeni ministers tried to visit him and their requests were turned down,’ said the Yemeni source.

Yemeni officials have insisted Saleh is speedily recovering, and tens of thousands of his loyalists took to the streets of the capital Sanaa on Friday after news that he was out of intensive care.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/22074.html

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Syria slammed as crackdown accounts mount

June 12, 2011

DAMASCUS: Harrowing eyewitness accounts mounted on Saturday after Syrian forces backed by helicopter gunships killed at least 25 protesters, prompting the US to toughen its stance on President Bashar al-Assad.

As the turmoil neared the three-month mark, the international outcry grew over Assad’s use of deadly force against his own people, with protests planned in more than a dozen world cities including Montreal, New York and Paris.

An estimated 3,000 mourners on Saturday filed through the coastal city of Latakia for the funeral of one of at least nine protesters shot dead by security forces the day before, activists said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/12/syria-slammed-as-crackdown-accounts-mount.html

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Kashmir shuts down to honor those dead in protests

By AIJAZ HUSSAIN

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Kashmir's separatist leaders imposed a general strike Saturday in the disputed Himalayan region to honor those killed in three summers of anti-India protests.

Most shops, businesses and schools were closed Saturday while public transportation was not running in the main city of Srinagar. Armed police and paramilitary officers patrolled the city's streets.

Police say separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for the strike after being placed under house arrest on Thursday to prevent him from leading any demonstrations against Indian rule.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety. However, discontent with India's heavy-handed rule has fueled street protests by hundreds of thousands of rock-throwing youths. About 180 people have been killed in three years of India cracking down on protesters.

The violence has tented to escalate in the warmer summer months and ended with the cold of winter.

"People in Europe ... also vent their anger by hurling stones, eggs and tomatoes, but they are not showered with bullets in response," Geelani said in a statement Friday. "India has enforced the law of the jungle."

More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since 1989 when the separatist rebels began a campaign of violence and attacks to press for either independence from India or a merger with neighboring Pakistan.

The armed rebellion has largely been suppressed by Indian forces, and resistance is now shown mainly in street demonstrations.

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US agents to counter Taliban in Afghan Army

June 12, 2011

KABUL – Concerned over the growing pattern of Afghan soldiers and police officers attacking their coalition counterparts, the American military is sending 80 counterintelligence agents to Afghanistan to help stem the threat of Taliban infiltration in the Afghan National Security Forces, US military officials said.

These intelligence specialists will enhance the vetting of recruits, review profiles of soldiers who are being trained and generally tighten up the procedures to identify individuals who might be vulnerable to extremists’ appeals, officials said.

Some of the agents have already arrived, and the rest are expected soon, said Lt. Col. David C. Simons, a spokesman for the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. Since March 2009, at least 57 people, including 32 American troops, have been killed in at least 19 attacks in which Afghan service members have turned their weapons on coalition forces. Another 64 were wounded. The totals do not include the attackers, many of whom were killed in shootouts or in suicide blasts.

More than half of the casualties occurred in the first five months of this year, signaling an escalation in the number and intensity of the attacks. But while the Taliban often takes credit for these attacks, NATO officials say the majority of the episodes stem from disagreements and arguments that escalate into violence.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0611/12/FrontPage/index.php?id=8

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/erdogan-s-akp-set-to-sweep-turkey-elections/d/4817


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