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July 24, 2014

Security guards attacked in Peshawar, Pakistan

Security guards attacked in Peshawar, Pakistan

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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In the capital city Peshawar of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, unidentified armed men targeted security guards at the Hayatabad Industrial Estate on Sunday. At the time, two security guards were checking vehicles entering the estate, while others were praying. Police said guard Akhtar Zaman died at the scene, while guard Imran Zaman was taken to Hayatabad Medical Complex and died shortly thereafter.

According to the police, the three perpetrators were riding motorcycles, and escaped. Police cordoned off the area while collecting evidence. Reportedly, attackers look for checkposts with incautious policemen. Superintendent of Police Faisal Kamran said targeting of police is on the rise, especially during the Iftar. The security guards may have been mistaken for policemen by the attackers. Describing alertness measures, he said, “One out of every three cops will be standing alert at some distance at a checkpost or police car”.

The security guards were private employees of the estate sanctioned by the police department. Hayatabad police station official Ihtisham explained the police department provided their uniforms. According to Malik Niaz, president of Industrialists Association Peshawar, “They belonged to a group of private guards who assist the police in safeguarding the industrial estate […] formed by industrialists about five years ago after an increase was reported in kidnapping cases from the estate in broad daylight”. He also mentioned they had assigned more guards recently following increases in extortion and attacks.

A handout issued on Sunday evening said Chief Minister Pervez Khattak condemned the incident.



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November 8, 2013

Fuzlullah named Pakistan\’s new Taliban leader

Fuzlullah named Pakistan’s new Taliban leader

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Pakistan
Other stories from Pakistan
  • 18 February 2015: Pakistan releases 173 Indian prisoners at Wagah border
  • 18 December 2014: Nation mourns, world condemns Taliban attack on Pakistan army school
  • 14 August 2014: Indian Prime Minister accuses Pakistan of waging proxy war
  • 27 July 2014: India and Pakistan accuse each other of ceasefire violation
  • 24 July 2014: Security guards attacked in Peshawar, Pakistan
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Location of Pakistan

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Pakistan’s Taliban announced Thursday they had chosen Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader. A US drone attack last week killed their previous leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.

Fazlullah, who takes credit for ordering the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in 2012, is known for his rejection of peace talks.

The Pakistani government has suggested the United States’ fatal missile strike on Mehsud had already ruined peace talk efforts with the Taliban. The drone strike which killed Mehsud coincided with government preparations to meet the terrorist group with the view of opening peace talks. Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called the killing of Mehsud “not just the killing of person, it’s the death of all peace efforts”.

Fuzlullah led the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley between roughly 2007 and 2009.

Pakistani authorities believe Fuzlullah is presently living in the Afghan province of Kunar.



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October 10, 2011

Pakistani journalist found dead in home

Pakistani journalist found dead in home – Wikinews, the free news source

Pakistani journalist found dead in home

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Pakistan
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The body of a 28-year-old Pakistani journalist was found in his home in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday.

The Pakistani police stated the journalist, Faisal Qureshi, who was working for a London-based online site, The London Post, was murdered on Friday in the early morning.

Zahid Ahmed, a brother of the deceased, told police his brother had been “receiving threats” and “was a victim of targeted killing”. He did not accuse anyone specifically.

Investigators have said the journalist was found with visible torture marks, as well as numerous stab wounds.

Zahid told police he hurried to his brother’s place late Thursday after his brother failed to answer his phone. Police have stated Faisal’s laptop computer and phone were missing at the scene of the crime.

The independent New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Friday for an independent inquiry into the death.

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January 9, 2011

Seventeen dead in Afghan bathhouse bombing

Seventeen dead in Afghan bathhouse bombing

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

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Ritual prayer-washing

An Afghani suicide bomber killed seventeen people Friday in the southeastern town of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The bomb was detonated in a bathhouse Friday afternoon as bystanders conducted their ritual prayer-washing. An additional 23 people were wounded in the midday bombing that left sixteen civilians and one police officer dead.

The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the Taliban, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, stated the attack was targeted at the second-in-command of a border patrol force in southern Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s leader, Hamid Karzai, condemned the attack, as did NATO and US leaders. Karzai’s administration has been both fighting the Taliban as well as trying to lure them to the negotiating table.

The US Embassy in Afghanistan issued a statement calling the bombing a “callous terrorist act.” US President Barack Obama plans to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by 2014.



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December 8, 2010

US federal judge dismisses targeted killing lawsuit

US federal judge dismisses targeted killing lawsuit

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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In a ruling issued Tuesday a United States federal judge dismissed a lawsuit which attempted to stop the U.S. government from selecting Anwar al-Awlaki for targeted killing.

Anwar al-Awlaki in 2008
Image: Muhammad ud-Deen.

John D. Bates, United States federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, wrote in his opinion that the lawsuit was a “unique and extraordinary case” which brought up questions over whether the government had the authority to strategize over killing its own citizens without a previous criminal justice process undertaken. Judge Bates ruled for the United States Department of Justice, and held that various civil rights organizations in addition to Awlaki’s father did not have the authority or jurisdiction to start the lawsuit in the first place.

Awlaki’s father was supported in the case by two civil rights organizations, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union. In the lawsuit these organizations argued before the court that targeted killing of an individual who does not present an imminent threat of life to citizens is not permitted by international law or by the United States Constitution. Awlaki was born in New Mexico. Yemeni law enforcement officials in November charged Awlaki with connections to Al-Qaeda, and ordered him to be arrested “by any means possible”.

U.S. officials have identified Awlaki as an influential leader within the Islamist terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Awlaki has made statements where he encouraged individuals of Muslim faith to murder U.S. citizens. According to Associated Press, Awlaki is located in Yemen. He has been linked to terrorist incidents in the United States including the Fort Hood shooting, the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253, and the Cargo planes bomb plot.

Cquote1.svg The serious issues regarding the merits of the alleged authorization of the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen overseas must await another day or another nonjudicial forum. Cquote2.svg

—Judge John D. Bates

AP reported that it received confirmation from Obama administration officials that, “al-Awlaki is on a capture or kill list”; and Agence France-Presse received similar statements from U.S. representatives. However, during the actual process of the Awlaki lawsuit in court, government representatives refused to confirm or deny whether this was the case. The U.S. government put forth the notion during the case that the court did not have jurisdiction to review actions of the President of the United States, due to the fact that the President’s choices are intended in a setting of war to prevent the loss of lives of U.S. citizens stemming from acts of terrorism.

Judge Bates wrote a decision which consisted of 83-pages. He was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush. In his ruling, Judge Bates stated, “The serious issues regarding the merits of the alleged authorization of the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen overseas must await another day or another nonjudicial forum.” He wrote that the lawsuit brought up, “vital considerations of national security and of military and foreign affairs”, including how the President is able to order targeted killing of terrorists who are United States citizens, without “any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization.”

The court responded to Awlaki’s father’s assertions that his son was unable to initiate a lawsuit himself or acquire legal assistance “without disclosing his whereabouts and exposing himself to possible attack by [U.S. government]”. Judge Bates replied, “Anwar Al-Aulaqi has made clear that he has no intention of making himself available for criminal prosecution in U.S. courts, remarking in a May 2010 AQAP video interview that he ‘will never surrender’ to the United States, and that ‘[i]f the Americans want me, [they can] come look for me.'”



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June 26, 2006

Israeli soldier taken captive

Israeli soldier taken captive – Wikinews, the free news source

Israeli soldier taken captive

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Monday, June 26, 2006

In a pre-dawn, cross border raid by Palestinian militants on an Israeli military position near Kerem Shalom on Sunday, two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian gunmen were killed. A number of Israeli soldiers were wounded and a 19-year-old Israeli Soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit was taken captive. He had been in the army for 11 months, and is the first Israeli soldier to be taken captive since 1994. Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees, and the Army of Islam have claimed responsibility for the raid and Gilad Shalit’s subsequent capture, although they have not confirmed that they are holding him themselves. Hamas claimed that the operation was in response to the recent deaths of civilians and the targeted killings of two militant leaders.

The raid followed the detention by Israeli forces of two Palestinians claimed to be Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip the previous day in what was Israel’s first military incursion into Palestinian territory since its disengagement in 2005.

At least seven Palestinian militants took part in the attack, gaining entry into Israel via a more than 300-metre-long tunnel from the Gaza Strip. After crossing the border via the tunnel, the militants split into three groups and attacked a watch tower and an empty armoured personnel Carrier; while the third group attacked a tank with Rocket propelled grenade. Two militants died during the raid.

Two Israeli soldiers, Lieutenant Hanan Barak, and Staff Sergeant Pavel Slutsker, both 20 years old, died in the attack on the tank. The missing soldier was a tank gunner. A fourth member of the group was seriously injured.

Israel has responded by incursions into the Gaza Strip and air strikes on bridges and the major power station in the search for their missing soldier who is thought to be alive following Palestinian Authority announcements. Currently, the militants are reportedly demanding, “First, the immediate release of all women in prison. Second, the immediate release of all children in prison younger than 18.”, until they release the Israeli soldier. The Popular Resistance Committees stated that they would execute a kidnapped Israeli settler, seized in the West Bank, if the Israeli Army moved in. Israeli police have not confirmed this claim, but are investigating the disappearance of an 18 year old settler.

It is believed that Israel is holding approximately 100 women and 300 individuals under 18 among the over 9 000 Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli facilities. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a speech in Jerusalem, “The question of freeing [Palestinian] prisoners is in no way on the Israeli government agenda. There will be no negotiations, no bargaining, no agreements.” He also has prepared the Israeli army for an extensive operation. “The time is approaching for a comprehensive, sharp and severe Israeli operation. We will not wait forever,” Mr Olmert said.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged Israel to give diplomacy a chance to win the release of the tank gunner.

Other countries have been attempting to broker the soldier’s release. Hoping to head off a potentially major conflict, Egypt has been trying to negotiate Shalit’s release. So has France, as the conscript has French as well as Israeli citizenship.

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