Posts Tagged ‘militants’

Philippines: 6 soldiers injured in encounter with terrorist Maute group in Lanao del Sur

January 21, 2018
The military said six soldiers were slightly injured from the shrapnel during the firefight. AP/Bullit Marquez, File
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Government troops encountered remnants of ISIS-inspired Maute members that left six soldiers injured Saturday in a village of Masiu town, Lanao del Sur, according to the military.
The troops from Joint Task Force Ranao encountered 10 Maute members at early Saturday morning at Barangay Kalilangan, said Maj. Ronald Suscano, officer-in-charge of the Public Affairs Office of the Army 1st Division, based in Pulacan, Labanga town Zamboanga del Sur.
Suscano said the group which the soldiers encountered were Maute remnants and bombers.
He said the firefight erupted for 35 minutes that prompted the terrorists to withdraw.
Suscano reported that while the terrorists attempted to escape via the lake, the troops were able to sink off two motorboats carrying 10 militants.
The military said six soldiers were slightly injured from the shrapnel during the firefight.
The soldiers also recovered several high-powered weapons including one M203 launcher; two RPGs; three rounds of 60mm RPG; an anti-tank RPG ammunition; three 40mm ammunition; a hand grenade; two RPG fuses; a binocular; an ISIS flag; and several drug paraphernalia.
Suscano said the encounter was the first since the liberation of Marawi City from the Maute group last October 2017.
Maj. Gen. Roseller Murillo, 1st Army Division chief, directed the troops to continue the relentless hunt against the terrorists to prevent them from gaining strength.
“We shall continue to totally eliminate the remaining Daesh-inspired group in Lanao provinces and to sustain our efforts to prevent them establishing ‘Wilayat’ and Daesh ideology in our joint area of operation,” Murillo said in a statement.

Israeli Army Confirms Gaza Attack Destroyed Hamas Cross-border Tunnel

January 14, 2018

Army says the tunnel, which passed under Kerem Shalom border crossing and extended into Egyptian territory, was designed to smuggle weapons and militants for attacks

By Yaniv Kubovich Jan 14, 2018 7:53 AM

An image of the tunnel released by the Israeli army on January 14, 2018.

An image of the tunnel released by the Israeli army on January 14, 2018. IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

The planes that hit targets along Israel’s border with Gaza late Saturday night destroyed an attack tunnel, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

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According to the Israeli army, the tunnel passed under the Kerem Shalom border crossing, near the Egyptian border. The IDF said it also extended into Egyptian territory. “We have not encountered a tunnel like that before,” IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said.

– – A video released by the IDF on Twitter showing the location of the attack tunnel.

– – A video from the IDF Twitter account

In contrast to Hamas’ claims that the tunnel was used for smuggling goods, the IDF unequivocally stated that it was an attack tunnel used to smuggle in weapons, terrorists and other operatives into Israel in order to carry out terror attacks.

The Kerem Shalom crossing is the main entryway of humanitarian aid to Gaza.


The army said that it views Hamas as responsible for what happens in Gaza. “We have no intention of escalating the situation, but we are prepared for every scenario,” it said.

The military said in a statement that the tunnel extended from the Palestinian town of Rafah, staring about 900 meters west of the Israeli border, and was dug below the border crossing and under pipelines used to transport natural gas and fuel. It reached 180 meters into Israeli territory.

On Saturday evening the army informed the Palestinians that it would temporarily close the Kerem Shalom crossing for all traffic starting Sunday morning. The army said the decision, which is unusual, was reached “in accordance with current assessments.”

“This is a blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said following the strike. “The destruction of the network of attack tunnels is an essential part of our policy of systematically harming Hamas’ strategic capabilities.”

This is the fourth tunnel Israel destroyed by Israel in recent months. After Saturday’s tunnel strike, the military said it can confidently state that Israel holds “the most advanced capability in the world to locate underground tunnels.” It said that it intends to destroy all of the tunnels extending from the Gaza Strip into Israel by 2018.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke early on Sunday before departing for his trip to India. “There are people who say that the IDF attacks sand dunes – this isn’t true. We have responded to attacks against the State of Israel, which we’ve done with a highly systematic attack on infrastructure aimed against us. Hamas needs to understand that we will not allow these offensives, and that we will respond with even greater might.”

Since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, more than 40 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza, only half of which landed in Israeli territory. No Israelis were hurt by rocket fire. Israel attributes the rocket fire to Salafist groups in Gaza, and in one case has attributed fire to Islamic Jihad.

Yaniv Kubovich
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A damaged mosque minaret is seen as Palestinian Hamas militants take part in a protest. (Reuters FILE photo)

Bangladesh activist arrested on ‘anti-Islam’ charges

December 26, 2017


© AFP/File | Rights groups have accused the Bangladesh government of targeting atheist bloggers who have used social media to criticise religion

DHAKA (AFP) – Bangladesh police arrested a 25-year-old social media activist as he tried to leave the country on charges that he defamed Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, authorities said Tuesday.Immigration police detained Asaduzzaman Noor, known as Asad Noor on his Youtube channel, at Dhaka airport on Monday evening, inspector Mohammad Shahidullah told AFP.

“The charge against him is that he hurt religious feeling by mocking Prophet Mohammed and made bad comments against Islam, the prophet and the Koran on Facebook and Youtube,” he said.

Shahidullah said hundreds of Muslims staged demonstrations against Noor this year in the southern coastal town of Amtali after the head of an Islamic seminary filed a case against him.

Noor was charged under Bangladesh’s strict internet laws and could face up to 14 years in jail if found guilty.

Rights groups have accused the Bangladesh government of muzzling dissent and targeting atheist bloggers who have used social media to criticise religion.

In 2013, four Bangladeshi bloggers were arrested after nationwide protests in which Islamic groups demanded the execution of atheist commentators. They were later freed.

In recent years, atheist and secular voices have been targeted by Islamist extremist groups, who have hacked to death a dozen bloggers, publishers and activists, and forced others to flee overseas.

Following the attacks, the government launched a crackdown on extremist groups.

In July last year however militants stormed a Dhaka cafe and massacred 22 hostages, including 18 foreigners, in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group. Security forces have since killed more than 70 alleged militants.

Pakistani army: Militants attack patrol, killing 2 soldiers

December 12, 2017

Pakistan troops on patrol in Waziristan. (AFP)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army says militants opened fire on an army vehicle on patrol in the country’s mountainous northwestern region near the Afghan border, killing two soldiers.

Tuesday’s statement says the military vehicle came under attack in the North Waziristan tribal region. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Islamic militants have long been operating in the area.
The military has carried out massive operation against them but militants are able to cross the porous Afghan-Pakistan border and shelter on the other side. They have also been able to carry out cross-border attacks.
The Pakistani army has been constructing a series of fences along the border, which zigzags across a remote and difficult mountain terrain, to check the movement of militants.
Afghanistan objects to the construction of the fences.

Six Russian long-range bombers strike Islamic State targets in Syria

November 17, 2017


Image result for TU-22M3 bombers, photos

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Six Russian long-range bombers struck Islamic State targets near the town of Albu Kamal in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province on Friday, the Defence Ministry said in a statement reported by Russian news agencies .

The TU-22M3 bombers took off from bases in Russia and overflew Iran and Iraq before launching the strike, they said.

TASS cited the ministry as saying the planes had bombed Islamic State fortified positions, militants, and armored vehicles and that satellite and drone surveillance had confirmed that all of the designated targets had been destroyed.

Reporting by Christian Lowe; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

Russia hopes Turkey can stabilize situation in Syria’s Idlib

October 30, 2017


Image result for Idlib, Syria, map

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia hopes that Turkey can stabilize the situation in Syria’s Idlib Province where Moscow believes there is a high threat of attacks by militants, a senior Russian diplomat said on Monday, the RIA news agency reported.

“There is a pretty high level of tension there and there is still a threat of offensives by radical groups deployed there,” the agency cited Alexander Lavrentyev, the head of the Russian delegation at the Astana talks on the Syria crisis, as saying.

“But we hope that our Turkish partners will in the end fulfill their part of the obligations concerning the Idlib de-escalation zone and will stabilize the situation there.”

 Related image

Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn

Death toll from Egypt gun battle rises to 52 police and soldiers killed: sources

October 21, 2017

Image result for Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, photos

Egypt’s Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis  terror group

CAIRO (Reuters) – At least 52 Egyptian police and conscripts were killed and six more wounded in a gun battle on Friday during a raid on a suspected militant hideout in the western desert, three security sources said.

Sources had said late on Friday at least 30 police were killed. Egypt is battling an Islamist insurgency concentrated in the Sinai peninsula from two main groups, including an Islamic State affiliate, that has killed hundreds of security forces since 2013.

The interior ministry released a statement on the operation on Friday but has so far not given any details on casualties. At least 23 police officers were killed and the other victims were conscripts, the sources said.

Security sources on Friday said authorities were following a lead to a militant camp in the desert where eight suspected members of Hasm Movement were believed to be hiding. The group has claimed attacks around Cairo targeting judges and police.

A convoy of four SUVs and one interior ministry vehicle was ambushed from higher ground by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades and detonating explosive devices, one senior security source said.

Militants are mostly fighting in remote northern Sinai where the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014. Attacks mostly hit police and armed forces, but militants have also targeted Egypt’s Christians and tourists.

 Image result for rocket-propelled grenades, photos, terrorists

Egypt: Hasm militants kill dozens of police after botched raid — At least 50 soldiers and police killed or wounded

October 21, 2017

A botched raid has left more than 50 soldiers and policemen dead, according to reports. Cairo has struggled to contain an insurgency since its military led a coup against Egypt’s first democratically-elected leader.

Armed Egyptian police (picture-alliance/AP)

More than 50 Egyptian troops and police officers were killed during a raid on a militant hideout southwest of Cairo, local media reported on Saturday, citing security sources.

The firefight occurred in the Bahariya oasis on the Western Desert, about 85 miles (135 km) southwest of the capital, after security forces received information on the militants’ location.

Read more: Sinai branch of ‘Islamic State’ reinvents itself

Image result for Bahariya oasis, photos

Bahariya oasis

The interior ministry said a “number” of policemen had been killed as well as some militants, but did not elaborate.

Militants claim responsibility

Police on their way to a hideout used by the Hasm militant group reportedly came under attack with rocket-propelled grenades.

Hasm claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement that it killed at least 28 members of the security forces and wounded 32 others. The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks around Cairo, targeting judges and police officers over the past year.

Read more: In Egypt, Islamic clerics give out edicts in the metro

Egypt accuses Hasm of being a militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group it outlawed in 2013 after bloody crackdown and military coup. The Muslim Brotherhood has denied any involvement in violent attacks against security forces.

Image result for Egypt, militants, RPGs, photos

Growing insurgency

Hasm are not the only militants facing off against Egyptian authorities. “Islamic State” (IS) militants based in the Sinai Peninsula have also increased attacks across the country recently.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since earlier in the year when IS militants launched a series of bombings and suicide attacks that killed scores of Coptic Christians.

Read more: Egypt’s tourism industry suffers a critical blow

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, who serves as a state-backed authority on Islam, issued a statement condemning the killings.

The country has been in a heightened state of turmoil and violence since the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s first democratically-elected president, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

ls,bik/aw (AP, Reuters, dpa)

Suspected US missiles kill 5 militants in NW Pakistan

October 16, 2017

The Associated Press

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani intelligence officials say suspected U.S. missiles have struck a home in the Kurram tribal region, killing five militants.

Two intelligence officials said missiles fired from a suspected US drone hit a compound in the Mukbal area near the Afghan border Monday evening. They added that it was being used by militants from Haqqani network and that one of their top commanders, Sangeen Wali, was killed.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.,

The strike comes a day after roadside bombs killed four security troops engaged in a search operation for militants in Kurram.

Pakistan considers the drone strike a violation of its sovereignty, while the U.S. accuses Pakistan of providing safe havens for militants, which Pakistan denies.

Bomb kills four Pakistani troops searching for kidnappers

October 15, 2017


© AFP | Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talks on the phone outside the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – A bomb Sunday killed four Pakistani soldiers as they searched for militants linked to the kidnapping of a US-Canadian family who were freed last week.The incident happened near the Kharlachi checkpoint in Kurram district in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

The family were being held by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network in the tribal area until they were rescued during a Pakistani military operation Wednesday.

“Four security force troops including a captain embraced shahadat (martyrdom) while three others sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device went off,” the military said in a statement.

“The troops were part of a search party for handlers of the rescued foreigners,” it added without offering further details.

Officials told AFP the search party belonged to the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force that provides security in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

Joshua Boyle and his American wife and three children were freed after five years of captivity at the hands of the Haqqani network, a notorious militant group that operates on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The Haqqani network is headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban’s deputy leader.

In a chilling statement on the family’s arrival in Toronto, Boyle accused his kidnappers of murdering their infant daughter and raping his wife, Caitlan Coleman.

Pakistan, which has long been accused of having links to groups such as the Haqqanis, has faced increased pressure from Washington to crack down on militants after it was lambasted by US President Donald Trump in August.

Following the family’s release, Trump tweeted that relations were improving and thanked Pakistan for “their cooperation on many fronts”.