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Found 8 results

  1. Turkey and Qatar have a long history of being on the same side of regional conflicts and developments. Photo: AP Turkey rejected a call from four Arab states on Friday to shut down its military base in Qatar, saying the base was a guarantor of security in the Gulf and demands for its closure represented interference in its ties with Doha. Defense Minister Fikri Isik told Turkish broadcaster NTV that he had not yet seen a request for the closure of the base, but made clear Ankara had no plans to review a 2014 agreement with Qatar which led to it being set up. He was speaking after an official from one of the four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism said they had sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing down the military installation. "If there is such a demand, it will mean interference in bilateral ties," Isik said, suggesting instead that Turkey might continue to bolster its presence in Qatar. Five armored vehicles and 23 military personnel arrived in Doha on Thursday in a deployment Turkey's armed forces said was part of a military training and cooperation deal. Some 88 Turkish soldiers were already in Qatar, according to the Hurriyet newspaper. The newspaper said a joint exercise by Turkish and Qatari forces was expected following the Islamic Eid al-Fitr holiday which starts on Sunday, and the number of Turkish soldiers sent to the Gulf state could eventually reach 1,000. An air force contingent was also envisaged, it said. "The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security," Isik said. "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda." Turkey, which has long tried to play the role of regional mediator, is also wary of upsetting its other allies in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, and Isik said Ankara had hoped that tensions over Qatar could be resolved without a crisis. Isik said Turkey's presence in Qatar should be seen as a benefit for the whole Gulf. "The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region," he said. Turkey's military support for Qatar has been matched by stepped up commercial links. Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci said Turkish exports to Qatar have tripled since the four Arab countries began boycotting the Gulf state earlier this month. "Since June 5 exports to Qatar have amounted to $32.5 million. Of this $12.5 million is food. This figure is three times the normal level," Tufenkci told reporters at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner on Thursday evening. Turkey has sent more than 100 cargo planes of supplies to Qatar but Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said it was not sustainable to maintain supplies through an air lift.
  2. Almost every child has grown up watching Disney's animated feature ‘Aladdin' and dreamed of owning a Genie who will make all our wishes come true. If not that, we've definitely imagined ourselves in Mr. India's shoes doing all sorts of unimaginable things under the sun. While these thoughts and fantasies will still continue to remain a distant dream for us, this YouTuber got an opportunity to turn the tables and crush the world with the press of a button. Well, not exactly, but at least he got to experience how it would feel like to be the reason behind the destruction of the world. Drew Scanlon, a popular YouTuber, got a chance to explore a nuclear base in Ukraine that was decommission in the year 2000 and was reopened as the Strategic Missile Forces Museum a year later. This visit was a part of his online travel series, Cloth Map. © YouTube Drew was accompanied by Dmytro, his tour guide who took him through a tunnel, narrow corridors, and thick heavy doors and finally to the room where people would wait for orders to launch a nuclear strike. While passing through the equipment, one can see that all of them are very well-maintained. What's more fascinating is there were all the basic necessities that one needs to survive after causing massive devastation. From canned food, water, working toilets, tea station to medicines, a fridge and beds; it was all enough for people to survive in the bunker for 45 days. Dmytro further added “They used to have radio sets and a television set but what's the use after everyone died?” While, everything was going fine, the team then entered the room which was the key source of destruction – a control room from where you can activate the nuclear weapons. Had that nuclear base been a functional one, a ‘gray' button would be all it takes to nuke Washington D.C. in 22 minutes. Well, we are sure you would be scratching your heads wondering why it is gray and not a red button. We guess that's something under the jurisdiction of movie directors, because in real life it was a ‘gray' button that did the job. Drew is strapped to a seat and then explained that had this been real, he would have received codes from Moscow to activate the nuclear weapons and was even asked to try it out. Well, although it is not an active one but the fact that you have the power to kill thousands of people and destroy the whole f**king world, it will still scare the sh*t out of us if we ever had to press that button.
  3. Photo: File KABUL: Taliban gunmen have killed eight Afghan guards working at the largest American base in Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday, as the US appears set to boost its troop presence in the country. The guards were ambushed near Bagram base north of Kabul as they were driving home in a convoy late Monday, said district governor Abdul Shakoor Quddusi. "They were all local residents serving as guards at Bagram," he said, adding that two other guards were wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which came as the insurgents intensify their nationwide spring offensive against Western and government targets. Washington is soon expected to announce an increase in the US military deployment to bolster Afghan forces, who are struggling to contain the insurgency. American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of extra boots on the ground. US troops in Afghanistan now number about 8,400, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies, a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. They mainly serve as trainers and advisers. Bagram, around 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Kabul, houses the largest contingent of US soldiers in the country. The assault comes after seven American soldiers were wounded Saturday when an Afghan soldier opened fire at them inside a northern military base, the second "insider" attack in a week. Analysts say such attacks are expected to increase this year as US troops engage with the Afghan military to double the size of its special forces, considered to be effective in the fight against insurgents. The Afghan conflict is the longest in American history, with US-led forces at war since the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001.
  4. HEREFORD: Police in West Midlands have arrested a man with knives and an axe near an Army Reserve centre, reported the BBC. The 23-year-old man was arrested on Sunday night. Police officials said there was nothing to indicate that there was a threat to the army centre and was not related to the terror attack in Finsbury Park, London. The man?s motives are not yet known and he is in custody, BBC quoted police officials as saying. ?On identifying the man our officers took prompt action to contain the threat and take him into custody,? said Asst Ch Con Martin Evans of West Mercia Police. He added that an "extremely sensitive investigation" was being carried out and added that additional police patrols would take place in the town to safeguard the citizens.
  5. MAZAR-I-SHARIF: At least one Afghan was killed and seven American soldiers were wounded in an "insider attack" at a base in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, a US military official said. A spokesman for the US military command in Kabul said earlier comments by an Afghan official that Americans had been killed were incorrect. But he confirmed that seven soldiers had been evacuated after being wounded in the incident at Camp Shaheen, the headquarters of the Afghan army´s 209th Corps in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. At least one Afghan soldier was killed and another wounded, the US official said. He could not immediately say if the suspected shooter was among the dead or wounded. Abdul Qahar Araam, spokesman for the Afghan army´s 209th Corps, announced earlier that an Afghan soldier had shot and killed four US soldiers inside the base. In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said an Afghan commando loyal to the militant group had opened fire on foreign "invaders", killing four and wounding four others. The German military heads the multinational advising mission based in Mazar-i-Sharif. A spokeswoman for the German forces at the joint missions command in Potsdam said: "According to what we know right now, no Germans were affected. "Three US soldiers were killed and a fourth wounded on June 11th when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them at a base in eastern Afghanistan´s Nangarhar province. In April, scores of Afghan soldiers were killed when militants breached security at Camp Shaheen, detonating explosives and shooting hundreds at a mosque and dining hall on the base. The attackers were disguised in Afghan army uniforms. Coalition countries, led by the United States, are considering sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan to help advice and assist Afghan forces struggling against Taliban and Daesh militants. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday he would present options on Afghanistan to President Donald Trump "very soon".
  6. Afghan soldier Zabihullah was chatting with an army comrade at their military base in northern Afghanistan when gunfire interrupted their quiet Friday afternoon. "I asked my friend what was happening, and he said, relax, it must be one of us." It wasn't. It was the Taliban. Dressed in army uniforms, at least 10 Taliban attackers had breached the military headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif, eventually killing more than 140 soldiers, according to the latest estimates by officials. "When they started hitting other soldiers, we understood that it was a terrorist attack," Zabihullah told Reuters from his hospital bed, wounded by an explosion. "The soldiers were dropping like sparrows hit by a shotgun." The attack, which is likely the deadliest yet on an Afghan military base, represents a major blow to the country's struggling security forces as they prepare for what is expected to be a year of bloody fighting against the Taliban, as well as other smaller militant groups like Islamic State. The base is the headquarters for the Afghan National Army's 209th Corps and also hosts foreign troops from the NATO-led mission to advise and train Afghan forces. No international troops were caught up in the attack, according to coalition officials. The incident raised immediate questions over how such a mass killing could occur in a heavily defended headquarters frequented by foreign soldiers. In the early afternoon on Friday, two army vehicles bearing men in Afghan army uniforms rolled up to the base's gate, claiming to have wounded soldiers in need of urgent medical care. Two guards at the first checkpoint waved them through, according to Ahmad Saboor, a soldier who was on guard duty further inside the base that day. At the second checkpoint, the guards told the men in the trucks they had to leave their weapons behind, as is standard procedure at the bases, Saboor said. After a brief argument, the attackers shot and killed the two guards and sped toward the third and final checkpoint, which they hit with a rocket-propelled grenade before racing into the base itself. "The first vehicle had a light machine gun mounted on it and started firing at dozens of soldiers and officers coming out of the mosque," Saboor recalled. "The second vehicle went towards the dining hall and started shooting." Wielding machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the attackers sprayed heavy fire into groups of soldiers gathered to eat at a dining hall and leaving afternoon prayers at the mosque. Several other attackers detonated suicide vests packed with explosives. Photos circulating online showed the inside of the mosque pock-marked with bullet holes and strewn with shattered glass. "I had just finished my prayers and was outside the mosque when an army pickup sped towards us," said another wounded officer, who asked not to be named as his family had not been notified. "I stood still and did not know whether to run or stay, then a gunman from the back of the truck opened fire with a machine gun and hit the side of my abdomen and my left leg." Other unarmed soldiers were dropping dead and wounded around him. "One of the attackers blew himself up, and others went and took up positions in a small room next to the mosque," he said. The confusion in the base was compounded by the fact that the attackers wore army uniforms. "At first there was a call on the radio not to shoot because they thought it could have been a misunderstanding," said the guard Saboor, who reported that some base officials initially thought it might have been a disagreement between soldiers. Afghan commandos from elsewhere on the base arrived and engaged the attackers, eventually killing or capturing all of them, Zabihullah said. A Taliban spokesman said at least four of the attackers were longtime members of the army who worked with the insurgent group. Afghan officials are investigating that claim, but Zabihullah said he had no doubt that the gunmen had inside help. "Security is so tight that even soldiers without IDs are not allowed to get in," he said.
  7. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday condemned the attack on a military base in Afghanistan on Friday, in which more than 100 Afghan soldiers were killed, an Inter-Services Public Relations statement said. Reuters quoting Afghan officials said that as many as 140 Afghan soldiers were killed by the Taliban apparently disguised in military uniforms in Mazar-e-Sharif. The agency quoted the country’s Defense Ministry as saying that "over 100" Afghan soldiers were killed and wounded. Gen Bajwa expressed his condolences over the loss of lives in the attack and also expressed solidarity with Afghan security forces The army chief also said that terrorists are our common enemy and vowed to defeat them.
  8. MAZAR-I-SHARIF/KABUL: As many as 140 Afghan soldiers were killed on Friday by Taliban attackers apparently disguised in military uniforms in what would be the deadliest attack ever on an Afghan military base, officials said. The Defense Ministry said the toll was "over 100" Afghan soldiers killed and wounded. One official in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the attack occurred, said on Saturday at least 140 soldiers were killed and many others wounded. Other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the government has yet to release exact casualty figures. The attack starkly highlighted the struggle by the Afghan government and its international backers to defeat a potent Taliban insurgency that has gripped Afghanistan for more than a decade. A US official in Washington on Friday had put the toll at more than 50 killed and wounded. As many as 10 Taliban fighters, dressed in Afghan army uniforms and driving military vehicles, made their way onto the base and opened fire on mostly unarmed soldiers eating a meal and leaving a mosque after Friday prayers, according to officials. The attackers used rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, and several detonated suicide vests packed with explosive, they said. Witnesses described a scene of confusion as soldiers were uncertain who the attackers were. "It was a chaotic scene and I didn't know what to do," said one army officer wounded in the attack. "There was gunfire and explosions everywhere." The base is the headquarters for the Afghan National Army's 209th Corps, responsible for much of northern Afghanistan, including Kunduz province where there has been heavy fighting. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Saturday the attack was retribution for the recent killing of several senior Taliban leaders in northern Afghanistan. Four of the attackers were Taliban sympathisers who had infiltrated the army and served for some time, Mujahid said. That claim has not been confirmed by the Afghan army. The NATO-led military coalition deploys advisers to the base where the attack occurred to train and assist the Afghan forces but coalition officials said no international troops were involved in the attack. "The attack on the 209th Corps today shows the barbaric nature of the Taliban," the commander of coalition forces, US General John Nicholson, said in a statement on Friday.