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Found 10 results

  1. KABUL: Two Afghan women working for a security firm searching people entering Bagram air base near the Afghan capital Kabul were killed on Wednesday and two others wounded by unknown gunmen, officials said. The four were shot outside the base by two masked gunmen on a motorbike, said Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the provincial governor of Parwan. "Two of them were killed and two wounded," she said. "The attackers managed to escape the area." There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he was checking the report. In June, six Afghan guards working at Bagram for a private security contractor were killed while on their way to work in an attack claimed by the Taliban. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military which runs Bagram, the largest US base in Afghanistan. The number of Afghan personnel working at Bagram was cut sharply last year after a mechanic detonated a suicide vest, killing four Americans and wounding 17 other people.
  2. This file photo ? taken on June 26, 2017 ? shows Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (R), flanked by Deputy President William Ruto, gesturing during the unveiling of the Jubilee Party's manifesto in Nairobi. AFP/Simon Maina NAIROBI: Unknown gunmen attacked the home of Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday seriously injuring a policeman, less than two weeks before the country votes in high-stakes polls, two security sources told AFP. Ruto was not home during the attack. An officer from the elite police General Service Unit (GSU) was seriously injured, a security official ? who was not authorised to speak to the press ? said. "There are armed people who staged the attack and have shot the GSU officer and stolen his gun,? the official said. Security forces are trying to establish if there are still attackers in the deputy president's "expansive" home near the town of Eldoret, some 312 kilometres northwest of the capital Nairobi, a senior police officer said. "More security personnel have been deployed and a security operation is ongoing," the officer said. The attack occurred despite the round-the-clock presence of guards from the GSU's top-notch reconnaissance unit. A spokesman for Ruto declined to comment but the security official said the deputy president had left the house shortly before the attack to attend a rally alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta, his running mate who faces a tight re-election contest on August 8 against longtime opposition leader Raila Odinga. Ruto's home sits in Kenya's western Rift Valley area, the flashpoint for an outbreak of election violence after the disputed 2007 polls that killed 1,100 people and tarnished Kenya's image as a regional beacon of safety and stability. According to opinion polls, this year's election will be close and tensions have been rising. Odinga has repeatedly claimed the government is scheming to steal the election, while Kenyatta has accused Odinga of trying to delay the polls. Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of threats and voter intimidation in Naivasha, a flashpoint town in 2007 and one of the potential hotspots in this year's election. In the Rift Valley, hate speech flyers have been circulating and some local residents have already left their homes. The 2007 bloodshed haunted both Ruto and Kenyatta long after it ended when the International Criminal Court put both on trial for orchestrating the violence. Those charges were later dropped, with ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda blaming a relentless campaign of victim intimidation for making a trial impossible.
  3. KINSHASA: Armed men attacked a group of journalists and park rangers in a remote east Congo wildlife reserve overnight into Saturday, and an American journalist and three guards were missing, a local official said. The group attacked comprised the American and two Dutch journalists and 13 Congolese park rangers. They were near the town of Mambasa in Okapi Wildlife Reserve, istrator Alfred Bongwalanga told Reuters by telephone. The two Dutch journalists and all but three of the Rangers had been found and were safe. Bongwalanga did not know which of the several armed groups roaming eastern Congo was responsible. The kidnapping of locals and Westerners for ransom has been on the rise in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a tinderbox of rebel groups and militias left over from a 1998-2003 war. But Bongwalanga said there was no evidence the journalist or guards had been kidnapped. "I can't confirm any hypothesis that this was a kidnapping? That does sometimes happen in Ituri (the province where the reserve lies) but it has been more than a year since the last one," he told Reuters by telephone. "The army has deployed. Search and rescue efforts are underway but this is a dense forest," he added. "We remain optimistic that we will find them." In May, armed bandits killed a Congolese park ranger and briefly kidnapped two conservation workers ? including a Frenchman ? during an ambush on South Kivu's Itombwe Reserve. Park rangers in east Congo trying to protect dwindling populations of elephants and gorillas often clash with poachers and other armed criminals who exploit the area's minerals, wildlife, and other resources.
  4. CAIRO: Gunmen ambushed an Egyptian security checkpoint on Friday, opening fire on a car and killing five policemen in an area just south of the capital, the state-run MENA news agency and the Interior Ministry said. Three gunmen on a motorbike attacked police in al-Badrasheen area of Giza province, 30 km (20 miles) south of Cairo, killing two officers and three conscripts in the latest attack on Egyptian security forces battling an insurgency. "A police officer who was near the site of the attack exchanged fire with the assailants forcing them to flee," the ministry statement said. Witnesses said attackers blasted the vehicle with automatic rifles then took equipment and threw petrol bombs inside the car before fleeing. Residents extinguished the fire. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egyptian security forces have been battling the local affiliate of Daesh in the northern Sinai area and attacks have spread to other parts of Egypt. Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013 in the Sinai Peninsula. At least 23 soldiers were killed last week when suicide car bombs hit two checkpoints in the region in an attack claimed by Daesh. It was one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces in years. Daesh has also intensified attacks in other areas, often targeting Coptic Christians. About 100 Copts have been killed since December. In May gunmen assault on a group of Copts in a bus traveling to a monastery, killing 29 people and two bombings of churches killed more than 40 people a month earlier. Church sources on Thursday said Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians and the Egyptian Catholic church have been told by church leaders to cancel all events, camps and activities outside churches in July because of a security threat.
  5. Clashes killed 19 gunmen and injured five police officers in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa, the heart of operations of some of the country´s biggest drug traffickers, authorities said Saturday. The incident occurred late Friday when a group of gunmen clashed with Mazatlan city police who were on a routine tour led by local police chief Joel Ernesto Soto. The confrontation began around 8:00 pm (0100 GMT) in the town of Villa Union when police repelled the gunmen´s assault, Sinaloa deputy secretary of security Cristobal Castaneda said. The 19 men, who were riding in four vehicles, pursued their confrontation by a highway, where they were killed by municipal police. "They faced quite a number of aggressors, but thanks to their training and professionalism, they managed to get ahead. The wounded policemen are well," Castaneda told reporters. At the scene of the clash, four vehicles, 15 rifles and seven handguns were found. Officials said the fighting was some of the worst in the southern part of the state in recent months, since a battle errupted over the restructuring of the powerful Sinaloa cartel following last year´s capture of its leader Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman. The internal war over the group´s leadership has led to escalating violence in Sinaloa this year, with more than 760 murders in early June, a figure not seen since 2011, according to the state security secretary. Violence has also increased in other states. The latest available official data indicate that May was the deadliest for Mexico since official records began in 1997, with a total of 2,186 willful homicides.
  6. 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.
  7. Injured police officer being taken towards an ambulance outside Iran Parliament where armed men opened fire.Photo:Twitter/Iran news agency TEHRAN: Armed men launched two attacks in Iran's capital on Wednesday morning, killing a guard at the parliament and wounding several people in the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in southern Tehran, state media reported. Lawmaker Elias Hazrati said three assailants, one with a pistol and two with AK-47 assault rifles, raided parliament, according the state television website. ISNA news agency quoted a member of the parliament as saying that all the parliament doors were shut and one of the assailants was surrounded by the security forces. In a separate incident, an armed man opened fire at the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini and wounded a number of people, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. ISNA quoted an unnamed source saying that the attacker at the mausoleum had blown himself up. The identity and the motivation of the assailant was still unclear, Tasnim said. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini launched the Islamic revolution in 1979.
  8. Ambulances and medics outside Maghagha Hospital in Minya Province, Egypt in this screen grab take on May 26, 2017. REUTERS TV Gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians travelling to a monastery in southern Egypt on Friday, killing 28 people and wounding 25 others, and many children were among the victims, Health Ministry officials said. Eyewitnesses said masked men opened fire after stopping the Christians, who were travelling in a bus and other vehicles. Local television channels showed a bus apparently raked by gunfire and smeared with blood. Clothes and shoes could be seen lying in and around the bus. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan. It followed a series of church bombings claimed by Daesh. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called a meeting of security officials, the state news agency said, and the cabinet said the attackers would not succeed in dividing the nation. Muslim leaders condemned the killings. The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt's 1,000-year-old centre of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilise the country. "I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism," Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, condemned the perpetrators as traitors. The Coptic church said it had received news of the killing of its "martyrs" with pain and sorrow. The attack took place on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority. An Interior Ministry spokesman said the unidentified gunmen had arrived in three four-wheel-drive vehicles. Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road. Coptic Christians, whose church dates back nearly 2,000 years, make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 92 million. They say they have long suffered from persecution, but in recent months the frequency of deadly attacks against them has increased. About 70 have been killed since December in bombings claimed by Daesh at churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta. A Daesh campaign of murders in North Sinai prompted hundreds of Christians to flee in February and March. Copts fear they will face the same fate as brethren in Iraq and Syria, where Christian communities have been decimated by wars and Daesh persecution. The government is fighting insurgents affiliated to Daesh who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the Sinai peninsula, while also carrying out attacks elsewhere in the country.
  9. JALALABAD: Militants stormed the national television and radio station in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, triggering a gunfight as journalists remained trapped inside the building, officials and eyewitnesses said. No insurgent group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack in Nangarhar province, a hotbed of Daesh militants, where the US military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb last month in an unprecedented attack. "Three gunmen entered the RTA (Radio Television Afghanistan) building this morning," government spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP. "Two of them have been killed and one is still resisting." An RTA photographer said he fled the building as soon as the gunfight erupted, but some of his colleagues were still stuck inside. An AFP reporter near the scene of the attack also heard two explosions. Daesh insurgents are active in Nangarhar province, of which Jalalabad is the capital. The US military last month dropped the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb -- dubbed the "Mother Of All Bombs" -- on Daesh positions in Nangarhar, killing dozens of militants. The unprecedented attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a militant group that is not considered as big a threat as the resurgent Taliban. According to the US Forces-Afghanistan, defections and recent battlefield losses have reduced the local Daesh presence from a peak of as many as 3,000 fighters to a maximum of 800. The Pentagon has reportedly asked the White House to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan to break the deadlocked fight against the Taliban. US troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies, who also mainly serve in an advisory capacity -- a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. Dangers faced by media Wednesday´s attack marks the latest militant assault on an Afghan media organisation. Afghanistan suffered its deadliest year on record for journalists in 2016, according to the Afghan Journalists´ Safety Committee (AJSC), adding that the country is the second most dangerous for reporters in the world after Syria. At least 13 journalists were killed last year, AJSC said, claiming that the Taliban was behind at least ten of the deaths. In January last year, seven employees of popular TV channel Tolo, which is often critical of the insurgents, were killed in a Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul in what the militant group said was revenge for "spreading propaganda" against them. It was the first major attack on an Afghan media organisation since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 and spotlighted the dangers faced by media workers in Afghanistan as the security situation worsens amid a growing wave of militant attacks.
  10. CAIRO: Unidentified gunmen attacked an Egyptian police convoy near the main ring road around Cairo, killing three officers and wounding five others, the interior ministry said early on Tuesday. "Armed elements riding in two vehicles approached a moving security convoy" around 11:45 pm Monday, the ministry said in a statement. The convoy was crossing a roundabout that intersects with the main ring road that surrounds the capital, separating New Cairo and newer real estate projects from the city. Police returned fire at the attackers' vehicles, which police were pursuing "in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators," the ministry said. While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by a local affiliate of the Daesh in North Sinai province. Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed in the insurgency since the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Following deadly church bombings last month, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency on April 10. Daesh said it was behind the church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria on April 9 that killed 45 people. The military has killed several of the group's top leaders, but the extremists have increasingly expanded their attacks from Sinai to other parts of Egypt, including Cairo.