Monthly Archives: May 2013

Senior Pakistan Taliban leader ‘killed in US drone strike’

The second-in-command of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a suspected US drone strike, a senior Taliban source told the BBC. The Pakistani Taliban leadership has not officially confirmed the death of Waliur Rehman so far. Earlier, Pakistani security officials said a local Taliban commander was among casualties in the raid. Missiles hit a house close to the town of Miranshah, in north-west Pakistan, early on Wednesday. The strike is the first for almost six weeks. It comes a week after President Barack Obama issued new guidelines for tighter scrutiny of the US drone programme and stricter targeting rules. A senior Taliban source in Miranshah told the BBC that … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan | Leave a comment

Pakistan PM to take on foreign, defence portfolios himself

Pakistan Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif will oversee the sensitive foreign and defence portfolios as he seeks to forge a working partnership with the all-powerful military in the early days of his tenure, sources close to him said on Tuesday. Sharif, ousted in a bloodless military coup in 1999, has decided not to appoint defence and foreign ministers in the cabinet he is putting together. He led his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), back to power in May 11 elections. Instead, he will select a retired civil servant as an adviser on foreign affairs – Tariq Fatemi, a former ambassador to the United States and the European Union, the sources said. … Continue reading

Posted in Pakistan | Leave a comment

Chinese hackers ‘compromise’ US weapon systems designs

Chinese hackers have accessed designs for more than two dozen US weapons systems, a US newspaper has reported. Designs for combat aircraft, ships and missile defences were among those compromised, a Pentagon paper found, the Washington Post reported. A public version of the same Defence Science Board report said in January that the US was unprepared for a full-scale cyber attack. A Pentagon spokesman said “intrusions” had not eroded its technological edge. The Defense Science Board did not return requests for comment from the BBC. The Washington Post report comes as Australia discloses Chinese hackers stole floor plans for the new headquarters of its domestic intelligence agency. The compromised US … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Afghan intercept Kandahar City bound tractor laden with mines

Following weeks of surveillance, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces have intercepted a tractor laden with explosives in the Daman district of Kandahar province. NDS personnel killed the driver of the tractor and prevented an attack they believed was aimed at Kandahar City, according to a press statement issued by the Kandahar Media Information Centre (KMIC). Officials from the KMIC further added that the tractor was seized in the village of Nawi Dah, and Afghan authorities were trying to identify the slain driver of the tractor. The late night operation by NDS forces took place last Friday and is believed to have prevented what authorities believed would have been … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan | Leave a comment

US President Barack Obama sets out US drone policy

President Obama has said the US is safer because of his administration’s efforts to combat militancy, in a speech defending the use of drones. In a major speech on counter-terrorism, he is also expected to offer some transparency over the strikes. The speech comes a day after the US said publicly for the first time that drones had killed four US citizens. In Thursday’s speech, Mr Obama will also address his aim of closing the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba “From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making will define the type of nation and world that we leave to … Continue reading

Posted in USA, World | Leave a comment

Wounded Syrians show signs of chemical attack – Turkey says

Syrian casualties treated in Turkeyshow signs of being victims of chemical weapons, the Turkish foreign minister said on Friday, adding to indications that President Barack Obama’s “red line” on the use of such arms may have been crossed. Wary of the false intelligence used to justify the 2003 war in Iraq, the United States says it wants proof that chemical weapons have been used before taking any action in Syria. But if the evidence is confirmed it would increase the possibility of Western intervention against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the two-year civil war, even as the United States and Russia try to bring the sides to peace talks. … Continue reading

Posted in Syria | Leave a comment

Woman pulled from Dhaka building 17 days after it collapsed

A woman was yesterday pulled alive from the ruins of an eight-storey building that collapsed in a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, 17 days ago. Rescuers said the woman, named Reshma, was found in the remains of the second floor of the Rana Plaza after they heard her crying: “Please save me.” She was  taken to hospital, but is not thought to have serious injuries. More than 1,000 are now confirmed to have died, most of them women working in clothes factories. The authorities said 2,437 people had been rescued, of whom about 1,000 had suffered serious injuries. Reshma: “I kept banging whatever I could with my legs but no-one could hear … Continue reading

Posted in Bangladesh | Leave a comment

Obama warns on US military sexual assaults

President Barack Obama has said sexual harassment and assault will not be tolerated in the US military. He spoke as figures showed reported sexual assaults in the US military rose from 3,192 to 3,374 in 2012. But as many attacks go unreported, officials estimate the total number of sexual assaults stands at 26,000, up from 19,000 last year. It comes after the officer tasked with stopping sexual crimes in the US Air Force was charged with sexual battery. Lt Col Jeff Krusinski, 41, was arrested on Sunday accused of grabbing a woman’s breasts and buttocks in a car park in Virginia, police said. The Air Force has been criticised after … Continue reading

Posted in USA | Leave a comment

Malaysia opposition holds protest at vote result

Thousands of Malaysian opposition supporters have rallied against alleged fraud in the election, defying police who said the protest was illegal. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim called the protest after what he said were “stolen” polls, won by PM Najib Razak’s ruling coalition. Mr Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN or National Front) coalition won 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats on Sunday. It was the coalition’s worst result in more than half a century in power. While it secured a simple majority, it failed to regain the two-thirds parliamentary majority it lost for the first time in 2008. The BN has vehemently denied the opposition’s allegations of cheating and accused Mr Anwar … Continue reading

Posted in Malaysia | Leave a comment

Blast at election rally in north-west Pakistan leaves 15 dead

At least 15 people are reported to have died in an explosion at an election rally in north-west Pakistan. The blast is believed to have happened near the stage at a rally of Jamaat Ulema Islam – Fazl (JUI-F), a religious party, in the tribal Kurram region. Dozens of people were injured, according to local officials. This is the latest in a string of attacks on parties and candidates since campaigning began last month for the general election on 11 May. Many of the attacks, but not all, have been against secular parties. A JUI-F candidate from another constituency in the same region, Maulana Ainuddin Shakir, who was also present … Continue reading

Posted in Pakistan | Leave a comment