Daily Security Brief: February 22, 2012
KABUL: Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) servicemembers were killed in a roadside bombing, a weapon of choice for the insurgents, in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Wednesday.
The deaths were announced in a brief statement from the NATO-led force that neither revealed the soldiers' nationalities nor the exact location of the incident. Mostly American and British troops are deployed to southern Afghanistan.
Two Albanian and three Italian soldiers were killed on Tuesday during separate operations in the western Herat and southern Kandahar provinces.
With the latest deaths, the number of international soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year has reached 54. The toll was 566 last year.
LOGAR: Security officials closed the Porak bazaar in central Logar province after a policeman was abducted by unidentified gunmen, an official said on Wednesday.
The policeman was on his way home when he went missing near the Porak area on Tuesday night, crime branch officer Mohammad Jan Obaid told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The area had been cordoned off and police had arrested eight suspects in connection with the kidnapping, he said. Five of the detainees were freed after investigations.
A police officer, wishing anonymity, said they had been ordered by high-ups to close down the bazaar until the missing policeman was recovered.
Shopkeeper Juma Khan said: “Police have ordered the bazaar closed. They have asked people to help them secure the release of their colleague.” There are 180 shops in the bazaar located north of Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital.
LOGAR: A kidnappers’ gang was busted by intelligence operatives during a week-long operation in central Logar province, an official said on Wednesday.
A man was released after being kept for 27 days in captivity and the group members were arrested in five raids, provincial National Directorate of Security (NDS) spokesman Syed Hakim told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Mohammadullah, the man rescued, said he had been abducted in the Baboos area 27 days ago and his kidnappers had sought $1.5 million in ransom.
The NDS office identified the men rescued as Shah Lala, Aurang, Matiullah, Nabi, Roohullah and Farooq -- all residents of Logar.
Five Kalashnikovs, a pistol with 30 bullets, three guns, a rocket launcher, 15 hand grenades, four military uniforms, 24 magazines of AK-47 rifles, two motorbikes, a car and 12 kilograms of hashish were recovered from the detainees.
Separately, two Afghan soldiers were killed and a third injured when a landmine they were defusing went off in the Daulat Shah district of eastern Laghman province, the town’s administrative head said. Naseer Ahmad said the incident took place in the Zarkamar area.
Elsewhere in the district, a six-member rebel group, led by Maulvi Abdur Razzaq, joined the reconciliation programme, Governor Mohammad Iqbal Aziz said. The individuals turned in six Kalashnikovs to security forces.
The group leader, Abdur Razzaq, said: “We have been with the Taliban movement over the past decade. But now we have renounced the insurgency, realising it is not the right way.”
NANGARHAR: Eight schoolgirls and a guard were injured in a NATO airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday, officials said.
The incident happened in the Shewa district early in the morning, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News. An investigation had been launched to ascertain why the school was struck, he said.
Meanwhile, the ISAF media office in the east confirmed the incident, saying evidences showed that foreign forces had not attacked students.
Dr. Mohammad Ayub Sharafat, a former tribal affairs director, said his daughter and three cousins suffered injuries in the strike. A NATO helicopter struck the school without any reason, he concluded.
--Abdul Mueed Hashami
PAKTIKA: Unidentified gunmen shot dead the manager of the Melma Radio in Orgun district of southeastern Paktika province, an official said on Wednesday.
Saadim Khan, the victim, was contacted over the telephone at around 8pm when did not return home, Yaqub Manzoor, the radio station’s deputy head, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
His body was found inside his car on Wednesday morning near his native village, Manzoor said, adding Saadim neither had personal enmity nor received threats from militants.
According to a witness who did not want to be named, the deceased had been attacked with a knife. He claimed seeing several cuts on the journalist’s body.
Muhammad Yasin Yasin, head of the Independent Journalists Association in Paktika, condemned the killing of Saadim and called his death a huge loss to the journalist community.
A spokesman for the governor, Mukhlis Afghan, also denounced the murder and said police had started an investigation into the incident.
Melma Radio, funded by the Interews media support organisation, has been on the air in the district for the last one year.
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