Daily Security Brief: March 11, 2012
BAGHLAN: Two men carrying weapons and drugs were arrested in separate operations in northern Baghlan province, where previously 40 smugglers with more than 500 kilograms of drugs were held in the outgoing solar year, an official said on Sunday.
Police intercepted a car in Bamba area of Pul-i-Khumri city, where 40 kilograms of drugs were seized, police chief Brig. Gen. Asadullah Shirzad told a news conference.
The drugs included hashish, heroin and opium, and a suspect was arrested in connection with the narcotics, he said.
Another person in possession of 16 pistols was apprehended by police in the provincial capital, said Shirzad.
Both suspects are being interrogated.
--Habibur Rahman Shirzai
HELMAND: A fresh poppy eradication campaign was launched on Sunday in southern Helmand province, the world’s largest opium producing region, the governor’s office said.
The drive targeting 10 districts was launched by Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal in the Trihk Nawar area of Marja district, where the illicit crop had been grown.
Accompanied by several government officials, Mangal said around 2,000 hectares of poppy farms would be eradicated during the campaign that is jointly spearheaded by Afghan and foreign forces.
He said the current campaign differed from the previous ones, as this time growers would face stern legal action.
The governor, citing an international survey, said poppy cultivation reduced by 45 percent over the past four years in the province as a result of counter narcotics efforts by the provincial administration.
“We are trying to further reduce the percentage of poppy production and eventually end the cultivation of this banned plant in Helmand,” Mangal said.
Nearly 250 acres of land was cleared of poppy crops on the first day of the three-day eradication campaign.
HELMAND: A nineteen-year-old would-be suicide attacker, along with four of his handlers, were arrested by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province, an official said today.
Governor Muhammad Gulab Mangal told Pajhwok Afghan News that three of those arrested facilitators sheltered the young suspect in their house in Sapyan area in the city and all were arrested in NDS operation on Saturday night.
The suspect identified as Syed Ahmad, a resident of Heart province, was trained in Quetta city of Pakistan, added the governor.
“Target of the bomber was provincial head of NDS,” said Mangal, adding one of the facilitators, named Nimatullah alias Aka, was also arrested on similar charge in past but later released by the court.
Ahmad revealed that he was instigated by a Pakistani prayer leader to launch suicide attack, promising him such act would eventually take him to paradise.
He was introduced to two persons, named Aka and Mullanan, and had spent a night at a place to target NDS director but did not succeed.
The clash erupted after a group of insurgents ambushed a police patrol in the Shindand district, police officer Raza Hakimi, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
In the ensuing clash that took place in Aliabad village, two attackers were killed and one policeman injured. The wounded policeman was taken to the Shindand’s civil hospital and his condition was said to be stable.
Meanwhile, kidnappers of two workers with a marble extraction company had sought ransom. The two were seized by unknown gunmen in the Chasht district on Friday, said Hamidullah Khadim, the traders’ union head.
However, he did not reveal the amount of money demanded by the kidnappers.
Police spokesman Col. Noorkhan Nikzad said five employees of the company had been kidnapped, but three were later released.
Without providing further details, the police officer said an investigation had been launched into the kidnapping saga.
Traders say although the security situation in the province has improved, there has been a sharp increase in kidnapping incidents.
He said two children, sons of two businessmen, were kidnapped 20 days ago and there was no clue of their whereabouts.
“If such cases continue to take place, traders would wind up their businesses and move to somewhere else,” said Khadim.
ISLAMABAD: At least 40 insurgents and four Pakistani soldiers were killed during a clash in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region of Khyber, near Afghanistan border, an official said on Sunday.
The clash erupted late on Saturday when a group of rebels attacked a convoy of Pakistani soldiers in the Alam Godar area of Khyber Agency, a local official told Pajhwok Afghan News on condition of anonymity.
Pakistani soldiers’ retaliated, killing the militants and lost four of their own soldiers, while seven were injured in the firing.
Most of the area residents were forced to abandon their houses due to the clash.
A local reporter, Farooq Afridi, said that the militants used heavy weapons during the six-hour gun battle.
ISLAMABD: A suicide blast at a funeral ceremony killed nearly 13 people and injured 30 others in Badhber area of Peshawar city, capital of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, officials said.
According to Imtiaz Altaf, Chief of Capital City Police, deputy speaker of the provincial assembly Khushdil Khan was target of the attack, who was also present at the funeral.
However, the deputy speaker escaped unhurt in the blast.
“The incident took place at around 11:30am,” said another senior police official Kalam Khan, confirming the death toll.
Dr Mushtaq, a medical officer at a city hospital said they had received 11 dead bodies and 25 injured victims so far, while several injured were in serious condition.
KABUL: Officials of National Directorate of Security (NDS) have detained two Pakistani citizens with two suicide vests in the eastern province of Kunar, the intelligence department said.
Amjid alias Akhtar son of Mir Zaman and Arif alias Shakeel son of Khyali Gul, hailing from Dheri area of Charsada district, were detained in the Sarkani district, said a NDS statement.
The bombers were planning to carry out suicide attack in the district when intelligence personnel nabbed them red handed, added the statement.
“The two Pakistani nationals were sent by Pakistani terrorist networks to inflict casualties on civilians, but the NDS officials prevented the attacks,” the statement revealed.
KAPISA: Five policemen, including a district police chief, had been arrested on charges of firing at protestors during anti-US demonstrations in the central province of Kapisa, officials said on Sunday.
Haji Siddique, Shinwari district police chief, was fired from his post and later arrested on Saturday, the governor’s spokesman, Roshna Khalid, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Another two Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel and several local policemen were also arrested, he said, adding the district police chief had ordered his subordinates to open fire at people protesting against the alleged Quran burning incident in the district.
The district chief, Saifulah Baidar, had also been suspended, he said.
Siddique, arrested based on directives from the Ministry of Interior, was currently under interrogation, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad Akbar Behzad said.
NANGARHAR: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Nangarhar agriculture department official in eastern Laghman province, an official said on Sunday.
The off duty official Ashuqullah Malikyar was killed in Mehtarlam, the provincial capital, late on Saturday night, En. Mohammad Hussain Safi, the Nangarhar agriculture director, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Lt. Col. Mohammad Daud Barakzai, the deputy police chief, said Malikyar was on his way to visit relatives in the city when he came under attack from unknown gunmen.
He suspected the murder could be linked to personal enmity.
--Abdul Mueed Hashami
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