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    Daily Security Brief: December 31, 2011

    KABUL: Nineteen insurgents were killed, four wounded and 55 others detained during joint operations in different provinces over the past 24 hours, defence and interior ministries said on Saturday.

    The operations were conducted by Afghan and NATO-led troops in Kunar, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Takhar, Baghlan, Kandahar, Helmand, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost and Herat provinces.

    In a statement, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said 12 AK-47 assault rifles, 16 magazines, five rocket launchers, three machine guns, five anti-vehicle mines, 1280 kilograms of opium, 164 kg of hashish, four kg of heroin, three walkie-talkies, five motorbikes, seven shells and 250 bullets were seized.

    The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a separate statement four anti-vehicle mines, one machine gun, three rocket launchers and one walkie-talkie were seized in Kapisa, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Khost and Paktika.

    Additionally the security personnel held four individuals with fake passports and alcoholic beverages at the Kabul International Airport and 5th police district of the capital. Another man was detained with 124 kg of hashish in the Spin Boldak border town of Kandahar province.

    --Pajhwok Report

    mrh/mud

    KABUL (PAN): At least 13 civilians were killed in a car bombing near the residence of a former minister in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, an official said.

    Another 30 people were wounded -- six of them seriously -- in the overnight blast on the Arbab Karam Road. The powerful explosion that was heard several kilometres from the scene smashed windowpanes in nearby buildings.

    A senior police officer told reporters the explosive material had been placed in a vehicle parked near the house of ex-state minister Mir Naseer Mengal. Six vehicles parked in the area and 10 nearby houses caught fire as a result of the explosion.

    Deputy Inspector General Nazir Ahmed Kurd said up to 50 kilograms of explosives were detonated soon after Shafiq Mengal, the son of Mir Nasir Mengal, reached home from Khuzdar district. But the ex-state minister, his son and family members escaped unhurt.

    After the bombing, Mengal's guards fired into the air, wounding a journalist, who was provided first aid at hospital. The guards did not allow media teams and police to stand near the former minister's residence.

    The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack. The group's spokesman Meerik Baloch said it was a suicide attack carried out by Darwaish Baloch.

    Hours after the attack, six bombs were recovered from the site by a bomb disposal squad reached.

    --Pajhwok Report on

    PAN Monitor/mud

    KAPISA: Four Taliban militants were killed and five others injured during a joint operation in the Tagab district of central Kapisa province, officials said on Saturday.

    As a result of the two-day offensive, the Karam Khel area was cleared of militants, district police chief, Col. Shah Agha, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Resident Hafizur Rahman said: "Afghan and foreign forces searched houses in the area in consultation with local tribal elders."

    Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and several others wounded by fighters in Tagab district.

    Separately, a policeman was killed in the Kargi village of western Farah City, where two motorcyclists attacked a check-post said, said Mohammad Ghaus Malyar, the deputy police chief.

    --Bakhtar Safi & Zahin

    mm/mud

    KUNAR: A Taliban commander was killed and two of his associates were injured during a clash with Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers in eastern Kunar province, an official said on Saturday.

    An ANA patrol attacked the militants who were planting a roadside bomb in the Bargam area of Narai district late on Friday, 201st Selab Military Corps spokesman Maj. Shireen Aqa told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Three ANA soldiers injured in the fire exchange were transferred to an International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) health facility in the district, he said.

    Taliban's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed they had killed 14 soldiers and destroyed seven of their vehicles. Three Taliban were killed in the incident, he added.

    --Khan Wali Salarzai

    ra/mas/mud



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