Iraqi Forces Recapture Second Bridge

Iraqi Forces Recapture Al-Hurriya Freedom Bridge, International Organisation for MigrationThe Iraqi Security Forces have launched a rocket against the Islamic State militants’ positions during clashes in the western part of Mosul, recapturing the second bridge.

The Al-Hurriya Freedom Bridge is the second of five bridges to be recaptured since the operation to retake the city from so-called Islamic State began in October.

This comes a day after Iraqi forces launched a new push against the western part of Mosul, as all five bridges were damaged in the coalition air strikes.

The International Organisation for Migration said about 45,000 people have fled as a result of intense fighting.

Aid agencies also said they can barely cope with the number of people arriving at their camps.

Indonesia Blast: Suspect Shot And Seriously Wounded – Police

indonesian-policeThe Indonesian Police say a pressure cooker bomb has exploded in the courtyard of a government building in the city Bandung but the attacker has been shot and seriously wounded.

There are no reports of injuries from the explosion which occurred around 9.00am In the west Java city.

Describing the attack, the Police said a man arrived at the government building on a motorbike and placed a pressure cooker on a table in a corner of the courtyard.

After the explosion, the man ran into the government office and was later shot by officers.

They said they believed the motive of the attack was to force the release of prisoners held by the Police Anti-terror Unit.

In January 2016, Islamic State militant attacked the Indonesia capital, Jakarta for the first time.

Iraq Begins Battle To Wrestle Southern Mosul

Iraq Begins Battle To Wrestle Southern MosulReports say Iraqi government forces have launched an offensive to liberate the western part of the city of Mosul from the Islamic state militants.

Hundreds of military vehicles, backed by air power, rolled across the desert towards (IS) positions early on Sunday.

Iraqi forces retook several villages south of the city in the first hours of the operation, taking them within striking distance of the Mosul Airport.

Fears have been voiced about the safety of many thousands of trapped civilians.

Meanwhile, leaflets warning residents of an imminent offensive were earlier dropped over the west of the city.

The UN has therefore voiced concerns about civilians trapped in Mosul amid reports that they could number up to 650,000.

At Least 35 Die In Yemen Blasts

Yemen-blastThree coordinated Islamic State bomb attacks on Monday killed 38 people in the Southern port city of Mukalla in coastal region of Yemen.

Officials say the militants struck at sunset as soldiers were preparing to break their day-long fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

At least 35 people died in Yemen after launching triple bomb attacks in the country’s south-eastern city of Mukalla.

The attacks also injured 24 people, involved a suicide bomber, a car bomb and an improvised explosive device.

An offshoot of Al-Qaeda controlled the port city but was recaptured in April by Yemeni government and Saudi-led coalition forces.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the attacks via their online news agency, Amaq.

The first explosion occurred as an attacker detonated his suicide vest at a checkpoint on Mukalla’s western approaches.

The second blast came from a bomb-laden car at the military intelligence headquarter and the final one was an improvised explosive which went off as the soldiers were about to begin their evening meal.

The Yemeni security officials believe the attacks was caused by the rivalry between Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

Yemen Conflict: Governor Of Aden Killed In IS Attack

aden-yemenIslamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the blast that killed the Governor of Yemen’s port city of Aden.

A local official and residents say at least six members of General Jaafar’s entourage died in the attack and several other people were wounded.

IS says it detonated a car loaded with explosives as Jaafar Mohammed Saad and several aides’ convoy drove by.

The group had established a presence in Yemen since its civil war broke out.

Violence came after the UN envoy to Yemen met President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in Aden on Saturday in an effort to bring eight months of civil war to an end.

Belgium Hunts Several Terror Suspects

BelgiumBelgium’s capital, Brussels, is under security lock down for a second day, as the Police hunt for several terror suspects.

The nation’s capital is on its highest level of alert amid fears of an attack.

The Belgian Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said that the current threat was greater than that posed by Salah Abdeslam – the man wanted for the Paris attacks.

The city was a base for the Paris attackers – Islamic State militants – who killed 130 people in attacks in Paris.

The security situation in Brussels is being reviewed, while metro services remain suspended, and residents have been told to avoid crowds.

Soldiers are patrolling the streets as a manhunt has continued for the 26-year-old Abdeslam, a French national whom Police described as armed and dangerous.

According to reports he was in the Brussels area and trying to get to Syria.

Turkey Bombs PKK In Northern Iraq

turkey bombs PKK in northern iraqA wave of air strikes have been launched by Turkey on Kurdish PKK rebel base in retaliation to the deadly attack on its army.

For six hours on Tuesday morning, dozens of jets, bombed the Kurdish PKK rebel bases in northern Iraq.

In the midst of the bombardment, a further attack on a police minibus on Tuesday claimed at least 12 lives.

PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) rebels targeted the vehicle, as it was heading towards a border post close to the Azerbaijan-run enclave of Nakhchivan, reports said.

The surge in violence follows the collapse of a ceasefire in July between the army and the PKK.

The Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has pledged to “wipe out” the rebel strongholds no matter what.

At least 16 Turkish soldiers died in Hakkari province after the group launched an attack on Sunday.

The truce, which began in 2013, unravelled after a suicide bombing by suspected Islamic State militants near the border with Syria led to mutual recriminations between Kurdish groups and Turkey.

Nigeria Ranked One of Five Countries Worst Hit By Terrorists

alqaeda terrorist groupNigeria has been ranked among 2013 world’s most terrorised countries in the Global Terrorism Index 2014 report released on Tuesday.

In the said report, five mostly terrorised countries, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, accounted for 80 per cent of the deaths from terrorism in 2013.

Iraq alone recorded more than 6,000 deaths, making the country most affected by terrorism, the report said.

India, Somalia, the Philippines, Yemen and Thailand were the next five, with between one per cent and 2.3 per cent of global deaths by terrorism.

Behind most of the deaths were militant groups, Islamic State militants, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Taliban, which the Global Terrorism Index 2014 report said were the four main groups responsible for 66 per cent of all deaths from terrorist attacks in 2013.

The latest study into international terrorism showed that the number of deaths from terrorism increased by 61 per cent between 2012 and 2013.

The report, which investigated terrorism trends between 2000 and 2013, used data from the United States (US)-based Global Terrorism Database.

Nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks occurred in 2013, which amounted to 44 per cent increase from 2012, the report indicated.

The report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) said nearly 18,000 people died from terrorist attacks in 2013.


Algerian Jihadist Group Beheads French Hostage Herve Gourdel

Herve GourdelFrance has confirmed that an Algerian jihadist group linked to Islamic State (IS) militants has beheaded tourist Herve Gourdel, seized on Sunday.

Mr Gourdel, 55, was killed by Jund al-Khilafa after its deadline for France to halt air strikes on IS in Iraq ran out.

French President, Francois Hollande, condemned the killing as a “cruel and cowardly” act.

He said that French air strikes, which began on IS targets in Iraq last week, would continue.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Mr Hollande said that Mr Gourdel’s abduction and decapitation was a barbaric act of terrorism which presented a problem not only for the region but also for the world.

He said the fight against terrorism should know no borders and that France was now in mourning.

“It is not weakness that should be the response to terrorism but force,” he said.

Jund al-Khilafa posted a video of Mr Gourdel being killed which was entitled “Message of blood for the French government,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

IS itself has beheaded three Western hostages since August: US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines. Their deaths were all filmed and posted online.

The group has also threatened to kill Alan Henning, a taxi driver from the UK, who was seized while on an aid mission to Syria in December.
On Sunday, it warned it would target Americans and other Western citizens, “especially the spiteful and filthy French”.