Militant Raid kills 14 Tunisian Soldiers

tunisian soldierA Militant attack near the Algerian border, has killed at least 14 Tunisian soldiers with 20 others injured, the defence ministry says.

Tunisia’s Tap News Agency reported that the soldiers were attacked “by terrorist group” on Wednesday evening as they were breaking their fast as part of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.

Gunmen armed with rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, raided two checkpoints near Mount Chaambi. This is the heaviest death toll registered by the army since Tunisians independence in 1956.

The Tunisian army has been waging a crackdown on militants operating in the mountainous region over the past year.

Islamist militants, including fighters linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM), are believed to be hiding out in the border region.

A group called the Okba Ben Nafaa Brigade has reportedly said it carried out the attack in a post on its Facebook page.

The Tunisian President,  Moncef Marzouki, has declared three days of mourning starting on Thursday, Tunisian TV reports.

Eight soldiers were killed in an attack in the Mount Chaambi district in July 2013, days before the assassination of secular politician Mohamed Brahmi.

Militants Armed With Rocket Grenades Attack Kabul International Airpot

Video still shows Afghan security personnel on vehicles as an area near the Kabul airport comes under attackMilitants armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked Kabul International Airport in the Afghan capital on Thursday in one of the most audacious assaults on the facility, used by both civilians and the military, in a year.

The attack on the airport comes at a time of great uncertainty for Afghanistan as votes from the second round of a disputed presidential election are to be recounted. The poll is meant to mark Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power.

The attack lasted about four hours after four unidentified militants armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the airport from the roof of a building just to its north.

“Four terrorists were killed by police special forces. The area is being cleared now, there are no casualties to our forces,” said Interior Ministry Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

The airport is home to a major operational base for NATO-led forces that have been fighting Taliban and other insurgents for 12 years and is bristling with soldiers and police, guard towers and several lines of security checkpoints.

Militants fire rockets into the airport almost every week, causing little damage, but frontal attacks on the heavily guarded facility are rare and represent an ambitious target for insurgents. The attack was similar in tactics to last year’s assault on the airport, when seven Taliban insurgents including suicide bombers attacked after taking up positions inside a partially constructed building nearby.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack.

A Kabul airport official told Reuters all flights had been diverted to other cities. In such circumstances, passenger planes are immediately diverted to other Afghan cities such as Mazar-i-Sharif in the north or Herat in the west.

“Due to the closeness of the attack to the runway, Kabul airport is now closed to all flights,” the official said. Planes could be heard circling above Kabul as the attack unfolded.

On Tuesday, a car bomb detonated in a crowded market killed 43 people and wounded at least 74 in the eastern province of Paktika, close to Afghanistan’s porous border with Pakistan.

Forest Operation: Troops Unearth More Weapons From Underground Armouries

Major-General-Chris-Olukolade-The Nigerian Army says its mopping up operations in Balmo Forest is yielding more discoveries of arms stockpiled in underground cells. 

According to a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, troops who have been excavating various sites in the forest in search of hidden weapons, have so far recovered over 10 rifles along with parts and accessories as well as more than 80 General Purpose Machine Guns, tubes of Rocket Propelled Grenades and Launchers, cables, wires and thousands of rounds of assorted ammunition.

Also recovered in the search are uniforms of security agencies including protective clothing.

Meanwhile, suspects captured in the forest have been taken into custody and had started volunteering information linking the activities in the forest with other terrorist activities in the country.

The mopping up operation continues, according to the statement.