• Asia PacificAn Afghan national Army 10th Special Operations Kandak Commando returns fire during offensive operations against the Taliban in Kunduz province, Afghanistan, January 20, 2018.

    Eight Afghan Soldiers Die Fighting off Taliban Attack in Kunduz

    Eight Afghan soldiers were killed on Tuesday while repelling a fierce Taliban attack on Kunduz, a strategic city in northern Afghanistan that had briefly fallen to the militants twice in the past, officials said. Taliban fighters attacked several government posts on the outskirts of the city at around 1:00 am, a defense ministry statement said, triggering heavy fighting. “With the support of air force their attack was repelled,” it said, adding the fighting lasted for several hours. Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, who visited Kunduz later on Tuesday, said the Taliban had “suffered big losses.” “Unfortunately, we have also lost eight brave soldiers,” he told reporters. Three civilians were also killed and 55 others wounded in the overall violence that rocked the city, Kunduz provincial health director Ehsanullah Afzali said. An airstrike also hit and partially damaged a clinic in the nearby district of Chardara but there were no reports of casualties, he added. “Taliban wounded fighters were also treated in that clinic,” Afzali told AFP. Both the Taliban and Afghan forces have clashed repeatedly in rural areas in recent months, but an attempt to enter a city as large as Kunduz is seen as a serious escalation. The latest violence follows a declaration …

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  • AfricaNigerian army soldiers stand at a base

    Jihadists Attack Nigeria Town Where Girls Abducted

    Jihadists have carried out a rare attack on the northeast Nigerian town of Dapchi, where more than 100 schoolgirls were abducted two years ago, military sources and residents said Tuesday. One soldier was killed and three wounded as fighters believed to be from an Islamic State group affiliate looted shops and torched the home of a local chief in the assault Monday, the sources told AFP. The attack comes days before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when jihadists who have waged a 10-year insurgency usually ramp up their deadly assaults in the region. Fighters suspected to be from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction stormed the town, leading to a fight with troops in which sources said the soldier and five jihadists were killed. Resident Bashir Manzo said the insurgents spent over four hours in town before soldiers backed by a military jet confronted them. Dapchi was the scene of the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls by ISWAP in February 2018. The girls were later released although the only Christian among them is still being held by the group after she reportedly refused to renounce her faith. The decade-long conflict in northeast Nigeria has …

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  • Middle EastThe attack in December 2019 occurred at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

    Saudi Attacker on US Base Had Longstanding Al-Qaeda Ties: US

    The Saudi military student who killed three Americans at a U.S. naval base in December had longstanding ties to Al-Qaeda and planned an attack before he arrived in the United States, U.S. justice officials said Monday. The December 6 attack by Mohammed Alshamrani, a Royal Saudi Air Force flight student at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, “was actually the culmination of years of planning and preparation,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. Evidence discovered on an encrypted cell phone shows he was radicalized at least as far back as 2015, and had since been associating with “dangerous” operatives from the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Wray added. The FBI and Justice Department revealed their findings after a months-long effort to crack the encryption on Alshamrani’s iPhone, which they said Apple refused to help with. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr accused Apple of putting its own financial interests ahead of the nation’s. “If not for our FBI’s ingenuity, some luck, and hours upon hours of time and resources, this information would have remained undiscovered,” Barr said. “The bottom line: our national security cannot remain in the hands of big corporations who put dollars over lawful access and public safety. The …

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  • Middle EastThe strategic city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan has briefly fallen twice to the Taliban in the past.

    Afghan Forces Repel Taliban Attack on Key City: Officials

    Afghan security forces on Tuesday repelled a fierce Taliban attack on Kunduz, officials said, a strategic city in northern Afghanistan that had briefly fallen to the militants twice in the past. Taliban fighters attacked several outposts of Afghan forces on the outskirts of the city at around 1:00 am, triggering fierce fighting, a defense ministry statement said. “With the support of air force their attack was repelled. Eleven Taliban were killed and eight wounded,” it said, adding that the fighting lasted for several hours. Both sides have repeatedly clashed in rural areas in recent months, but an attempt to enter a city like Kunduz is seen as a serious escalation. It follows a declaration by President Ashraf Ghani last week to resume offensive strikes against the insurgents, after a string of brutal attacks. The Taliban responded to the order by vowing to increase attacks against Afghan security forces. During Tuesday’s fighting, the insurgents managed to briefly capture an Afghan army post, killing one soldier, but it was quickly retaken by security forces, Hadi Jamal, an army spokesman in northern Afghanistan told AFP. The Taliban were not immediately available for comment. The insurgent group briefly captured Kunduz, a strategic city not far …

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  • Middle EastAfghan Taliban-US peace deal

    Taliban Claims Afghan Bomb Attack, Demands Prisoner Release

    The Taliban claimed a deadly attack on an Afghan intelligence agency post Monday, even as they urged the new power-sharing government to accelerate a prisoner swap to pave the way for talks. At least seven intelligence personnel were killed by a car bomb in the eastern province of Ghazni, Wahidullah Jumazada, spokesman for the province’s governor told AFP. “The terrorists have used a Humvee in their attack. They have targeted the National Directorate of Security unit in Ghazni city,” he said, adding that 40 people were wounded. The interior ministry in Kabul and a health official in Ghazni confirmed the car bomb. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that their insurgents had carried out the attack. The bombing comes a day after President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a new power-sharing accord in Kabul, ending their bitter months-long feud. The agreement overcomes one of the hurdles to negotiations with the Taliban, which warned Monday that talks cannot open until a so-far piecemeal prisoner swap is completed. “That which is taking place in Kabul is only a repetition of the past failed experiences,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said on Twitter in what was the group’s first reaction to the …

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  • Asia PacificFormer Afghan Taliban fighters

    Violence increased in Afghanistan after US-Taliban deal, UN says

    Violence surged in Afghanistan in the weeks after the US and the Taliban signed a deal supposed to pave the way for a peace process, UNAMA said

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  • Middle EastThe Defense Post

    Syria says air defenses intercept missiles near Damascus

    Syrian air defense intercepted several missiles fired during an "Israeli" airstrike against targets near the capital Damascus

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  • Middle EastHouthi fighters in Yemen

    Saudi-led coalition extends Yemen ceasefire by a month

    The Saudi-led coalition said it was extending a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen by one month due to coronavirus, even as fighting persists

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  • Asia PacificThe governor of Afghanistan's Badghis province, Jamaluddin Ishaq, poses with civilians and Taliban fighters

    Taliban refuse Afghan government ceasefire offer during Ramadan

    The Taliban have dismissed a government call for a Ramadan ceasefire in Afghanistan, saying a truce is "not rational" as they ramp up attacks on government forces

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  • EuropeYazidi new year in Iraq

    German court tries ISIS suspect over Yazidi genocide

    A man believed to have belonged to ISIS is on trial in Germany accused of genocide and murdering a child belonging to the Yazidi minority who he held as a slave

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