6.22.09 Iranian police use force to break up protest
TEHRAN (AP) June 22 - Riot police attacked hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas and fired live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central Tehran Monday, carrying out a threat by the country's most powerful security force to crush any further opposition protests. Witnesses said helicopters hovered overhead as about 200 protesters gathered at Haft-e-Tir Square. But hundreds of anti-riot police quickly put an end to the demonstration and prevented any gathering, even small groups, at the scene. At the subway station at Haft-e-Tir, the witnesses said police did not allow anyone to stand still, asking them to keep on walking and separating people who were walked together. The witnesses asked not to be identified for fear of government reprisals.
..Iran says at least 17 protesters have been killed in a week of unrest so far after the electoral council declared hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winner of the June 12 election. His main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, charged the election was a fraud and insists he is the true winner. His followers have been staging near-daily rallies, at least one of them drawing a massive crowds of hundreds of thousands. The country's highest electoral authority, the Guardian Council, acknowledged on Monday that there were voting irregularities in 50 electoral districts, the most serious official admission so far of problems in the election. But the council insisted the problems do not affect the outcome of the vote. [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com; See related stories,
alarabiya.net, June 22, Iranian politician calls for Moussavi's arrest" : Tehran's riot police try to disperse protesters. Around 1,000 pro-reform Iranians gathered in a central Tehran square on Monday as a senior Iranian politician said the ground was ready to legally pursue the moderate defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi for the illegal protests. "Mousavi's calling for illegal protests and issuing provocative statements have been a source of recent unrests in Iran ... Such criminal acts should be confronted firmly," said Ali Shahrokhi, head of parliament's judiciary committee, semi-official Fars news agency reported.
..Iranian state radio said at least 457 people were arrested in the violent clashes in Tehran on Saturday that killed between 10 and 13 people wounded 100...Independent British think tank Chatham House said the election results show "irregularities" in the turnout and "highly implausible" swings to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an analysis published on Sunday. It said that in a third of all provinces, official results would have required Ahmadinejad to take all former conservative, centrist and all new voters, and up to 44 percent of reformist voters, "despite a decade of conflict between these two groups."...
haaretz.com, June 22, "Iran considers expelling Western diplomats" : Iran on Monday accused the West and its media of playing a role in fomenting unrest that has rocked the Islamic Republic since a disputed June 12 presidential election. "Spreading anarchy and vandalism by Western powers and also Western media...these are not at all accepted," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference in comments translated by Iran's English-language Press TV...He also said Iranian diplomatic missions had been damaged during election-related protests in other countries, including Germany. "We don't think that anybody would be able to attack a diplomatic center without the government and local police being informed," he said....
It is a loose network of about 50 engineers like him, working in their free time to break down the electronic walls put up by repressive governments. "History is often made by people who have the courage just to do it by themselves," said Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based group that supports the consortium's work. "I think that's what these guys are doing."
...To fight back in the Internet age, Zhou and his comrades have, among other things, devised a small computer application they call FreeGate, and that's what is stored on Zhou's flash drive. It has also been shared by hundreds of thousands of dissidents in Iran, China, Burma (also called Myanmar) and other countries that try to limit people's access to Web sites that might compromise the government's power...
twitter reports, June 22, 2009:
(tweeters' names removed)
(via #IranElection) IRAN - Para 29 of Constitution allows unarmed public gatherings without permit if they do not insult Islam
(via #IranElection) Check this video out -- Tehran,today,22 june http://bit.ly/wQPz8 [Maravot Note: This demonstration looks like several thousand people. Media reports identified~400; looking at just one frame of this video there appear to be 300-400 people.]
(via #IranElection) RT @huffingtonpost English transcript of new interview with Neda's fiance. So tragic. http://bit.ly/15ROVX [ Maravot Note: This huffingtonpost.com link also includes more images / videos from June 2]
(via #IranElection) RT Iranian Gvnt is killing students http://bit.ly/LRbp4 warning GRAPHIC VIDEO Happening Now
(via #IranElection)Torture of a protester in the streets of Khorramabad Iranhttp://bit.ly/ELmOc [Graphic image]
(via #IranElection) RT How can the worlds leaders continue to ignore us? We are bleeding and slowly dying, yet we still fight.
CNN: As you've seen the situation in Iran develop over the last week, what are your thoughts?
Fareed Zakaria: One of the first things that strikes me is we are watching the fall of Islamic theocracy.
CNN: Do you mean you think the regime will fall?
Zakaria: No, I don't mean the Iranian regime will fall soon. It may -- I certainly hope it will -- but repressive regimes can stick around for a long time. I mean that this is the end of the ideology that lay at the basis of the Iranian regime.
The regime's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, laid out his special interpretation of political Islam in a series of lectures in 1970. In this interpretation of Shia Islam, Islamic jurists had divinely ordained powers to rule as guardians of the society, supreme arbiters not only on matters of morality but politics as well. When Khomeini established the Islamic Republic of Iran, this idea was at its heart. Last week, that ideology suffered a fatal wound...
6.22.09 Al-Qaeda commander threatens US
June 22 - Al-Qaeda's third-in-command has told Al Jazeera that the group would use Pakistan's nuclear weapons against the US if it gained access to them. Pakistan has been battling the Taliban and its al-Qaeda allies in the Swat valley and tribal areas in the northwest since April when fighters took hold of a region just 100km away from the capital, Islamabad.
"By God's will, the Americans will not seize the Muslims' nuclear weapons and we pray that the Muslims will have these weapons and they will be used against the Americans," Mustafa Abul-Yazeed, al-Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan, said in an exclusive interview that aired on Sunday. He said al-Qaeda assists the mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan, maintains strong relations with the leaders of Taliban and expects that Pakistan's government will be defeated in the Swat conflict.
Asked about the whereabouts of al-Qaeda's two main leaders, Abul-Yazeed said: "Praise God, Sheikh Osama (bin Laden) and Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri are safe from the reach of the enemies, but I don't know where they are and I can't say where they are, but they are aware of everything and all the fighting in the field." Before arriving in Afghanistan, Abul-Yazeed was al-Qaeda's chief financial officer and reportedly also provided funds for the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US. [More>>aljazeera.net]
6.22.09 Reports of Fazlullah being injured: Rehman Malik
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 22 - Federal Minister for Interior Affairs Rehman Malik Monday said security forces have put a cordon around chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Swat Fazlullah about whom, he said, reports are being received of his being injured. It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had earlier said that the most of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Swat leadership had been crushed. He also said that silence is being maintained regarding Fazlullah but information about his fate will be gathered and made public. [>thenews.com.pk]
6.22.09 27 killed in Iraq attacks as US pullback looms
BAGHDAD (AFP) June 22 - Twenty-seven people were killed on Monday as a spate of attacks hit Iraq just days before US troops are due to pull out of Iraq's cities, security officials said. Seventy-six people were also wounded in the attacks in Baghdad and other restive parts of the country. Security and hospital officials said the dead included five Iraqi soldiers, two policemen, three university students on their way to sit their final exams, and a four-year-old child. In the deadliest single strike, seven people were killed in a car bombing that targeted municipal offices in Abu Ghraib, a town on Baghdad's western outskirts that is notorious as the site of the 2006 scandal over the abuse of prisoners by US jailers. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
6.22.09 5 die in second Afghan suicide bomb
KHOST, Afghanistan, June 22 - Five civilians were killed Monday and more than 30 others wounded in a suicide bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan, officials said, in the second such attack in one day. The bomber detonated explosives placed on a motorbike in front of a government building in the city of Khost, killing five civilians who were passing by, said deputy provincial police chief Yaqoub, who uses one name only. More than 30 others including several children were wounded in the blast, which came after a similar suicide motorcycle blast in the southern province of Kandahar killed three soldiers earlier Monday. [More>>thenews.com.pk]
6.22.09 Burqa 'not welcome' in France: Sarkozy
VERSAILLES, France, June 22 - The burqa is "not welcome" in France because it is not a symbol of religion but a sign of subservience for women, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday. ( Watch ) "We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity," he said. "That is not the idea that the French republic has of women's dignity." "The burqa is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience," he told lawmakers. "It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic." Sarkozy told a special session of parliament he was in favour of holding the inquiry sought by some French lawmakers into whether Muslim women who cover themselves fully in public undermine French secularism and women's rights. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
6.22.09 Somali Islamists order teenagers' hands, legs amputated
MOGADISHU (Reuters) June 22 - Somali's al Shabaab insurgents sentenced four teenagers on Monday to each have a hand and a leg amputated as punishment for robbery in a show of power by the hardline Islamists in a Mogadishu stronghold. It would be the first such double amputation carried out by the rebels, who follow strict sharia law in the parts of south Somalia that they control.
Al Shabaab — whose ranks are swelled by foreign jihadists and is seen by Western security services as a proxy for al-Qaeda in Somalia — has carried out executions, floggings and single-limb amputations before, mainly in south Kismayu port. It is battling the government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed for control of Mogadishu, and is also fighting a government-allied moderate Islamist militia in the provinces. [More>>thestar.com.my]
6.22.09 Suicide bomber wounds Russian provincial president
NAZRAN, Inqushetia (AP) June 22 - A suicide car bomber attacked a carrying the president of the troubled Russian province of Ingushetia Monday, critically wounding him and killing two bodyguards — the latest in a string of assassination attempts that have roiled the North Caucasus. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on Yunus Bek Yevkurov, a sharp escalation of the violence that has targeted police and government officials with growing frequency in the southern provinces surrounding Chechnya. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for a "Direct and harsh" response to the attacks, which he linked to federal and local efforts to bring calm to the North Caucasus after nearly 15 years of war, crime and terrorism in Chechnya..Yevkurov, who used to work for the GRU foreign intelligence service was appointed president in October after the Kremlin forced out the region's longtime leader Murat Zyazikov.
...Yevkurov was the third top official to be wounded or killed in Ingushetia in the past three weeks and the fourth in the North Caucasus this month. Ingushetia is home to hundreds of refugees from the war in Chechnya, to the east, and is one of Russia's poorest provinces. Like other North Caucasus regions, it has seen an alarming spike in violence in recent years. Much of the violence is linked to the two separatist wars that ravaged Chechnya over the past 15 years, but persistent poverty, corruption, feuding ethnic groups and the rise of radical Islam also are blamed. [Full story>>thejakartapost.com]
6.21.09 Iranian clerics seek supreme leader alternative
TEHRAN, June 21 - Rafsanjani's family members arrested after deadly protests. Religious leaders are considering an alternative to the supreme leader structure after at least 13 people were killed in the latest unrest to shake Tehran and family members of Ayatollah Rafsanjani were arrested amid calls by former President Mohammad Khatami for the release of all protesters. Iran's religious clerks in Qom and members of the Assembly of Experts, headed by former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, are mulling the formation of an alternative collective leadership to replace that of the supreme leader, sources in Qom told Al Arabiya on condition of anonymity.
Five family members of Rafsanjani, one of Iran's most powerful men, were arrested Sunday, including his eldest daughter Faezeh Hashemi. The influential Rafsanjani, 57, heads two very powerful groups. The most important one is the Assembly of Experts, made up of senior clerics who can elect and dismiss the supreme leader. The second is the Expediency Council, a body that arbitrates disputes between parliament and the unelected Guardian Council, which can block legislation.
Members of the assembly are reportedly considering forming a collective ruling body and scrapping the model of Ayatollah Khomeini as a way out of the civil crisis that has engulfed Tehran in a series of protests, The discussions have taken place in a series of secret meetings convened in the holy city of Qom and included Jawad al-Shahristani, the supreme representative of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the foremost Shiite leader in Iraq. [More with blog comments>>alarabiya.com]
6.21.09 Official Iran death toll reaches 20
June 21 - There were conflicting reports Sunday on the number of people killed by gunfire from government forces during the demonstrations by supporters of Iranian Reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi in Teheran, Shiraz and Isfehan over the weekend. Iranian state media reported on Sunday 13 more deaths in confrontations between protesters and security forces, bringing the officials death toll to at least 20, and the government condemned key European powers for expressing concern about the disputed presidential election.
CNN reported that at least 19 people were killed on Saturday based on eyewitness accounts of medical officials in Teheran's hospitals. CNN also quoted unconfirmed reports that put the actual death toll at 150. English-language Press TV, which is broadcast only outside the country, said 13 people it called "terrorists" died Saturday in clashes between demonstrators contesting the result of the June 12 election and black-clad police wielding truncheons, tear gas and water cannons. [More with YouTube videos>>jpost.com]
6.21.09 Two dozen Iran journalists, bloggers arrested since elections
(AP) June 21 - Iranian authorities have arrested 23 journalists and bloggers since post-election protests began a week ago, according to a media watchdog that says reporters are a priority target for Iran's leadership. Among those arrested was the head of the Association of Iranian Journalists, Reporters Without Borders said Sunday. "It's becoming more and more problematic for journalists," said Benoit Hervieu of the Paris-based group, also known by its French acronym RSF. The group released a list of 23 Iranian journalists, editors and bloggers arrested since June 14, and says it has lost contact with several others believed detained or in hiding. Hervieu said RSF verified each arrest via its network of reporters and activists in Iran.
No foreign journalists were on the list...Authorities have banned foreign media from reporting from the street and allow only phone interviews and information from official sources such as state TV. Many Web sites have been blocked. Iran is particularly sensitive about news reports, blogs and Internet reports in Farsi. "The regime has been visibly shaken by its own population and does not want to let this perception endure," RSF said in a statement. The British Broadcasting Corporation's correspondent in Tehran has been ordered to leave the country, a BBC spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with company policy. [More>>haaretz.com; See also:
aljazeera.net, June 21, "Journalists held in Iran crackdown" :Iran appears to be stepping up its clampdown on the media amid continuing protests over the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. At least 24 journalists have been detained by authorities since the protests began a week ago, according to figures from a media watchdog and international media organisations. Among those detained were the head of the Association of Iranian Journalists and a Canadian reporter for Newsweek.
6.21.09 Al Arabiya's Tehran bureau closed indefinitely
DUBAI, June 21 - Notice comes after Iran shut it for a week. The Dubai-based television channel Al Arabiya said on Sunday that its Tehran bureau has been ordered to remain closed indefinitely for "unfair reporting" of last week's disputed presidential election. "The authorities accuse Al Arabiya of diffusing news that is not necessarily fair from their point of view," said channel's executive news manager, Nabil al-Khatib, adding that the channel had not done anything that was in violation of Iranian law and had appealed to the government about what it saw as a campaign against the station in the official Iranian media. [More>>alarabiya.net]
6.21.09 Sunday: Updates on Iran's turmoil
June 21 - Update | 11:24 a.m. An amateur video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday shows a mass of protesters marching and shouting what the video blogger translates as: “Have no fear, we are all together,” and then "Down with dictator." The video is said to be of a demonstration on Sunday on Shirazi St. in Tehran...
Update | 9:32 a.m. The BBC reports that Iranian authorities have asked its Tehran correspondent, Jon Leyne, to leave the country within 24 hours.
The BBC said its Tehran office would remain open despite the departure of Mr. Leyne, the broadcaster's permanent correspondent there.
The BBC adds: “Iran has singled out Britain and the BBC in its widespread condemnation of what it calls meddling by foreign powers in its affairs. In the days following the 12 June election, BBC Persian TV was disrupted by “deliberate interference” from inside Iran, the corporation said. In response, the BBC increased the number of satellites that carry its BBC Persian television service for Farsi-speakers in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.” Here is more video sent to BBC Persian TV, described as mobile phone images of Saturday’s protests and clashes in Tehran. [Full story>>thelede.blogs.nytimes.com; See related stories,
twitter reports, June 21, 2009:
(tweeters' names removed)
(via #IranElection) Very important: general national strike in Iran starting tommorrow monday. please RT (Report needs to be confirmed)
Neda photoshop compilation from assorted internet images (YouTube and an unidentified poster) by maravot; She has been identified as a 26 year old woman, Neda Agha Soltan. See a wikipedia.org bio. on her.(Free use of this image okay)
(via #IranElection) LIFE reports that photog who took these pics in Iran is now missing: http://bit.ly/GzH2p (life.com) : A NOTE TO OUR READERS: We are saddened to report that the Iranian photojournalist, whose pictures appear in this gallery, is missing. He has not been in contact with us; this morning we received the following email from one of his relatives. We will update this space when we have more details. THE EMAIL: Hi im [photographer's relative], when he go out side yesterday for he never came back home and also his friend and a lot of our young brave people, government arrested them [. . .] don't let them suffer in those bloody hands. With thanks. Pictured: A young woman amid the tear gas...
A Canadian working for Newsweek magazine in the Iranian capital was "detained without charge" by Iranian authorities Sunday, the magazine said in a statement. Maziar Bahari has not been heard from since Sunday morning, Newsweek said. A journalist and filmmaker, Bahari has been living in Iran and covering the country for the past decade, according to the statement...
(via #IranElection) Basiji militias arresting two young protesters in Tehran http://bit.ly/BAFOE
6.21.09 Rockets hit US base in Afghanistan, 2 troops dead
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) June 21 - A rare rocket attack on the main U.S. base in Afghanistan early Sunday killed two U.S. troops and wounded six other Americans, including two civilians, officials said. Bagram Air Base, which lies 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Kabul, is surrounded by high mountains and long stretches of desert from which militants could fire rockets. But such attacks, particularly lethal ones, are relatively rare. Two US troops died and six Americans were wounded, including four military personnel and two civilians, said Lt. Cmdr.
Christine Sidenstricker, a US military spokeswoman. The top government official in Bagram, Kabir Ahmad, said several rockets were fired at the base early Sunday. A spokesman with NATO's International Security Assistance Force said that three rounds landed inside Bagram and one landed outside. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't the office's top spokesman. [More>>washingtonpost.com]
6.21.09 Iraq truck bomb kills 64
KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) June 21 - A truck bomb has killed 64 people near the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk, the country's bloodiest attack in 15 months just 10 days before US troops are due to quit urban areas. The attack, which also wounded 202 people, struck near a mosque in Taza Kharmatu, a predominantly Turkmen Shi'ite town south of Kirkuk, at around 1pm (local time) on Saturday, with women and children among the victims, officials said. "This ugly crime is an attempt to harm security and stability and spread mistrust of the Iraqi forces," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said. [More>>news.com.au]
6.20.09 'Suicide blast' hits Tehran shrine
June 20 - At least one person has been killed after a suspected suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up near the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Two other people were wounded in the explosion in Tehran, the Iranian capital, local news agencies reported on Saturday. [Full story>>aljazeera.net; See also:
thestar.com.my (Reuters) June 20, "Suicide bomber attacks Khomeini shrine in Iran" :...Press TV said the attacker died and eight people were injured. It said the attack took place at the northern entrance to the Imam Khomeini shrine. Supporters of defeated presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi set on fire a building in southern Tehran used by backers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a witness said. The witness also said police shot into the air to disperse rival supporters in Tehran's south Karegar street. Elsewhere in Tehran, riot police deployed in force, firing teargas, batons and water cannons to disperse protesters defying a ban on demonstrations, state media said. Witnesses said 2,000 to 3,000 people had gathered, far fewer than the hundreds of thousands involved in earlier rallies. The reported attack on Khomeini's mausoleum seemed likely to stir outrage among Iranians who deeply revere the Shi'ite cleric who led the 1979 revolution that toppled the US-backed shah...
Shah Khamenei Observer [ Saturday, June 20, 2009 ] Too late. This has never been solely about the election but about dissatisfaction with the iron-fistedness, dictatorial and theocratical governing, corruption, and lack of freedom that the current regime stands for. Iran has a new Shah - Shah Khamenei - who has suppressed and reacted to the voice of those who want change (as was the want 30 years ago) in the same way as the Shah reacted. The clock has been turned back 30 years.
thejakartapost.com (AP) June 20, "Witnesses report fierce clashes in Tehran streets" : Witnesses said police fired tear gas and water cannons at thousands of protesters who rallied in Tehran Saturday in open defiance of Iran's clerical government, sharply escalating the most serious internal conflict since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Eyewitnesses described fierce clashes near Revolution Square in central Tehran after some 3,000 protesters chanted "Death to the dictator!" and "Death to dictatorship!" Police responded with tear gas and water cannons, the witnesses said. English-language state TV said a blast at the Tehran shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had killed one persona and wounded two but the report could not be independently confirmed due to government restrictions on independent reporting.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned opposition leaders on Friday to end street protests or be held responsible for any "bloodshed and chaos" to come. Eyewitnesses contacted by The Associated Press said thousands of police and plainclothes militia members filled the streets Saturday to prevent rallies. Fire trucks took up positions in Revolution Square and riot police surrounded Tehran University, the site of recent clashes between protesters and security forces, one witness said. Web sites run by supporters of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi said he planned to post a message, but there was no statement by the time of the planned street protests at 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EDT, 1130 GMT). Some pro-reform Web sites called for people to take to the streets...
jpost.com, June 20, " 'Mousavi vows martyrdom, insists Iran vote be annulled' ": (with YouTube videos of the June 20 demonstrations) Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi repeated on Saturday his demand that Iran's presidential vote be annulled, and implied that should he become a victim of the current violence surrounding the protests, he was ready for "martyrdom." "In a public address in southwestern Tehran, Mousavi said he was ready for martyrdom and that he would continue his path," the witness to the speech who asked not to be named told Reuters by telephone.
In a letter addressed to the country's highest electoral authority was published on one of Mousavi's official Web sites Saturday night, the opposition leader renewed his demand that the elections be annulled. The call was an unprecedented defiance of Iran's supreme leader, who has effectively declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of the June 12 and ordered an end to protests by demonstrators who say Mousavi was the winner. In the letter, Mousavi lists several allegations of voter fraud that calls proof the election should be held again. He did not mention Khamenei by name or say whether he supported ongoing street protests...
twitter reports, June 20, 2009:
(tweeters' names removed)
(via #IranElection) http://bit.ly/GMlRZ#IranElection protester woman shot dead (Warning: This YouTube video is very graphic and disturbing.) Her name is Neda, we are told via #IranElection:"Revolution in Honor of Neda, the girl murdered by Basij in front of her father today." Another tweet: "Her name was ندا (#Neda), which means voice or call in Farsi. She is the voice of the people, a call to freedom" and another, "they identified the 16 your old girl who was shot. her name in Neda.")
(via #IranElection 5pm Pacific Time) Please retweet: Petition: "Appeal to the UN on the Situation in Iran'' - http://301.to/2iu
(via #IranElection) RT CONF CANT STRESS ENOUGH MULT SOURCES CONFIRM BASIJ ARE AT HOSPITALS. GO TO EMBASSIES. http://bit.ly/2rYIbt (Huffingtonpost list) of embassies taking wounded)
(via #IranElection) Italy was one of the first ones to accept the wounded. BASIJ ARE AT HOSPITALS. GO TO EMBASSIES. HOSPITAL = DEATH
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights. As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away...
(via #IranElection)..The Hosp. are full. Ppl were fleeing to houses, the Basijis put a sign on the house, so they can go after them later! (tweeter's later post: "Reminds me of Nazis marking Jews' houses in WWII")...
TEHRAN - As police beat and fired tear gas at protesters in Tehran who defied a ban and the country's supreme leader, the nation's police chief said Saturday that his response would only get tougher if anti-government protests continue. Opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi did not appear at the main clashes near Revolution Square on Saturday, but a supporter said he did make a public address in southwest Tehran, urging backers to stage a national strike if he is arrested. "Mousavi said he was ready for martyrdom and that he would continue his path," the ally, who asked not to be named, told Reuters by telephone...
(via #IranElection) Fatemiyeh Hospital Tehran: 30-40 dead as of 11pm;200 injurd. Police taking names of injurd.
(via #IranElection) just in from iran: they throw grenande in SATTAKHRAN avenue killed a girl and wounded some people
(via #IranElection) RT:maphet RT NYT's Roger Cohen filed his report from Tehran on what he saw on the streets today http://bit.ly/3JqRlo :
Editorial note: This report recalls shades of the French Revolution of July 14, 1789. Women with their children marched to the palace of Versailles from Paris to protest the regime of Louis XVI and on their return to Paris their men began to join in, shamed to a degree, and the march ended up taking the Bastille fortress where the mob-now-revolutionaries knew there was a large stash of weapons. [re: Georges Lefebvre, "Quantre-Vignt-neuf" (1939) It is also noted that during the past 10 minutes of posting this article on Maravot News there have been about 5,000 more posts at #IranElection. Posted 3am Tehran time, 4.30pm Pacific time
Roger Cohen article: (nytimes.com) "A Supreme Leader Loses His Aura as Iranians Flock to the Streets." : TEHRAN - The Iranian police commander, in green uniform, walked up Komak Hospital Alley with arms raised and his small unit at his side. "I swear to God," he shouted at the protesters facing him, "I have children, I have a wife, I don't want to beat people. Please go home." A man at my side threw a rock at him. The commander, unflinching, continued to plead. There were chants of “Join us! Join us!” The unit retreated toward Revolution Street, where vast crowds eddied back and forth confronted by baton-wielding Basij militia and black-clad riot police officers on motorbikes. Dark smoke billowed over this vast city in the late afternoon. Motorbikes were set on fire, sending bursts of bright flame skyward....
Garbage burned. Crowds bayed. Smoke from tear gas swirled. Hurled bricks sent phalanxes of police, some with automatic rifles, into retreat to the accompaniment of cheers. Early afternoon rumors that the rally for Moussavi had been canceled yielded to the reality of violent confrontation. I don't know where this uprising is leading. I do know some police units are wavering. That commander talking about his family was not alone. There were other policemen complaining about the unruly Basijis. Some security forces just stood and watched. “All together, all together, don't be scared,” the crowd shouted.
I also know that Iran's women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I've seen them urging less courageous men on. I've seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!” Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her....
(via #IranElection) RT from Iran: UPDATE: 10:40pm WHOLE city is shaking with very loud screams from rooftops.
(via #IranElection) Police begin shooting protestrs in Iran-3 new videos (discretion advised) http://bit.ly/YJqhR
(via #IranElection)Tehran and Iran are awake, another day of struggle for our ppl...and another day of holding my breath and pray (Time of post 4:28am; 5.58pm Pacific time)
(via #IranElection) Khamenei's men butchered an innocent pregnant woman, impaling her baby in the womb . Warning, graphic: http://bit.ly/VYLbx (very graphic image)
(via #IranElection) Perhaps the most insensitive article I've seen so far on #IranElectionhttp://bit.ly/6R2Ea [Editorial note: if you agree you might post a copy of Neda, (above) "Protestor woman shot dead" in their "comments" since the timesofindia.indiatimes.com article complained that this Iran Revolution "had no face."- Mel Copeland]
6.20.09 Times reporter escapes Taliban after 7 months
June 20 - David Rohde, a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban, escaped Friday night and made his way to freedom after more than seven months of captivity in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Rohde, along with a local reporter, Tahir Ludin, and their driver, Asadullah Mangal, was abducted outside Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov. 10 while Mr. Rohde was researching a book. Mr. Rohde was part of The Times' reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize this spring for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan last year.
Mr. Rohde told his wife, Kristen Mulvihill, that Mr. Ludin joined him in climbing over the wall of a compound where they were being held in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. They found a Pakistani Army scout, who led them to a nearby army base, and on Saturday they were flown to the American military base in Bagram, Afghanistan. "They just walked over the wall of the compound," Ms. Mulvihill said. According to Mr. Rohde, the driver, Mr. Mangal, had opted to join the Taliban. [More>>nytimes.com]
6.20.09 38 militants killed in NW Pakistan operation
ISLAMABAD (Xinhua) June 20 - During [the] last 24 hours, 38 terrorists were killed and six others were apprehended in the military operation in the northwestern part of Pakistan, the army said in a statement on Saturday. Six soldiers including an officer were killed and 17 soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer were injured in the operation in Malakand division of North West Frontier Province and South Waziristan tribal Agency, said the statement. The security forces continued to conduct operations in Swat, Dir and other places in NWFP and tribal areas, according to the statement. At least 1,500 militants have been killed since security forces launched the military operation against Taliban militants late April after militants in early April entered the Buner district from the neighboring Swat district and refused to vacate the area despite their pledge to do so. [>xinhuanet.com; See also:
japantoday.com, June 20, "50 militants dead in Pakistan fighting" : CHUPRIAL, Pakistan - Pakistani troops backed by jet fighters and artillery have killed about 50 militants in a volatile northwestern tribal region near Afghanistan where the country's top Taliban leader is believed to be entrenched with thousands of his fighters, officials said Saturday. They were the first known militant casualties in South Waziristan — where Pakistan Taliban head Baitullah Mehsud and al-Qaeda figures are believed to be hiding — since the military started pounding the area with artillery about a week ago.
Mehsud is blamed for a series of suicide attacks that have killed more than 100 people since late May...Jet fighters flattened two abandoned militant-linked seminaries and a training facility Friday in a clear sign that the operation was ramping up. Two intelligence and army officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media, said heavy fighting was under way in the villages of Barwand and Madijan, with about 50 militants killed...
6.20.09 Airstrike kills 26 Taliban insurgents in S. Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (Xinhua) June 20 - Air raids against Taliban fighters in Taliban hotbed Helmand province south of Afghanistan have left over two dozen militants dead, Daud Ahmadi the spokesman for provincial administration said Saturday. "A group of the Taliban fighters were busy in planting mines on the road in Babajee area outside provincial capital Lashkar Gahon Friday night when the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) dropped bombs after getting information, killing 26 on the spot," Ahmadi told Xinhua. However, he did not say if there were any casualties on civilians as it has always been a sensitive issue in the military operation by international troops. Air raids against Taliban fighters sometimes harmed non-combatants as heavy bombardments against Taliban hideouts in Balablok district of the western Farah province left over 140 civilian dead in early May. Taliban fighters have vowed to speed up activities this year in Afghanistan. [>xinhuanet.com]
6.20.09 Suicide truck bomb kills 55 in northern Iraq
BAGHDAD (Reuters) June 20 - A suicide truck bomb killed at least 55 people leaving a mosque on Saturday, hours after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged Iraqis not to lose faith if a US military pullback resulted in more insurgent attacks. Almost all US soldiers will leave urban centres by June 30 under a security pact signed by Baghdad and Washington last year, and the whole force that invaded the country in 2003 must be gone by 2012...
Hours after Maliki spoke, a suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives as worshippers left a Shi'ite Muslim mosque near the northern city of Kirkuk, a city contested by Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds and which sits over vast oil reserves. Thirty-four people were killed, including women and children and about 150 civilians were wounded as dozens of clay homes in the area were flattened. Many people were feared trapped under the rubble, and the death toll was expected to rise.
...Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf said al-Qaeda was resorting to paying people to fight for it. It had also turned to criminal activities to raise funds. "It is a very important development. It shows al-Qaeda is starting to loss its impact," Khalaf told reporters. "Instead of recruiting people through faith or ideology, as it was in the past, now they are paying money to recruit people." [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com]
6.20.09 Cancer: shock breakthrough
June 20 - Patients with inoperable prostate disease recover after single dose of drug. Two patients with inoperable prostate cancer have made dramatic recoveries after receiving one dose of an experimental drug that is creating excitement among cancer specialists. The results were so startling that researchers decided to release details of the two cases before the drug trial — in which the patients took part — was complete. Doctors said their progress had exceeded all expectations. The men were treated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in the US, one of the top medical centres in the world.
Dr. Eugene Kwon, the urologist who was in charge of their treatment, compared the results to the first pilot breaking the sound barrier. "This is one of the Holy Grails of prostate cancer research. We have been looking for this for years," he said. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men — 34,000 new cases and more than 10,000 deaths are reported each year in Britain, where rates of its occurrence have tripled in the past 30 years, mainly due to improved detection. The US has the highest incidence of the disease.
Rodger Nelson and Fructuoso Solano-Revuelta were diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic. They were told the disease had spread beyond the prostate. Mr. Nelson's cancer was encroaching on the abdomen and Mr. Solano-Revuelta's tumour was the size of a golf ball. Patients in such condition are told they may have only months to live, and are normally only offered palliative care. But after one infusion of the drug ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody that stimulates the immune system, given with conventional hormone therapy, their tumors shrank enough to be surgically removed. Both men have since made a full recovery and returned to their businesses. [More>>independent.co.uk]
6.19.09 Khamenei call pressures Mousavi to end protests
TEHRAN (Reuters) June 19 - Iran's most powerful figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday as the victor of the disputed presidential election and demanded a halt to street protests. He said if demonstrations did not halt, their organizers would take responsibility for any bloodshed. Here is a brief outline of what might happen next and whether defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi will heed Khamenei's appeal in his first address to the nation since the protests broke out on June 13...Mousavi, prime minister during Iran-Iraq war in 1980-88, is unlikely to go against the interests of the Islamic republic following the leader's speech, and will therefore likely follow Khamenei's demand. He will probably continue his activities through judicial channels. [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com; See related stories:
timesonline.co.uk, June 19, Video: Defiant Khamenei warns Iranian protesters and attacks 'most treacherous' Britain" : Iran's Supreme Leader today singled out Britain as the "most treacherous" Western power trying to destabilise the Islamic Republic as he stood firm in the face of this week's massive street protests, hinting at even tougher repression if the unrest does not stop. In his first public appearance since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hotly-disputed re-election, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei set the scene for further confrontations between his regime and the millions of demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Iranian cities in the past six days, by insisting the political establishment would not bow to such pressure.
Despite instructions from the Supreme Leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mr. Ahmadinejad's defeated rival, failed to attend Mr. Khamenei's nationally-televised sermon to a vast crowd gathered at Tehran University for Friday prayers, and his supporters are planning to defy the authorities with another huge rally tomorrow. Mr. Ahmadinejad, by contrast, sat at the front...
jpost.com, June 19, " 'Khamenei threatens to exile Mousavi' : Iranian reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi was given an ultimatum by the Islamic Republic's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a call to support the reelected regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the London Times reported Friday morning. Khamenei made it clear to Mousavi that if he failed to report to Friday prayers at Teheran University, during which he planned to deliver a sermon calling for national unity, the opposition leader would be exiled.
Women, old and young, are visible at every rally — chanting, shouting, defiantly flashing V for Victory signs, carrying placards protesting the election results, defying the police and, in some cases, facing brutal retaliation. Others say the presence of so many woman is only the tip of the iceberg. "This movement is not about wearing lipstick and throwing their veil off," Kelly Nikinejad, editor of Tehranbureau.com, told ABC News. "It's so much deeper than that." Many Iranian women want what they have desired for so long — equal rights. Women make up an important part of Iran's population. They constitute 65 percent of all university students, but only 12 percent of women are in the workforce.
Additionally, under the current law, women do not have equal divorce, child custody or inheritance rights. Last year, Ahmadinejad's government tried to push a "family protection law" through parliament. The law would ease restrictions on polygamy and taxing mehriyeh, the traditional payment a husband gives a wife upon marriage, angering many...
bbc/co.uk, June 19, "Ayatollah demands end to protests" : Iran's supreme leader has issued a stern warning that protests against the country's disputed presidential election results must end. In his first public remarks after days of protests, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the outcome had to be decided at the ballot box, not on the street. He said political leaders would be blamed for any violence. Demonstrators calling for a new election earlier vowed to stage fresh protests on Saturday. But the governor of Tehran province, Morteza Tamadon, has said no permission has been given for such a rally and he hoped it would not be held.
...Responding to allegations of electoral fraud, the ayatollah insisted the Islamic Republic would not cheat. "There is 11 million votes difference," the ayatollah said. "How can one rig 11 million votes?"...In Washington, the House of Representatives voted 405-1 for a statement supporting democratic and fair elections, condemning the violence and the Iranian government's "suppression of independent electronic communications through interference with the internet and cell phones." ...
news.com.au (AFP) June 19, "Amnesty says 15 killed in Iran protests" : London-based rights group Amnesty International says it believes 15 people have been been killed in Iran amid protests since disputed elections last week. There have been mass protests since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared winner of the presidential poll ahead of the more moderate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Amnesty also criticized comments by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his first public appearance at weekly prayers in Tehran since protests against the poll began.
"We are extremely disturbed at statements made by Ayatollah Khamenei which seem to give the green light to security forces to violently handle protesters exercising their right to demonstrate and express their views," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of its Middle East and North Africa program.
"If large numbers of people take to the street in protests in the next couple of days, we fear that they will face arbitrary arrest and excessive use of force, as has happened in recent days." Khamenei warned during his address that street protests must stop or there was a risk of "blood, violence and chaos." Amnesty's Mr. Sahraoui added: "For a head of state to put the onus of security on peaceful demonstrators and not on the security forces is a gross dereliction of duty and a licence for abuse." [end]
Recent Twitter messages, June 19: (IranElection@persiankiwi, June 19 post) "Please join Mousavi, Khatami and Karoubi Sat 4pm Enghelab Sq. to Azadi Sq. Tehran for a crucial green protest "
(via Twitter>> AP, google.com/hostednews/ap/) June 19, "BBC enlisting new satellites to broadcast in Iran": The BBC is using two extra satellites to broadcast its Farsi-language service after days of jamming it blamed on Iran. The British state-run news organization said the move was meant to help it reach its Iranian audience as the crisis over their country's disputed election deepens. It is also a challenge to Iran's religious government, which has accused foreign broadcasters of stirring unrest, singling out the BBC in particular. "This is an important time for Iran," BBC World Service Director Peter Horrocks said in a statement. "We hope that by adding more ways to access BBC Persian television, Farsi-speaking audiences can get the high quality news, analysis and debate they clearly desire."...
6.19.09 French Muslim council slams call for burka query
PARIS (AFP) June 19 - French MP describes burqa as new "green fascism." France's Muslim council hit out Thursday at a lawmakers' call for an inquiry into women who wear the burka, the head-to-toe Islamic veil, warning not to "stigmatize" the country's five million Muslims. A group of 58 French MPs are asking for a parliamentary panel to look at ways to curb the wearing of the burka or niqab, which they describe as a "prison" and "degrading" for women and contrary to French secular principles. The lawmaker spearheading the drive, Communist Andre Gerin, is mayor of the southern city of Venissieux, home to a large north African immigrant community, where he says the sight of fully-covered women has become commonplace.
"Our politicians need to stop acting so blind," Gerin said, describing the burka as evidence of a new "green fascism" led by Islamic fundamentalists. Housing minister Fadela Amara, a Muslim-born women's rights campaigner, waded into the fray saying "we must do everything to stop burkas from spreading, in the name of democracy, of the republic, of respect for women." "The worrying thing is that we are seeing more and more of them," she said, describing the burka as "a kind of tomb for women."
But Mohammed Moussaoui, the head of the official French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM), insisted full-body veils remain a rare exception among France's Muslim community, Europe's largest. "To raise the subject like this, via a parliamentary committee, is a way of stigmatizing Islam and the Muslims of France," he charged. [More>>alarabiya.net; See wikipedia.org article, "Islam and clothing" (with related quotes from the Koran)
6.19.09 Commentary: Health care outrage goes uncovered
June 19 - (By Paul Begala) You probably have never heard of Robin Beaton, and that's what's wrong with the debate over health care reform. Beaton, a retired nurse from Waxahachie, Texas, had health insurance — or so she thought. She paid her premiums faithfully every month, but when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her health insurance company, Blue Cross, dumped her. The insurance company said the fact that she had seen a dermatologist for acne, who mistakenly entered a notation on her chart that suggested her simple acne was a precancerous condition, allowed Blue Cross to leave her in the lurch.
Beaton testified before a House subcommittee this week. So did other Americans who thought they had insurance but got the shaft. As Karen Tumulty of Time magazine (who has been the journalistic conscience of health care coverage) wrote, other witnesses included: "Peggy Raddatz, whose brother Otto Raddatz lost his insurance coverage right before he was scheduled to receive an expensive stem-cell transplant to treat his lymphoma. Why? Because Fortis Insurance Company discovered his doctor had found gall stones and an aneurysm on a CT scan — conditions that had nothing to do with his cancer, that never bothered him and that he wasn't even aware of..."
...The subcommittee's chairman, Democrat Bart Stupak of Michigan, called the hearing to highlight the obnoxious and unethical practice called rescission. His researchers produced performance reviews of insurance company bureaucrats who were praised and rewarded for kicking people off their coverage. Then Stupak asked three health insurance executives the big question: Will your company pledge to end the practice of rescission except in cases of intentional fraud? All three health insurance executives said no. It was as dramatic as congressional testimony gets. Yet it got no airtime on the networks, nor, as far as I can tell, on cable news, although CNN.com did run a story. Time's Tumulty was all over it, as was Lisa Girion of The Lost Angeles Times. But the story did not make The New York Times. Nor The Washington Post... [Full story>>cnn.com]
6.19.09 US tracking N. Korea ship
June 19 - The US military is closely watching a North Korean ship that may be carrying banned military cargo, a US defense official said on Thursday. It is the first vessel to be tracked under [the] new UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang last week after it carried out an underground nuclear test on May 25...In related news, the United States said it has deployed anti-missile defenses around Hawaii amid reports that North Korea may fire its most advanced ballistic missile toward the U.S. islands early next month. [Full story>>koreaherald.co.kr]
6.19.09 20 extremists killed in Charming
KHAR, Pakistan, June 19 - At least three security men were killed, when the extremists attacked on a motorcade of the security forces in Bajaur Agency area of Charming. The security forces returned the attack and killed at least 20 extremists. [>thenews.com.pk]
6.19.09 Madni revealed LeT link with Maoists: Police
NEW DELHI, India, June 19 - Investigators on Friday told a Delhi court that Mohd Omar Madni, a suspected militant, has disclosed links between Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taliba and Maoists in Jharkhand. "He (Madni) revealed that LeT was acting in coordination with CPI (Maoists) in Jharkhand. He has acted as conduit for LeT and provided training to recruits in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and sent them to India to carry out terror strikes," the public prosecutor told the court which extended the police remand of Madni for seven days. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
6.19.09 US woman to pay $1.9 million for downloading songs from internet
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) June 19 - A US woman was found guilty of illegally downloading 24 songs from the Internet and ordered to pay a $1.9 million fine, $80,000 for each song, CNN reported Friday. The attorney for Minnesota resident Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 32, said this was the first such copyright violation case to be tried in the United States, adding that the woman intends to appeal the federal jury verdict. [More>>en.rian.ru]
6.18.09 Up to 200,000 Tweets about Iran sent an hour
June 18 - (By Ruth Barnett, Twitter correspondent) Coverage of Twitter's role in receiving information from Iran during the protests there has led to hundreds of thousands of "tweets" being sent during peak hours. However, the drawback from those hoping to gain insight into the latest developments is that the vast majority of messages are now coming from outside Iran. In recent days, there have been around 10,000 to 50,000 tweets every hour mentioning "Iran," according to US blog Mashable and data from the trend tracker Trendrr.
The statistics suggest 2.25 million blog posts were written about the country in the last 24 hours, a significant sign of the way the political crisis in Tehran has captured the attention of a global web audience. But in a single hour on Wednesday, more than 220,000 messages on that topic were sent via Twitter. It has become harder and harder to find messages that seem to be from Iran itself — partly because widespread internet filters are making it difficult for non-experts to get online. [More>>skynews.com; See:
6.18.09 Day of mourning: Thousands of Iranian protesters remember dead
June18 - As protesters mourn, government reaches out to opposition leaders. Thousands of Iranian protesters took to the streets of Tehran today to mark the death of at least eight demonstrators killed in the wake of last week's contested elections. The protesters, seen on TV footage, many wearing black and holding photos and the names of those killed, jammed Iman Khomeini square, according to various media reports. They were responding to a call by ousted opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to hold a day or mourning. Mousasvi was seen on TV footage in the crowd speaking briefly, but is was not immediately clear what he told the crowd. Foreign media are still officially barred from covering unauthorized demonstrations.
There are no reports of violence or arrests. Also Thursday Iran's Guardian Council invited Mousavi and two other candidates to a meeting to hear their grievances this Saturday. A council spokesperson said the group had begun to investigate some 646 complaints of voting irregularities from last Friday's vote, Reuters reported. [More>>abcnews.go.com; See related,
cnn.com, June 18, "Iranians dodging governments's internet crackdown" : It's a high-tech, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse. As the Iranian government seeks to crack down on the online networks being used by protesters who question the nation's election results, a community of Net-savvy users -- both inside and outside the country -- are working to try to stay one step ahead. "To the Iranian government hackers who keep attacking the places they see as a threat, you are wasting your time," wrote one anonymous poster to a message board loaded with eyewitness accounts of violence, plans for protests and notices about people reported missing or dead. "You are completely outnumbered. There are thousands of Iranians who want to be free and people who support them for every one of you there is."
That site, with a server in California, was unable to be accessed for a couple of hours Wednesday afternoon. The error could have been caused by too many people trying to access the site at the same time. The same error would be caused by a so-called "denial of service" attack — using a program to flood a site with thousands of hits in a short time. Access to networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and photography site Flickr have been blocked in Iran, where the government also has been accused of blocking text-messaging, launching denial of service attacks and spreading misinformation to protest communities online. But Web users have been able to get around those roadblocks by the thousands, thanks to Internet proxies — Web servers set up in other countries that allow Iranians to hide their computer's Internet Protocol address from censors within the country...
twitter.com/iranriggedelect, June 18 (via skynews.com) "iranriggedElect report" : University of Tehran Dean (Ahmadinejad appointee) is being reported to have just denied student deaths on state TV! need contact info 4 the UN offices around the world where one can contact for reporting concerns re Human Rights Violations.
lotfan.org, June 18 (via skynews.com and twitter) "Announcement" : Lotfan.org is run by independent group of Iranian individuals living in Toronto and concerned about Iran's future. We are monitoring the situation in Iran closely. We publish written pieces in this page and communicate using the following channels:
Editorial note: skynews.com installed a coveritLive panel of twitter postings with links, as above, ("Iran protest") on its front page. This introduces a new approach to news reporting.
6.18.09 Forces kill 34 terrorists in last 24 hours: ISPR
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, June 18 - The security forces killed at least 34 terrorists and apprehended seven others, while 5 soldiers were injured in Malakand during the last 24 hours. According to a press release issued by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Security forces carried out [a] clearance operation around Mingora and recovered 15 rifles, while 5 suspected terrorists were also apprehended including Mohtamum Madrassa Fiaz during search operation at Shahpur. Security forces successfully secured [an] area around Bridge 2, Kabbal and Kotlai. During [the] exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists, 12 terrorists were killed while 5 soldiers were injured.
During [a] consolidation operation at Tutan Banda area of Swat, six terrorists were killed. Security forces commenced [a] clearance operation of Shamozai area. During [an] encounter, ten terrorists were killed. Security forces apprehended two suspected terrorists at Dir areas of Shewa and also recovered a Light Machine Gun, 60 rounds, a TT Pistol and a Binocular. Security forces conducted [a] search operation at Nimazgai area of Upper Dir; during exchange of fire between terrorists and security forces, at least six terrorists were killed. [More>>thenews.com.pk; See related stories,
thenews.com.pk, June 18, "Two foreigners nabbed in Bajaur" : Political Administration launched a crackdown against the foreigners in Bajaur Agency and arrested two of them, Geo News reported Thursday...Meantime, Political Administration launched a crackdown on the Mamond tribes and arrested at least 16 tribesmen.
thenews.com.pk, June 18, "90 suspects nabbed in Darra Adamkhel" : KOHAT - The security forces continued the search operation in Darra Adamkhel areas of Bostikhel and Sheraki, Geo News reported Thursday. According to sources, the forces arrested at least 90 suspected people during the search operation. The security sources said the forces pounded on two hideouts of militants in Bostikhel and Toor Chhapra. [end]
6.18.09 US kills nine in missile attack on Taleban base in South Waziristan
ISLAMABAD, June 18 - A US missile attack killed at least nine militants at a South Waziristan training camp today ahead of a planned ground offensive by the Pakistani army on the mountainous tribal region. Two or three pilotless American aircraft fired at least four missiles at a camp near the village of Raghzai, witnesses said. A building was destroyed and four local militants and five foreigners, including Arabs and Turkmenistan nationals, are thought to have been killed. The attack coincided with Pakistani artillery and air strikes and an economic blockade on the region, which is home to Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taleban leader, and considered the likely hiding place of Osama bin Laden. A local intelligence official told The Times that Taleban militants surrounded the camp after the attack and blocked all access.
The camp was on the edge of the area of South Waziristan controlled by Mr. Mehsud, a former bodybuilder in his late 30s who is believed to command 10,000 men and is blamed for a string of recent suicide-bombings. Pakistan's Government announced this week that it had ordered its army to open a new front against Mr. Mehsud, seven weeks after launching an assault on the Taleban in the northwestern region of Swat. However, yesterday's target was inside the territory of Mullah Nazir, another militant leader who has close links to Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taleban leader, and recently formed a loose alliance with Mr. Mehsud. US and British officials say Mullah Nazir has launched regular attacks on US and NATO forces over the border in Afghanistan, but Pakistani officials do not consider him a threat to Pakistan. [More>>timesonline.co.uk; See other details,
nytimes.com, June 18, "Pakistan says US drone kills 13" : ISLAMABAD -Thirteen people have been killed and several wounded in an attack Thursday suspected to have been carried out by an American drone against the camp of a local Taliban commander in South Waziristan, a Pakistani intelligence official based in the area said. The drone fired a total of four missiles into a compound in the village of Raghzai near Wana, the capital of South Waziristan, which was being used as a base by the Taliban commander Wali Mohammed, local residents and officials said.
Mr. Mohammed, who is better known by his nom de guerre, Malang Wazir, was not in the compound and survived the attack, a fighter loyal to Mr. Mohammed said in a telephone interview. The intelligence official, who like the fighter, spoke on condition of anonymity, said a nephew of Mr. Mohammed died in the attack. According to residents in the area, one person died in an initial double missile strike on the compound. When people rushed to the scene to rescue the wounded, two more missiles struck. Eight more people were killed in the second strike, the residents said. The intelligence official said that four additional people had died...
6.18.09 Insurgent ambush kills 24 Algerian police: report
ALGIERS (Reuters) June 18 - Insurgents killed 24 Algerian paramilitary police in an ambush on their convoy late on Wednesday, a local newspaper reported on Thursday. The ambush, if confirmed, would be the deadliest single attack in months in Algeria, a major oil and gas exporter fighting Islamist militants allied to the al-Qaeda network. Two Algerian security sources, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters there had been an ambush and more than 20 paramilitary police had been killed. The Echorouk newspaper cited security sources and local people as saying the ambush took place at about 8pm on a stretch of highway between the settlements of El Meher and El Mansourah, about 180 km (110 miles) east of the capital.
It said the attackers first activated two improvised explosive devices and then opened fire on the convoy. The insurgents left taking arms, weapons and six police off-road vehicles, said the newspaper. There was no official confirmation of the attack. Algerian authorities often do not issue any formal comment when security personnel have been killed in insurgent attacks. Algeria, which lies across the Mediterranean from Europe, has been struggling for nearly two decades to get to grips with Islamist insurgents who now operate under the banner of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
6.18.09 Saudi al-Qaeda member surrenders in Yemen
SANAA, Yemen, June 18 - A Saudi member of al-Qaeda surrenders himself to Yemeni authorities after weeks of being tracked down with the help of information obtained from already captured al-Qaeda members, Al Arabiya TV reported Thursday. Early investigation with al-Qaeda's main sponsor in Yemen Hasan Hussein Bin al-Wan who was arrested last week in Mari, east of the capital Sanaa, helped security forces arrest Naif al-Harbi and uncover al-Qaeda networks in the country, according to unnamed security sources. Three foreign hostages were killed this week after being seized in the mountainous Saada province in an attack that an analyst said bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda. [More>>alarabiya.net]
6.18.09 Nigeria impounds Ukrainian plane with arms on board
KANO, Nigeria (Reutes) June 18 - A Ukrainian cargo plane bound for Equatorial Guinea has been impounded in Nigeria after security officers found weapons and ammunition on board, a Nigerian official and Ukrainian media said. The official at northern Nigeria's Kano airport, who asked not to be named, said the plane had stopped to refuel late on Wednesday when the arms were discovered during a routine search. Nigerian police confirmed that an aircraft had been detained but gave no details on its origin or destination.
...Russian news agency Itar-Tass said the AN-12 cargo plane belonged to a Ukrainian company, Meridian, and quoted its head as saying the cargo was being held for no reason..."The plane was flying from Zagreb (Croatia) to Equatorial Guinea and landed in Nigeria to refuel," he said, adding that the seven-member crew had had their passports seized but were in good physical condition...Ukrainian transport firms have also been involved in arms shipments around Africa in the past. A Ukrainian ship carrying 32 Soviet-era T-72 tanks was captured last September by Somali pirates. Kenya said it had bought the tanks for its army but foreign diplomats said they were bound for Sudan. [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com]
6.18.09 Report: Guns flow south thanks to US
June 18 - The federal government has failed to develop an coordinated strategy to stop the illegal trafficking of firearms into Mexico, according to a new government report.The General Accountability Office investigation released today (pdf) cites Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives data that approximates 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and submitted to the US for tracing in the last five years came from the US, and found that roughly one quarter of the guns seized are high-caliber, high-powered assault style weapons, including AK-47s and AR-15s. Most of the illegal weapons that cross the border are intended to support Mexican drug cartels, lending added firepower to an already lethal Mexican drug war. [More>>washingtonpost.com]
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