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Sri Lankan President Woos Tamils

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Tuesday that the government will spend billions of dollars this year to rebuild infrastructure in the war-shattered north and east. He also is offering to consider political demands of the minority Tamil community, such as power sharing-arrangements in parliament and greater autonomy in Tamil dominated areas.    The promise comes just days after the president visited Jaffna in the north -- the heartland of the Tamils.  The government has taken other steps, in recent weeks, to improve conditions for Tamil civilians, who were affected by the military cam

Venezuela Protests to US Over Alleged Violation of Airspace

Venezuela has sent a formal letter of protest to the United States, alleging a U.S. military plane violated Venezuelan airspace last week after taking off from the nearby Netherlands Antilles.  The Venezuelan government Monday presented the formal protest to U.S. diplomats in Caracas.  The U.S. denies the accusation. Late last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he ordered two F-16 jets to intercept what he said was a U.S. P-3 aircraft over his country.  He said the American plane twice entered his country's airspace from the Netherlands Antilles. Washington has said the U.S.

IJC Refutes False Claim in Xinhua

ISAF forces did not open fire on civilians in Garmsir District as claimed in a report from the Chinese wire service Xinhua. As noted in our previous press release, during today's protest an insurgent sniper shot an Afghan official who was within Forward Operating Base Dehili. ISAF service members identified the insurgent sniper, shot and killed him. There were no other injuries or shots fired by ISAF forces. Local ISAF task force leadership in Garmsir District have been invited to participate with the District Governor and Chief of Police in a shura, Jan. 13.

IJC Operational Update, Jan. 12, 2010

In an early morning operation yesterday in the Now Zad area of Helmand province, ISAF forces witnessed a large number of insurgents near a safe house preparing ammunition and observed insurgent mortar teams moving equipment. An unmanned aerial vehicle launched one Hellfire missile killing 13 insurgents. There are no reports of civilian casualties or damage to residential compounds. In another operation yesterday, three insurgents with weapons were killed after they took up previously used firing positions in the Nad Ali district, Helmand.

Jan. 11 airpower summary

Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 11, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here. Air Operations in Afghanistan: Chahar Bagh Air Force MQ-9A Reaper operators provided armed overwatch for friendly forces. When friendly forces reported taking enemy fire, the operators received coordinates for the enemy position and released a precision-guided munition against the enemy target, which eliminated the threat.

Six Nations Gear Up for Cobra Gold 2010

Cobra Gold, the largest multinational military exercise in the world, begins its 29th year of joint training and cooperation among six countries in the Asia-Pacific theater in Thailand on Feb.1.  Cobra Gold 2010 marks the first time South Korea will participate in the exercise. “Thailand is one of our closest friends and partners in Asia, as well as being our oldest ally in Asia,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander, U.S. Army Pacific. “The Cobra Gold exercise is the largest multilateral joint military exercise in the world.” Sponsored by U.S.

Air Force officials release F-16 accident report

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) -- Air Combat Command officials here Jan. 11 released the results of their investigation into the Oct.

Three Days of Violence in Karachi Kill 35

Three days of violence in Pakistan's commercial hub, Karachi, have killed at least 35 members of various political parties. The French News Agency (AFP) on Sunday quoted an anonymous senior security official as saying the targeted killings by unidentified gunmen began Thursday after police discovered the headless body of a worker from the city's dominant political party, the Mutahida Qaumi Movement. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the killings are the handiwork of those who want to undermine the provincial government and "destabilize the country." British Foreign Secretary David M

Rival Somali Islamic Militias Clash in Power Struggle

After two days of clashes, a military commander for the Sufi militia, Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jamaa, says his forces have seized the town of Beledweyne in the Hiran region from Hizbul Islam rebels. The commander, Aden Mohamoud, says both sides took heavy casualties in what residents describe as among the worst fighting there in recent months.  Mohamoud says Ahlu-Sunna forces are in full control of Beledweyne and the town is now calm. The fighting broke out Sunday after Ahlu-Sunna fighters and local clan militias launched an offensive to capture Beledweyne, a strategic town near the border with