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Pakistan Says 18 Militants Killed in New Operation

Pakistani officials say troops backed by helicopters killed at least 18 militants during the latest offensive in the country's lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Defense officials said they launched the offensive Tuesday to target insurgents blamed for recent bombings in the country. On Monday, Pakistan's military said troops killed 18 militants while pursuing Taliban fighters during a second day of clashes in the town of Shahu Khel.  The clashes took place in the Orakzai region, near South Waziristan where Pakistani forces have been pressing an with an offensive against Talib

Zimbabwe Parties Resume Talks

Talks to resolve issues that threaten the unity of Zimbabwe's shaky inclusive government got under way on Monday. The talks started after the deadline set by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the parties that make up the unity government to fully implement the so-called Global Political Agreement, or GPA, the deal that brought about the national unity government. On November 5 a SADC summit in Maputo gave the feuding parties 15 days to implement the outstanding issues. If this did not happen, SADC would send South Africa's President Jacob Zuma to break the logjam.

IJC Operational Update, Nov. 24: Afghan-International Security Forces Detain Militants in Three Provinces; ANA Soldiers Complete Medic Course; ISAF Casualty

Several militants in Kandahar province were detained by an Afghan- international security force today. One of the suspects is a known Taliban facilitator responsible for the financial and logistical support of militant elements in the area. Tips from intelligence sources led the joint force to search compounds near the village of Bahay Dehe Sufla, southwest of Kandahar City. The compounds were searched without incident.

Joint teamwork keeps foreign fighters from crossing borders

Intelligence reporting indicated that foreign fighters could be located in a town in Iraq's northwestern Ninewah province near the Syrian border. A short time later, ground forces moved through the city. Simultaneously, Hawaii-based Soldiers flying two UH-60 Black Hawks inserted Iraqi commandos and Michigan-based infantrymen near the main supply route to prevent vehicles and personnel fleeing the town, Nov.

Marines prepare Georgian Soldiers for deployment to Afghanistan

About half a kilometer away from two companies of Georgian Soldiers lies the objective—an old, run-down air traffic control tower. A cluster of off-white, weathered and tattered buildings, removed of all doors and windows, are the skeletal remains of Vasiani Air Base, a Russian-era military base about 15 miles east of Tbilisi that has been abandoned and unmaintained since the early 1990s.

USS Rentz Assists Mariners in Distress

USS Rentz (FFG 46) responded to a distress call Nov. 20 from Motor Vessel Adnan Wahd, which was taking on water while at sea in the Central Arabian Gulf. M/V Adnan Wahd reported a hole in its hull and that the crew could not bring the flooding under control.

Thailand SEA Games Crisis in Laos

Elements of the Royal Thai Third Army and Thai military, at the apparent orders of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit, Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and Army Chief General Anupong, have dramatically increased pressure and coercive measures on Lao Hmong refugees prior to the Southeast Asia Games (SEAG or SEA Games)as more soldiers are being sent to Ban Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai, Thailand. Prior to the SEA Games, in recent weeks, elements of the Thai Third Army and Ministry of Interior have loaded and removed nearly a half dozen Army truck loads of forks, knives and spoons that have been seize

Thousands March in Rival Nicaraguan Rallies

Thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters took to the streets of Nicaragua's capital over the possible re-election of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. At least 40,000 anti-government demonstrators rallied Saturday in one area of Managua, marching against what they called Mr.

Report Blaming Hindu Nationalist Leaders for Role in 1992 Destruction of Mosque Rocks Indian Parliament

In India, a leaked government report which has blamed senior Hindu nationalist leaders for the demolition of an ancient mosque 17 years ago, has rocked parliament, and angered the opposition. Both houses of parliament erupted in furor Monday after a newspaper published excerpts of a government report on the demolition of a 16th century mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya in 1992 by a Hindu mob. The report by the Liberhan commission, which investigated the demolition, has not yet been made public. The Indian Express newspaper says that the commission has concluded that the bu

Pirates Seize Greek-Owned Ship off Yemen

A Kenyan maritime official says pirates have hijacked a Greek-owned bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, near Yemen. Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Assistance Program says Red Sea Spirit was taken Thursday, but news of the seizure only emerged Saturday. Somali pirates have continued to defy foreign navies patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa and are holding at least 13 vessels and more than 200 crew.

IJC Operational Update, Nov. 23: Norwegian Home Guard commander visits IJC; Update on ISAF Casualties

The Norwegian Home Guard commander visited the ISAF Joint Command at the North Kabul International Airport military compound Nov. 22.
Major Gen. Bernt Iver Ferdinand Brovold was the guest of Maj. Gen. Jacques Lechevallier, IJC deputy commander. During his brief visit to IJC, the Norwegian general was briefed on the different types of threats Afghan people face and the IJC counterinsurgency strategy.

Marines Eat, Sleep, Operate Out of Afghan National Police Compound

Almost like clockwork, as soon as the Marines with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment's Police Mentoring Team rise from their cots, shave any overnight facial stubble and brush their teeth, Lali, an 8-year-old Afghan boy from Hazar Geft, enters the Afghan national police compound and waits. The PMT Marines eat, sleep and operate out of the ANP compound in Garmsir, Afghanistan. Lali stands by, greeting the groggy Marines with a "good morning," and waits for any tasks the Marines have for him. "One day he just walked in, and we started talking to him," said Cpl. Frank D.

NATO’s new training mission for Afghanistan is activated in Kabul

Less than nine months after NATO’s Heads of State and Government announced the establishment of the NATO Training Mission for Afghanistan (NTM-A), at the Alliance’s Summit meeting in Strasbourg-Kehl, the NATO Flag was raised today at Camp Eggers in Kabul marking the start of NATO’s mission to enhance training and mentoring of the Afghan National Security Forces.

Essex Completes Successful ANNUALEX

The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Okinawa Nov. 18 to offload the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) after successfully completing Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 21G. Essex Sailors and Combat Cargo Marines moved approximately 75 vehicles and 300 pieces of MEU cargo, as well as dozens of aircraft assigned to the 31st MEU's Aviation Combat Element (ACE), marking the end of the 21st edition of the exercise, which is designed to enhance naval interoperability between the U.S.