Afghanistan – A suicide attack on a police station in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 20 officers it was reported on the 17 Feb 15. The attack on the police headquarters in Logar was carried out by four suicide bombers. Two of the attackers managed to enter the headquarters and two detonated the explosives on them in the kitchen and the dining room of the compound. The bombers were wearing police uniforms and used a police vehicle to enter the compound. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Afghan government is to hold peace talks with the Taliban leadership following a strategic dialogue with neighbouring Pakistan, the country's chief executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah confirmed on the 23 Feb 15. During a meeting of Afghanistan's Council of Ministers, Dr Abdullah said the talks would begin shortly. His announcement has yet to be confirmed by the Taliban, but signals from Pakistan's military establishment indicate a transformation in relations between the neighbours following years of mutual suspicion throughout former president Hamid Karzai's tenure. Informed sources said the breakthrough was made by Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, who has waged a strategic campaign to persuade Pakistan, long regarded as a patron of the Taliban, that closer security cooperation could dramatically reduce terrorism in the two countries. He hopes stronger links and better trust between Kabul and Islamabad can end what many regard as a long proxy war in which Pakistan believes the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan's security agency, has India's backing. Afghanistan regards the Taliban-leadership as Islamabad-sponsored.
China – A suicide bomber in the Chinese region of Xinjiang killed as many as eight people on the 13 Feb 15 when he grabbed a police officer and set off an explosive device attached to his body reports claim on the 17 Feb 15. A member of the Uighur ethnic group set off the device in Hotan Prefecture, an impoverished part of Xinjiang near the border with India and Pakistan. The account could not be independently confirmed, and the Chinese state news media had yet to report on the incident. Radio Free Asia reported that the attack on the 13 Feb took place in Guma County, known as Pishan in Chinese. 361 COMMENT: Although there have been many incidents in the region regarding the Uighur’s against the Chinese this maybe the first reported suicide from the group. If so it would mean an escalation and that the terrorist group has undergone training elsewhere and has a sound logistic network set up in order to obtain suicide vests. COMMENT ENDS
Japan – Japan on the 17 Feb 15 announced $15.5 million to fight “terrorism” in the Middle East and Africa, as Tokyo tries to demonstrate its resolve despite the murder of two citizens by Islamist extremists. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement the aid was part of Japan’s effort to support “counter-terrorism capacity building assistance in the Middle East/Africa,” including border control, investigation and development of legal systems. The amount doubles the $7.5 million in assistance that Kishida pledged during a visit to Brussels in January. Details on the aid will be given by vice foreign minister Yasuhide Nakayama during a global counter-terrorism conference later during the reporting period in Washington, ministry officials said.
Pakistan – A Taliban suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a congested neighbourhood on the 17 Feb 15 after failing to breach the security cordon around the headquarters of the police. The target was the main building of Police Headquarters. A breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack, which it described as retaliation for army operations in the country’s tribal belt. “Today’s suicide attack was made in revenge for our fighters’ death in tribal areas,” a spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said.
Thailand – A naval explosive ordnance disposal team was been dispatched to investigate a possible explosive device on board a product tanker, the Royal Thai Navy's (RTN's) Maritime Information Sharing Centre (MISC) on the 16 Feb 15. The Thai-flagged tanker MT Lapin was reported to have been hijacked on 13 Feb 15 while under way in the Malacca Strait. AISLive ship tracking data indicates that Lapin left Singapore on 12 Feb 15 and was heading towards the Andaman Sea when it was boarded. According to a 16 Feb report in the Bangkok Post the vessel was boarded by between six and eight men carrying knives and firearms. According to the Navy’s explosive ordnance disposal officers, the device comprised an electrical circuit and battery without any explosive powder. The device was destroyed by using a high-pressure water gun. It is believed that the pirates planted the fake bomb so as to buy more time for their smooth escape, using it as intimidation tactics against the crew.
Suspected Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand on the 27 Feb 15 detonated a car bomb that wounded 13 people and damaged buildings, police said. Two other bombs were defused. The bomb was hidden in a pickup truck that was parked in front of a karaoke bar in a commercial district in Narathiwat province. The explosion wounded two soldiers and 11 civilians, one of them seriously. Suspected militants also threw a pipe bomb at a restaurant 50 meters (yards) from the first explosion, but the improvised device did not go off and was defused. An explosive ordnance disposal unit used water canon to successfully destroy another explosive device hidden in a motorcycle in front of a nearby grocery store. Narathiwat is one of the three Muslim-majority southern provinces in Buddhist-dominated Thailand.