Afghanistan/German Consulate/Taliban – Suicide bomb attacks late on the 10 Nov 16 at the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif killed at least four people and left more than 100 injured, mostly civilians. Only unofficial casualty estimates were available early on the 11 Nov 16 provided by a doctor at a hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif, one of Afghanistan’s major cities. Some of the injured taken to the hospital were in serious condition. Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan heavily damaged the consulate after fighting their way into the building during an intense gun battle that lasted for hours. The initial blast outside the German compound came from a truck bomb explosion that blew apart a protective barrier around the consulate, shaking buildings and breaking windows over a wide area. A spokesman for the Islamist insurgency in Afghanistan said several heavily armed Taliban suicide bombers stormed the German consulate moments after the initial explosion, which occurred after 2300 hrs local time. With a direct route to the consulate buildings cleared by the first blast, a local police official said another suicide attacker “rammed his explosives-filled car” into the front wall of the main building. NATO troops and Afghan security forces said they had secured the building and preparing to evacuate consulate staff. The operation apparently had been prolonged by concerns that more explosives may have been planted by the attackers. Afghan authorities said they sealed off the area around the German diplomatic compound, a former hotel. Reports from the scene said NATO helicopters were monitoring the fighting from above. The Taliban said their assault was a “revenge attack” to retaliate for an airstrike earlier this month in neighbouring Kunduz province. The insurgents said a bombing run by U.S. warplanes killed 32 civilians, including a number of children. The airstrikes triggered impassioned demonstrations in nearby Kunduz city, with victims’ relatives displaying mutilated bodies of dead children in a parade of trucks through the streets. U.S. authorities are investigating the circumstances of the airstrike, but they have said it “very likely” was carried out by American warplanes. The air raid came after a Taliban assault that killed two American soldiers and three members of Afghan Special Forces. The German government convened a crisis meeting before dawn in Berlin to gather information about the consulate attack. Germany has 983 soldiers serving with NATO forces in Afghanistan, most of them in Balkh province, whose capital is Mazar-i-Sharif.
Afghanistan/Taliban – NATO says at least four people have been killed in an explosion inside the largest US military base in Afghanistan, with the Taliban claiming responsibility for the attack. The explosion struck at dawn on the 12 Nov 16 inside the heavily fortified Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul, as the Taliban step up attacks on Western targets before the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs. The nationalities of those killed were not immediately known after the blast, which highlights a worsening security situation. "An explosive device was detonated on Bagram Airfield resulting in multiple casualties. Four people have died in the attack and approximately 14 have been injured," NATO said in a statement. "Response teams at Bagram continue to treat those who were injured and investigate the incident." Waheed Sediqqi, spokesman for the Parwan provincial governor, said the bomber managed to enter the heavily protected site and was standing in a queue with Afghan labourers when he detonated a suicide vest. Bagram Airfield, close to Kabul, has frequently come under attack by Taliban fighters. A reporter claimed that the base is in a heavily guarded area where people only with exclusive access can enter. "An Afghan police official told us that the person who got in with the explosives must be a dual citizen and someone who has an access pass and is trusted to go without escort," he said. The explosion underscores a worsening security situation nearly two years after NATO formally ended its combat operations in Afghanistan. The US currently has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, with the largest contingent stationed at Bagram Airfield.
Afghanistan – A suicide bomber on a motorbike has killed at least four people and wounded several others in an attack on a vehicle carrying national security officials in Kabul, according to a security official. An interior ministry official confirmed on the 16 Nov 16 the attack but could not say immediately how many people had been killed or injured. "The suicide bomber was on a motorbike and detonated himself in the Pul Mahmood Khan area [in Kabul]. The target is unclear but there were casualties," said Najib Danish, an interior ministry spokesperson. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
India/Pakistan/Kashmir – Seven civilians were killed and nine others wounded by Pakistani shelling in Kashmir on the 2 Nov 16, Indian officials said, as cross-border firing by the two countries’ troops escalated in the disputed region. A police officer said five people, including two children, were killed by Pakistani shelling in Ramgarh sector. Civil administrator Pawan Kotwal said two women also died in Rajouri sector in cross-border firing. He said at least nine civilians were injured. Kotwal said hundreds of civilians living in villages along the frontier have been evacuated to safer places in recent weeks and are spending nights in government-run shelters. An army officer and a border guard official in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir said Indian soldiers “befittingly” replied to what they described an “unprovoked” violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord. The Indian and Pakistani armies guard the Line of Control that divides the two parts of Kashmir. Each country also has a separate paramilitary border force that guards the frontier separating Indian-controlled Kashmir and the Pakistani province of Punjab. An Indian soldier was killed and four others were injured when troops from the two countries exchanged mortar and gunfire in Rajouri sector on the night of the 1 Nov 16. Also the Pakistani army said Indian troops opened fire across the Line of Control, killing four civilians and wounding six others.
India/Pakistan/Kashmir – India and Pakistan have accused each other of violating a ceasefire along the Line of Control - the de facto border - separating the two South Asian rivals. The Indian army said on the 9 Nov 16 that one of its soldiers was killed by Pakistani sniper fire in the Machil sector of Indian-administered Kashmir. The Indian army said two of its soldiers were killed in a separate Pakistani attack a day earlier in Naushera sector. Army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the Indian soldiers retaliated by targeting the Pakistan army posts across the Line of Control, or LoC, that divides the disputed Kashmir region between the two nations. Pakistan accused India of a ceasefire violation after at least four of its civilians were killed in cross-border firing. The dead included a 10-year-old girl and her mother, according to Pakistan's foreign ministry, which said that a senior Indian diplomat was summoned for the "unprovoked ceasefire violation on November 8". Seven others were also injured in the incident, which occurred in the Khuirata and Battal sectors of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. In a separate incident, Indian troops shot dead two suspected fighters in a gun battle in the Sopore area of Indian-administered Kashmir after receiving a tip-off. "Two terrorists were killed and two weapons were recovered from their bodies," Colonel Kalia said.
India/Pakistan/Kashmir – The Pakistani military has accused India of killing seven soldiers in cross-border fire in the disputed Kashmir border. There was no immediate response to the accusation from Indian officials. The Pakistani military media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a statement on the 14 Nov 16 that the soldiers were killed in the Bhimber sector on the "Line of Control," which is the de facto border separating the two South Asian rivals. "Seven (Pakistani) soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom) at the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber sector in a crossfire LOC violation by Indian troops late last night," the military said in a statement. "Pakistani troops, while responding to Indian unprovoked firing, targeted Indian posts effectively."
Pakistan/Da’esh – SIS is increasing its presence in Pakistan, recruiting Uzbek militants, attracting disgruntled Taliban fighters and partnering with one of Pakistan’s most violent sectarian groups, according to police officers, Taliban officials and analysts. Its latest atrocity was an attack on the 12 Nov 16 on a Sufi shrine in south-western Pakistan that killed at least 50 people and injured 100 others. The group said in a statement that a suicide bomber attacked the shrine with the intent of killing Shiite Muslims and issued a picture of the attacker. When ISIS circulated a photograph of one of the attackers in last month’s deadly assault on a police academy in south-western Baluchistan province, two Taliban officials told The Associated Press that the attacker was an Uzbek, most likely a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Authorities initially said the police academy attack was orchestrated by militants hiding out in Afghanistan and blamed Pakistan’s virulently anti-Shiite group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. But ISIS later claimed responsibility and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi spokesman Ali Bin Sufyan said they partnered with ISIS to carry out the assault.
Russia – Suspects detained by Russian authorities were plotting simultaneous "Paris-style" attacks on Moscow and Saint Petersburg, local media reported on the 13 Nov 16 the first anniversary of the massacre in the French capital. The FSB security service, the KGB's successor, announced on the 12 Nov 16 it had detained 10 citizens of Central Asian states who planned "high-profile acts of sabotage and terror" in the two Russian cities. Saint Petersburg's Fontanka.ru news site reported that the seven people taken into custody in the city were suspected of planning attacks on two large shopping centres, citing official sources. Government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported citing security service sources, that the detainees "were planning terror attacks according to the Paris scenario" referring to ISIS group attacks a year ago that killed 130 people. France was holding sombre commemorations Sunday for the victims of the 13 Nov 15 assaults by gunmen and suicide bombers on night spots, the Bataclan concert hall and outside the national stadium. "Several explosive devices were supposed to trigger simultaneously in busy places. At the same time in different parts of the cities some of the terrorists were going to open fire with machine guns on crowds," the paper reported, referring to the Russian plot. Rossiiskaya Gazeta called the attackers "a professional terrorist group." The FSB said it confiscated four homemade bombs as well as trigger devices, guns, ammunition and communications equipment. Authorities did not say when the attack plot was to take place. The security service released video footage of its black-clad officers in balaclavas holding two suspects face down on the street. Another video shows a stash of Kalashnikovs in a flat and detainees lying face down on mattresses on the floor. The FSB said the raids were carried out in cooperation with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan's law enforcement authorities. Impoverished majority-Muslim Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan both say they are battling Islamist extremism. Tajikistan says that up to 1,000 of its nationals are fighting with radical groups in Syria and Iraq, while Kyrgyzstan says that some 500 of its citizens have gone to fight alongside jihadists. The Tajik interior ministry said it learned of the planned attacks from an alleged local accomplice of the group and passed the information to Russia. The FSB released footage of a handcuffed suspect -- apparently a teenager -- who says he is a Tajik citizen. He says he wanted to commit a "terrorist attack" in Moscow and that his brother is taking part in "jihad" in Syria. Fontanka reported those detained in Saint Petersburg "devotedly follow the ideology of Islamic State group (ISIS)" and one said he had fought in Syria. "The majority are admitting guilt," Fontanka reported. Membership of a "terrorist organisation" is punishable by up to 20 years in prison under Russian law while leading one is punishable by up to life in jail.
Turkey/Iraq – Iraq's prime minister has warned Turkey against provoking a confrontation while saying he does not want war. Haider al-Abadi made the comments after Turkey deployed tanks and artillery near the Iraqi border and insisted that any Turkish involvement would be a violation of national sovereignty. Turkey wants a role in the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, by virtue of being a member of the anti-ISIL coalition. However, Abadi rejected this assertion and repeatedly called on Turkey to withdraw troops it has deployed near the northern city. "The invasion of Iraq will lead to Turkey being dismantled," Abadi said in a televised news conference on the 2 Nov 16. We do not want war with Turkey, and we do not want a confrontation with Turkey. "But if a confrontation happens, we are ready for it. We will consider [Turkey] an enemy and we will deal with it as an enemy." Turkish military sources said that tanks and artillery were being sent to south-eastern districts near the Iraqi border. The 30-vehicle convoy left Ankara for Silopi adding that it was now close to Adana province in southern Turkey. Fikri Isik, Turkey's defence minister, said the deployment was part of Turkey's preparation for "important developments in the region", referring to Kurdish fighters inside the country and events in Iraq. "Turkey is preparing in advance for whatever happens [and] this is one element of that," he was quoted by the official Anadolu news agency as saying. Just over two weeks into the ongoing offensive to retake Mosul, ISIL's last major stronghold in Iraq, soldiers managed to push within city limits. The Iraqi army said its forces have advanced to the eastern edge of Mosul for the first time since the ISIL, also known as ISIS, overran the city more than two years ago. The country's Joint Operations Command said in a statement on the 2 Nov 16 that its forces had entered Judaydat al-Mufti, an area on the outskirts of Mosul, about 3km away from the city's airport. Meanwhile, Iraqi State TV reported that the 9th armoured brigade had entered the district of Dweikhlah, in an attempt to open up a separate front in the battle against the armed group. Estimates of the number of ISIL fighters in Mosul vary from a few thousand to "not more than 10,000," according to the Iraqi government and the anti-ISIL coalition. The Mosul offensive involves tens of thousands of Iraqi government soldiers, federal police, Kurdish fighters, Sunni tribesmen and Shia militias.
Turkey – The joint leaders of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party, People's Democracy (HDP), have been arrested along with at least nine other MPs it was reported on the 4 Nov 16. Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag are accused of spreading propaganda for militants fighting the Turkish state. Hours after Mr Demirtas was arrested in Diyarbakir, a car bomb killed eight people and injured more than 100. Turkey remains under a state of emergency that was imposed after a failed military coup in Jul 16. The emergency allows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms. The government says those detained had failed to respond to a summons for questioning and issued an arrest warrant for two other HDP MPs currently abroad. This is a major escalation of a clampdown that has seen Kurdish media closed down and the mayor of Diyarbakir arrested. Mr Demirtas elicited international support with his liberal politics but critics say he has failed to distance the party sufficiently from the PKK. Friday's detentions are likely to provoke more tension among Kurds - and more violence too. The government says they were detained for failing to co-operate with a counter-terrorism investigation, which the two leaders vowed to boycott in June. Defending the arrests, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said: "They did not respect the law." The MPs are also accused of spreading propaganda for the PKK, the Kurdish group suspected of a wave of recent attacks including Friday's car bomb. Last month, the joint mayors of Diyarbakir, Turkey's largest Kurdish-majority city, were also arrested as part of a terrorism investigation.
Is the HDP linked to the PKK?
While commonly seen as the main pro-Kurdish party, HDP is an eclectic grouping which also appeals to leftists, liberals, environmentalists, gay rights activists and pious Muslims. That explains why it is Turkey's third-largest party. It entered parliament for the first time last year, winning 59 seats. During the election campaign, it carried a moderate message despite dozens of attacks against party supporters and offices, culminating in a deadly attack on its largest election rally in Diyarbakir two days before the vote. The party strongly denies any links to the PKK. Mr Demirtas and others accuse President Erdogan of seeking to push the party out of parliament and increase his own power. One MP, who is currently abroad, told the BBC the government was acting like Nazis. "This crackdown tonight is nothing to do with procedural law, criminal law, any law whatsoever or the constitution," Ertugrul Kurkcu said. "This is an unlawful hijacking of HDP parliamentarians."
Turkey – Eight people have been killed and dozens injured in a huge explosion in central Diyarbakir, a city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, the country's prime minister said on the 4 Nov 16. Binali Yildirim said two police officers and six civilians were killed. Yildirim said seven of the injured are still being treated, adding that the others were discharged from hospitals. The Diyarbakir governor's office said that a car bomb went off at about 0800 hrs local time (0500 hrs GMT), adding that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had claimed responsibility. Four other civilian buildings are heavily damaged at least 30 people were injured in the incident and there were fears the number of casualties could increase. Media reports said the explosion could be heard from several parts of the city and caused damage to nearby buildings. The explosion happened hours after police arrested 11 MPs from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party. The government has stepped up a military campaign in the troubled southeast to eradicate PKK fighters, who have launched almost daily attacks since the rupture of a fragile ceasefire last year.
Follow up report: ISIL said on the 4 Nov 16 that it was behind a car bombing that killed nine people in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey, according to US-based monitors. "An insider source for Amaq Agency: Fighters from the Islamic State detonated an explosives-laden vehicle parked in front of a Turkish police headquarters in Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey," the SITE Intelligence Group said, citing Amaq, which is a name ISIL often uses when claiming responsibility for attacks.
Turkey – An attack on a government building in south-eastern Turkey has wounded several people including a district governor, according to officials and state media. The office of the Derik district's governor in Mardin province, near the border with Syria, was attacked with an improvised explosive device, a local government statement said on the 9 Nov 16. Fatih Safiturk, the district governor, was wounded in the attack, officials said. There was no immediate official information on his condition, but national Haber Turk television station said he was slightly injured. State-run Anadolu agency said the attack was carried out by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The PKK, however, had not immediately claimed responsibility.