China – Police in China’s western Xinjiang region shot dead 13 assailants who drove one or more vehicles into a police office building and set off explosives in an attack on the 21 Jun 14 that injured three officers. The Tianshan website said in a one-line report that no civilians were hurt in the attack in Kashgar Prefecture in Xinjiang’s southwest. The official Xinhua News Agency said one vehicle was used, though it did not provide specific details. Officials in the region contacted by phone either said they were unclear about the situation or refused to comment. It was the latest in a series of attacks in the sprawling region of Xinjiang. Chinese authorities have blamed the attacks on extremists bent on overthrowing Beijing’s rule. The government says the assailants have ties to Islamic terror groups abroad, but provides little direct evidence. The government has sought to stem the attacks by handing down heavy punishments to people authorities say organised, led and participated in terror groups, committed arson, murder, burglary or illegally manufactured explosives. Earlier this month, China executed 13 people in Xinjiang for such crimes. 361 COMMENT: Chinese authorities appear to be towing a party line. If you look at the reason why the Uyghur are resorting to terror it is because they want freedom to be autonomous and to practice their religion. But since the Chinese have clamped down fearing terrorist extremism from Muslims it has totally backfired and the Uyghur’s fear they have no other option than to attack the Chinese authorities where and when they can. COMMENT ENDS.
India – A total of 11 Maoist guerrillas, including a zone commander, have been arrested in Jharkhand it was reported on the 18 Jun 14. The guerrillas have been arrested from Gumla district on the 17 Jun 14 following a gun battle. All the arrested guerrillas belong to People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a splinter group of the Communist Party of India-Maoist. Police said PLFI zone commander Rajan was among those arrested. Ten rifles, 56 live cartridges, 16 mobile phones and other materials were also recovered from the site of gunfight. Maoists are active in 18 of the state's 24 districts.
Pakistan – The Pakistani Taliban stated on the 16 Jun 14 and warned foreign firms to leave the country after thousands of troops launched a long-awaited offensive in a troubled tribal district along the Afghan border. "We warn all foreign investors, airlines and multinational corporations that they should immediately suspend their ongoing matters with Pakistan and prepare to leave Pakistan, otherwise they will be responsible for their own loss," said spokesman Shahidullah Shahid in a statement. The Taliban's main stronghold is in the North Waziristan tribal district, where the Pakistan military began its offensive on the 15 Jun 14.
It came one week after brazen insurgent attack on Pakistan's main airport in Karachi which left dozens dead and marked the end of a troubled peace process. The Islamist group also vowed to take revenge on the government. "We hold Nawaz Sharif's government and the Punjabi establishment responsible for the loss of tribal Muslims' life and property as a result of this operation," the statement said. "The retaliatory actions of the Mujahedeen will make you a cautionary tale in history." Shahid added that the Taliban would "burn your palaces in Islamabad and Lahore" referring to the capital city and Sharif's hometown, from where he derives his support base. "Remember that you will once again crave for negotiations and peace, but then it would be too late," he added. North Waziristan is the only tribal region where the military has not launched a large military operation against militants, despite insistence from the US. The region until recently was harbouring several militant groups of local and foreign militants, including Chechens, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Tajiks and Uyghur’s. According to sources, many insurgents had recently vacated the main towns of the region and fled towards the mountains on the border with Afghanistan. The terrorist groups in the areas mentioned have had it their own way for some time. The government fed up with attacks from groups in this area and that they are refusing to cooperate with peace talks leaves the government no option but to launch military operations. However, the terrorist groups will not take this lightly and will no doubt look for more targets to exploit and cause the government maximum embarrassment buy causing as many casualties as possible. The other problem for Pakistan will be the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014. The groups that straddle the border will no doubt see themselves as attempting to takeover those areas and thus create their own autonomous region. The British BBC reported on the 17 Jun 14 that Pakistan and Afghanistan were meeting to discuss security in the region.
One woman passenger was killed and two flight attendants injured after five to six shots were fired at a passenger plane, reportedly by unknown gunmen, while it was landing at Peshawar's Bacha Khan International Airport it was reported on the 24 Jun 14. The Pakistan International Airlines plane, flight PK 756, was carrying 178 passengers travelling from Riyadh when it came under attack. The attack follows a major Taliban assault on the airport in the southern port city of Karachi it was reported during the last reporting period. Flight operations had been suspended at the airport and a search operation was conducted. As a follow on to this incident: Major airlines are cancelling flights or suspending service to Peshawar in north-western Pakistan on the 25 Jun 14 in response to this attack. Emirates Airlines said in a statement that the attack on the Pakistan International Airlines aircraft caused it to suspend flights to Peshawar 'until further notice. Etihad and Qatar Airways also cancelled flights. Officials said that about 15 to 20 militants opened fire on the plane from the Sulaiman khel area in the jurisdiction of Badaber Police Station. The police claim to have recovered 50 used shells from the site. Police and PIA officials have confirmed that the plane was hit by at least 12 bullets. At least one penetrated an engine. The police comments confirm that the attack was organized. It was not the action of a rogue individual. 361 COMMENT: In light of the statement read out by the Pakistani Taliban on the 16 Jun 14, it maybe that the terrorist attack is part of their warning for foreign investors and businesses to leave the country. COMMENT ENDS
Pakistan/United States – The US State Department has named a Pakistani charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, as a "foreign terrorist organisation", a status that freezes any assets it has under the US jurisdiction. Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) calls itself a humanitarian charity but is also seen as a front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) - a Pakistan-based group that fights Indian soldiers in India-administered Kashmir and accused of 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. "In December 2001, the Department of State designated LeT as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. Since the original designation occurred, LeT has repeatedly changed its name in an effort to avoid sanctions," the State Department said in a statement on the 25 Jun 14. "More specifically, LeT created Jama'at-ud-Dawa as a front organisation, claiming that the group was an 'organisation for the preaching of Islam, politics, and social work'." The US Treasury Department separately announced that it was designating two LeT leaders, Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry and Muhammad Hussein Gill, as "specially designated global terrorists", imposing economic sanctions on them. Responding on its Twitter feed, JuD said its respect within the eyes of Pakistani people and Muslims around the world "cannot be faded away by worthless propaganda". "US allegations and (their) timing are precisely due to 'strategic partnership' with India in Afghanistan; against Pakistan," the JuD tweet feed read. "We reject the misleading and malicious assertions by the US state and treasury departments as a fact-less exercise and propaganda against us." The group continues to operate openly in Pakistan, and its leader, Hafiz Saeed, holds public rallies and gives interviews. The group says it is currently carrying out charitable work in the remote border region of North Waziristan to help residents displaced by the latest military operations. Meanwhile, Indian politicians on the 26 Jun 14 lauded the US sanctions on the group. India blames Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Saeed for the Mumbai attacks, but Pakistan argues India has failed to provide incriminating evidence against him.
Ukraine – An explosion damaged a gas pipeline crossing Ukraine on 17 Jun 14. The explosion took place in Poltava province, northern Ukraine, on the Urengoi-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline, one of the three primary transit pipelines used to transport Russian gas through Ukraine to Western Europe. Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov said that the explosion was likely to be carried out by terrorists because locals heard several smaller explosions prior to the main one. On the 18 Jun 14, the Ministry of the Interior published a statement also claiming that the attack could have been perpetrated by Russia in order to discredit Ukraine as a reliable transit country. The interesting point about this attack was that the locals reported hearing explosions prior to the main one. 361 COMMENT: The fact that locals heard explosions being set off nearby would indicate that someone or some people were attempting to get the correct size of device to carry out the attack. If it was the Russians then they would probably already know the size of the device to be used and be trained in bomb making. This sounds like a group of people with an ulterior motive. Should more attacks of this nature occur then it may indicate some for of group forming. COMMENT ENDS