Tajikistan Says Five Killed In Counterterrorist Operation

Tajikistan Says Five Killed In Counterterrorist Operation

Mirzokhuja Ahmadov is a former senior Interior Ministry official in the Rasht district.Mirzokhuja Ahmadov is a former senior Interior Ministry official in the Rasht district.

September 22, 2010
DUSHANBE — The Tajik Interior Ministry says that at least five supporters of former opposition commander Mirzokhuja Ahmadov were killed during an counterterrorist operation in the Rasht district, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports.

The Interior Ministry added that Ahmadov’s house was attacked by rockets and the fate of Ahmadov is unknown.

Sources inside the Rasht district, which is about 200 kilometers east of Dushanbe, told RFE/RL that after the attack on Ahmadov’s house another former opposition commander, Shoh Iskandarov, had reportedly joined the militants.

Ahmadov told RFE/RL on September 21 that government forces began searching the houses of former United Tajik Opposition (UTO) fighters in the Rasht district after a September 19 attack on a military convoy that killed at least 25 soldiers.

The UTO fought in the 1992-97 Tajik civil war against the administration of President Emomali Rahmon.

The Interior Ministry said it was continuing an intensive search operation.

Rasht authorities issued a curfew on September 21 from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

China blocks rare earths exports to Japan: report

Rare earths, of which China controls 95 percent of all trade, are essential for the making of many electronic products

China blocks rare earths exports to Japan: report

(AFP) – 6 hours ago

BEIJING — China has blocked all exports of rare earths to Japan, stepping up the pressure on Tokyo to release a Chinese boat captain detained in disputed waters, a report said Thursday.

China has halted all shipments to Japan of the chemical elements, essential for the making of mp3 players, electric cars, missiles and a range of other products, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed industry sources.

Calls to China’s commerce and foreign ministries for comment on the report went unanswered.

Japan’s foreign ministry and the world’s top automaker Toyota — one of many companies that would be affected by the move — also did not answer calls.

Japan and China are embroiled in their worst diplomatic row in years, sparked by the captain’s arrest following the September 7 collision of his trawler with two Japanese coastguard vessels in the East China Sea.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao this week threatened “further actions” if the captain was not released. Beijing has already suspended high-level contacts with Tokyo and called off several official visits.

China supplies at least 95 percent of the world’s rare earths. It had previously cut its export limit for the minerals, sending market prices soaring and sparking concerns among foreign governments and companies.

Last month, before the row erupted, Japan had urged China to expand, not restrict, its exports of rare earths.

Market prices of some types of rare earth metal have soared more than 20 percent since China announced in July that it planned to reduce global shipments.

Previous media reports said the country was considering even banning the export of certain elements and closing mines, which foreign companies and governments fear will deny them access to the much-needed metals and force manufacturers to shift their plants to China.

Israeli Police Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Israeli Police Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on Wednesday after a deadly shooting sparked riots in the Arab east of the city.

Police said they had entered the mosque compound in pursuit of stone-throwing youth, adding that they had not used “riot dispersal means.”

Clashes had erupted in annexed east Jerusalem earlier after a Palestinian was shot dead by an Israeli settlement guard in Silwan, a tense neighborhood outside the walls of the compound.

The compound is the third holiest site for Muslims, after Mecca and Medina.

It has frequently been the scene of violence, and was the epicenter of the outbreak of a Palestinian intifada, or uprising, almost exactly 10 years ago.(AFP)

Al-Jazeera Urges NATO to Free Arrested Cameramen

Al-Jazeera Urges NATO to Free Arrested Cameramen

Al-Jazeera television has called on NATO to release two of its journalists it says were arrested by coalition forces in Afghanistan this week in an effort to censor its war coverage.

The Doha-based television network said in a statement that two of its cameramen had been arrested as part of “an attempt by the ISAF leadership to suppress its comprehensive coverage of the Afghan war.”

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that it had “captured a suspected Taliban media and propaganda facilitator, who participated in filming election attacks.”

It named them as Mohammad Nader, detained in the southern province of Kandahar on Wednesday, and Rahmatullah Nekzed, who was arrested on Monday in Ghazni province, south of Kabul.

Both provinces, especially Kandahar, are hotspots in the Taliban insurgency.(AFP)