The compound is often used by terrorist organisations
A plastic explosive, “much more powerful” than that used in previous car bombs, is believed to have caused the blast that killed journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on Monday.
Police sources said the sheer force of the explosion and an account by an eyewitness of what happened when the bomb went off pointed to the use of Semtex, a demolition compound often used by terrorist organisations in large-scale attacks.
The sources added that if it had indeed been Semtex, it would be a first in Malta.
It is not clear if the bomb was in the car or on the road.
Frans Sant, who lives down the road from Caruana Galizia, has described the moment her car exploded saying there was a small explosion (possibly a detonator) followed by a more powerful explosion (the main charge).
Dutch forensic experts arrived yesterday to assist in their investigation. The FBI have also been called in.
Later, the correspondent of “Vesti” said that the explosions are gunshots, which are located behind the Mariinsky Palace. Is there any connection between the explosions and rallies under the Rada, while there is no confirmed information.
Iraq says captures positions south of Kirkuk including airbase
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi forces captured several positions south of Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters on Monday in their bid to regain control of the oil-rich city, which is part of a region that declared itself independent at a referendum last month.
Members of Iraqi federal forces enter oil fields in Kirkuk, Iraq October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
The territory captured included a key airbase called K1, the North Gas Company station, a nearby processing plant, a power plant and the industrial district, an Iraqi military statement said.
The Iraqi armed “forces are continuing to advance,” it said.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) did not confirm the capture of these positions but major Kurdish TV channel Rudaw said Kurdish Peshmerga forces retreated form positions south of Kirkuk.
The city of Kirkuk is under Kurdish control but the advance of Iraqi forces to the industrial zone put them in control its southern access.
Iraq launched the operation in the multi-ethnic region early on Sunday, amid an escalating crisis between the Iraqi government and the KRG over the Sept. 25 referendum.
Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said the battle against ISIL in Syria’s Badia region, Deir Ezzor, Mayadeen, al-Boukamal and the Syrian-Iraqi border was inevitable and is still inevitable because the battle will only end after the terrorist group would be eradicated completely.
In a televised memorial speech Sunday afternoon marking one week since the martyrdom of Hezbollah commander Ali Al-Asheq and fighter Mohammad Nassereddine at a ceremony in the Bekaa Valley’s Al-Ain, Sayyed Nasrallah said ISIL was recently ousted from a lot of cities and towns, “and if anyone believes that the battle must stop before reaching the Syrian-Iraqi border, I tell them that ISIL’s strategy is to extend its existence, so it may attack again and would wage wars and battles against liberated villages, so they are a cancerous tumor that must be eradicated.”
“ISIL has recently tried to regain the initiative, and had it not been for the heroic confrontations that the Syrian army and resistance fighters fought, it would have been possible for the battle to take another course.”
Sayyed Nasrallah accused the US of backing ISIL terrorists and of delaying battles against it. “The US is trying to prevent and delay the battle with ISIL and only helps when its allies control liberated areas.”
“The US didn’t want the battle against ISIL in the Lebanese outskirts and pressured the Lebanese government and army, it even stopped its military aid for a period of time,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
Hezbollah S.G. unleashed a new scheme against Iran and Hezbollah. “We are before a new scheme in the region, the Saudi-US scheme, and at the forefront of those who they want to get rid of is Iran. The problem of the US is that Iran was an essential factor in bringing down the Saudi-US scheme in the region.” There’s a new talk on a new policy in battling Hezbollah, even Russia won’t be excluded, his eminence warned, adding the US policy and sanctions, even though it affects Lebanon’s economy, won’t change anything in our position and course.
His eminence also responded to remarks voiced earlier in the day by firebrand Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan.
“Al-Sabhan’s statement is a positive development because it acknowledges that sanctions are not the solution. He also admitted that Hezbollah is a major regional force that can only be confronted through a strict international coalition and this means that seeking Lebanese alliances to confront Hezbollah was something ineffective,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
In a comment posted to his official Twitter account, Al-Sabhan praised the United States’ sanctions against Hezbollah and called for an international coalition against the resistance party. “The US sanctions on the terrorist militia party in Lebanon are good, but the solution will be for a strict international coalition to combat it and those who work with it, in order to achieve security and regional peace,” he said on Sunday.
Hezbollah Secretary General, however, said Hezbollah was too big to be targeted by a local coalition “and Saudi’s Al-Sabhan knows that Saudi rulers are too weak to do anything against us so he resorted to an international coalition.”
He also responded to Sabhan’s claims of being keen on regional peace and stability. “Regional peace and security can only be achieved when Saudi Arabia stops backing Wahhabist groups.” “Saudi Arabia is preventing security and peace in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and Pakistan. On the other hand, Hezbollah is one of the factors of regional peace and security, which are being threatened by Saudi Arabia, Israel and America behind them,” his eminence added.
“We want the elections to be held on time, we want the continuation of political dialogue and we want the government to do its job. We want it to address the financial crisis and to implement the new wage scale,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding the US was bothered President Michel Aoun isn’t an agent for them and doesn’t serve as a subservient to the US Embassy in Awkar, so they accuse him of being an Hezbollah agent. “Aoun represents a popular majority in Lebanon and is a real national guarantee and whatever the Americans say will change nothing.”
“The resistance axis is much stronger nowadays,” he went on to say. The hand that will extend to Lebanon will be cut off regardless where it may come from, and the conspirators against the country are doomed to fail, Sayyed Nasrallah warned.
Sayyed Nasrallah praised all supporters who marched in the tenth of Muharram and in martyrs’ farewells chanting “We won’t leave you Oh Hussein,” saying they were the true honest believers.
In his speech, Hezbollah leader noted that Martyr Al-Ashek won’t hesitate to be in the forefront of any battle, “he spent all his youth in the fronts and was a father for all fighters, he martyred while being in the front lines.” “Martyr Ali Al-Ashek was one of the commanders of the first victory in 2000 and the second one in 2006,” he said.
“Today, Bekaa villages and Hermel live in peace and security thanks for the martyrs like Nassereddine and Al-Ashek,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. He hailed those parents who drive their lone sons for Jihad and urge the resistance commanders to accept them in Hezbollah ranks, noting that he had received many letters from mothers of those sons urging me to annul the decision that prevents their sons from fighting among Hezbollah ranks because they’re the only sons of their families. “For all those who accuse us that we force youth to fight in the fronts I tell them that it’s their families who are driving them for Jihad,” his eminence said.
Man gunned down by an attacker with a machine gun in the crowd blows the whistle.
One of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting has blown the whistle to reveal that he was shot by multiple gunmen during the massacre.Rocky Palermo was shot by a gunman in the crowd during Sunday night’s mass shooting and says he has the evidence to prove it.He says there were between 3-5 active shooters firing weapons into the crowd and says there was gunfire coming from the ground as well as from above.Palermo was rushed to hospital after taking a .223 round to the pelvis and still has 30-40 pieces of bullet shrapnel still inside his body.Doctors told him the bullet was inches from paralyzing or even killing him.Mr. Palmero confirmed that his injury was caused by an attacker on the ground and that the bullet was fired at his with a horizontal trajectory and wasn’t fired down from above, although weapons were being fired from “all angles”.Oddly, Rocky says he has been trying to contact the FBI to give them his eyewitness account of what happened on that night, but his requests have been ignored by agents investigating the case.
Blast reports: Palermo — an avid hunter familiar with guns and ballistics — says the different trajectories of gunfire was extremely evident, even in the midst of chaos.He is skeptical of the information being given by authorities regarding Stephen Paddock being a “lone wolf” gunman and has a theory as to why cops don’t buy it.Further, Palermo is questioning why certain exits out of the venue were suddenly closed off just before the shooting but claims the same exits were open during the previous nights of the concert.
Palermo says he relayed his theory to the FBI during an interview while being discharged from the hospital, but has not heard any follow up since.
Pat Shaw of Tamborine, south of Brisbane, said he and his five mates, who are in the US to attend a drag racing event, were playing roulette at the Mandalay Bay casino when a stream of people started running past their table, including police officers and members of the SWAT team.
Mr Shaw told The Courier-Mail that he had heard the gunshots but hadn’t realised exactly what the sound was until he saw police enter the room.
“We heard it but didn’t realise (what the noise was) until all the SWAT ran past with their shields,” he said.
“As it happened we heard the staff and security say they think there is a shooter out the front and then (they said) it was up on a high level, shooting down at the Route 91 music festival.”
Mr Shaw said everyone was ordered out of the gaming area and into a secure lockdown zone where they remained for several hours.
At one point the group watched as eight police vehicles suddenly arrived in the lockdown area and medics rushed into the Mandalay Bay.
Later, after police announced that a gunman had been shot and killed by authorities, Mr Shaw and his friends were told they were able to leave the lockdown zone and return to their own hotel.
Australian Brian Hodge, who previously worked at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast, claimed he was staying in the room next to the shooter on level 32 at the Las Vegas resort.
He said he managed to escape the initial horrific scenes inside the hotel but found himself forced to hide in a bush for several hours after the event.
“I got outside safely and was hiding in bushes,” Mr Hodge said.
“There were multiple people dead and multiple shooters. I was just hiding waiting for police to come get us.
Shooting on the Strip – How it Happened.
“We were hiding in the bushes outside waiting for the police.” Mr Hodge said he was staying in room 32134 while the gunman was in room 32135.
“It was a machine gun from the room next to me,” he said.
“My floor is a crime scene. They killed a security guard on my floor.”
Surfers Paradise Ultra Lounge bar co-owner Nathan Claridge, a globetrotting MC for the Vegas-based Thunder from Down Under male revue, posted video from the near the scene soon after the shooting started.
The 32-year-old had just left work from a nearby hotel when he came across people diving for cover and running from away from what sounded like machine gun fire which could be heard in the background.
Las Vegas shooting witness video
Mr Claridge, who said he shot video of the pandemonium from a car he was a passenger in, said initially it was difficult to pinpoint where the gunfire was.
He can be heard in the video saying: “Yo, what’s doing up there? Yo, where is that coming from?
“What the f..k?”
A voice can then be heard saying: “Holy s..t…gunfire down there…f..k.”
Mr Claridge posted the video to Facebook with the status saying: “Stay off the (Vegas) strip – leaving work in Vegas, multiple shooters up near Mandalay Bay at country music festival.”
Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin after getting safely back to his accommodation several miles away, he said: “I have never been involved in something like that before. It was nuts.
“It was surreal, it was like ‘Is this really happening?’.”
He and colleague Benny Cleary, of the Sunshine Coast, who was driving the car asked people if they needed help – and people shouted back at them to turn around and “just get out of there”.
Another Gold Coast woman and local business owner Jessica Winters said she and her partner Peter Tutton were locked out the back of the MGM Grand nearby after being evacuated from an internal restaurant twice.
Wendy Miller from Cooroy, on the Sunshine Coast, was also caught up in the attack.
She was at a bar in the nearby Luxor Hotel with her husband when she saw what she described as a “man of interest” run by.
“We managed to make our way back to our room…” she told The Courier-Mail.
“We are in lock down.
“Our door is dead locked and a chair against the door.”
Ms Miller said the man sprinted through her hotel after coming off an escalator from the Mandalay Bay.
“The man that they [security] were chasing was wearing a security jacket like them,” she said.