Tag Archives: killer

They deserved it! They WERE dancing with women after all.

17 Afghans beheaded in insurgent attack on party

By HEIDI VOGT and MIRWAIS KHAN

— Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday.

The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have battled the Taliban for years, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields in the south — particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces.

The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late Sunday in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event.

All of the bodies were decapitated but it was not clear if they had been shot first, said provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi.

Information was only trickling out slowly because the area where the killings occurred is largely Taliban controlled, Khan said. The Taliban spokesman for southern Afghanistan could not be reached for comment.

Many Afghans and international observers have expressed worries that the Taliban’s brutal interpretation of Islamic justice will return as international forces withdraw. Under the Taliban, who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, all music and film was banned as un-Islamic, and women were barred from leaving their homes without a male family member as an escort.

Helmand is one of the areas seeing the largest reduction in U.S. troops, as the force increase ordered up by President Barack Obama departs. The U.S. started drawing down forces from a peak of nearly 103,000 last year, and plans to have decreased to 68,000 troops in country by October.

One of the most worrying trends to accompany the drawdown has been a surge in attacks by Afghan forces against their international allies, and another shooting came on Monday morning, though it appeared to be accidental.

Two American soldiers were shot and killed by one of their Afghan colleagues in the east, military officials said, bringing to 12 the number of international troops — all Americans — to die at the hands of their local allies this month.

But Afghan officials said Monday’s attack in Laghman province was a separate case from the rash of recent insider attacks on international forces, because it appeared to have been unintentional.

The incident unfolded when a group of U.S. and Afghan soldiers came under attack, said Noman Hatefi, a spokesman for the Afghan army corps in eastern Afghanistan. When the troops returned fire and ran to take up fighting positions, an Afghan soldier fell and accidentally discharged his weapon, killing two American soldiers with the stray bullets, he said.

“He didn’t do this intentionally. But then the commander of the (Afghan) unit started shouting at him, ‘What did you do? You killed two NATO soldiers!’ And so he threw down his weapon and started to run,” Hatefi added. The U.S. troops had already called in air support to help with the insurgent attack and the aircraft fired on the escaping soldier from above, killing him, Hatefi said.

NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Hagen Messer of Germany confirmed that two international soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in Laghman province, but declined to give further comment.

Insider attacks have been a problem for the U.S.-led military coalition for years, but it has exploded recently into a crisis. There have been at least 33 such attacks so far this year, killing 42 coalition members, mostly Americans. Last year there were 21 attacks, killing 35; and in 2010 there were 11 attacks with 20 deaths.

The chief spokesman for NATO forces in the country said coalition forces were not pulling back from collaborating with the Afghans because of the attacks.

“We are not going to reduce the close relationship with our Afghan partners,” Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz told reporters in the capital.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that he could not confirm any link between the attacker in Monday’s shooting and the insurgency. In previous insider attacks, the Taliban have quickly claimed responsibility and named the assailants. Mujahid did not comment on the other attacks in the south, which is watched over by a different Taliban spokesman.

Meanwhile, Helmand officials reported that 10 Afghan soldiers were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in the south, and five were either kidnapped or joined their assailants.

Ahmadi, the provincial spokesman, said insurgents attacked the checkpoint in Washir district Sunday evening. Another four soldiers were wounded he said. The Afghan Defense Ministry said the checkpoint was attacked by more than 100 insurgents.

Ahmadi said the five missing soldiers left with the insurgents but it was unclear if they were kidnapped or went voluntarily.

____

Khan reported from Kandahar, Afghanistan. Associated Press writers Amir Shah and Rahim Faiez contributed to this report in Kabul.

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Trayvon Martin Case: Timeline of Events


Trayvon Martin Case: Timeline of Events

(Image Credit: ABC News; Orange County Jail)

The slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a Florida high school student who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, has captured national attention.

Petitions calling for justice for Martin have exploded, amid allegations of racism and calls for more scrutiny into how local police handled the investigation. George Zimmerman has yet to be charged in the case.

Below is a timeline of events:


Feb. 26:
Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida high school student, is found shot and killed, in Sanford, Fla., a community north of Orlando.

Several eyewitnesses report to police that they heard a scuffle, then a cry for help, and then a gunshot.

According to the Sanford police report, George Zimmerman, 28, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, is found armed with a handgun, standing over Martin. He has a bloody nose and a wound in the back of his head.

Martin is unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene. He has no weapons on him, only a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.

Zimmerman tells police he killed Martin in self defense. Taking him at his word, police do not arrest him, nor administer a drug or alcohol test. They also did not run a background check.

March 9:
Trayvon Martin’s family demands that police release the 911 tapes or make an arrest nearly one month after Martin was killed. Police declined to comment at the time, but told ABC News the tapes would be released the following week.

March 12:
ABC News uncovers questionable police conduct in the investigation of the fatal shooting of Martin, including the alleged “correction” of at least one eyewitness’ account.

Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee said there is no evidence to dispute Zimmerman’s assertion that he shot Martin out of self-defense.

March 16:
Police recordings made the night Zimmerman allegedly shot and killed Martin sent the boy’s mother screaming from the room and prompted his father to declare, “He killed my son,” a family representative tells ABC News.

ABC News affiliate WFTV publishes excerpts from the 911 calls.

One of several petitions for Zimmerman’s arrest has garnered more than 250,000 signatures on a change.org site, and at one point signatures were pouring in at the rate of 10,000 an hour, according to the website.

March 18:
Martin’s family asks Attorney General Eric Holder and the FBI to get involved in the investigation of their son’s death.

March 19:
A 16-year-old girl tells Benjamin Crump, the Martin family’s attorney, about the last moments of Martin’s life, ABC News is there exclusively. Martin was on the phone with her when George Zimmerman began following him. She recounted that she told Martin to run, then she heard some pushing, then the line went dead.

The U.S. Justice Department announces it has launched an investigation into Martin’s slaying.

ABC News also learns that Zimmerman violated major principles of the Neighborhood Watch manual, which states, “it should be emphasized to members that they do not possess police powers, and they shall not carry weapons or pursue vehicles.”

The state attorney in Seminole County, Fla., announces that a grand jury will review the evidence of the case on April 10.

March 20: Sanford police department admits to ABC News that investigators missed a possible racist remark by the shooter as he spoke to police dispatchers moments before the killing.

March 21: During a heated meeting over Trayvon Martin’s death, Sanford city commissioners conducted a vote of “no confidence” against embattled Police Chief Billy Lee. Three of five commissioners voted against the chief.

The city manager now decided whether or not to let Lee go.

Martin’s parents join hundreds of protesters in New York City for the “Million Hoodie March,” demanding justice for the slain 17-year-old.

A single online petition calling for Travyvon’s killer’s arrest has nearly 900,000 signatures and is now the fastest growing petition in internet history, according to Change.org. Tweets from celebrities, such as Justin Bieber and Spike Lee, helped fuel wide interest in the case.

The public relations person for Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the Martin family, tells ABC News they received 418 media calls in one day.

March 22:
Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee announces he is temporarily stepping down amid accusations that his department bungled the investigation into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott also announced State Attorney Norman Wolfinger, another key investigator tied to the case, agreed to withdraw and Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll would lead a special new task force to prevent future tragedies.

Martin’s family meets officials from the Department of Justice.

Thousands rallied in Sanford, organized by the Reverend Al Sharpton, to demand Zimmerman’s arrest. Sanford police continue to accept Zimmerman’s claim that the shooting was in self defense.

March 23: Roughly 50 schools in Florida stage walkouts to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin and show support for the change.org petition demanding arrest of George Zimmerman.

The online petition surpassed 1.5 million signatures, making it all time fastest growing petition in change.org’s history, according to change.org.

At a White House press conference, President Obama takes time to address the Trayvon Martin case, saying, If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon.”

“Hoodies on the Hill,” a group of Capitol Hill staffers, also rally in support of Martin.

Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera adds to the controversy, igniting a firestorm of criticism when he seemed to indicate that Trayvon Martin’s apparel was to blame for the shooting.

A second “Million Hoodie March” is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia tonight.
SHOWS:

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