The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Sri Lanka could halt fighting

Sri LankaThe Sri Lankan government says it is considering a humanitarian pause in the offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north-east of the country.

The pause would allow civilians caught up in the fighting time to escape.

A senior foreign ministry official told the BBC that the details for a halt would be worked out shortly.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan military said more than 50 Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed in land and sea battles in the north-eastern region.

“The government is considering a humanitarian pause and the modalities will be worked out shortly,” Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona told the BBC, without elaborating further.

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Sri Lanka navy kills 26 rebels in ocean gunfight

Sri Lanka armySri Lanka’s navy killed 26 Tamil Tigers and destroyed four boats during a six-hour sea battle on Monday on the coast just off the sliver of land where the separatists are fighting a final stand, the navy said.

One sailor was killed and three others were injured in the gun duel off of Chalai, north of the military-declared no-fire zone where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are dug in among tens of thousands of civilians.

There, the military expects to soon end a 25-year separatist conflict that saw the Tigers at one point controlling 15,000 square km (5,792 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean nation that is now just 25 square km (10 sq miles).

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Sri Lanka army kills 15 rebels

Sri Lanka armyThe Sri Lankan armed forces say they have killed at least 15 Tamil Tiger rebels in intense battles in the north of the country.

The government says it has now restricted the rebels to an area of less than 25 sq km.

But pro-rebel websites say that the guerrillas have been offering stiff resistance to the army’s offensive.

There is no independent confirmation of the events as journalists cannot report from the conflict zone.

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Islamist threat to Turkey’s secular system

PM Turkey Recep Tayyip ErdoganTurkish secularism on the ropes. Sharia is advancing in what is always held out to be that exemplary beacon of democracy in the Islamic world, Turkey. The reasons why Sharia supremacists are advancing there have not — unsurprisingly — been sufficiently explored by Western analysts, who of course dismiss out of hand the appeal of a call to restore Islamic authenticity.

“Erdogan Set for Election Win That May Revive Tension Over Islam,” by Ben Holland for Bloomberg, March 27

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to win a fresh mandate from voters that may embolden his challenge to the country’s military and courts, which see him as an Islamist threat to Turkey’s secular system.

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UN calls for Sri Lanka pause

UNThe UN, backed by the US and Britain, has urged the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to back a “humanitarian pause” in fighting.

A senior UN official said the civilian population trapped in the conflict zone in the north was not being allowed out.

Amnesty International said on Friday that thousands of civilians were increasingly at risk in the conflict.

Troops have pushed the rebels from most of the territory they held during heavy fighting in the past few weeks.

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Sri Lanka approaches final standoff with Tigers

Sri LankaSri Lanka’s military on Thursday said it has one kilometer left to go before trapping the Tamil Tigers separatists in a no-fire zone, along with thousands of civilians at grave risk in the 25-year war’s final act.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, under pressure to craft a political deal, has called for a meeting with parliamentarians allied with the Tigers but they have refused until the government resolves the humanitarian crisis faced by civilians trapped in the fighting.

“Now the area is 21 sq km (8 sq miles) and only 1 sq km left other than the safe zone,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

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17 militants die in Kashmir clashes

India flagThe Indian Army said Wednesday that it had killed 17 militants in a five-day battle in Indian-administered Kashmir. It said eight soldiers also died in the fighting, in a forested area of the Handwara district near the Line of Control.

Brig. Gen. Gurmeet Singh told reporters that the militants were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group based in Pakistan that India has said was responsible for the Mumbai attacks in November that killed more than 160 people.

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10 killed in Kashmir fighting

India PakistanTen people in the disputed territory of Kashmir have been killed in ongoing gunfights between militants and Indian troops, an Indian defense spokesman said Sunday.

“So far we have lost an army officer and three troopers, while six militants have been gunned down by the army in past three days,” Indian defense spokesman, Lt. Col. J.S. Brar told CNN on Sunday.

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Mumbai 26/11 suspect is from Pakistan

India PakistanThe sole known surviving suspect from last year’s Mumbai attacks has appeared on a video link from a high security jail at the start of his trial.

Charges against Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab include murder and “waging war” against India.

The defendant confirmed that he was from Pakistan’s Punjab province and asked for a lawyer. The trial was adjourned until 30 March.

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Dispute over how to help Lankan tamil civilians in war zone

Sri Lanka Tamil childrenAs fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels intensifies in northeast Sri Lanka, calls to spare as many as 180,000 trapped civilians are growing. But in the debate over how far to push a warring government, caution is guiding the international response.

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced “deep concern” to Sri Lanka over rising civilian casualties in a government-designated no-fire zone. The Red Cross, which normally prefers quiet persuasion to arm-twisting, has raised the alarm over a humanitarian crisis in the remaining pocket of rebel-held territory, where makeshift hospitals are out of needed drugs and food supplies are dwindling.

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