US Sends Armored Cars to Arms Inspectors in Syria.

The OPCW HQ.
The OPCW HQ.

The U.S. has given 10 armored vehicles to the United Nations to help support efforts to verify and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

The United States spent $1.55 million from the State Department’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund to pay for the armored vehicles, which were shipped recently.

The State Department said Monday that the Royal Canadian Air Force provided an aircraft to transport the vehicles from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to the Middle East.

So far, the U.S. has provided nearly $6 million in financial and in-kind contributions to help rid Syria of chemical arms.

Car bombs and mortar shells recently have exploded close to a Damascus hotel where inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are staying, underscoring the risky nature of their work.

 

Trackback: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-sends-armored-cars-arms-inspectors-syria-20641104

Dutch Diplomat Attacked in Russia

caption]

Protester gather near the Dutch Embassy after the attack.
Protester gather near the Dutch Embassy after the attack.

A senior diplomat at the Dutch embassy in Moscow has been beaten up in his flat,
days after a spat involving a Russian official in The Hague.

The diplomat, named by Russian media as Onno Elderenbosch, was reportedly tied up by men posing as electricians.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the diplomat had been lightly wounded. He added that he had summoned the Russian ambassador.

Mr Timmermans apologised last week after a Russian diplomat was arrested.

Dmitri Borodin was held for several hours on suspicion of mistreating his two young children, prompting President Vladimir Putin to demand the Dutch apology.

Protests were held outside the Dutch embassy in response to the arrest.

After an investigation, the Dutch foreign minister conceded that police had breached the rules on diplomatic immunity.

Writing on his Facebook page late on Tuesday, Mr Timmermans said the Dutch diplomat, whom he did not name, had been mistreated by two intruders.

“Our people must be able to work there safely and I want the assurance that the Russian authorities also take their responsibility on that point,” he said.

‘Lipstick’

According to Russian TV, Moscow police confirmed that the deputy head of the Dutch embassy had been attacked.

When Mr Elderenbosch, 66, had returned home he found the lift was not working and two men in uniform were inspecting the fuse box, the report said. When he opened his door, he was then attacked.

The motive for the attack is not clear.

Russian reports said that Mr Elderenbosch was tied up and beaten, and that the attackers daubed a heart on a mirror in lipstick with the letters LGBT. The letters are an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were already strained before Mr Borodin’s arrest.

The Netherlands launched legal action to free 30 people from several countries who were detained in Russia after a Dutch-flagged ship belonging to environmental group Greenpeace, the Arctic Sunrise, was boarded over a protest on a Russian oil rig in the Arctic.

The activists and journalists on board have been charged with piracy.

Suspect Arrested for Involvement in Danish Embassy Attack

Aftermath of the 2008 Attack on the Denmark Embassy.
Aftermath of the 2008 Attack on the Denmark Embassy.

LAHORE: The Arab fighter, who was arrested from Punjab University (PU) last month, has revealed he was the mastermind of suicide attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, Geo News reported.

 

Sources said, the Arab fighter, during interrogation disclosed that he was involved in the attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad on June 02, 2008 in which five people were killed and several others injured.

 

It may be noted that an Arab organization has claimed responsibility of the attack and had said that it carried out the attack due to blasphemous publications in the Denmark newspaper.

 

The suspect was picked up by a sensitive agency from a hostel of Punjab University (PU) last month.

According to senior journalist Nadeem Alvi, the suspect was arrested from Punjab University hostel where a student Ahmed Sajjad Rathor was boarding.

 

Sources said, on the basis of information gathered from this fighter, 17 others have been arrested and the network of this group has been busted.
TRACKBACK:http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-121826-Suspect-arrested-from-PU-mastermind-of-Denmark-embassy-attack

 

Car bomb strikes Swedish consulate in Benghazi.

The bomb was reportedly detonated by remote control.
The bomb was reportedly detonated by remote control.

A car bomb has exploded outside the Swedish consulate in Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi, with no reported casualties, officials say.

The front of the building and nearby houses were damaged in the attack in the upscale district of Fuwayhat.

The Swedish mission – one of the few diplomatic offices in Benghazi – was empty during the attack.

It is the latest in a series of attacks on foreign embassies as Libya struggles to deal with lawlessness since 2011.

The car bomb was detonated by remote control on Friday, according to officials.

No staff were injured in the attack as the embassy is usually closed on Fridays, says Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Ursula Ahlen.

It comes a day after Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was seized from a Tripoli hotel and briefly held by armed militiamen for undisclosed reasons.

Earlier this month, staff from the Russian embassy were evacuated after gunmen attacked its compound in Tripoli.

A car bomb was also found outside the Italian embassy in June and the UK withdrew some embassy staff in May over security concerns.

The most serious incident occurred last year, when US ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, alongside three other US officials.

Trackback:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24487841

Rebels Kidnap Libya’s Prime Minister

Gunmen from a former rebel faction kidnapped Libya’s prime minister on Thursday in reprisal for the government’s role in the U.S. capture of a top al Qaeda suspect.

Two years after a revolution ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in turmoil, with its vulnerable central government and nascent armed forces struggling to contain rival tribal militias and Islamist militants who control parts of the country.

The militia, which had been hired by the government to provide security in Tripoli, said it “arrested” Ali Zeidan after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed Libya’s role in the weekend capture in the city of Abu Anas al-Liby.

“His arrest comes after … (Kerry) said the Libyan government was aware of the operation,” a spokesman for the group, known as the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, told Reuters.

Zeidan is in “good health and will be treated well as a Libyan citizen,” and is being held at the Interior Ministry’s anti-crime department, an official with the department told the state news agency.

The Libyan government in a statement confirmed the premier was taken at dawn to “an unknown place for unknown reasons.”

The prime minister was taken from the Corinthia Hotel, where many diplomats and top government officials live. It is regarded as one of the most secure places in Tripoli.

The kidnapping raises the stakes in the unruly OPEC nation, where the regional factions are also seeking control over its oil wealth, which provides Libya with the vast bulk of government revenues.

Brent oil prices rose on the news.

“Everybody is watching this… We still haven’t seen any disruption to supply from Libya, so we don’t expect a spike in prices,” said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan.

A mix of striking workers, militias and political activists have blocked Libya’s oilfields and ports for more than two months, according to Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi, resulting in over $5 billion of lost revenues.

He said on October 2 that oil exports could return to full capacity in days once the strikes ended.

Repsol and Eni, involved in western Libya, have seen output largely restored since fields reopened last month. But companies invested in eastern Libya are entering a third month of closures at several important export terminals.

Oil companies have become more wary of North Africa after an attack in January on the Amenas gas plant in neighboring Algeria, a top gas supplier to Europe and an oil-producing OPEC member.

UNKNOWN LOCATION

U.S. special forces on Saturday seized Nazih al-Ragye, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Liby – a Libyan suspected in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Liby is being held on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

The U.S. State Department was looking into the reports of Zeidan’s kidnapping and was “in close touch with senior U.S. and Libyan officials on the ground,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Brunei, where Kerry is on an official visit.

The Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries had been affiliated with the Interior Ministry which assigned them to provide security in the capital as part of a program to reintegrate former fighters.

Guards at the Hotel said there were no shots fired or clashes during the incident.

Al-Arabiya television channel quoted Libya’s justice minister as saying that Zeidan had been “kidnapped” and showed what it said were video stills of Zeidan frowning and wearing a grey shirt undone at the collar surrounded by several men in civilian clothes pressing closely around him.

Zeidan said on Tuesday Libyans accused of crimes should be tried at home, but that the raid to capture Liby would not harm U.S. ties – trying preserve relations with a major ally without provoking a backlash from Islamist militants.

But the raid angered militant groups, including one blamed for the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in 2012, who called for revenge attacks on strategic targets including gas export pipelines, planes and ships, as well as for the kidnappings of Americans in the capital.

Trackback:
http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=32183:ex-rebels-kidnap-libyan-prime-minister&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118

Nigerian Embassy in Guinea-Bissau Attacked by Armed Groups

Nigerian embassy attacked amid rising tensions in Guinea Bissau.
Nigerian embassy attacked amid rising tensions in Guinea Bissau.

Armed groups Tuesday attacked the Nigerian embassy in Bissau, capital of Guinea-Bissau, a country of about 1.7 million people. The reason for the action is not yet known.

The event is happening just as the country is preparing for its general elections slated for next month.

Guinea-Bissau currently has an Interim President, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, who emerged in May 2012 to head a transitional government following the sacking of the country’s democratically-elected government by a military coup.

According to The Guardian sources, armed personnel and militias stormed the Nigerian embassy in a commando style, attacking everyone in sight and eventually causing the closure of the Nigerian sovereign outpost.

As at press time, members of staff of the embassy, including the Nigerian envoy to that country, Ambassador Ahmed Adams, were said to be taking refuge in a police station. No casualty has so far been reported.

All efforts by The Guardian to reach the Nigerian envoy to the country failed. Although his telephone rang, he did not pick.

Although the Federal Government was yet to officially react to the development yesterday, it was learnt that the supervisory Minister of Foreign Affairs 11, Ambassador Nurudeen Mohammed, rushed to the Presidential Villa yesterday ostensibly, among other things, to brief President Goodluck Jonathan. All efforts to reach the minister yesterday on the matter failed.

Events in Guinea-Bissau took a dangerous turn on April 12, 2012, when the army arrested Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Júnior who was about to be elected president. A military junta accused him of conspiring with Angola to curtail the military’s power and quickly installed transitional authorities, before officially stepping aside on May 22. International condemnation was swift, but differences developed between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

The country was actually in the process of conducting elections when the military overthrew the constitutional order on April 12, 2012. This incident resulted in the suspension of the country from all international organisations. However, following the country’s inability to form a government well over a month after the coup, Nigeria, in close collaboration with ECOWAS, assisted in negotiations that resulted in the transitional government led by President Manuel Nhamadjo. Since then, Nigeria has provided various forms of assistance to Guinea- Bissau to the value of $50 million.

The Guardian learnt Tuesday that some high grade pick-up vans meant to be donated next week to Guinea-Bissau for the upcoming elections have now been put on hold following yesterday’s ugly development.

Author of this article: From Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs
Editor

Trackback:

http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/national-news/135049-armed-groups-attack-nigerias-embassy-in-gbissau

German Embassy Guard shot Dead in Yemen

Embassy Guard Killed in Yemen

(Reuters) – Gunmen shot dead a German security guard employed by the German embassy in Yemen’s capital on Sunday as he was leaving a supermarket, Yemeni security officials said, in an attack they said bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda.

The man was gunned down in Sanaa’s Hadda district, where the embassy is located. It was the latest in a series of attacks on foreign and local officials in the U.S.-allied state, which is battling one of the most active branches of al Qaeda.

“We believe that al Qaeda was behind the killing,” a Yemeni police source said. Another source said that the guard was killed as he was leaving the store to go to his car.

Pan-Arab news channel al-Arabiya reported that the guard had been shot dead as the assailants tried to kidnap the German ambassador Carola Mueller-Holtkemper, who escaped.

Two Yemeni officials said they were unable to confirm the report of the attempted kidnap. Embassy employees in Sanaa and the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin declined to comment.

Mueller-Holtkemper had only recently arrived in Yemen and presented her credentials to Yemeni authorities less than a week ago, a statement on the embassy’s website showed.

In a separate attack on Sunday, kidnappers seized an African employee of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF as he was travelling from the Sanaa to the Red Sea coastal town of Hudaidah, a UNICEF official in Sanaa said.

Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has attacked several Western targets, including airliners, and is believed to have been behind a series of killings of foreign and local officials in the country since 2011.

In November last year gunmen shot dead a Saudi diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard in Sanaa in an attack believed to be the work of the group. A month earlier, masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man who worked in the security office of the U.S. Embassy.

Germany was one of several Western countries which shut their Yemen embassies in early August after a U.S. warning of a possible major militant attack in the Middle East. The mission reopened after a two-week closure.

The U.S. embassy in Yemen was attacked in September 2012 by demonstrators angry at a film they said was blasphemous to Islam. Hundreds of Yemenis broke through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound, smashed windows of security offices outside the embassy and burned cars.

On Sunday AQAP said in a statement it was behind an attack on an army base in the southeast of the country last week in protest at the army’s cooperation with the United States and vowed to continue its “holy war” against Yemeni forces.

Militants took advantage of political chaos in Yemen during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 to seize control of some towns and surrounding areas in the south of the country.

They were beaten back by Yemeni forces with assistance from the United States and dispersed into smaller groups spread across the south of the country.

(Additional reporting by Boris Berner in Berlin, Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by William Maclean and Andrew Roche)

Trackback:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/06/us-yemen-germany-killing-idUSBRE99508520131006

Russian Embassy in Libya evacuated after attack

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Thursday evacuated all of its diplomats and their families from Libya, the day after a mob attack on the Russian Embassy, and issued a warning to its citizens against visiting the country.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said none of the embassy staff was hurt in Wednesday’s attack, which came in response to the death of a Libyan air force officer, who was allegedly killed by a Russian woman.

An armed mob broke into the embassy compound in the Libyan capital Tripoli, climbing over walls, breaking down a metal gate and shooting in the air. One of the attackers was killed by the gunfire, and four more were wounded, Libyan officials said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in Thursday’s statement that Moscow decided to evacuate the embassy after Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz visited its grounds and told the Russian ambassador that Libya was unable to protect the personnel.

Lukashevich added that all the embassy workers and their families safely crossed the border into Tunisia Thursday. He said that the Libyan authorities had promised to protect Russian assets and try to quickly restore conditions for the safe operations of the embassy.

Several senior diplomats will stay in Tunisia to maintain contacts with Libya, while the rest of the embassy workers will be flown to Moscow Friday, Lukashevich said.

He added that the Foreign Ministry recommends Russian citizens should refrain from visiting Libya.

Wednesday’s violence briefly raised fears of a repeat of last year’s deadly attack on a U.S. compound in the eastern city of Benghazi, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed. In that instance, on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack, militants fired mortars at the consulate, surrounded it and set it on fire.

A Libyan official said Wednesday’s attackers took down the Russian flag that was hanging from the balcony of one of the buildings. But they did not enter the embassy buildings, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Diplomat Armored Rentals Awarded US Department of State Contract in Libya.

Diplomat Armored Rentals LLC, a San Diego based private corporation was recently awarded a $15,875.00 US State Department purchase order to provide spare parts and maintenance services for the US Embassy in Tripoli, Libya’s motor pool.

Diplomat Armored Rentals provides armored vehicles and armored vehicle maintenance services in over 30 locations around the world.