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An Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano A-29 experimental aircraft flies over White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Aug. 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner)

The Afghan air force has deployed a GBU-58 Paveway II bomb from an A-29 Super Tucano in combat, marking the first time the Afghan military has dropped a laser-guided weapon against the Taliban.

Equipped with both guided and unguided bombs, an A-29 squadron used the GBU-58 on March 22 to destroy a Taliban compound in Farah, near the Iranian border, according to a U.S. Defense Department release.

"The AAF used the laser-guided technology because of the target's close proximity to civilians," the release said. "The success comes just three months after the AAF completed training to employ a laser-guided bomb. AAF weapons personnel and crew chiefs loaded, armed and launched the aircraft with minimal adviser input," the release said.

Officials said the Afghan pilots who conducted the operation were from Kabul Air Wing's Kandahar A-29 detachment. The AAF also assisted the Afghan National Army in destroying equipment the Taliban had stolen, the release said.

Pakistan tests-fires Babur SLCM

Pakistan has conducted another test-firing of its Babur-3 nuclear-capable, submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM), according to a 29 March statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani military.

The locally built SLCM was fired to a range of 450 km from an underwater, mobile platform at an undisclosed location, and “successfully engaged its target with precise accuracy, meeting all the flight parameters,” said ISPR, adding that “Pakistan eyes this landmark development as a step towards reinforcing [a] policy of credible minimum deterrence through indigenisation and self-reliance”.

The Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of the Babur-2 ground-launched cruise missile, which was successfully tested in December 2016, according to ISPR.
Pakistani Prime Minister In Afghanistan To Ease Tensions
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Pakistan’s prime minister arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for a day-long visit many see as an effort to ease strained relations between the two neighbors and revive a push for peace talks with the Taliban.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was welcomed by Afghan President Asharf Ghani and the two inspected an honor guard at the Presidential Palace in Kabul before heading in for meetings.

A statement issued by the Afghan presidential palace after the meeting said the two sides discussed counterterrorism, Afghan-led peace talks and border violations. They also discussed refugee and repatriations issues, the exchange of prisoners and finalization of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for peace and solidarity.

Abbasi, accompanied by several other top Pakistani officials on the trip, his first to Kabul since becoming prime minister last year, is to hold meetings with a string of Afghan officials, according to Ghani’s spokesman, Shah Hussain Murtazawi.

Pakistan has been under pressure from Kabul and Washington to stop offering safe havens to militants blamed for attacks in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad denies ...more
Taliban Attack On Afghan Government Compound Kills 15

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban stormed a government compound in central Afghanistan early Thursday, triggering an hours-long gunbattle that killed 15, including three top local officials, police and government officials said.

The blistering attack in the Khuja Omari district was the latest insurgent assault in Ghazni province, which is now largely under Taliban control. The Taliban planted mines to prevent government reinforcements from coming to help and quickly took responsibility for the attack, said Mohammad Arif Rahmani, a lawmaker in the Afghan Parliament.

The insurgent group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told The Associated Press by telephone that after the attack in Khuja Omari — not far from the provincial capital also called Ghazni — all security posts in the district were under Taliban control. The district center, however, was still in government hands.

The province of Ghazni is located south of Kabul province, the seat of the country’s capital, Kabul, and lies along a key route. Travel by road between the capital and southern Kandahar province, a traditional Taliban heartland, is considered dangerous because of large swaths that are now under insurgent control.

Mujahid gave a higher casualty figure among the Afghan forces, which the Taliban often do, exaggerating ...MORE
Returning home, Afghans continue to face challenges in rebuilding their lives – UN agencies
12 April 2018 - In 2017, about 58,000 Afghan refugees voluntarily returned to their country after decades aboard only to be met with protection risks and "significant" barriers to long-term reintegration into society, two United Nations agencies working in the Asian country reported on Thursday.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that despite efforts to support those coming back, the greatest challenge lies in a comprehensive, community-wide response that leaves no one behind.

"In spite of the inherent challenges of returning home after many decades abroad, IOM and UNHCR are working hand in hand to ensure sustainable solutions are provided to returning Afghans," said Laurence Hart, the head of IOM operations in the country.

"[We] work together to complement each other's efforts in areas of high return, with partners and the Government, for greater efficiency and to ensure support to those communities to mitigate protection risks," added Fathiaa Abdalla, the head of the UNHCR office in Afghanistan ...MORE
Pakistan Test-Fires Enhanced Ballistic Cruise Missile
Pakistan's military says it has conducted a successful test of an enhanced version of the locally developed Babur ballistic cruise missile.

In a statement on April 14, the military said the Babur Weapon System-1 "can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy, at a range of 700 kilometers."

"It is a low flying, terrain-hugging missile, which also carries certain stealth features and is capable of carrying various types of warheads," the statement added.

Last year, the Pakistani military said it had test-fired its first submarine-launched cruise missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and giving the country a credible second strike capability.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan said the Babur Cruise-3 missile has a range of 450 kilometers ...MORE

Several Killed As Security Forces Clash Along Afghan-Pakistan Border
Troops from the Afghan border police and Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps clashed near the two countries' disputed border, leaving several dead and wounded on both sides, Afghan and Pakistani officials said.

Afghan security officials told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan on April 15 in the country's eastern province of Khost that six Pakistani paramilitary troops were killed in the clash in the Zazi Maidan district.

Pakistani officials told Reuters that two Pakistani soldiers were killed.

An Afghan border police officer and a local tribesman were also killed and two other Afghans were injured.

Abdul Hanan, the acting provincial police chief in Khost, told RFE/RL that clashes broke out in three locations along the border in the early hours of the ...MORE

Afghanistan launches voter registration for parliamentary elections
Afghanistan has begun registering voters for the long-delayed legislative elections that are scheduled for October.

According to Abdul Badie Sayad, chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), authorities will register as many as 14 million adults at more than 7,000 registration centers across the war-torn country over the next two months.

Highlighting security concerns surrounding the election process, the official said "the main challenge is insecurity, particularly in rural areas."

In addition to the Taliban and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, "local powers, illegal militias and strongmen will try to interfere" in the parliamentary and ...MORE
Taliban Rejects Ghani's Call for Political Reconciliation
The Taliban has ruled out political reconciliation with the Afghan government and urged war-weary voters to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections in the country, alleging the "fake" exercise is being staged at the behest of U.S.-led "foreign occupation" forces.

The statement comes in response to President Ashraf Ghani's call on Saturday in which he invited the Taliban again to avail themselves of his offer of peace talks and join the October 20 elections in Afghanistan as a "political party."

Ghani made his offer of unconditional peace talks in February, a move widely welcomed by domestic and international partners of Afghanistan, and he reiterated the overture on Saturday as the Taliban has not formally responded to it.

"We ask the Taliban to act as a political party and participate in the elections while utilizing the prevailing opportunity and the peace offer," Ghani said while inaugurating voters' registration process for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections ...MORE
In Afghanistan, Coalition Bombs Falling at Record Pace
The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan dropped more bombs during the first quarter of 2018 than it has in the same period in any of the last 15 years, according to Pentagon data.

The increased bombing is the latest evidence the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan is significantly intensifying since U.S. President Donald Trump announced his new military strategy for the country in August.

Coalition planes dropped 1,186 weapons on Afghanistan during the first three months of 2018, according to figures released by U.S. Air Forces Central Command. The previous record (1,083) was set during the height of the war in 2011. The U.S. has not released 2001 to 2003 airstrike data.

Those figures do not include activity by the Afghan Air Force (AAF), which has stepped up its aerial bombardment since gaining the ability to conduct airstrikes two years ago. The AAF carries out between 4 to 12 airstrikes every day, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

If recent trends are any indication, 2018 is likely to get even more violent. Fighting traditionally picks up during the warmer months, and the coalition has expanded its bombing campaign against the Islamic State group, as well as narcotic labs and other Taliban revenue sources. ...MORE
India Partially Abolishes Armed Forces Special Powers Act
While the contentious Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act has been removed entirely from the northeastern state of Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, the act will remain enforced under eight police stations near the border with Assam and in three districts near the border with Myanmar.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – In what is being seen as a strong indication of improved law and order and the security situation in areas that were earlier considered "disturbed," the government of India has withdrawn the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, infamously known as AFSPA, from the northeastern state of Meghalaya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. In Arunachal Pradesh, the AFSPA will remain enforced in eight police stations – down from 16 – near the border with Assam, and in three districts – Tirap, Changlang, and Longding – near the border with Myanmar.

The AFSPA empowers the army and central paramilitary forces deployed in declared ...MORE

Pakistan, Russia Hold High-Level Security Talks
Russia and Pakistan have held their first national security advisers-level bilateral talks in Moscow, focusing on prospects for closer cooperation in defense, space, cyber security, nuclear, intelligence-sharing as well as trade.

Pakistani National Security Adviser, Nasser Janjua, and Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Patrushev, led their respective delegations in the two-day meeting that ended on Monday.

A statement released after their meeting said the Pakistani delegation included senior military, civilian, intelligence and officials from the Strategic Plans Division, which oversees the country's nuclear weapons and missiles program.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at "the positive trajectory and progression" of mutual relationship at bilateral and multilateral levels, the statement noted. Monday's wide-ranging high-level discussions happened as a Russian business delegation is due to ....MORE
Afghan Taliban Launches New Spring Offensive
The Taliban insurgency announced the commencement of its annual spring offensive in Afghanistan, dealing a blow to weeks of renewed hopes for possible peace negotiations. The move comes as preparations are gaining momentum to organize long-delayed Afghan parliamentary and district council elections scheduled for October 20.

The new insurgent operations, dubbed "Al Khandaq," went into action early Wednesday and "the American invaders and their intelligence agents" will be its "primary" target, said a Taliban statement.

The move came weeks after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, at an international conference in Kabul, offered to engage in unconditional talks with the Taliban for ending the 17-year-old increasingly deadly conflict.

While Ghani's overture was widely welcomed by domestic and international stakeholders, the insurgent group had since been silent amid speculations the Taliban could be mulling joining the talks.

Afghan ambassador to neighboring Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal, has acknowledged the Taliban's spring offensive is a rejection of the government's peace overture ...MORE

Indian Navy Gets Third Landing Craft Utility Amphibious Ship at Andaman Island
The vessel can carry over two hundred personnel, including sailors and troops from ship to shore and vice versa, in the eventuality of an amphibious warfare near the strategically important Strait of Malacca.

The Indian Navy has inducted the third ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV project at Port Blair. The ship was commissioned as INLCU L53 by Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, commander-in-chief, Andaman & Nicobar Command, of the Indian Armed Forces' tri-service command. The command oversees India's Andaman and Nicobar Island territories, including the strategic Strait of Malacca in the Indian Ocean.

"LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship with a displacement of 830 Tons and is capable of transporting combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72, and other Armored Vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced ...MORE

In pursuit of what it called the air force's want for a better fighter, India has pulled out of its partnership with Russia in the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program.

In the works since 2007, the program has seen cooperation between Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau (Sukhoi) in developing and manufacturing a new fighter dubbed the Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, or “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” (PAK-FA).

Now called the Su-57, seven prototypes are currently in flight-testing since the first took to the skies in 2010. With $8.63bn earmarked for the procurement of 127 PAK-FAs that were stealthy, possessed 360-degree radar and had more powerful engines, the Indian Air Force (IAF) have now claimed that the aircraft being offered was not stealthy enough for a fifth-generation combat aircraft.

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is said to have conveyed the decision to a Russian ministerial delegation in February.

NB: The hopeless Indian defence procurement process grinds on and on and on :oops:
Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command Deactivation Ceremony
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC) Headquarters was deactivated today at a ceremony in Baghdad, signifying the end of major combat operations against ISIS in Iraq and acknowledging the changing composition and responsibilities of the Coalition.

CJFLCC was responsible for Coalition land force operations in support of the Iraqi Security Force (ISF) during the campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and liberate more than 4.5 million Iraqis subject to ISIS's brutal control.

Iraqi Security Force and Coalition leaders attended the ceremony that formally transferred CJFLCC's command authorities to the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve and featured a traditional 'Casing of the Colors'.

"Casing the CJFLCC Colors is a symbolic gesture, honoring the perseverance and sacrifice of our Coalition partners. Thanks to our partnered success
we are able to continue our support to the Government of Iraq under the unified command of CJTF-OIR," said Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, former commanding general CJFLCC.

Iraqi Security Force Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool Abdullah said the CJFLCC has been an integral part of the ISF success ...MORE

Kabul Suicide Blasts Kill 26 People, Including 9 Journalists
A twin suicide bombing Monday in Afghanistan's capital Kabul killed at least 26 people, including nine journalists. At least 50 people were wounded, including five journalists.

Islamic State, through its "Amaq" news agency, claimed responsibility for the deadliest ever assault on media workers in Afghanistan.

Local media watchdog, Afghan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC), while confirming the media-related fatalities, strongly condemned the attack.

Two female journalists, including Maharram Durrani from RFE/RL, were among the dead. French news agency AFP has confirmed the death of its chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai. Two male staffers from RFE, Abadullah Hananzai and Abawoon Kakar, were also killed.

A leading Afghan television station, 1 TV News, has also confirmed the killing of two staffers in Monday's attack ...MORE
India :



A major accident involving collapse of a 250 tons capacity Goliath Crane at the Public Sector Garden Reach Shipbuilder & Engineers (GRSE) at Kolkata has completely damaged the hull shop thereby putting to risk the ongoing P 17 A program to built seven stealth frigates.

The P17A warships are India’s most advanced and stealthy frigates. Three out of the seven ships are being built at GRSE and remaining at at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai (MDL) for the Indian Navy.

Sources said the accident happened on 17 April 2018 but was kept under the wraps by the management. It involved collapse of one goliath crane of 250 ton capacity, 47 meter lift covering the Module Hall, Dry Dock and inclined berth at GRSE.
Afghan President Launches Controversial National ID Card
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani launched long-delayed electronic citizen ID cards Thursday, but his governing partner, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, boycotted the ceremony and questioned the legitimacy and timing of the process.

The president and first lady Rula Ghani, along with several top officials, received their ID cards, locally known as "e-tazkiras," marking the formal rollout at a special ceremony in Kabul.

The existing national ID cards are made of paper and, officials say, are highly prone to tampering and fraud. President Ghani reiterated those concerns at Thursday's ceremony.

"An important reason for launching this card is that terrorists have taken advantage of the paper ID card, endangering security of all our countrymen, and protecting lives and property of Afghans is the fundamental responsibility of the government," Ghani said.

Ghani also said the digitized national ID card is an essential and crucial step toward better governance, economic development, transparency and delivery of services ...MORE

At least 31 Taliban militants were killed by Afghan security forces backed by U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province, as the Afghan army battled to protect a key highway, officials said on Saturday.
Mohammad Arif Noori, the spokesman for the provincial governor, said the militants were planning to wrest control of an arterial road and had attacked many security check posts.
“With the help of U.S. air forces, the Taliban militants have been pushed back from the areas near Ghazni-Paktika highway, but the road is still closed due to serious damages caused by the Taliban,” said Noori.
During clashes on Friday, two civilians were killed and four were injured when a mortar shell hit a home in the Andar district. Andar is one of the unstable districts of Ghazni province, 95 miles (153 km) southwest of the capital, Kabul.
In a separate incident, two militants were killed when explosives went off on a highway in Ghazni.
The Taliban confirmed the clashes. The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, however, gave a conflicting casualty figure.
According to Mujahid, nine Afghan soldiers and one Taliban fighter were killed. He said 10 Afghan soldiers and three Taliban fighters were wounded in the battle to control Andar district.
More here=
Protesters killed as Indian troops move on militants in Kashmir

Five civilians were killed and more than 50 wounded when Indian troops opened fire on hundreds of people who pelted them with stones as they carried out an operation against militants in Kashmir, a senior police official said.
The police official, who asked not to be identified as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said at least 10 of the wounded protesters were hit by bullets and four were in a critical condition.
Indian security services killed five militants in an operation in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday, including Saddam Padder, a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, and Mohammad Rafi Bhat, a Kashmiri professor with alleged ties to militant groups, the Director General of Police in Kashmir, S.P. Vaid, said.
The militants were killed in a gunbattle lasting several hours in the Shopian district in Kashmir, police officials said.
A police spokesman said the circumstances surrounding the death of civilians was being investigated.
Security forces killed four civilians in a village in Kashmir in April when they opened fire on protesters pelting them with stones to stop an operation against militants, police officials said.
The Joint Resistance Leadership of separatists on Sunday asked people to march to the chief minister’s office in Srinagar on Monday to protest against the bloodshed.
More here=
Suicide Bombers Strike In Afghan Capital, Killing 5
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Suicide bombers struck two police stations in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, killing at least five people and wounding 16, officials said.

Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak said a total of eight suicide bombers took part in the attacks, one of which was claimed by the Islamic State group and the other by the Taliban.

In the first attack, in western Kabul, the attackers hurled hand grenades and blew themselves up, setting part of the station on fire, Barmak said, adding that a third suicide bomber was shot and killed by police. He said two police were killed in the attack and two police and a civilian were wounded. IS claimed the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq news agency.

The second attack unfolded in the city center, where a suicide bomber struck the entrance to a police station in order to clear the way for another four bombers. Barmak said “two or three” more attackers were holed up in a nearby building, trading fire with security forces. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said a total of five people ...MORE
BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missiles to Feature Indian Quad Launchers
Furthering its quest to localize the production of the world's deadliest missile, India has successfully designed and built a rototype of the 'Quadruple Canisterized Inclined Launcher' or Quad Launcher for BrahMos missiles.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – The Quad Launcher, built by the Indian private defense firm L&T Defense (the defense arm of Larsen & Toubro, or L&T), is suitable for warships which have space constraints to accommodate a Vertical Launch Module, thus making the supersonic cruise missile more flexible, enabling it to operate from any kind of naval ship in the world with a bit of fine tuning.

L&T Defence has already handed over the Quad Launcher prototype to BrahMos Aerospace – a joint venture between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.

The launcher provides better firepower than the twin canister, deck mounted launchers and is capable of supporting and launch four missiles in a single or Salvo mode.

"With this smart launcher, eight missiles (four on the right and four on the left side of the ship) can be launched simultaneously. Though we have yet to get the order from the navy, we have started work. We have invested in technology, knowledge and future business. We are just waiting for the order," Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO of BrahMos Aerospace said.

In the last year, Indian industry has helped enormously in integrating local components in the BrahMos missiles. BrahMos Aerospace aims to achieve 75 percent localization within the next six months from the current 65 percent domestic components that go into its production ...MORE
Pakistan has been under pressure from Kabul and Washington to stop offering safe havens to militants blamed for attacks in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad denies

And yet where did we find the Taliban Leader (Bin Hiding)

India :



A major accident involving collapse of a 250 tons capacity Goliath Crane at the Public Sector Garden Reach Shipbuilder & Engineers (GRSE) at Kolkata has completely damaged the hull shop thereby putting to risk the ongoing P 17 A program to built seven stealth frigates.

The P17A warships are India’s most advanced and stealthy frigates. Three out of the seven ships are being built at GRSE and remaining at at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai (MDL) for the Indian Navy.

Sources said the accident happened on 17 April 2018 but was kept under the wraps by the management. It involved collapse of one goliath crane of 250 ton capacity, 47 meter lift covering the Module Hall, Dry Dock and inclined berth at GRSE.

Oh Deary me :)

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