NATO Kills Six Afghan Children: Iran Nabs '12 CIA Spies'
November 25, 2011
Anti-War.com & Voice of America & Associated Press & BBC
NATO warplanes attacked the village in the Zhari District of Kandahar today, killing at least seven civilians, including six children, and injuring two other children. NATO officials termed the killings "unfortunate." Meanwhile, after losing two spy rings in the 'Pizza Hut fiasco' in Beirut, an Iranian MP reports that a third CIA spy ring has been broken inside Iran, with at least 12 arrested. Iran accused CIA and Mossad agents of targeting its nuclear energy and defense programs.
NATO Kills Six Children in Attack on Kandahar Village
Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com
KANDAHAR (November 24, 2011) -- NATO warplanes attacked the village in the Zhari District of Kandahar today, killing at least seven civilians, including six children, and injuring two other children. The attack came after a gunbattle outside the village between NATO and Taliban forces.
NATO officials termed the killings "unfortunate" and said they came "in response to insurgent action." They have promised to launch an inquiry into why the children were bombed.
Reports say that after the gunbattle some of the Taliban were fleeing on the road which goes through the village. NATO bombed the road, and children who were playing alongside it were slain. Most of the insurgents appear to have gotten away, though some unconfirmed reports say one of the bombs hit and killed two of them.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, saying that he was launching his own investigation into the matter. Last week's Loya Jirga, which was supposed to affirm a continued US occupation of Afghanistan through 2024, had expressed serious concern about civilian casualties, and predicated their acceptance on NATO curbing the killings.
Karzai Condemns Latest Deadly NATO Airstrike
Voice of America News
(November 24, 2011) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a NATO airstrike that reportedly killed seven civilians, mostly children, in southern Afghanistan.
Mr. Karzai's office said Thursday that reports by local officials indicate that an airstrike conducted by international forces in the Zheri district of Kandahar province killed seven people, including six children. Two young girls were wounded.
The Afghan president's office says Mr. Karzai was saddened when he heard the news and has designated a team to investigate the incident.
The governor of Zhari district, Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi, told the French news agency that the strike was aimed at Taliban fighters planting roadside mines but missed its target and hit nearby residential areas. NATO officials have not yet commented on the incident.
Civilian deaths have long strained the relationship between the international forces and Afghan government. In western Afghanistan Thursday, Afghan officials say Taliban militants killed at least seven local guards in an attack on a convoy carrying goods for international forces.
A spokesman for the governor of Farah province said insurgents destroyed at least nine trucks in Thursday's raid. Afghan police arrived at the scene to intervene.
The Associated Press quoted the provincial spokesman as saying no foreign troops were involved in the attack.
While the Taliban did not immediate claim responsibility for the assault, attacks on NATO convoys have been a major tactic in the militant's 10-year-long insurgency.
The major land routes for NATO supplies to landlocked Afghanistan also go through Pakistan, where militants there frequently target the trucks.
Iran MP: CIA Spy Ring Broken, 12 Arrested
Jason Ditz Anti-War.com
(November 24, 2011) -- Having already lost two distinct spy rings earlier this week in the Pizza Hut fiasco in Beirut, Lebanon, an Iranian MP reports that a third CIA spy ring has been broken inside Iran, with at least 12 arrested.
Reports say that the new spy ring was linked to Iran’s deployment of missiles around the country to prepare for a reaction to an oft-threatened Israeli attack. The spies had been tracking where the missiles were and what defenses they had against attack.
MP Parviz Sorouri, a member of the National Security Committee, said that they were "trying to use regional intelligence services, both inside and outside Iran, in order to deal a strong blow to our country." The nationality of those arrested has not been made public.
In addition to being the third spy ring lost this week, it is also the second time this year Iran has uncovered a CIA spy network, after arrests in May. With the CIA putting more and more focus on its assassination program, it raises further questions about its ability to effectively operate intelligence gathering services.
Report: Iran Lawmaker Says 12 CIA Agents Arrested
The Associated Press
(November 24, 2011) -- Iran has arrested 12 agents of the American Central Intelligence Agency, the country's official IRNA news agency reported, quoting an influential lawmaker.
Parviz Sorouri, a member of the powerful parliamentary committee on foreign policy and national security, said the alleged agents were operating in coordination with Israel's Mossad and other regional agencies, targeting the country's military and its nuclear program.
"The US and Zionist regime's espionage apparatuses were trying to damage Iran both from inside and outside with a heavy blow, using regional intelligence services," Sorouri was quoted as saying Wednesday.
"Fortunately, with swift reaction by the Iranian intelligence department, the actions failed to bear fruit," Sorouri said. The United States and its allies suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon program, a charge Iran denies.
The lawmaker did not give the nationality of the alleged agents nor when or where they were arrested. The CIA declined to comment on the report. Iran periodically announces the capture or execution of alleged US or Israeli spies, and often no further information is released.
The latest claim follows the unraveling by Lebanon's Hezbollah of a CIA spy ring in that country. Hezbollah has close ties to Iran.
Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, boasted in June on television he had unmasked at least two CIA spies who had infiltrated the ranks of the organization. Though the US Embassy in Lebanon denied that, American officials conceded that Nasrallah was not lying and that Hezbollah had subsequently methodically picked off CIA informants.
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Iran Arrests 12 'CIA Spies' for Targeting Nuclear Plans
BBC World News
(November 24, 2011) -- Iran has arrested 12 spies of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the official IRNA news agency reports. Parviz Sorouri, an influential lawmaker, said the agents were targeting Iran's military and its nuclear programme. He said they were operating in co-ordination with Israel's Mossad and other regional agencies.
The United States and its allies suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon program, a charge Tehran denies. Mr Sorouri, a member of the powerful National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, did not give the nationality of the alleged agents, nor when they were arrested.
"The US and Zionist regime's espionage apparatuses were trying to use regional intelligence services, both inside and outside Iran, in order to deal a strong blow to our country," he was quoted as saying.
"Fortunately, these steps failed due to the quick measures taken by Intelligence Ministry officials," Mr Sorouri said.
The Iranian claim follows reports in the US that Lebanon's Hezbollah has unravelled a CIA spy ring within the Shia militant organisation. Hezbollah has close ties to Iran.
Reports quoting US intelligence officials emerged this week appearing to suggest that a number of US spies had been unmasked and that their lives were now in danger in Lebanon.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said the reports were true. "Lebanese intelligence vanquished US and Israeli intelligence in what is now known as the intelligence war," he told the AFP news agency.
In June the group's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said on TV that he had unmasked at least two CIA spies who had infiltrated the ranks of the organisation.
Although the US Embassy in Beirut initially said there was no substance to the accusations, the Associated Press reports that American officials later conceded that Nasrallah had been telling the truth.
In May, Iran said it had arrested 30 people after breaking up a spy network run by the CIA.
It said the network had operated out of American diplomatic missions in the Malaysia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to recruit Iranians as spies.
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