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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's going on in the World Today 110418





Portfolio: Russian Energy Windfall | STRATFOR


Iraq: 90 Injured In Sulaymaniyah Clashes April 18, 2011

At least 90 people were injured during the second straight day of clashes between protesters and security forces in the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah on April 18, Reuters reported, citing unnamed police and medical sources said. Security forces wounded 29 people while using guns and tear gas to try to disperse protesters, and 61 policemen were injured by stones and other objects hurled at them by protesters.

Iraq: 200 Protesters In Tahrir Square April 15, 2011

About 200 protesters ignored a ban on street protests and gathered in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, AFP reported April 15. The protesters were frisked by security forces before entering the square, and the forces surrounded the protesters as they demonstrated.
Israel: Palestinian Territories To Seek Statehood April 18, 2011

The Palestinian territories will seek recognition as an independent state by the United Nations in September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said April 18, Bloomberg reported. Abbas said permission from the U.N. Security Council may be prevented by permanent veto-wielding members like the United States, but approval of the U.N. General Assembly would be legally binding. According to Abbas, Israel may try to block approval by lobbying the U.S. Congress. Palestinians are seeking international support to establish a state, Abbas said, adding that Palestinians will not agree to declare an independent state with temporary borders.

Afghanistan: 12 Iranian Engineers Kidnapped April 18, 2011

Twelve Iranians were among 17 engineers kidnapped by Taliban gunmen April 18 in Afghanistan’s Farah province, which borders Iran, AFP reported, citing a provincial government spokesman. The men were kidnapped at gunpoint from the site of a construction project. A Taliban spokesman denied knowledge of the kidnapping, while an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Afghanistan has been asked to take firm and swift action.

Afghanistan: 42 of 50 Kidnapped Police Officers Freed - Taliban April 15, 2011

An Afghan Taliban spokesman said 42 of the 50 police officers who were kidnapped in the Kondai area of Konar Province on March 27 were freed by the mujahideen on April 15, BBC reported, citing the Afghan Taliban Voice of Jihad website. They were freed with an agreement of the zone leaders after guarantees were secured from tribal leaders and the officers’ relatives. The officers promised to never work for the administrations. The mujahideen is holding eight senior officers whose fate is still to be decided.

Afghanistan: NATO, Russia Agree To Helicopter Fund April 15, 2011

NATO and Russia have agreed to create an $8 million fund to provide training, spare parts and tool kits for three squadrons of Russian-made helicopters in Afghanistan, DPA reported April 15, citing comments made by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen before the deal was completed. Russia will contribute $3.5 million to the fund, Germany will contribute $3 million and Turkey, Luxembourg and Denmark pledged small amounts.


Questions Surrounding the Syrian Counterprotest Plan | STRATFOR

Syria: Authorities Seize Large Weapons Consignment From Iraq April 18, 2011

Syrian authorities seized a large consignment of weapons, including modern machineguns, automatic rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, night-vision scopes, grenade launchers and ammunition bound for Syria from Iraq via the Al-Tanf border crossing in a refrigerated truck, Sana reported April 18, citing Director-General of Syrian Customs Mustapha al-Bikai. Bikai said other weapons consignments had been seized via the Bab al-Hawa, as-Salama, and Jdaidet Yabous crossings.
Syria: Shots Fired At Protesters April 18, 2011

Syrian forces fired on a crowd of more than 5,000 anti-government protesters that took over the main square in Homs, AP reported April 18. Protesters vowed to occupy the square until Syrian President Bashar al Assad is ousted.


Agenda: Mexican Drug Cartels | STRATFOR
Mexico: 28 Suspected Zetas Arrested April 18, 2011

Mexican security forces arrested 32 people April 16-17 during raids in Tula and Tulancingo, Hidalgo state, including 28 suspected members of Los Zetas, El Universal reported April 18. The suspects are reportedly linked to a Jan. 22 vehicle explosion in El Carmen.

Somalia: Pirates Hold Indian Hostages After Being Paid Ransom April 15, 2011

A Somali pirate says pirates are holding on to Indian hostages even after a ransom was paid, AP reported April 15. The pirate, Hassan Farah, said the pirates in the stronghold of Haradhere made a collective decision to do so in retaliation for recent arrests by the Indian navy. A ransom was paid April 15 for the release of the ship Asphalt Venture and its crew. Only the non-Indian crew members were released.

Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

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