Jumaat, 1 November 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

Lone gunman opens fire at Los Angeles airport, killing security agent


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A lone gunman stormed into a packed terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport and opened fire with an assault weapon on Friday, killing a federal security agent before he was shot and captured, authorities said.

The gunfire in Terminal 3 touched off panic and chaos at one of the world's busiest airports as hundreds of travellers ran frantically for safety or dove for cover behind racks of luggage and loud alarms blared.

A number of people were injured, including two who were shot and wounded and others hurt in the pandemonium. Nearly 750 flights were halted, grounded or diverted as police evacuated passengers and shut down three terminals. Streets around the airport were blocked off for hours, snarling traffic for miles.

"An individual came into Terminal 3 of this airport, pulled an assault rifle out of a bag and began to open fire in the terminal," Patrick Gannon, chief of the Los Angeles Airport Police, told a news conference.

Gannon said the gunman, a U.S. citizen who appeared to be acting alone, pushed through the screening gates and ran into a food court area, where law enforcement officers caught up, shot him at least once and took him into custody.

"The suspect got back very far into a terminal. There is a Burger King that is quite a ways away from the screening station, and he was able to get back there," Gannon said.

Special Agent David Bowdich of the FBI identified the suspect as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, a resident of the Los Angeles area, who was being treated for his injuries at a local hospital. There were no further details on his condition.

Bowdich said the investigation would probe both the shooting itself and the background and motivations of the gunman.

"Our goal is to do a true scrub on the individual to find out what was the tipping point for this person," he said.

Several news organizations reported that Ciancia had ties to New Jersey, and that police there were serving a search warrant at his childhood home in Pennsville.

The shooting was not the first such incident at the airport. In 2002, an Egyptian-born gunman opened fire at the ticket counter of Israeli airline El Al, killing a flight attendant and a passenger before he was shot and killed.


The U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which runs security screenings at U.S. airports, confirmed that one of its agents had been killed, the first from the agency to die in the line of duty.

Bowdich said a total of three people had been shot, including two TSA agents, and that a number of other people were hurt while fleeing the scene as gunfire rang out.

Lauren Stephens, 47, said she had just put her luggage on the scale at the ticket counter at Terminal 3 when she heard a series of gunshots.

"Everybody hit the ground. I jumped over the desk where the conveyor belt is. The woman who was checking me in hit the ground, all the workers did. Everybody pancaked down on the ground," she said.

"More gunshots started. Somebody just yelled 'Run' at the top of their lungs. It sounded like he was coming our way. I don't know if that was just because he was turning the gun around," Stephens said. "I just left my bag and I just ran like hell. Everybody ran. People were falling. People were just trying to help each other out."

Video footage broadcast on CNN showed airport police shouting at travellers to get down as hundreds of people sprint past them, some carrying or dragging luggage. Loud alarms sound in the terminal and police sirens can be heard wailing outside.


Jose Mares, who was catching a flight back to his home in Norman, Oklahoma, with his wife, told Reuters he was about 20 to 30 yards (18 to 27 meters) away from a man with a gun on the second level of Terminal 3 when the man opened fire. Mares, 31, said he used his own body to shield his wife from the bullets.

"As I'm getting on top of her I'm reaching for more luggage and that's when I stacked luggage like two high and then made a row of luggage," he said. "I was in the corner and I'm looking at the guy just shooting randomly, like I saw a TSA (agent) go down."

Three male victims hurt in the incident were taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre, where one was listed in critical condition and two others in fair condition, said Mark Wheeler, a spokesman for the hospital.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that had police not moved to stop the gunman as quickly as they did the carnage could have been much worse.

"There were more than 100 more rounds that could have literally killed everybody in that terminal today," he said. "If it were not for their actions, there could have been a lot more damage."

President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident and White House officials are in touch with law enforcement officials on the ground, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

"We're concerned about it, but I'll let law enforcement folks talk about it directly," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Los Angeles International Airport is the world's sixth busiest, handling over 63 million passengers in 2012, according to its official website.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine, Tim Reid, Nichola Groom, Alex Dobuzinskis, Dana Feldman and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Eric Johnson in Seattle; Tim Gaynor in Phoenix and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Writing by Cynthia Johnston and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Gunna Dickson and Lisa Shumaker)

Pakistani Taliban chief killed in drone strike


ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The head of the Pakistani Taliban was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Friday, security and Taliban sources said, in a blow to the fragmented movement fighting against the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.

Hakimullah Mehsud was one of the most wanted and feared men in Pakistan with a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, leading an insurgency from a mountain hideout in North Waziristan, the Taliban's stronghold on the Afghan frontier.

"We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack," a senior Taliban commander said.

In Washington, two U.S. officials confirmed Mehsud's death in a CIA drone strike. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

At the White House, a spokeswoman said officials had seen the reports Mehsud may have been killed in Pakistan. "We are not in a position to confirm those reports, but if true, this would be a serious loss" for the Pakistan Taliban, Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.

She noted that the Pakistan Taliban had claimed responsibility for the failed bomb plot at New York's Times Square in 2010, and that Mehsud was wanted in connection with the killing of seven CIA employees in Afghanistan in 2009.

The killing of Mehsud was the latest setback for the Pakistani Taliban, a group aligned with its Afghan namesakes and which has staged attacks against Pakistani armed forces and civilians in its fight to topple the government.

His death is almost certain to scuttle the prospect of peace talks between the Taliban and the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who won a landslide election victory in May by promising to bring peace to the country.

Pakistan had informed the United States and Britain that peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban were imminent, said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA and White House official with extensive experience in the region.

"So the drone strike is very awkward and difficult for Sharif. Conspiracy theories in Pakistan will assume he agrees to the strike even as he proposed peace talks with Mehsud," Riedel said via email. "Another setback for U.S.-Pakistan relations ironically."


The government never clarified which factions of the Taliban it was willing to talk to or whether it would comply with the Taliban's demands to release its prisoners and withdraw the army from Taliban strongholds in Pakistan's tribal areas.

The government, which officially condemns U.S. drone strikes, issued its usual statement denouncing the attack, but did not comment on reports of Mehsud's death.

Mehsud's funeral will be held on Saturday at 3 p.m. (1000 GMT) in Miranshah, the main regional city, the Taliban commander said, an event likely to stir tension in a region already suffering from an escalating insurgency.

Pakistan, a nation of 180 million people, has been plagued by violence, including the homegrown Taliban insurgency that has cost tens of thousands of lives.

But the Taliban has been weakened by a series of counter-attacks. In May, a U.S. drone strike killed Mehsud's second-in-command, and one of his most trusted lieutenants was captured in Afghanistan last month.

A senior Pakistani Taliban source said it held an emergency meeting after Mehsud's death and approved two commanders, Maulvi Omar Khalid and Maulana Fazlullah, to replace him.

"Among these men, one will replace our slain Ameer (leader). Maulvi Omar Khalid ... is most likely to replace Hakimullah Mehsud," said a senior Pakistani Taliban official.

He said the Taliban would hold a tribal meeting early on Saturday to decide on further actions. "You will see our reaction," he said.


The Pakistani Taliban acts as an umbrella for various jihadist groups operating in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, which are separate, but allied to the Afghan Taliban.

Several intelligence, army and Taliban sources across Pakistan confirmed Mehsud, believed to be in his mid-30s, had been killed in the drone strike in North Waziristan.

His bodyguard and driver were also killed, they said.

The drones fired four missiles at a compound in Danda Darpa Khel, a village about 5 km (3 miles) from the regional capital of Miranshah, sources said. Mehsud had been attending a gathering of 25 Taliban leaders to discuss the government's offer of talks, they said.

The information could not be independently verified because journalists have no access to the affected areas.

Mehsud was brought into the insurgency by his cousin Qari Hussain, who was the Taliban's top trainer for suicide bombers until he was killed in a drone strike.

He lacked formal education or religious training, but Mehsud was a popular figure known for his jokes and interest in modern technology, said Reuters journalists who had met him.

He was the driver for the former head of the Pakistani Taliban, and then rose through the ranks to become the movement's spokesman, although he was known for his emotional outbursts during conversations.

Mehsud took over the Pakistani Taliban in August 2009 after a drone strike killed the previous leader, his mentor.

Mehsud had two wives and moved frequently because of his fear of U.S. drone strikes.

In recent months, analysts say rivalries with other Taliban commanders over revenues from extortion and kidnapping had sharpened, rising tension within the fragmented movement.

The United States offered $5 million for Mehsud's capture after he appeared in a farewell video with the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees at a base in Afghanistan in 2009.

U.S. prosecutors have charged him with involvement in the attack. The Taliban is also accused of plotting to bomb Times Square in 2010.

Although Mehsud's death will bring calls for revenge, it may make negotiations with the militants easier in the long run, said Saifullah Mahsud, director of the Pakistani think tank FATA Research Centre.

"Hakimullah Mehsud was a very controversial figure and he had very tough demands," he said.

But the strike did not signal the end of the Pakistani Taliban, he said.

"It's a very decentralised organisation. They've lost leaders to drone strikes before."

(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar, and Hafiz Wazir in Wana and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Maria Golovnina, Alison Williams and Peter Cooney)

Africans push deferral of Kenya trials with U.N. draft resolution


UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Rwanda, Togo and Morocco circulated among U.N. Security Council members on Friday a draft resolution to defer the International Criminal Court trials of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for one year.

The African Union asked the Security Council last week to postpone the trials of Kenyatta and Ruto so they can deal with the aftermath of the Nairobi mall attack by al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab, in which at least 67 people were killed in September.

Kenyatta and Ruto face charges related to the violence after Kenya's 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died. Both deny the charges and have tried to have the cases adjourned or halted. Ruto's trial started last month, while Kenyatta's trial is due to start on February 5 after being delayed for a third time.

The Security Council can defer International Criminal Court proceedings for one year under Article 16 of the Rome Statute that established The Hague-based court a decade ago. The council would need to adopt a resolution to take that step.

"We are mandated by the African Union to ensure the deferral is granted," Rwandan U.N. Ambassador Eugene Gasana told Reuters in a statement on Friday. "We have a draft resolution ... we do hope and wish that it will be supported by all council members."

But the 15-member Security Council, which heard an impassioned plea for a deferral from a delegation of African ministers during an informal meeting on Thursday, is split. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States stated on Thursday that it was opposed to a deferral.

A resolution needs nine votes and no veto by any of the five permanent members - the United States, Russia, Britain, China and France. Council diplomats said there was not enough support for a deferral of the Kenyan cases to be approved.

Some U.N. diplomats have noted that the council had already turned down a previous deferral request by Kenya in 2011 and rejected a request in May for the cases to be terminated because the council had no such power.

The Kenyan cases have caused a growing backlash against the International Criminal Court from some African governments, which regard it as a tool of Western powers used to unfairly target Africans.

The African Union also plans to raise its issues with the International Criminal Court at a November meeting of the Assembly of State Parties, which is made up of the 122 members of the court.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Jackie Frank)

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved