Suicide Terror Attacks

Title: Bomb Carrier In U.S. House Prompts Tightened Security
Date: November 2, 1998
New York Times

Abstract: The Capitol police re-adjusted metal detectors and installed sensitive bomb-detecting equipment last month after a tourist entered the House gallery with a homemade bomb under his shirt. Jack Russ, the sergeant-at-arms of the House, said today that the urgent steps following the Oct. 18 scare were the beginning of a tighter security system. In an interview, Mr. Russ said the bomb taken into the building ''was not a dud.'' It failed to explode because the man ''had not placed his wiring properly,'' he said
(New York Times, 1998).

Title: 2010 Austin Suicide Attack
February 18, 2010

: The 2010 Austin suicide attack occurred on 18 February 2010, when Andrew Joseph Stack III, flying his Piper Dakota, crashed into Building I of the Echelon office complex in Austin, Texas, United States,[4] killing himself and Internal Revenue Service manager Vernon Hunter.[5] Thirteen others were injured, two seriously. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) field office was located in a four-story[6][7] office building along with other state and federal government agencies.[8] Prior to the crash, Stack had posted a suicide note dated 18 February 2010 to his business website.

Approximately an hour before the crash, Stack allegedly set fire to his $230,000[9] house located on Dapplegrey Lane in North Austin.[10][11] He then drove to a hangar he rented at Georgetown Municipal Airport, approximately 20 miles to the north.[12] He boarded his single-engine Piper Dakota airplane and was cleared to take off around 9:45 a.m. Central Standard Time.[8][13][14][15] He indicated to the control tower his flight would be "going southbound, sir."[16] After taking off his final words were "thanks for your help, have a great day."[17]

About ten minutes later his plane descended and collided at full speed into Echelon I, a building containing offices for 190 IRS employees, resulting in a large fireball and explosion.[8][18][19] The building is located near the intersection of Research Boulevard (U.S. Route 183) and Mopac Expressway (Loop 1).


The plane was piloted by Andrew Joseph Stack III of the Scofield Farms neighborhood in North Austin, who worked as an embedded software consultant.[10][20][21] He grew up in Pennsylvania and had two brothers and two sisters, was orphaned at age four, and spent some time at a Catholic orphanage.[16] He graduated from the Milton Hershey School in 1974 and studied engineering at Harrisburg Area Community College from 1975 to 1977 but did not graduate.[22][23] His first marriage to Ginger Stack, which ended in divorce, produced a daughter, Samantha Bell.[16][24] In 2007 Stack had remarried to Sheryl Housh who had a daughter from a previous marriage.[16]

In 1985, Stack, along with his first wife, incorporated Prowess Engineering. In 1994, he failed to file a state tax return. In 1998, the Stacks divorced and a year later his wife filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, citing IRS liabilities totaling nearly $126,000. In 1995, Stack started Software Systems Service Corp, which was suspended in 2004 for non-payment of state taxes.[16] It was revealed in CNN and ABC news broadcasts by another software consultant who testified that the IRS had taken away a tax status for software consultants, which might have set off the incident with Stack.[25][26]

Stack obtained a pilot's license in 1994 and owned a Velocity Elite XL-RG plane, in addition to the Piper Dakota (aircraft registration N2889D) he flew into the Echelon building.[16] He had been using the Georgetown Municipal Airport for four and a half years and paid $236.25 a month to rent a hangar.[1] There has been speculation that Stack replaced seats on his aircraft with extra drums of fuel prior to the collision.[9]

Stack's accountant confirmed that he was being audited by the IRS for failure to report income at the time of the incident.[27]

Suicide Note
On the morning of the crash, Stack posted a suicide note on his website, The HTML source code of the web page shows the letter was composed using Microsoft Word starting two days prior, February 16, at 19:24Z (1:24 p.m. CST).[32] The document also shows that it was saved 27 times with the last being February 18 at 06:42Z (12:42 a.m. CST).[32]

In the suicide note, he begins by expressing displeasure with the government, the bailout of financial institutions, politicians, the conglomerate companies of General Motors, Enron and Arthur Andersen, unions, drug and health care insurance companies, and the Catholic Church.[31] He then describes his life as an engineer; including his meeting with a poor widow who never got the pension benefits she was promised, the effect of the Section 1706 of Tax Reform Act of 1986 on independent contractor engineers, the September 11 attacks airline bailouts that only benefited the airlines but not the suffering engineers and how a CPA he hired seemed to side with the government to take extra tax money from him. His suicide note included criticism of the Federal Aviation Administration, the George W. Bush administration, and a call for violent revolt.

The suicide note also mentions, several times, Stack's having issues with taxes, debt, and the IRS and his having a long-running feud with the organization.[33] While the IRS also has a larger regional office in Austin, the field office located in Echelon I performed tax audits, seizures, investigations and collections.[33]

The suicide note ended with:

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)


Killed in the incident along with Stack was Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Revenue Officer Group Manager for the IRS.[5][34] Thirteen people[35] were reported as injured, two of them critically. Debris from the crash reportedly struck a car being driven on the southbound access road of Route 183 in front of the building, shattering the windshield.[3] Another driver on the southbound access road of Route 183 had his windows and sunroof shattered during the impact, and had debris fall inside his car, yet escaped uninjured.[5][36] Robin Dehaven, a glass worker and former combat engineer for the United States Army, saw the collision while commuting to his job, and used the ladder on his truck to rescue five people from the building.[37] By coincidence, the Travis County Hazardous Materials Team — an inter-agency group of firefighters from outside the City of Austin — had just assembled for training across the freeway from the targeted building, observed the low and fast flight of Stack's plane, and heard the blast impact.[38] They immediately responded, attacking the fire and initiating search-and-rescue.[38] Several City of Austin fire engines for the area of the Echelon building were already deployed at the fire at Stack's home at the time of the impact.[38]

Stack's North Austin home was mostly destroyed by fire.[5][39]

Georgetown Municipal Airport was temporarily evacuated while a bomb disposal team searched Stack's abandoned vehicle.[40]

An inspection into the Echelon building's structural integrity was concluded six days after the incident and a preliminary decision was made to repair the building rather than demolish it.[41] Those repairs were substantially complete by December 2011.

Economic Costs to IRS
The IRS spent more than $38.6 million because of the 2010 Austin suicide attack.[42][43]

For the immediate response, document recovery, and to resume operations at the center, the IRS spent USD $6,421,942.[42] Of this amount, USD $3,258,213 was spent on document recovery.[42]

Also, the IRS spent a total of USD $32.3 million to improve IRS building security across the United States, with USD $30.5 million for more security guards.[42] The IRS said, because of the 2010 Austin suicide attack and the emergency plans in place, there was no direct budgetary impact on the IRS’s ability to provide taxpayer services or enforce tax laws.[42]

An additional $1,236,634 was spent on a security risk assessment to be performed by the private Georgia based logistical and engineering services firm Unified Consultants Group, Inc. A July 25, 2012 audit, released shortly after the indicent cost analysis, performed by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration determined that the contract was mismanaged by the IRS [44][45] The security review process was determined to have had multiple problems and many of the sites were not inspected by the contractor. The audit placed the blame on the IRS agency's individuals responsible for defining, negotiating, and administering the contract with potentially 100% of funds being used inefficiently and security improvements of IRS sites may not have been ineffective.[45]

The United States Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that the incident did not appear to be linked to organized international terrorist groups.[8] White House spokesman Robert Gibbs reaffirmed what Homeland Security said, and that President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident.[46] The President expressed his concern and commended the courageous actions of the first responders.[46] The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) launched two F-16 fighter aircraft from Ellington Airport in Houston, Texas, to conduct an air patrol in response to the crash. That action was reported as standard operating procedure in this situation.[28]

The company hosting, T35 hosting, took Stack's website offline "due to the sensitive nature of the events that transpired in Texas this morning and in compliance with a request from the FBI."[47][48] Several groups supporting Stack on the social networking website Facebook appeared following the incident and the news of the accompanying manifesto. These were immediately shut down by Facebook staff.[49][50][51]

Austin police chief Art Acevedo stated that the incident was not the action of a major terrorist organization. He also cited "some heroic actions on the part of federal employees" that "will be told at the appropriate time."[52]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation stated that it was investigating the incident "as a criminal matter of an assault on a federal officer" and that it was not being considered terrorism at this time.[53]

However, two members of the United States House of Representatives, both of whose districts include the Austin area, made statements to the contrary. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) stated, "Like the larger-scale tragedy in Oklahoma City, this was a cowardly act of domestic terrorism." Mike McCaul (R-Texas), told a reporter that, "it sounds like it [was a terrorist attack] to me." Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also asked the federal government to classify this as an act of terrorism. In a statement on February 19, he said, "Whenever an individual or group attacks civilians in order to make a political statement, that is an act of terror. Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of the faith, race or ethnicity of the perpetrator or the victims. If a Muslim had carried out the IRS attack, it would have surely been labeled an act of terrorism."[54] Georgetown University Professor Bruce Hoffman stated that for this to be considered an act of terrorism, "there has to be some political motive and it has to send a broader message that seeks some policy change. From what I've heard, that doesn't appear to be the case. It appears he was very mad at the [IRS] and this was a cathartic outburst of violence. His motivation was the key."[55] A USA Today headline used the term "a chilling echo of terrorism."[19]

Citing the copy of Joseph Stack's suicide note posted online,[31] liberal blogger Joan McCarter observed on the Daily Kos website that, "Obviously Stack was not a mentally healthy person, and he was embittered at capitalism, including crony capitalism, and health insurance companies and the government." She also stated that Stack could not be connected with the popular Tea Party movement, but argued that the incident "should inject a bit of caution into the anti-government flame-throwers on the right."[56] The website Ace of Spades HQ disputed any connection to the movement and additionally stated Stack was not "right wing", citing Stack's criticism of politicians for not doing anything about health care reform.[57]

In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Joe Stack's adult daughter, Samantha Bell, who now lives in Norway, stated that she considered her father to be a hero, because she felt that now people might listen. While she does not agree with his specific actions involving the plane crash, she does agree with his actions about speaking out against "injustice" and "the government."[24] Bell subsequently retracted aspects of her statement, saying her father was "not a hero" and adding, "We are mourning for Vernon Hunter."[58]

Five days after her husband Vernon Hunter's death, Valerie Hunter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sheryl Mann Stack, Andrew Joseph Stack's widow in District Court. The lawsuit alleges that Sheryl had a duty to "avoid a foreseeable risk of injury to others," including her late husband and failed to do so by not warning others about her late husband. The lawsuit also mentions that Stack was required by law to fly his plane at an altitude 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle.[59] At a March 8, 2010 benefit event, Stack's widow Sheryl publicly offered condolences for the victims of the attack.[60]

Iowa congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) has made several statements regarding Stack including "I think if we’d abolished the IRS back when I first advocated it, he wouldn’t have a target for his airplane. And I’m still for abolishing the IRS, I’ve been for it for thirty years and I’m for a national sales tax (in its place)."[61][62]

Noted libertarian socialist American intellectual Noam Chomsky cited Joe Stack's suicide letter as indicative of some of the public sentiment in the U.S., stated that several of Stack's assertions are accurate or based on real grievances, and urged people to "help" the Joseph Stacks of the world get involved in constructive popular movements instead of letting the Joseph Stacks "destroy themselves, and maybe the world," in order to prevent a process similar to how legitimate and valid popular grievances of the German people in the 1920s and 1930s were manipulated by the Nazis towards violence and away from constructive ends.[63][64]

The Internal Revenue Service formally designates certain individuals as potentially dangerous taxpayers (PDTs). In response to an inquiry after the attack, an IRS spokesperson declined to state whether Stack had been designated as a PDT (Wikipedia, 2012).

Title: American Carried Out Somalia Suicide Bombing, Islamists Claim
Date: October 30, 2011
Source: CNN

A suicide bomber who carried out an attack in Somalia this weekend was an American citizen of Somali descent, a website associated with the Al-Shabaab Islamist movement claimed Sunday.

The website named the bombers as Aden al-Ansari and Cabdi Salaam al-Muhajir, and posted what it said was an audio interview with al-Muhajir speaking American-accented English.

The speaker urges his "brothers and sisters" to "do jihad" in America, Canada, England, "anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia, anywhere you find kuffar," a derogatory term for non-Muslims.

The African Union force trying to establish order in Somalia said there had been an attack Saturday involving two suicide bombers in the capital Mogadishu, but said AU troops "beat off" the attack by "al-Qaeda linked terrorists."

Al-Shabaab is associated with al Qaeda and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States. The African Union military spokesman in the country did not immediately respond to a CNN question about the identity of the bombers or whether any AU troops were injured.

Omar Jamal, a Somali diplomat at the United Nations, identified the person who made the audio recordings as Abdisalam Ali of Minneapolis. He told CNN that friends of Ali had listened to the messages in English and Somali and were "convinced it is him."

The discrepancy in names may mean that the name released by Al-Shabaab is a nom de guerre.

Jamal said Abdisalam left Minneapolis on November 4, 2008, with another man, Burhan Hassan, who has since been killed.

Kyle Loven, an FBI spokesman in Minneapolis, told CNN, "We're aware of the reporting but not able to confirm any IDs at this time."

In the Somali-language interview that Al-Shabaab released, the speaker says he has been fighting with the group for two years and killed "many infidels" with his own hands.

Jamal said this weekend's bombing was the third time a Minnesota Somali-American had carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia.

The previous two were Shirwa Ahmed, 27, who was the first confirmed American suicide bomber in U.S. history, and Farah Mohamed Beledi, also 27.

Ahmed killed himself and 29 others in the fall of 2008. The FBI identified Beledi as one of two suicide bombers responsible for killing two African Union soldiers in Somalia in May.

In recent years, approximately 20 young men -- most of them Somali-Americans -- have traveled from the Minneapolis area to Somalia to train with Al-Shabaab, and a number of them have gone on to fight with the terrorist organization, U.S. officials said.

And this month, a federal jury found two Minnesota women guilty of raising money for Al-Shabaab.

According to the federal indictment, Amina Farah Ali, 35, and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 64, of Rochester, Minnesota, solicited funds in ways that included going door-to-door "under the false pretense that the funds were for the poor and needy."

The two were charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Ali was also found guilty of 12 other counts including sending more than $8,000 in 2008 and 2009 (CNN, 2011).

Title: FBI Seeks Evidence American Man Was Behind Suicide Attack In Somalia
Date: October 31, 2011
Source: Fox News

Abstract: The FBI is working to obtain the remains of a suicide bomber in Somalia, to try to determine whether he was one of at least 21 young Somali-American men believed to have left Minneapolis in recent years to join the terrorist group al-Shabab.

If the remains are confirmed to belong to Abdisalan Hussein Ali, it will mark the third time someone from Minnesota has been involved in a suicide attack in Somalia.

"I don't understand," said Nimco Ahmed, a Somali community activist in Minnesota, home to the nation's largest Somali population. "It's really, really painful to actually see one of the kids who has a bright future ahead of them do this. ... It's a loss for our whole society."

Al-Shabab said over the weekend that Abdisalan Taqabalahullaah, whom they identified as a Somali-American, carried out the suicide attack Saturday against an African Union base in Mogadishu. The attack killed 10 people, including the two suicide bombers, a Mogadishu-based security official said.

The militia group posted online a recording purported to be Taqabalahullaah, calling on others to carry out a jihad. Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali mission to the United Nations, said friends of Abdisalan Hussein Ali listened to the recording and identified the voice as Ali's.

But other friends told Minnesota Public Radio News the voice is not Ali's, saying his English doesn't match the man's on the recording.

E.K. Wilson, the supervisory special agent who oversees the FBI's investigation in Minneapolis, said the agency is in the process of trying to obtain DNA samples for testing.

Ali, a U.S. citizen known by friends in Minneapolis as "Bullethead," was 19 when he left Minnesota in November 2008. He had graduated from Edison High School in Minneapolis the year before. At the time of his disappearance, his family told reporters he was studying health care at the University of Minnesota.

At the Ali family's apartment building in Minneapolis on Monday, a woman who identified herself as Ali's older sister but declined to give her name said the family knew only what it had seen in the news. They hadn't heard from Abdisalan or anyone else in Somalia, she said.

According to a missing persons report filed in his case, Ali's mother and a cousin told police he left his home on the morning of Nov. 4, 2008, to pray and go to school -- as was his normal routine -- but never returned. Ali's car was left at his house, and his cell phone had been turned off, the report said. Police reported that "for an unknown reason" the family thought Ali might have left Minnesota by plane.

Authorities said Ali and five other young men left Minneapolis in early November 2008. Ali went to Somalia, according to a July 2010 indictment that charges him with five counts, including conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Over the past three years, Minnesota has been the center of a federal investigation into the recruitment of people from the U.S. to train or fight with al-Shabab in Somalia, which hasn't had a functioning government since 1991.

Shirwa Ahmed, 26, of Minneapolis, became the first known American suicide bomber in Somalia when he blew himself up in October 2008 in the northern breakaway republic of Somaliland, as part of a series of coordinated explosions that killed 21 people. On May 30 of this year, Farah Mohamed Beledi, 27, of St. Paul, was one of two suicide bombers who carried out an attack in Mogadishu. Beledi was shot before he could detonate his suicide vest (Fox News, 2011).

Title: 2 Somalia Sport Officials Among 10 Killed In Suicide Blast
April 4, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: An official says two of Somalia's top sports officials were killed in a suicide blast at Somalia's newly reopened national theater that left at least 10 dead.

Soccer federation secretary Shafici Mohyadin said the president of Somalia's Olympic committee and the president of its soccer federation were killed Wednesday at a ceremony at the theater.

Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said at least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded.

Policeman Abdimalik Hassan said government officials and other dignitaries attended the ceremony. Muse said the wounded included the country's national planning minister.

Wednesday's ceremony was held to mark the first anniversary of the start of a national TV station (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Bulgaria Bus Blast: Suicide Bomber Killed 8 On Vehicle Transporting Israeli Tourists
July 19, 2012
Huffington Post

A suicide bomber carried out the attack that killed eight people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the country's interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel accused Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants of responsibility.

Video surveillance in front of the airport and the investigation showed the bomber could not be distinguished among arriving Israeli tourists, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said at the airport of Burgas, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.

"We have established there was a person who was a suicide bomber in this attack (on Wednesday). This person had a fake driving licence from the United States, from the state of Michigan," Tsvetanov told reporters.

"He looked like anyone else - a normal person with Bermuda shorts and a backpack," he said.

Special forces had managed to obtain DNA samples from the fingers of the bomber and were now checking databases in an attempt to identify him, Tsvetanov said. Bulgarian security services had received no indications of a pending attack.

Tsvetanov said eight people were killed in the attack including the Bulgarian driver of the bus and the bomber. The Israeli foreign ministry said it could confirm that five Israelis were killed.

The tourists had arrived in Bulgaria on a charter flight from Israel and were on the bus in the airport car park when the blast tore through the double-decker. Body parts were strewn across the ground, mangled metal hung from the bus's ripped roof and black smoke billowed over the airport.

On Thursday, the airport in Burgas - a city of some 200,000 people at the centre of a string of seaside resorts - remained closed and police prevented people from approaching.

Beyond the cordons, some 100 holidaymakers waited patiently for their planes but had been told they would be there until midnight. Officials were setting up portable toilets and tents for stranded travellers and Bulgaria's parliament opened with a one minute silence in memory of the bombing victims.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the Tehran-backed Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah carried out the bombing. "The immediate executors are Hezbollah people, who of course have constant Iranian sponsorship," Barak told Israel Radio.

The blast occurred on the 18th anniversary of a bomb attack at the headquarters of Argentina's main Jewish organisation that killed 85 people and the Argentine government blamed on Iran, which denied responsibility.

Israel Threatens 'Powerful Reaction'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran, the Jewish state's arch-enemy, was behind the attack and that "Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror." There was no immediate Iranian reaction to the Israeli accusation.

Medical officials said two badly injured Israeli tourists were taken to hospitals in Bulgaria's capital Sofia. One woman was in intensive care with head and chest injuries and a man was in a critical state with burns covering 55 percent of his body.

About 30 lightly injured Israeli tourists were to be flown back to Israel later on Thursday.

Israeli officials had previously said that Bulgaria, a popular holiday destination for Israeli tourists, was vulnerable to attack by Islamist militants who could infiltrate via Turkey.

Israeli diplomats have been targeted in several countries in recent months by bombers who Israel said struck on behalf of Iran.

Although Tehran has denied involvement, some analysts believe it is trying to avenge the assassinations of several scientists from its nuclear programme that the Iranians have blamed on Israel and its Western allies.

Israel and Western powers fear Iran is working towards a nuclear bomb but it says its uranium enrichment work is strictly for peaceful ends. Both Israel and the United States have not ruled out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities.

"The attack is terrible and inexcusable," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. "It is a time to act responsibly. We have no information of our own. We urge caution in starting to assign blame"
(Huffington Post, 2012).

Somali President, Kenyan FM Escape Suicide Bomb Attack

Date: September 12, 2012
Yahoo News

Abstract:  Somalia's new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the visiting Kenyan foreign minister escaped unharmed on Wednesday from an apparent suicide bomb attack on a Mogadishu hotel where they were holding a news conference, witnesses said.

The attack, in which two explosions shook the Somali capital, underscored the huge security challenges facing Mohamud after the first presidential vote in Somalia in decades which raised hopes for change after 20 years of violent anarchy.

A Reuters witness said two bodies could be seen outside the hotel, one of whom appeared to be a suicide bomber, and there was a large crater in the road.

Mohamud and Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri continued the news conference for several minutes after the blasts.

"First and foremost we will address the security issue. Priority number one is security and priority number two and priority number three," Mohamud said moments after the blasts.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. On Tuesday, however, al Qaeda-linked Somali militants branded Mohamud a "traitor" and vowed to continue their jihad against a government they say serves only Western interests.

Mohamud's election by Somali lawmakers was hailed by his supporters as a vote for change in the war-ridden Horn of Africa country that has lacked effective central government since 1991 (Yahoo News, 2012).

Title: Suicide Bomb Kills 2 At Nigerian Church
Date: September 23, 2012

Abstract: At least two people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a church in northern Nigeria Sunday, officials said.

In addition to the bomber, a woman and child were among the dead, the National Emergency Management Agency said. At least 22 people were injured in the blast, which occurred in the town of Bauchi.

A witness said the car detonated near a gate at St. John's Catholic Church as congregants were leaving a Sunday service.

Authorities did not immediately say who was responsible for the attack.

In June, the Boko Haram militant Islamist group claimed responsibility for a series of church bombings that killed dozens.

The group, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," has referred to itself as the "Nigerian Taliban." It seeks to overthrow the government and replace it with a regime based on Islamic law (CNN, 2012).

Title: Taliban Suicide Bombing Kills 14 In Afghanistan, Including 3 US Troops, Officials Say
Date: October 1, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: A suicide bomber driving a motorcycle packed with explosives rammed his bike into a joint Afghan-American patrol on Monday morning in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 14 people including three U.S. troops and their translator, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which came a day after the U.S. death toll in the war in Afghanistan reached 2,000 troops. Such joint patrols are considered key to the training of Kabul's security forces but have been cut back by a string of insider shootings of international troops by their Afghan allies.

In Monday's attack, the bomber struck a group of Afghan police and American troops shortly after they got out of their vehicles to walk through a market area in Khost city, the capital of Khost province, said provincial government spokesman Baryalai Wakman.

Six civilians and four police officers were killed in the blast, Wakman said. He said the police officers were part of a specialized quick-reaction force.

Blood could be seen on the market road as Afghan police and soldiers tried to clean up the area after the blast. Slippers and bicycle parts were strewn about.

"I heard the explosion and came right to this area. I saw the dead bodies of policemen and of civilians right here," said policeman Hashmat Khan, who ran to the site of the blast from his job as security for a nearby bank.

Coalition spokesman Maj. Adam Wojack would only confirm that three NATO service members and their translator died in a bombing in the east on Monday, without giving an exact location or the nationalities of the dead.

The international military alliance usually waits for individual nations to announce details on deaths. Most of the troops in the east and in Khost province are American. The translator was an Afghan citizen, Wojack said.

More than 60 Afghan civilians were also wounded in the bombing, the governor's office said in a statement. The city's hospital alone was treating about 30 people injured in the explosion, said Dr. Amir Pacha, a physician working there. He added there could be other victims being treated at nearby private clinics.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in text messages to media that the insurgent group was behind the attack.

Joint patrols between NATO and Afghan forces have become more limited following a tide of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies. Last month, the U.S. military issued new orders that require units to get approval from higher-ups before conducting operations with Afghans. Then, two weeks later, U.S. officials said most missions were being conducted with Afghans again, though the system of approvals has remained in place.

The close contact -- coalition forces working side by side with Afghan troops as advisers, mentors and trainers -- is a key part of the U.S. strategy for putting the Afghans in the lead as the U.S. and other nations prepare to pull out their last combat troops by the end of 2014.

But the rising death toll for international troops has increased calls in the U.S. and other allies to get out as soon as possible. On Sunday, a U.S. official confirmed that an American soldier was killed in a firefight that broke out between Afghan and U.S. troops, sparked by either a premeditated attack or confusion about the origins of an insurgent strike.

According to an Associated Press count, that soldier's death brought American troop deaths in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion to 2,000 -- a cold reminder of the perils that remain after an 11-year conflict. Monday's bombing brought the death toll to 2003 (Fox News, 2012).

Title: No One Killed After Suicide Bomber Attacks Near US-Afghan Base
October 17, 2012
Fox News

A suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle near the gate of a U.S.-Afghan combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday morning in an explosion that shook houses nearly two miles away. Ten Afghan troops were injured, mostly by falling debris.

Though very large, the blast in Paktiya province's Zurmat district did not kill anyone, said provincial government spokesman Rohullah Samon.

He said the explosion shattered windows on village homes three kilometers (nearly 2 miles) away, but it appeared that the bomber detonated his car before reaching the actual gate of the camp. Many of the injured soldiers were in rooms inside the base that collapsed from the force of the explosion, Samon said.

There were no casualties among international forces at Combat Outpost Zurmat, said NATO forces spokesman Maj. Adam Wojack. He said the bombing was followed by indirect fire by mortars or rockets aimed at the base.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and said that insurgents also breached the outpost's perimeter defenses.

Wojack said he had no reports of attackers on foot and that the outpost was secured soon after the blast (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Suicide Bomber At Muslim Mosque Shatters Holiday That Celebrates Peace
October 26, 2012

It was supposed to be a day of happiness, a moment to mark the start of a Muslim holiday that celebrates peace as the faithful observe the height of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

It was that kind of day that Zain-ul-Obdin said was needed by the people in Afghanistan's Faryab province, where suicide bombings and insurgent attacks have taken their toll on the population.

The people did not get that day.

It was erased by a suicide bomber who left bodies broken and bloodied outside Eid Gah Mosque in the provincial city of Maimana.

"I saw dozens of people lying on the ground covered in blood," Zain-ul-Obdin said. Among them were the bodies of children, he said.

At least 40 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the attack that came as worshipers were leaving Friday morning prayers marking the beginning of Eid al-Adha, Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the northern Afghanistan police chief, told CNN.

The death toll was likely to rise given the size and timing of the explosion, said Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Seddiqi.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Seddiqi laid the blame for the attack squarely at the feet of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

"Their target and their main objective is to attack and kill as many people as possible," he said.

Eid al-Adha, also known as Feast of Sacrifice, is considered a joyous holiday for Muslims. It commemorates when God appeared to Abraham -- known as Ibrahim to Muslims -- in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience.

The mosque had been so packed that Zain-ul-Obdin and his neighbors were forced to pray just beyond the front doors of the mosque.

It was this misfortune at being unable to get into the mosque that may have saved his life.

When the sermon was over, he was among the first to leave the grounds, he said.

At the same time, the bomber -- said to be dressed in a police uniform -- waded into the crowd leaving the mosque and detonated his explosives.

Coming at the start of the Eid holiday, the attack drew swift condemnation from neighboring Pakistan as well as the United States.

"This violence undertaken at a place of worship, and during Eid, once again shows the insurgency's callous hypocrisy and disregard for religion and faith," said Marine Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry vowed to stand by Afghanistan in the fight on terrorism.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said the attack demonstrated "the insurgency's lack of respect for religion, faith and its disregard for the safety and security of the Afghan people” (CNN, 2012).

Title: Suicide Bomber Kills 7 In Nigerian Church
October 29, 2012

A suicide bombing killed seven people and wounded more than 100 others Sunday at a Catholic church in Nigeria, an emergency management official said.

The bomber crashed an explosives-filled jeep into the St. Rita Church in the central Nigerian town of Kaduna, killing himself and seven others at the scene, said Musa Ilallah, a regional coordinator for the national emergency management agency.

The injured were in critical condition and were taken to four hospitals in the region, Ilallah said.

As emergency workers -- including personnel from the Red Cross and civil defense corps -- responded to the explosion, "angry Christian youth started beating our staff and as a result broke the side glass of our ambulance that was on the scene to provide service," he said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack, saying it was "barbaric, cruel and uncalled for."

Scores of people have been killed in church bombings in the country in recent years.

The Boko Haram militant Islamist group has previously claimed responsibility for church bombings that killed dozens.

"Our efforts to deal with all acts of terror and violence would only be redoubled even as the security agencies continue to receive all the support they need from government to reverse this unfortunate and unacceptable trend that threatens the peace and stability of our nation," Jonathan said in a statement (CNN, 2012).

Title: Suicide Bomber Kills Regional Head Of Anti-Taliban Militia, 5 Others In NW Pakistan
November 3, 2012
Fox News

 A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near a vehicle carrying the regional head of a government-allied militia in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing him and five others, police and the militant group said.

Senior police officer Akhtar Hayyat said several people were also wounded in the blast near a gas station in the district of Buner in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He said Fateh Khan, the head of the local anti-Taliban militia, was killed along with three guards and two passers-by.

Khan was also a prominent leader of the secular Awami National Party, which rules the coalition government in the province, and which has angered the Taliban by supporting several military offensives in tribal districts and in the towns.

Shortly after the attack, Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility by telephone for the killing of Khan.

Buner is believed to be a hiding place for the Pakistani Taliban. It is located near the Swat Valley, where the insurgent group shot and wounded 15-year-old education activist Malala Yousufzai last month for criticizing its behavior when it seized the isolated region in 2008.

An offensive by the military broke the Taliban's control over the area in 2009, but attacks have continued (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Twin Suicide Bombings In South Syrian City Kill At Least 20 Regime Troops, Activists Say
November 10, 2012
Fox News

Twin suicide bombings shook a southern Syrian city on Saturday, killing at least 20 regime troops, an activist group said.

The early morning blasts in Daraa targeted an encampment for government forces in the city, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground.

The explosions were followed by clashes between regime forces and rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, said the Observatory. Its chief, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said at least 20 soldiers were killed in the blasts but the claim could not be independently verified.

The state-run news agency SANA said the explosions caused multiple casualties and heavy material damage, but did not provide further details.

Daraa was the birthplace of the uprising against Assad, which erupted in March 2011. The conflict began largely with peaceful protests against Assad's rule but turned bloody after rebels took up arms in response to the regime's crackdown.

The crisis has since morphed into a vicious civil war and in recent months, rebels have driven regime forces out of much of a pocket of northwestern Syria and are battling troops in several key cities and towns. The fight has also taken on dangerous sectarian tones between a mainly Sunni opposition and a regime dominated by Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

"I heard two very loud explosions and a third smaller one followed by bursts of gunfire," said Mohammad Abu Houran, an activist in Daraa. He said the first two were likely car bombs and the third a mortar shell or rocket propelled grenade.

Abu Houran said black smoke could be seen over the high-security area, which was sealed off. Heavy shooting could be heard from the area for about 10 minutes after the explosions, he added.

Bombings targeting state security institutions have become frequent in recent months, and military intelligence branches in Damascus and other cities have been hit. Most dramatically in July, rebels detonated explosives inside a high-level crisis meeting in Damascus, killing four top regime officials, including Assad's brother-in-law and the defense minister.

The targeted area is considered a security zone that houses a branch of the country's Military Intelligence as well as an officer's club where dozens of regime forces are based. Around 30 tanks that regime forces use to shell Daraa and surrounding areas are also stationed in a nearby stadium, activists said.

Despite gaining control over large swathes of territory, particularly in the country's north, Syria's rebels are far outgunned by the military, which has increasingly relied on airstrikes against rebel strongholds.

The Syrian opposition, which is deeply divided and plagued by rivalries, says it needs weapons to break the military stalemate and defeat Assad. The rebels' Western backers have been reluctant to send weapons to the opposition fighters, for fear they will fall into the wrong hands.

George Sabra, the newly elected leader of the main opposition bloc, the Syrian National Council, urged the international community on Saturday to support rebels without any conditions.

"Unfortunately, we get nothing from them, except some statements, some encouragement" while Assad's allies "give the regime everything," Sabra told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a weeklong SNC conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Sabra was heading an SNC delegation Saturday in talks with rival opposition groups on forging a new, broader and more inclusive opposition leadership group — an idea promoted by Western and Arab backers of those trying to oust Assad.

Syria has dismissed the meeting in Doha, and Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called it a political folly. In an interview on state-run Syrian TV aired late Friday, al-Zoubi said those who "meet in hotels" abroad are "deluding themselves" if they think they can overthrow the government.

Activists say more than 36,000 people have died in Syria during the nearly 20-month-old conflict.

The Daraa bombings come a day after as many as 11,000 people were said to have fled Syria over just 24 hours, to escape fierce fighting between rebels and government forces — the latest surge of refugees fleeing the civil war.

The flood of Syrians into neighboring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon was "the highest that we have had in quite some time," said Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. refugee agency's regional coordinator for the region said Friday.

About 2,000 to 3,000 people are fleeing Syria daily, and the recent surge brings the number registered with the UNHCR to more than 408,000, said Moumtzis.

The largest flow into Turkey came from the fighting at Ras al-Ayn in the predominantly Kurdish oil-producing northeastern province of al-Hasaka, where rebels were fighting government forces (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Two Suicide Car Bombers Strike Syrian Military Camp
Date: November 10, 2012
Fox News

The newly elected leader of Syria's main opposition group slammed the international community for what he called inaction, saying Saturday that fighters are in desperate need of weapons to break the stalemate with President Bashar Assad's forces.

George Sabra's comments came as his Syrian National Council struggled with other opposition groups to try to forge a cohesive and more representative leadership as rebels step up attacks against regime forces.

Two suicide car bombers struck a military camp in the southern city of Daraa on Saturday, killing at least 20 government soldiers and prompting clashes in the area, activists said.

Bombings targeting state security institutions have become frequent in recent months, raising Western fears that extremists fighting with the rebels could gain influence. That's one of the reasons the rebels' foreign backers are wary of providing weapons.

The United States also has become increasingly frustrated with the opposition's inability to overcome deep divisions and rivalries in order to present a single conduit for foreign support.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton harshly criticized the SNC late last month and called for a leadership that can rally wider support among activists fighting the regime on the ground.

Sabra, who was elected by the SNC on Friday, said the international community should support the opposition and send arms without conditions, rather than linking aid to an overhaul of the leadership.

The Syrian opposition may have many foreign friends, he told The Associated Press in an interview, "but unfortunately we get nothing from them, except some statements, some encouragement." The regime "has few friends, but these friends give the regime everything," he added, referring to Assad allies Russia, China and Iran.

Sabra, 65, headed the SNC delegation Saturday in talks in the Qatari capital of Doha on a Western-backed proposal that would give the group only about one-third of 60 seats on a leadership panel to make room for more activists from inside Syria, including those fighting on the front lines.

The outcome of the talks will be crucial not just for the SNC, widely seen as out of touch with activists on the ground in Syria, but for the future of the entire opposition. Without unity among opposition groups, the international community is unlikely to step up aid.

Sabra, a Christian and a veteran left-wing dissident who was repeatedly imprisoned by the regime, said the SNC agrees that unity is important but suggested his group would not accept a deal that could lead to its demise.

The choice of a Christian to lead the SNC could help counter Western concerns about the influence of Islamists in the group. A senior Brotherhood figure, Mohammed Farouk Taifour, was chosen as Sabra's deputy.

But analysts said Sabra's election was unlikely to significantly change the situation.

"I don't think his election will do anything to persuade the detractors of the SNC that it has become more attractive and democratic," said Salman Shaikh, the director of the Brookings Doha Center. Sabra is an SNC insider, and "his election is part of continuity, not change," he added.

Senior SNC members portrayed Saturday's meeting as the beginning of what could be days of negotiations over the size and mission of any leadership group. Other opposition delegates said an agreement on the new body is imminent.

Riad Seif, another veteran dissident who presented the reform plan, has said the new group would be recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people and would receive billions of dollars in aid.

Sabra said he and the 66-year-old Seif are old friends and even shared a jail cell when both were rounded up after the March 2011 outbreak of the uprising against the regime. "The problem is with the initiative itself," he said of Seif's plan, arguing that it's too vague.

Haitham Maleh, a veteran Syrian opposition leader, said discussions with Sabra will continue but the leadership group might be formed without the SNC if an agreement can't be reached.

"If they (SNC representatives) don't accept having a common body, we could form a political body alone," Maleh said.

Damascus has dismissed the meeting in Doha, and Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called it a political folly. In an interview on state-run Syrian TV aired late Friday, al-Zoubi said those who "meet in hotels" abroad are "deluding themselves" if they think they can overthrow the government.

Syrians, who fled violence and found refuge in neighboring countries, like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, urged Sabra and other opposition leaders to work together to end bloodshed.

"Our priority is to stop killing of the Syrian people. They should unite and become a single entity," said Abdulrahman Mostafa, 33, who has been living in the Yayladagi refugee camp in Turkey's Hatay province along the border with Syria. "If our leaders are not united, how can we stand united as a people?"

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the violence in their country, inundating neighboring countries. As many as 11,000 crossed the borders on Friday, a surge attributed to fighting at Ras al-Ayn in the predominantly Kurdish oil-producing northeastern province of al-Hasaka.

The uprising against Assad began in March 2011 with peaceful protests in Daraa, inspired by the Arab Spring wave of revolutions in the Middle East. But a regime crackdown prompted fierce fighting, propelling the conflict into a civil war that has taken on sectarian overtones. In all, activists say more than 36,000 people have been killed.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said two suicide bombers drove their explosives-laden cars into a military encampment behind the officer's club in Daraa in quick succession. It said at least 20 soldiers were killed, most in the second explosion.

Other activists described explosions that targeted the high security area but didn't say they were suicide attacks. State-run news agency SANA reported triple car bombings in Daraa that killed seven civilians and wounded several others.

The government rarely provides death tolls for security forces, and the discrepancy could not be reconciled or independently verified.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday's attack, but Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaida-inspired extremist group that is fighting alongside the rebels, has said it was responsible for similar bombings in the past.

In other violence, Syrian TV said a locally made rocket slammed into a four-story residential building in the district of al-Qassaa in the capital of Damascus, wounding two young women.

SANA said three mortar rounds were fired in central Damascus Saturday evening, injuring several people and damaging a clinic in a residential building in al-Tilyani neighborhood.

The state media blamed "terrorists" for the attacks — the term used by the Syrian government to describe rebels (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Female Bomber Attacks Major Pakistani Politician
November 19, 2012
Yahoo News

A government official says a female suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan detonated her explosives near the convoy of a former leader of the country's largest Islamist party.

Shamsur Rehman Khan says Qazi Husain Ahmad, the former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, escaped unhurt from the attack Monday in the Mohmand tribal region. Three of his aides were wounded.

Khan, who is a government administrator in Mohmand, says the bomber was wearing an all-encompassing burqa and had explosives strapped to her body.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud reportedly criticized Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and singled out Ahmad in particular in a recent audio message, accusing him of supporting Pakistan's U.S.-allied rulers (Yahoo News, 2012).

Title: Kabul Suicide Bomb Kills Two Near NATO Base
November 21, 2012
Global Post

During morning rush hour two suicide bombers attacked a NATO compound in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing two guards and wounding at least five.

"The bomber killed himself in front of the compound. Two people were killed and two more were wounded, all Afghan guards," said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danesh, according to Reuters.

The Washington Post reported that five civilians had also been wounded.

One detonated his vest. The other was shot dead by Afghan security forces.

"The attacker wanted to get into a building under construction, and this is when he was shot by security forces,'' police chief Salangi Kabul told the BBC.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters his terrorist group was responsible for the attack.

No one is sure who or what the intended target was.

“It is still confusing what was the target. There are so many possible ones right here,” one investigator told the Post, who reported a damaged SUV "belonged to a senior Afghan army general," who was reportedly not hurt.

Meanwhile, near the US embassy in Kabul, a suicide bomber killed three Afghan security guards and injured two civilians, according to The New York Times.

One salient detail in their report: The bombers wore "private security uniforms." 

As in the bombing of the NATO-run compound, a bomber wore a friendly uniform, this time an Afghan National Army uniform, according to the Washington Post.

It's not the first time terrorists have gained access to secure areas disguised as Afghan police or security forces (Global Post, 2012).

Title: Taliban Suicide Attack Kills 23 In Pakistan
November 22, 2012
Fox News

A Taliban suicide bomber struck a Shiite Muslim procession near Pakistan's capital, killing 23 people in the latest of a series of bombings targeting Shiites during the holiest month of the year for the sect, officials said Thursday.

The bomber attacked the procession around midnight Wednesday in the city of Rawalpindi, located next to the capital, Islamabad, said Deeba Shahnaz, a state rescue official. At least 62 people were wounded by the blast, including six policemen. Eight of the dead and wounded were children, said Shahnaz.

Police tried to stop and search the bomber as he attempted to join the procession, but he ran past them and detonated his explosives, said senior police official Haseeb Shah. The attacker was also carrying grenades, some of which exploded, said Shah.

"I think the explosives combined with grenades caused the big loss," said Shah.

Local TV footage showed the scene of the bombing littered with body parts and smeared with blood. Shiites beat their heads and chests in anguish.

"It was like the world was ending," said one of the victims, Nasir Shah, describing the blast. He was being treated at a local hospital for wounds to his hands and legs.

Earlier Wednesday, the Taliban set off two bombs within minutes outside a Shiite mosque in the southern city of Karachi, killing at least one person and wounding several others, senior police official Javed Odho said.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attacks in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

"We have a war of belief with Shiites," Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location. "They are blasphemers. We will continue attacking them."

The Sunni-Shiite schism over the true heir to Islam's Prophet Muhammad dates back to the seventh century.

Shiites are currently observing the holy month of Muharram. On Saturday, Shiites will observe the holiest day of the month, Ashoura, which commemorates the seventh century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

The country has a long history of sectarian violence carried out by both extremist Sunni and Shiite Muslims against the opposite sect. Most attacks in recent years have targeted Shiites, who make up a minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim country.

The Pakistani government increases security every Muharram to protect Shiites. But attacks regularly occur, and activists criticize the government for not doing enough to safeguard the minority sect (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Afghanistan Suicide Bomb Attack Kills 3, Wounds More Than 90
November 23, 2012
Fox News

 A Taliban suicide bomber detonated a truck full of explosives Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing three Afghan civilians and wounding more than 90 people, including several Afghan and NATO troops, officials said.

The early morning explosion in Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak province, also destroyed or damaged several government offices and a local prison, said provincial spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.

The blast occurred in an area that is home to government offices, the provincial governor's office, police headquarters, a prison and a coordination center used by international and Afghan security forces.

Shahid said two men and a woman were killed and 90 people -- 75 men, 11 women and four children -- were wounded.

U.S. Army Maj. Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said a half-dozen NATO soldiers also received minor injuries in the explosion.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying in a statement to media that it was in response to the recent execution of four Taliban detainees at the Afghan government's main detention center in Kabul.

The men were convicted and sentenced to death in Afghan courts for a variety of crimes, including murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery and cruelty against children. The Taliban condemned the hangings, saying the detainees were prisoners of war who were unjustly jailed.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said Afghan security troops and prisoners were among the wounded in the Wardak blast. Three prisoners tried to escape from the damaged prison, but were apprehended, he said.

"Unfortunately, it was a very bad explosion and many of our countrymen were injured," he told reporters at a news conference in Kabul. "There was a lot of damage to infrastructure. The buildings that were around the blast were destroyed."

Sediqi did not provide a number for the wounded Afghan troops. He said the government was sending a delegation, including the head of Afghan prisons, to Wardak, to investigate the attack.

The Taliban said the attack involved two suicide bombers and claimed it killed tens of Afghan and international troops. The militants often exaggerate the number of casualties caused in their attacks.

Afghan and international forces have been working to root out insurgents in Wardak, to keep them from moving north into the Afghan capital. The international forces are scheduled to turn over security responsibility to local troops by the end of 2014.

Separately, Sediqi said that police in Kabul had arrested two men with four explosive vests. He said the two, described as experts in making suicide vests, were planning to conduct an attack in Kabul on Saturday, which is the holy day of Ashoura in Afghanistan.

Last year on Ashoura, a suicide bomber on foot struck worshippers at a Shiite shrine in Kabul, killing at least 80 people. It was the country's first major sectarian attack since the fall of the Taliban regime.

Ashoura, which is observed in the Muslim world either on Saturday or Sunday, commemorates the 7th century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Suicide Bomber Wounds Prominent Pakistani Militant Commander
November 29, 2012
Fox News

Abstract:  A suicide bomber on Thursday attacked a prominent Pakistani militant commander in the country's northwest who is believed to have a nonaggression pact with the army, wounding him and killing seven people, officials said.

A few hours later, a U.S. drone fired a pair of missiles at a house several miles from the bombing site, killing three suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The suicide bomber attacked Maulvi Nazir in Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal area, as he was arriving at an office he uses to meet with locals and hear their complaints, said the commander's spokesman, Maulana Ameer Nawaz. Nazir was not critically wounded, said Nawaz.

Nazir was one of over a dozen people wounded in the attack, said Pakistani intelligence officials and a local government administrator, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. They initially reported that three people died, but later raised the number to seven after some of the critically injured died of their wounds.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban, which has been waging a bloody insurgency against the government for the past several years and has jockeyed with Nazir for power in South Waziristan.

The tribal area was the Pakistani Taliban's main sanctuary until the army launched a large ground offensive in 2009 and pushed many of them out.

Nazir is widely believed to have cut a deal with the army ahead of the offensive that allowed him to stay in South Waziristan as long as he remained on the sidelines. The militant commander has in the past focused his fight against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, not against the Pakistani state.

Nazir had been running a secret campaign in recent weeks to push the Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants allied with them out of Wana and the surrounding areas, said intelligence officials.

Nawaz, the militant commander's spokesman, said the suicide bomber who attacked Nazir appeared to be a 15- or 16-year-old boy.

"The moment the chief got out of his vehicle, the boy ran toward him and detonated his explosives," Nawaz told The Associated Press by telephone.

Yar Mohammad, a resident of Wana who witnessed the attack, said the blast was huge.

"I'm seeing smoke everywhere," he said.

Nazir's fighters retaliated after the attack by killing two Pakistani Taliban militants in the main market in Wana, said intelligence officials. There were also reports of Nazir's fighters attacking Pakistani Taliban militants in the nearby village of Kari Kot, they said.

The house that was hit by a U.S. missile strike later Thursday was located in Sheen Warsak, another village near Wana, said intelligence officials. The identities of the suspected militants who were killed were not clear, said the officials.

The U.S. does not normally comment publicly about CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, but American officials have privately said that the strikes have killed senior Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders and are a key counterterrorism tool (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Taliban Suicide Bombers Attack Joint US-Afghan Base In Eastern Afghanistan
December 2, 2012
Fox News

Abstract:  Taliban suicide bombers attacked a joint U.S.-Afghan air base in eastern Afghanistan early Sunday, detonating explosives at the gate and sparking a gunbattle that lasted at least two hours with American helicopters firing down on the militants.

The attackers and at least five Afghans were killed, officials said. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the assault.

It was the largest attack on the Jalalabad air base since February, when a suicide car bombing at the gate triggered an explosion that killed nine Afghans, six of them civilians.

In Sunday's attack, two vehicles packed with explosives barreled toward the main gate of the base around 6 a.m. local time. The first vehicle, a four-wheel-drive car, blew up at the gate, said Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. Guards started shooting at the second vehicle before it too exploded, he added. It was unclear whether the explosives were detonated by the attackers themselves or by shooting from the guards.

Two Afghan students from a private medical school were caught up in the attack and killed, as were three other Afghans working at the base, Mashreqiwal said. He did not know whether the base workers were private guards, members of the security forces or civilian employees.

Nine attackers took part in the assault in total, he said, three of whom were killed in the suicide blasts and another six gunmen who died in the ensuing fighting that lasted a few hours.

Maj. Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the international military force in Afghanistan, said that helicopters "were deployed and used."

The NATO military coalition described the attack as a failure.

"We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this morning. None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter," Lt. Col. Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said in an email.

He said that the fighting had ended by midmorning and that reports showed one member of the Afghan security forces was killed. Several foreign troops were wounded, but Messer did not give any numbers or details.

"The final assessment of what happened this morning is not yet complete, but initial reports indicate there were three suicide bombers," Messer said.

In the south, meanwhile, a NATO service member was killed in an insurgent attack, the international coalition said in a statement. It did not provide further details (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Twin Suicide Bombings Target 2 Major Telecoms Facilities In Northern Nigeria City, 1 Injured
December 22, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: Nigeria's army says twin suicide bombings targeted two major mobile phone facilities in this major northern Nigerian city, injuring one civilian.

Army spokesman Capt. Iweha Ikedichi said the attacks on the switching stations of South Africa-based MTN Group Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. of India occurred at about 8 a.m. Saturday in Kano. The stations control the mobile phone network in Kano and neighboring states.

Ikedichi said the Airtel bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into the gate, and the explosion injured a staffer.

Ikedichi said security shot the MTN bomber before he got to the company's premises, causing an explosion at the gate.

Authorities suspect the extremist Islamist sect known as Boko Haram. The group has previously carried out similar attacks, crippling communications in large areas of this mobile-reliant nation (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Pakistani Official Targeted, Killed In Suicide Blast
December 23, 2012

Abstract: A Pakistani provincial government official openly targeted by the Pakistani Taliban was killed Saturday in a suicide bomb attack, officials said.

At least seven people were killed and 20 injured in the blast at downtown Peshawar, in an area known as the "storytelling market," police official Asif Iqbal said.

Among the dead was Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a provincial minister who a Pakistani Taliban spokesman admitted the militants were aiming for.

Bilour died at the hospital while undergoing surgery, Iqbal said.

A suicide bomber detonated himself in the crowded market where the secular political party ANP gathered ahead of upcoming elections, senior police official Shafqat Malik said.

The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for the attack, which was aimed at the political party and Bilour, Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said.

"Bashir Bilour had received threats before," Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said.

The threats stemmed from the party's stance against terrorism, he said.

"I and him both were threatened by terrorist groups who warned they would cut our heads off," Hussain said. "Bilour stood up against terrorism so he was always under threat."

The attack will not deter the party's resolve to advocate for operations to destroy militant operations, he said. "Just because we are targeted doesn't mean we will back down against terrorism."

The slain official's brother called for the fight against militants to continue.

"He devoted 40 years of his life to politics and working for Pakistan," Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said. "We will continue the struggle, I am not afraid."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the bombing, saying the organization supported Pakistani efforts to "combat the scourge of terrorism" (CNN, 2012).

Title: Suicide Bombers Kill At Least 5 At Meeting Of Tribal Elders In Afghanistan
January 7, 2013

Abstract: A pair of suicide bombers targeted a meeting of tribal elders in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least five people, a provincial official said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the dual attacks and released a higher death toll. Eight tribal elders were killed, said Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Islamist militants.

The attack occurred at a weekly meeting where tribal elders listen to concerns from constituents, said Kandahar province spokesman Javid Faisal.

He said 15 people were injured in the attack, which occurred in the province's Spin Boldak district (CNN, 2013).

Title: 81 Dead In Twin Suicide Blasts On Billiards Hall
January 10, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: series of bombings killed 115 people across Pakistan on Thursday, including 81 who died in twin blasts on a bustling billiards hall in a Shiite area of the southwestern city of Quetta.

Pakistan's minority Shiite Muslims have increasingly been targeted by radical Sunnis who consider them heretics, and a militant Sunni group claimed responsibility for Thursday's deadliest attack -- sending a suicide bomber into the packed pool hall and then detonating a car bomb five minutes later.

It was one of the deadliest days in recent years for a country that is no stranger to violence from radical Islamists, militant separatists and criminal gangs.

Violence has been especially intense in southwest Baluchistan province, where Quetta is the capital and the country's largest concentration of Shiites live. Many are ethnic Hazara who migrated from neighboring Afghanistan.

The billiards hall targeted Thursday was located in an area dominated by the minority sect. In addition to the 81 dead, more than 120 people were wounded in the double bombing, said police officer Zubair Mehmood. The dead included police officers, journalists and rescue workers who responded to the initial explosion.

Ghulam Abbas, a Shiite who lives about 150 yard from the billiards hall, said he was at home with his family when the first blast occurred. He was trying to decide whether to head to the scene when the second bomb went off.

"The second blast was a deafening one, and I fell down," he said. "I could hear cries and minutes later I saw ambulances taking the injured to the hospital."

Hospitals and a local mortuary were overwhelmed as the dead and wounded arrived throughout the evening. Weeping relatives gathered outside the emergency room at Quetta's Civil Hospital. Inside the morgue, bodies were laid out on the floor.

The bombs severely damaged the three-story building where the pool hall was located and set it on fire. It also damaged nearby shops, homes and offices.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group with strong ties to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. Hazara Shiites, who migrated from Afghanistan more than a century ago, have been the targets of dozens of attacks by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Quetta over the past year, but Thursday's was by far the bloodiest.

Human Rights Watch sharply criticized the Pakistani government for not doing enough to crack down on the killings and protect the country's vulnerable Shiite community. It said more than 400 Shiites were killed in targeted attacks in Pakistan in 2012, including over 120 in Baluchistan.

"2012 was the bloodiest year for Pakistan's Shia community in living memory and if this latest attack is any indication, 2013 has started on an even more dismal note," said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch.

"As Shia community members continue to be slaughtered in cold blood, the callousness and indifference of authorities offers a damning indictment of the state, its military and security agencies," Hasan said. "Pakistan's tolerance for religious extremists is not just destroying lives and alienating entire communities, it is destroying Pakistani society across the board."

Pakistan's intelligence agencies helped nurture Sunni militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the 1980s, to counter a perceived threat from neighboring Iran, which is mostly Shiite. Pakistan banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in 2001, but the group continues to operate fairly freely.

Earlier Thursday, a bomb targeting paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in Quetta killed 12 people and wounded more than 40 others.

The bomb was concealed in a bag and placed near a vehicle carrying paramilitary soldiers, said Akbar Hussain Durrani, the provincial interior secretary. The bag was spotted by a local resident, but before the soldiers could react, it was detonated by remote control.

The United Baluch Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack in calls to local journalists. Pakistan has faced a violent insurgency in Baluchistan for years from nationalists who demand greater autonomy and a larger share of the country's natural resources.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, a bomb in a crowded Sunni mosque in the northwest city of Mingora killed 22 people and wounded more than 70, said senior police officer Akhtar Hayyat.

No group claimed responsibility for that attack, but suspicion fell on the Pakistani Taliban, which has waged a bloody insurgency against the government in the Swat Valley, where Mingora is located, and other parts of the northwest.

Pakistan is also home to many enemies of the U.S. who Washington has frequently targeted with drone attacks. A U.S. missile strike in the northwest tribal region Thursday killed five suspected militants in the seventh such attack in two weeks, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The recent spate of strikes has been one of the most intense in the past two years, a period in which political tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan led to a reduced number of attacks compared to 2010, when they were at their most frequent.

It's unclear whether the current uptick has been caused by particularly valuable intelligence obtained by the CIA, or whether the warming of relations between the two countries has made strikes less sensitive. Protests by the government and Islamic hard-liners have been noticeably muted.

The strike on Thursday occurred in a village near Mir Ali, one of the main towns in the North Waziristan tribal area, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media (Fox News, 2013)

Title: Suicide Car Bomb Strikes Kurdish Party Office In Disputed Iraqi City, Killing At Least 4
January 16, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: An official in the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk says a powerful suicide car bomb has struck the local headquarters for the party of a major Kurdish leader, killing at least four and wounding dozens.

Kirkuk provincial council chairman Hassan Torhan says the car driven by a suicide bomber blew up outside the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party on Wednesday morning. The party is led by Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdish region.

Torhan says 90 people have been wounded, suggesting the death toll could rise.

The blast comes amid rising tensions along Iraq's ethnic and sectarian divide (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Police: Suicide Bomber Attacks In Afghan Capital; Smoke Seen Rising At Site As Gunfire Sounds
January 16, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Afghan police say a suicide bomber has struck in the center of Kabul near the headquarters of the intelligence service and the Afghan Interior Ministry.

The explosion sounded about noon local time and could be heard throughout downtown. Gunshots continued to ring out throughout the heavily guarded neighborhood about half an hour later as a plume of smoke rose into the sky. A police officer at the scene named Abdul Shookur said the attack started with a suicide bombing but did not provide further details. It was not clear if the ongoing shooting was a sign of additional attackers.

A spokesman for the international military coalition in Afghanistan confirmed an explosion and small arms fire but did not provide further details (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Kills Iraqi Lawmaker, Police Say
January 16, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber hugged an Iraqi lawmaker and detonated an explosive vest, killing the official and two others, police said Tuesday.

Lawmaker Ayfan Sadoon al-Essawi was visiting a construction site on a commercial street in central Falluja on Tuesday when the bomber, disguised as a laborer, approached him, authorities said.

The bomber hugged al-Essawi and then set his bomb off, police said.

Four others were wounded in the blast, authorities said.

Al-Essawi was a member of the al-Iraqiya bloc, which is headed by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

Al-Essawi used to be the leader of Falluja Awakening Council for several years and was also a tribal leader there.

Falluja is a predominately Sunni town about 35 miles west of Baghdad, in Anbar province.

The lawmaker had escaped a number of previous attacks. He was wanted by the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of al Qaeda and other Sunni extremist groups.

The special representative for the U.N. secretary-general in Iraq called the attack a "heinous killing."

"I call again on all political forces to foil any attempt at instigating strife and to demonstrate utmost restraint," representative Martin Kobler said.

Separately, on Monday evening, Iraqi Finance Minister Rafie al-Essawi escaped an attack unharmed when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy on the western outskirts of Baghdad, police officials there said.

Rafie al-Essawi is also member of the al-Iraqiya bloc and is not related to Ayfan al-Essawi (CNN, 2013).

Title: At Least 12 Dead In Twin Suicide Blasts Near Damascus, Syria
January 18, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Two car bombs exploded in southern Syria and a rocket slammed into a building in the north, killing at least 12 people in a spike in civil war violence Friday that Syrian state media blamed on rebel fighters trying to topple President Bashar Assad.

The rocket attack in the northern city of Aleppo and the suicide car bombings in Daraa, south of Damascus, occurred during a particularly bloody week nearly two years after an uprising began against Assad's regime. On Thursday, opposition activists said pro-government militia swept through a town in central Syria, torching houses and killing more than 100 people.

Both sides have been blaming each other for the recent attacks, and it was the second time in a week that the government accused rebels of firing rockets.

The state-run SANA news agency said the morning attack in Aleppo was carried out by terrorists, a term the regime uses for rebels. But the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an activist group, and the Aleppo Media Center, a network of anti-regime activists, accused the government of launching an airstrike.

On Tuesday, 87 people were killed in twin blasts at Aleppo University. The regime said rebels hit the university with rockets. Rebels said the deaths resulted from regime airstrikes.

Syria's state-run TV claimed that shortly after the rocket hit the building in Aleppo, militants linked to an al-Qaida group detonated cars filled with explosives near a mosque in Daraa as worshippers were leaving following Friday prayers.

Video broadcast on Syrian state TV showed several floors of the targeted building collapsed in a government-controlled area of Aleppo, Syria's largest urban center and main commercial hub. The video showed a man carrying a baby out of the damaged building and another man was seen clutching his head as blood ran down his forehead. Residents were also seen looking for people buried in the rubble. At least one injured person on a stretcher was seen being carried away in a Red Crescent ambulance.

State TV reports said both attacks caused many casualties, but it was not immediately known how many people were killed or wounded in the two cities -- both major fronts in the civil war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 people were killed in the Aleppo attack and dozens were wounded. The group relies on reports from activists on the ground.

Government troops and rebels have been locked in a deadly stalemate in Aleppo and other areas in the north since last summer. Six months later, the rebels hold large parts of the city. Still, they have been unable to overcome the regime's far superior firepower.

With the two sides deadlocked on the northern front, rebels have increasingly targeted state security facilities and government institutions in other parts of the country, including in the capital, Damascus. Suicide attacks have been a hallmark of the Islamic rebel units that have been fighting alongside other opposition fighters.

State TV said fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra, a group the U.S. has declared a terrorist organization, were behind the twin blasts in Daraa.

Daraa is the birthplace of the revolt that erupted in March 2011. It began as peaceful protests against Assad's rule but quickly turned into a civil war after a brutal government crackdown on dissent More than 60,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to a recent United Nation's estimate.

Also on Friday, fighting between Syrian rebels and Assad's loyalists flared in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing 12 people and wounding at least 20 others, a U.N. refugee agency said. Children were among the casualties, according to a statement issued by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. The agency called on both sides to "pull back from civilian areas, including refugee camps."

The Palestinian camp called Yarmouk has been the scene of heavy clashes between rebels and regime loyalists since mid-December, when opposition fighters moved into the camp during an attempt to storm the capital.

About half of Yarmouk's 150,000 residents have fled since fighting erupted in mid-December, according to UNRWA, which administers Palestinian camps in the Middle East. Some sought refuge in neighboring Lebanon, and others found shelter in UNRWA schools in Damascus and other Syrian cities.

Dozens have been killed in the fighting, although the United Nations did not provide an exact figure of casualties in Yarmouk violence, which has included airstrikes and artillery shelling from the Syrian military.

On Syria's northern border with Turkey, regime fighter jets pounded villages in rebel-held areas in Latakia province, dropping makeshift bombs made from hundreds of pounds (kilograms) of explosives stuffed into barrels, Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency said. The so-called barrel bombs were used in strikes on targets in Latakia Friday, the agency said, adding the regime's assault included military helicopters.

The shelling of Latakia could be heard across the border in the Turkish province of Hatay, according to the news report, which also reported heavy clashes between government troops and rebels in Syria's northern Idlib province, also along the border with Turkey.

There were no reports of any deaths in the fighting. Ambulances were sent to the border region to bring wounded Syrians to hospitals in Turkey, the agency said (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Kills 10 Officers In Afghanistan
Date: January 26, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber targeted a crowd of police in the Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, killing 10 police officers, the provincial police chief told CNN. Twelve civilians were injured in the bombing.

The police officers were gathered in the center of Kunduz, the capital of a province of the same name, when the bomber detonated his explosives, said Abdul Khalil Andrabi, chief of police for Kunduz province.

Two senior officers -- the head of the counterterrorism unit and the head of the traffic police -- were among those killed, Andrabi said.

Eight other officers lost their lives, he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a written statement (CNN, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Detonates Near Office Of Somali Prime Minister
January 29, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the Mogadishu office of
Somalian Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon on Tuesday, his spokesman said.

The spokesman, Garad Salad, could not immediately say whether the explosion resulted in casualties.

But eyewitnesses said a security guard was killed while trying to fight off the bomber. The blast shattered windows of nearby buildings and left two others wounded, witnesses said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack and it was unclear if Shirdon was in his office during the time of the attack.

Shirdon, an economist who used to run an import business in neighboring Kenya, was named prime minister in October.

When he accepted the position, Shirdon told the parliament that his government will do more to ensure the security of the country and to fight against terrorism and piracy.

Somalia plunged into chaos after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown 21 years ago. Following his ouster, clan warlords and militants battled for control, sparking a civil war and mayhem nationwide.

The nation since then has mostly been under a shaky transitional federal government.

No group immediately took responsibility for the attack (CNN, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Kills Guard At U.S. Embassy In Turkey
Date: February 1, 2013

Abstract: A far-leftist suicide bomber killed a Turkish security guard at the U.S. embassy in Ankara on Friday, officials said, blowing open an entrance and sending debris flying through the air.

The attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body after entering an embassy gatehouse. The blast could be heard a mile away. A lower leg and other human remains lay on the street.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the bomber was a member of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a far-left group which is virulently anti-U.S. and anti-NATO and is listed as a terrorist organization by Washington.

The White House said the suicide attack was an "act of terror" but that the motivation was unclear. U.S. officials said the DHKP-C were the main suspects but did not exclude other possibilities.

Islamist radicals, extreme left-wing groups, ultra-nationalists and Kurdish militants have all carried out attacks in Turkey in the past. There was no claim of responsibility.

"The suicide bomber was ripped apart and one or two citizens from the special security team passed away," said Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

"This event shows that we need to fight together everywhere in the world against these terrorist elements," he said.

Turkish media reports identified the bomber as DHKP-C member Ecevit Sanli, who was involved in attacks on a police station and a military staff college in Istanbul in 1997.

Turkey is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East with common interests ranging from energy security to counter-terrorism and has been one of the leading advocates of foreign intervention to end the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Around 400 U.S. soldiers have arrived in Turkey over the past few weeks to operate Patriot anti-missile batteries meant to defend against any spillover of Syria's civil war, part of a NATO deployment due to be fully operational in the coming days.

The DHKP-C was responsible for the assassination of two U.S. military contractors in the early 1990s in protest against the first Gulf War and launched rockets at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul in 1992, according to the U.S. State Department.

Deemed a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey, the DHKP-C has been blamed for suicide attacks in the past, including one in 2001 that killed two police officers and a tourist in Istanbul's central Taksim Square.

The group, formed in 1978, has carried out a series of deadly attacks on police stations in the last six months.

The attack may have come in retaliation for an operation against the DHKP-C last month in which Turkish police detained 85 people. A court subsequently remanded 38 of them in custody over links to the group.

U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone emerged through the main gate of the embassy shortly after the explosion to address reporters, flanked by a security detail as a Turkish police helicopter hovered overhead.

"We're very sad of course that we lost one of our Turkish guards at the gate," Ricciardone said, describing the victim as a "hero" and thanking Turkish authorities for a prompt response.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the attack on the checkpoint on the perimeter of the embassy and said several U.S. and Turkish staff were injured by debris.

"The level of security protection at our facility in Ankara ensured that there were not significantly more deaths and injuries than there could have been," she told reporters.

It was the second attack on a U.S. mission in four months. On September 11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three American personnel were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack in Benghazi, blamed on al Qaeda-affiliated militants, sparked a political furor in Washington over accusations that U.S. missions were not adequately safeguarded.

A well-known Turkish journalist, Didem Tuncay, who was on her way in to the embassy to meet Ricciardone when the attack took place, was in a critical condition in hospital.

"It was a huge explosion. I was sitting in my shop when it happened. I saw what looked like a body part on the ground," said travel agent Kamiyar Barnos, whose shop window was shattered around 100 meters away from the blast.

The U.S. consulate in Istanbul warned its citizens to be vigilant and to avoid large gatherings, while the British mission in Istanbul called on British businesses to tighten security after what it called a "suspected terrorist attack".

In 2008, Turkish gunmen with suspected links to al Qaeda, opened fire on the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, killing three Turkish policemen. The gunmen died in the subsequent firefight.

The most serious bombings in Turkey occurred in November 2003, when car bombs shattered two synagogues, killing 30 people and wounding 146. Part of the HSBC Bank headquarters was destroyed and the British consulate was damaged in two more explosions that killed 32 people less than a week later. Authorities said those attacks bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda (Reuters, 2013).

Title: Deadly Suicide Blast Rips Through Pakistani City
Date: February 1, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber killed at least 23 people Friday in the center of a northern Pakistan city, police and hospital officials said.

The man detonated his explosives near a marketplace in Hangu in the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan and has long been a haven for militants, including Pakistani Taliban.

He may have been targeting worshippers who were leaving midday prayer services in area where both a Sunni and a Shia mosque are located, said police spokesman Imtiaz Shah. There has been no claim of responsibility.

The attack injured 56 people, 16 critically, said hospital spokesman Dr. Nawab Hussein.

It came two days after gunmen killed seven people in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, and a bomb blast ripped through Karachi and left two dead.

This month, 97 people have died in bombings in Balochistan, leading to protests among Shiites who complain that the government has done too little to protect them (CNN, 2013).

Title: Deadly Suicide Blast Targeting Worshipers Rips Through Pakistani City
February 1, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber killed at least 23 people Friday in the center of a northern Pakistan city, police and hospital officials said.

The man detonated his explosives near a marketplace in Hangu in the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan and has long been a haven for militants, including Pakistani Taliban.

He may have been targeting worshippers who were leaving midday prayer services in area where both a Sunni and a Shia mosque are located, said police spokesman Imtiaz Shah. There has been no claim of responsibility.

The attack injured 56 people, 16 critically, said hospital spokesman Dr. Nawab Hussein.

It came two days after gunmen killed seven people in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, and a bomb blast ripped through Karachi and left two dead.

This month, 97 people have died in bombings in Balochistan, leading to protests among Shiites who complain that the government has done too little to protect them (CNN, 2013).

Title: Iraqi Officials: Suicide Car Bomb Targeting Police Kills At Least 15 In Disputed Northern City
Date: February 3, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Officials say a suicide car bomb targeting a provincial police headquarters has killed at least 15 people in a disputed northern Iraqi city.

A police officer says at least one attacker drove his car into the headquarters building in Kirkuk on Sunday morning. He said another 70 people were wounded.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information. The head of the provincial health directorate, Sidiq Omar Rasool, confirmed the casualty figures.

Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen, who all have competing claims to the oil-rich area. The Kurds want to incorporate it into their self-ruled region in Iraq's north, but Arabs and Turkomen are opposed (Fox News, 2013).

Title: 23 Killed, Dozens Wounded In Iraq Suicide Bombing
Date: February 4, 2013

Abstract: At least 23 people were killed and 49 were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up among members of a local Awakening Council in Taji, Iraq, on Monday.

Dozens of members of the council had lined up outside an office to receive monthly paychecks when the attacker detonated an explosive vest in the crowd. Most of those killed or wounded were members of the council, or al-Sahwa.

Taji is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident in a western Baghdad neighborhood, a police officer was killed and three were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol (CNN, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up Near Mali Soldiers, First Attack Of Its Kind
Date: February 8, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber has blown himself up near Malian security troops in the central town of Gao, reports AFP. It’s the first suicide bombing on Malian troops since beginning their campaign with the French to wrest Mali’s north from Islamist militants.

The suicide bomber approached a group of Malian troops on a motorbike before detonating his explosives and injuring one soldier, reported AFP, citing military sources.

The suicide bomber "approached us on a motorbike, he was a Tamashek (Tuareg), and as he came closer he set off his belt," said First Sergeant Mamadou Keita to AFP.

The bombing marks the first instance of militants employing suicide attacks as a tactic since the French-led campaign against Mali’s Islamists was launched three weeks ago.

The attack follows a threat by two Islamist extremist groups, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO),warning they had created a new “combat zone” and were organizing attacks on military convoys and placing landmines.

Meanwhile, in Mali’s southern capital Bamako shooting was reported at a paratrooper base, sources told Reuters.

The campaign to take back the North of Mali from the Islamist militants is now in its third week. Currently there are around 4,000 French troops deployed in the country aiding Malian security forces.

French and Chadian forces have made progress in their push towards Mail’s north, advancing into the northeastern mountain range where militants are thought to be holding seven French hostages.

The French-led assault has driven many of Mali’s rebels into the mountainous, amid fears they will adopt guerrilla-style tactics in the area.

“All these Jihadis and armed groups and terrorist elements – seemingly they have fled. Our concern is that they may come back,”

said UN leader Ban Ki-moon in New York. He echoed concerns over a possible guerrilla warfare backlash in Mali (RT, 2013).

Title: Mali Army Arrests 2 Men Wearing Explosives Belts Outside Gao
Date: February 9, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: A Malian military spokesman says soldiers arrested two men who tried to blow themselves up on the outskirts of Gao.

Modibo Traore told The Associated Press that the pair were wearing belts of explosives and were stopped at a checkpoint on a road leading into town Saturday at about 7 a.m.

The arrests come just a day after another young man detonated an explosives belt in Gao, killing only himself.

The attacks have raised fears of a looming insurgency by the radical extremists who fled into the surrounding desert two weeks ago after a French-led military mission forced them to flee the cities of northern Mali (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomb Attack In Somalia Targets Police Commander; Only The Bomber Is Killed
Date: February 11, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Police in Somalia say a suicide car bomb attack that targeted a senior police commander in a central Somali town killed only the bomber.

Ali Abdinor, a police officer in the central Somalia town of Galkayo, said that six people were wounded in the blast. He said the car bomb driver rammed his vehicle into a car carrying the deputy police commander of Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia. Abdinor said the deputy commander suffered burns on his upper body.

Though roadside and car bombs are somewhat common in Mogadishu, such attacks are rare in Galkayo. Fighters from the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab have been moving into northern Somalia after losing territory around Mogadishu and southern Somalia to troops from the African Union coalition (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Devastates Shiite Enclave In Pakistan, Killing 83
Date: February 17,2 013

Abstract: Pakistani police have revised the cause of a blast that killed 83 people on Saturday, saying a suicide bomber was behind the attack that pulverized a busy marketplace.

The explosion targeted Shiite Muslims in Hazara, on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta, authorities said.

Police now say a suicide bomber, driving an explosive-laden water tanker, rammed the vehicle into buildings at the crowded marketplace.

The water tanker carried between 800 and 1,000 kilograms (1,760 to 2,200 pounds) of explosive material, Quetta police official Wazir Khan Nasir said.

Previously, police said explosives were packed in a parked water tanker and were remotely detonated.

The blast demolished four buildings of the marketplace, leaving dozens dead and 180 injured.

The banned Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack, spokesman Abu Bakar Sadeeq told CNN Sunday.

The assault left some wondering what could stop the bloodshed in Quetta.

Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, the governor and chief executive of Balochistan province, told reporters Saturday that law enforcement agencies were incapable of stopping such attacks and had failed to maintain law and order in Quetta.

Pakistan, which is overwhelmingly Sunni, has been plagued by sectarian strife and attacks for years.

Last month, two deadly suicide bombings in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Quetta known as Alamdar Road killed 85 Shiite Muslims.

Police described that double bombing as one of the worst attacks on the Shiite minority.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi also claimed responsibility for that dual attack.

According to its interpretation of Islam, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi believes that Shiites are not Muslims. The group believes Shiites insult close companions of Muslim's prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the militant group believes killing Shiites is a justified in Islam.

Families of victims from Alamdar Road protested for several days by laying their relatives' bodies on a road in Quetta until the federal government dissolved the provincial government and imposed governor rule.

Although Balochistan is the largest Pakistani province in Pakistan, analysts and some locals have criticized the federal government for neglecting it, leading to instability.

The Shiite community has repeatedly asked for more protection but to no avail.

During the Alamdar Road protest, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf met with Shiites in Quetta, Pakistani media reported. He agreed to toss out the provincial government and putting a governor in charge.

All administrative powers of the provincial government were given to the governor, who deployed paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in Quetta (CNN, 2013).

Title: Authorities: 2 Suicide Bombings In The Northeast Nigeria City Of Maiduguri Kill At Least 3
Date: February 21, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Authorities say two separate suicide bombings in Nigeria's northeast city of Maiduguri have killed at least three civilians and injured many soldiers.

Borno State governor Kashim Shettima said a crowded market in the heart of the city was attacked Thursday and engulfed in flames.

A senior security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press, said there was a suicide bombing at the market. Witnesses said soldiers who stormed the scene of the blast set stalls on fire.

Shettima confirmed another suicide bombing in the city on Wednesday that killed three civilians and injured soldiers.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, though Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north has been under attack by the radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram (Fox News, 2013).

Title: In Somali Capital, A Suicide Bomber Attacks Seaside Restaurant, 2nd Such Restaurant Attack
Date: March 1, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: A police officer in Somalia's capital says a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the gate to a beachside restaurant.

Police officer Abdi Yasin Hassan said security guards prevented the bomber from entering the restaurant and that he blew himself up at the gate. Hassan said the bomber died in the attack but that he did not immediately know an overall casualty toll.

The bomber attacked a restaurant called Indian Ocean. In mid-February a bomber attacked a restaurant next to Indian Ocean; only the bomber was killed.

Such attacks are typically carried out by the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which was forced out of Mogadishu in late 2011 but still carries out roadside bombings and suicide attacks (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Suicide Blast Near Afghan Defense Ministry Amid Hagel Visit, 9 Civilians Dead
Date: March 9, 2013

Abstract: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gates of Afghan’s Defense Ministry in Kabul, killing at least nine civilians. It was followed by another bombing in the country’s east that left eight children and a policeman dead.

Both attacks come amid the backdrop of a visit by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

In the Kabul bombing, the attacker was on a bicycle as he triggered the blast near 9am local time (04:30 GMT), AP quoted Afghan police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai as saying.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, stating that it was a “message” for Hagel and that the Defense Ministry was the target.

“A suicide attacker has detonated himself within 30 meters [100 feet] of the Defense Ministry gate, there have been casualties among civilians,” spokesman for the Afghan National Army, Zahir Azimi, told AFP.

Explosion was followed by gunfire and sirens, reported Reuters.

Hours later, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the eastern Afghan city of Khost, leaving eight children aged between 7 and 17, and one police officer, Murad Khan, dead.

Two other children were wounded in the blast. The police officer died when he grabbed the insurgent in an attempt to absorb most of the blast, Khost deputy police chief Mohammad Yaqub Mandozay said.

According to the police, the bomber attempted to enter a village when coalition forces were conducting training exercises with Afghan police when officers at a checkpoint recognized his explosive vest.

Afghan security officials and troops were the targets of the bombing, AFP reported.

The two attacks happened shortly after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan for an official visit.

He was reported to be far away from the blast at a safe International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) location.

However, reporters travelling with him were in a briefing at the Defense Ministry when they heard the explosion and were then moved to the lower floor of the building.

Hagel was scheduled to meet US commanders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. His trip was to analyze the war in Afghanistan and “better understand what is going on”, he told reporters last week.

"The Taliban wanted to send a clear double message to the US and the local authorities with the attack," political analyst Habib Hakim told RT.

"Firstly, that even with security measures in place they can still launch this kind of attack in Kabul itself. And secondly, they are showing that they are not ready to negotiate with the government or the NATO forces in the country."

As the war enters its final stretch, the number of international troops that will remain past 2014 is still unknown.

Currently, there are around 66,000 US military personal in Afghanistan and it is anticipated that number will drop to 34,000 in early 2014 (RT, 2013).

Title: Coordinated Suicide Attacks In Iraq Reportedly Kill 11
Date: March 11, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: A suicide attacker drove his explosives-laden car on Monday into a police station in northern Iraq, killing five people, while attacks elsewhere in the country killed six more Iraqis, officials said.

The deputy police chief in the northern city of Kirkuk, Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul-Rahman Youssef, said the dead in the suicide attack in the town of Dibis included two policemen and three civilians. Thirty-six others, including some students from a nearby school, were wounded in the blast, Youssef said.

The town is located near Kirkuk, which is 180 miles north of Baghdad.

In Baghdad, militants launched a wave of attacks that killed six people, police and health officials said.

In the northwestern neighborhood of Shula, gunmen broke at dawn into a house, killing a man and his wife, a police officer said. In the northern Sabi al-Boor neighborhood, another group of assailants killed a minimarket owner, another police officer said.

Also, an off-duty policeman in the western Ghazaliya area was gunned down in his car by drive-by shooters. A civilian was shot dead in the southern Saydiyah neighborhood and an anti-al Qaeda militiaman was killed in southwestern Amil district.

Three medicals officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but suicide bombings and well-coordinated assassinations are a hallmark of al Qaeda's Iraq branch.

Violence has ebbed across Iraq since the peak of the fighting in the last decade, but deadly bombings and shootings still occur almost daily (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Police Say Suicide Bomber Targeting Police Van In Northwestern Pakistan Kills 2 People
Date: March 12, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: A police official says a suicide bomber has blown himself up near a police van in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least two people.

The official, Zaheer Khan, says Tuesday's attack in the district of Bannu in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan also wounded at least 10 people.

He says initial reports suggest the attacker was on foot and targeted a police van near a police station.

Khan says rescuers were transporting the dead and injured to a nearby hospital.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but suspicion fell on Pakistani Taliban who often target police and security forces deployed there.

The district of Bannu is located just outside the North Waziristan tribal region where several Pakistani, Afghan and al-Qaida-linked militant groups are based (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Strikes Buzkashi Fans In Northern Afghanistan, Causing Casualties
March 13, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Afghan officials say several people have been killed and injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of sports fans watching a buzkashi game in northern Afghanistan.

Amanddin Quriashi, a senior official in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province, says the district police chief is among the wounded in Wednesday's bombing.

Kunduz province police chief Gen. Mohammad Khalil Andarabi says the father of the speaker of the Afghan parliament was among those killed in the attack.

The provincial police chief's Sayed Sarwar Hussaini has confirmed the suicide attack but says the number of casualties is still being determined.

The crowd was watching a game of buzkashi, a traditional Afghan sport akin to polo, where players on horseback use a headless goat carcass instead of a ball (Fox News, 2013).

Title: 10 Killed In Suicide Car Bombing In Mogadishu
Date: March 18, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: At least 10 people were killed and 15 wounded in a suicide bombing of a bus outside the National Theatre in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Monday, the prime minister's office said.

A suicide bomber drove a car with explosives into the bus, according to the office of Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon.

Among the dead were students who were on the bus, and people who were in a nearby shopping mall, Somali police official Hassan Ali said.

Information on who was responsible for the attack wasn't immediately available. Somalia and its capital have long been engulfed in civil strife between a weak government and Islamist militants (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Top Pro-Assad Sunni Cleric Killed As Suicide Attack On Damascus Mosque Kills 42
Date: March 21, 2013

Abstract: A blast ripped through a mosque in the Syrian capital, killing a prominent pro-government Sunni cleric Sheikh Mohammed Said Ramadan al-Bouti. At least 42 people have died and 84 more were wounded in the attack.

“Senior cleric Dr Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti was martyred in a terrorist suicide attack at the Iman Mosque in Mazraa in Damascus," Syrian State TV said.

Syria's SANA news agency reports that the scholar's grandson was also killed in the bombing.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has condemned the attack and vowed to "cleanse" Syria of extremism.

"I present my condolences to the Syrian people for the martyrdom of Sheikh Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti, a great figure in Syria and the Islamic world," he said in a statement on Thursday night.

Sirens could be heard echoing through the capital as the scene of the blast was cordoned off by the military. TV footage revealed a chaotic scene of eviscerated bodies with severed limbs strewn across the blood-stained floor of the mosque.

RT Arabic’s correspondent Kamel Saqv, who is in Damascus, said that elementary courses on Islam were being conducted at the time of the attack. Many of the dead are believed to be students, he said. 

An official source told Syrian State TV that the assailant intended to blow himself up while the students were listening to prayer.

Local residents contacted by Reuters said they initially believed the explosion was caused when a mortar shell hit a nearby political office.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that rebel fighters were battling with government forces in the area and that mortars had been fired.

Bouti, 83, was President of the Association of Islamic Scholars of Syria and a staunch supporter of President Bashar Assad. Bouti had once characterized the Syrian opposition as 'scum', and had also called on Syrians to join the military and help the government defeat the rebel fighters in the two-year-long conflict.

Syrian TV had broadcast his sermons live every week from mosques around Damascus and he also hosted his own religious TV program. His death has been viewed as a serious blow to the government, which is fighting a primarily Sunni-led insurgency.

“The mainstream media will have difficulty” in reporting about this attack, because this was a pro-Assad Sunni cleric, believes, RT Contributor Afshin Rattansi.  

“How is it that the Anglo-French-backed, or what should we call them, rebels – insurgents or are they terrorists – are going around killing Sunni clerics in a mosque in Damascus. Perhaps, the [mainstream media] will not be reporting about it at all because it’s so against their idea of sectarianizing Syria between Shia’s and Sunnis,” he observed.

Rattansi also expressed hope that in the context of today’s bombing, “the whole idea of a NATO-backed instability creation in Syria, and three million displaced people in Syria, people within the State Department in Washington will realize that funding must stop for these insurgent groups”
(RT, 2013).

Title: Mali Suicide Bombing Leaves 2 Dead
Date: March 21, 2013

Abstract: An apparent suicide bomber struck in the northern Malian town of Timbuktu Wednesday. News agencies report at least two dead, one Malian soldier and the bomber.

Timbuktu residents say an explosion rocked the town during the night of Wednesday to Thursday.

The explosion reportedly came from a car near the Timbuktu airport where French and Malian troops are stationed.  It was not immediately clear whether the car was laden with explosives or the bomber was wearing a belt.

Malian military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Diarran Kone told VOA that the bombing appeared to have been part of a larger raid.  

He said that the perpetrators were "terrorists who wanted to infiltrate" the area.

French and Malian troops were able to repel the attackers.

Timbuktu residents told VOA that gunfire began around 11 Wednesday night and continued until early Thursday morning.

This resident, identified by his last name Oumar, told VOA by phone from Timbuktu that he heard a "large boom" and gunfire, including heavy weapons, coming from the direction of the airport.  He said he heard French planes flying overhead until the early morning hours.  He said he and his family, unsure of what was happening, remained sheltered in their home until morning.

French, Malian and Chadian troops have been fighting al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants in northern Mali for nearly ten weeks.  France intervened after the militants, who seized control of the region last April, tried to move south in January.

The attack on Timbuktu Wednesday would mark the town's first suicide bombing and highlights fears of a stubborn "hit and run" guerrilla war to come in northern Mali.

France has said it will withdraw its troops, leaving Malian troops and a multi-nation African force to fight the militants
(VOA, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bombing Kills 3 Near U.S. Embassy In Afghan Capital
March 22, 2012

Abstract: A suicide bomber dressed as a security guard blew himself up Wednesday in a street near the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital, killing himself and two other people, authorities said.

The attacker set off the explosives attached to his body around 8 a.m. after he was noticed by security guards in the neighborhood, said Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry.

The blast took place in a district that houses international organizations, diplomats and senior government officials. Afghan authorities don't know what the bomber's intended target was, Seddiqi said.

One of the people killed was a security guard and another was a civilian, Seddiqi said. One person was wounded in the attack, he said.

Violent attacks are frequent across the country, where Afghan and NATO troops are battling an insurgency led by the Taliban.

Kabul, where the Afghan government is based and many foreign organizations have heavily guarded headquarters, hasn't been spared from the unrest.

In September, a suicide bomber killed six people and wounded four others near the headquarters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

And in April, Afghan security forces said they repulsed a wave of insurgent attacks in the capital and three other provinces. Buildings that came under attack included the Afghan Parliament and the American, German and Russian embassies (CNN, 2012).

Title: Taliban Suicide Bombers Kill Five Afghan Police As Kerry Visits Kabul
Date: March 26, 2013
Yahoo News

Abstract: JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban suicide bombers killed at least five policemen in Afghanistan's restive east on Tuesday, officials said, in a three-hour attack that coincided with a visit to the country by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The pre-dawn attack on a police compound in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan's largest city, came as the country braces for the beginning of the spring fighting season in the 11th year of the war.

One attacker detonated an explosive-laden car at the entrance of the Afghan National Police compound in a bid to let other attackers inside, provincial police chief Amin Sharif said.

"Three suicide bombers triggered their explosive vests and five were shot dead," he told Reuters, adding that five policemen were killed and four wounded.

Amin said the attackers were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and light machineguns, sparking a three-hour battle with Afghan security forces. Six civilians were wounded.

Kerry was in Kabul to discuss transfer of security to the Afghan forces, as most U.S.-led NATO combat troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message (Yahoo News, 2013).

Title: Officials: Suicide Bomber Attacks Shiite Worshippers In Iraq's North, Kills 3 And Wounds 70
Date: March 29, 2013
Fox News

Abstract:  Iraqi police and health officials say a suicide attack against a Shiite mosque in the country's north has killed three worshippers and wounded up to 70.

Col. Najat Hassan says the bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a group of worshippers as they were leaving the mosque in the northern city of Kirkuk after Friday prayers. The city is 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad. A senior provisional health official, Sidiq Omar Rasool, confirmed the casualty figures.

Violence has ebbed sharply since the peak of Sunni-Shiite fighting that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

But Sunni insurgents still occasionally carry out high-profile attacks against Shiites, considering them as heretics. Sectarian and ethnic rivalries also remain threats to Iraq's long-term stability (Fox New, 2013).

Title: Suicide Attack Targeting Security Convoy In Northwest Pakistan Kills 6, Including 2 Women
Date: March 29, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: Police say a suicide bomber attacked a security convoy in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least six people, including two women.

Police official Dost Mohammed Khan says the attacker was targeting Abdul Majeed Marwat, the head of a paramilitary police force called the Frontier Constabulary. Marwat was not hurt in the attack, which occurred on Friday in the main northwest city of Peshawar.

Khan says the dead included three members of the security forces and three civilians. Two of the civilians were women. Over 15 people were wounded.

No group has claimed responsibility.

Peshawar is located on the border with Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region, the main sanctuary for Taliban militants in the country. The Pakistani Taliban have carried out many bombings in the city targeting both security forces and civilians (Fox News, 2013).