WNR Newscast – 9/21/12By
This week’s conflict news from WNR at Swarthmore College.
Elliana: Hi. This is WNR, here with this week’s video newscast. I’m Elliana
Josh: And I’m Josh. Let’s get started.
Elliana: Pakistan declared Friday September 21st a national holiday to allow citizens to peacefully protest the now-infamous “Innocence of Muslims” video mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Protesters at the diplomatic enclave that houses the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad clashed with members of the Pakistani army and riot police, resulting in 15 deaths and over 200 injuries.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government is issuing advertisements denouncing the video on Pakistani television networks. Protests over the video also erupted this week in Afghanistan, Iran and Indonesia.
Josh: U.S. officials announced that the last American surge troops have left Afghani soil.
The 33,000 American “surge” troops had been deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 to boost U.S. efforts against the Taliban.
Sixty-eight thousand U.S. soldiers remain in Afghanistan, although insider attacks against American forces continue to escalate. An Afghan police officer shot and killed four U.S. service members this week alone.
American and NATO military operations in Afghanistan are scheduled to end in December of 2014.
Elliana: Air assaults by Syrian government forces have killed or wounded over one hundred and ten people in the northern province of Raqqa this week. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says government planes targeted villages and a gas station on the Turkish border. Turkish witnesses also reported gunfire and explosions near the Tel Abyad border post.
Clashes between Syrian rebels and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are also spreading over the border into Lebanon, with the United Nations reporting a sharp escalation in attacks carried out by Assad’s forces.
Josh: The White House has called the September 11, 2012 assault on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya a terrorist attack.
During the attack, a brigade of armed protesters stormed the compound and set buildings on fire. Four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the creation of a panel to investigate the violence, and FBI members are working with Libyan authorities to pursue those responsible. The list of potential suspects includes Sufyan Bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo detainee who was also part of the rebel movement that toppled Muammar Qaddafi this year.
Elliana: Three unidentified militants and one Israeli soldier were killed in a shoot-out on the Israel-Egypt border. A second Israeli soldier was wounded.
The Israeli military said that the militants crossed the Egyptian border into Israel, and opened fire on a group of soldiers guarding workers building a security fence. The Israeli military also claimed that the militants wore camouflage and carried weapons including AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Josh: That’s it for this week.
Elliana: Check out warnewsradio.org for more news and original content.
Josh: And you can find us on Twitter and Facebook.
Elliana: Thanks for watching!