March 24, 2015 |
IN TODAY'S movie universe, a teenage girl with a gun crushes Sean Penn with a gun. In fact, a teenage girl doing practically anything crushes Sean Penn with a gun. Star Shailene Woodley and the second installment in the "Divergent" series, "Insurgent," easily topped the box office with $54 million, according to Rentrak estimates yesterday. Penn's "The Gunman" stumbled with only $5 million. According to "Insurgent" distributor Lionsgate, 60 percent of its audiences were female.
July 24, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Iraqi security forces locked down areas around the infamous Abu Ghraib prison and another high-security detention facility on Baghdad's outskirts yesterday to hunt for escaped inmates and militants after daring insurgent assaults set hundreds of detainees free. The carefully orchestrated late-night attacks killed dozens Sunday, including at least 25 members of the Iraqi security forces. Insurgents fired dozens of mortar shells and detonated suicide and car bombs, drawing Iraqi forces into firefights that lasted more than an hour.
June 10, 2013 |
ASSOCIATED PRESS KABUL, Afghanistan - At least five heavily armed insurgents were engaged in an hours-long gun battle with security forces on the perimeter of Afghanistan's main airport Monday after they tried to attack NATO's airport headquarters with rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles, and at least one large bomb, the army and police said. The airport was closed to civilian air traffic because of the attack, an airport official said. It was unclear whether the attack had damaged facilities inside the airport itself.
May 26, 2013 |
KABUL - A blast during Friday-night prayers in a mosque in central Afghanistan killed 12 people, eight of them Taliban insurgents, officials said Saturday. The insurgents placed explosives in a corner of the mosque, in Ghazni province's Andar district, before joining worshipers, according to Qasim Deswal, a local official. They had been passing the village, carrying the explosives they routinely use for roadside-bomb and suicide attacks against Afghan and NATO targets when they stopped at the mosque, Deswal said.
March 28, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Syria's civil war is increasingly threatening to destabilize neighboring Iraq, widening a sectarian divide in a nation still reeling from the messy aftermath of the U.S. invasion a decade ago. Iraqi officials have expressed alarm in recent weeks as fighting between troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the armed opposition has spilled across the border. After staying on the sidelines for more than a year, Sunni tribes in Iraq that straddle the frontier have decisively joined the effort to topple the Alwawite Shiite-led government in Damascus.
March 11, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got a stark taste of the challenges that continue to bedevil Afghanistan, as insurgents carried out two deadly bombings Saturday, one within earshot of the Pentagon chief. The Afghan government, meanwhile, abruptly canceled a ceremony scheduled for Saturday that had been meant to show that Kabul and Washington had finally reached a deal for the handover of a U.S. military prison. Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the last minute balked at the proposed terms of the handover of the Parwan Detention Facility, Afghan and U.S. officials said, dashing hopes that a resolution of a contentious issue that has poisoned the relationship between the two countries was in sight.
February 22, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - At least half the Afghan Taliban fighters recently freed from Pakistani prisons have rejoined the insurgency, a Pakistani intelligence official says, throwing into question the value of such goodwill gestures that the Afghan government requested to restart a flagging peace process. A senior Western official who spoke on condition of anonymity so he could talk freely confirmed that "some" newly freed Taliban fighters have returned to the battlefield. The development underscores the difficulties in reaching a political deal with the Taliban before the end of 2014, when NATO and U.S. troops are scheduled to have completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
February 10, 2013 |
PARIS - Mud, money, and more security: The U.N.'s cultural agency said Friday that not much more is needed to help rebuild 11 mausoleums that Islamic extremists "totally devastated" in the fabled Malian city of Timbuktu. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said she plans to send experts to Mali to assess the full extent of the damage left by al-Qaeda-linked Islamists who ran Timbuktu and the rest of northeastern Mali for months before being chased out by French-led troops. "We have to make an assessment about what the real situation is," said Bokova, who accompanied French President Francois Hollande to Timbuktu on Feb. 2. Of the mausoleums, "there are 11 that are totally devastated," she said.
January 23, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - A string of attacks, including three car bombings in and around Baghdad, killed at least 22 people Tuesday, deepening fears of a surge in violence as sectarian tensions fester in Iraq. Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, blame is likely to fall on Sunni insurgents such as al-Qaeda's local franchise for Tuesday's bloodshed. The group often uses indiscriminate attacks to sow fear among Iraq's Shiite majority and undermine the government's authority. It was at least the fourth day this year that insurgents overcame security measures to carry out high-profile attacks claiming at least 20 lives.
November 21, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Islamist extremist rebels say they have pushed secular Tuareg rebel fighters from Menaka, their last base in northern Mali. Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman of the Islamists of MUJAO, said the Tuaregs were forced to retreat from Menaka on Tuesday after heavy fighting. He said Menaka was under the Islamists' control. "I do not have an accurate record of the dead, but more than 100 fighters were killed," said Hamaha. He said the Islamists were hunting for Mohamed Najim, the Tuareg military leader.