Saturday, January 31, 2009

Map update


The Pakistani government claims to have regained control of a number of areas. I'm somewhat skeptical of this, and indicated the government's claims only as much as is tactically reasonable.

Progress is slowly being made in Swat, with the capital city of Mingora being retaken recently.

Ghazni is still out of date, and I want to check Loghman and Kapisa as well. My complete district level base map of Pakistan is nearing completion; I'll include it while I work on the individual tehsils (Pakistani tehsil ≈ Afghan district).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yemen and Saudi al-Qaeda arms merge

Al-Qaeda groups in Yemen and Saudi Arabia have announced they are merging their operations, raising fears of new attacks in the region.

The organisation said on Tuesday that the joint forces would carry out operations across the Arabian peninsula and beyond.

Nasir Wuhaishi was named as the head of the new combined al-Qaeda unit.

Wuhaishi's appointment was confirmed by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the deputy al-Qaeda chief, in a video posted online.

The group's deputy was named as Said Ali al-Shihri, a former prisoner at the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention facility, who was released from Saudi custody in 2007.

Yemeni authorities said they had stepped up security following the announcement.

'Huge significance'

Analysts say Yemen is of huge significance to al-Qaeda.

"Weapons, training, crossing points and the launch of operations have all come from Yemen," Abd Alelah-Haidar, a "terrorism" specialist who has met Wuhaishi, told Al Jazeera.

"This country is seen as having strategic significance, not only by al-Qaeda, but also by others. [However,] their operations are not confined to the Arabian peninsula but also include Iraq, Afghanistan, Nahr al-Bared [in Lebanon], and Palestine."

The announcement follows a number of attacks by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

An attack outside the US embassy in Sanaa earlier in the week is believed to have been carried out by the group.

Yemeni police arrested three men on Monday after they fired on security forces near the embassy. No one was hurt in the incident.

Nineteen people died in an attack targeting the US embassy last September for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.

Via Al Jazeera.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Map update


NATO has launched an offensive in the Baluchi Valley, and Pakistan has launched one in Mohmand Agency. I'm currently working on showing the districts in the rest of Pakistan. Ghazni still needs to be updated.

Also, what will hopefully be my final semester at Berkeley has begun.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Map update

10 January 2009

Still some updating left to do, especially in Ghazni. Additionally, the fighting in Bajaur has gone down due to Pakistani troops being redeployed to the border with India.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Future of Afghanistan

As you may have heard, the United States Institute for Peace has released a major report on Afghanistan, which can be downloaded here. I have not yet had the chance to read it, but have heard good things about it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Map update

Because I had been spending so much time on the map itself (along with other school things), it seems I let my data get pretty badly out of date. This version has been corrected to account for the falls of Logar and Wardak provinces, with a few other corrections. Note, though, that it is still not completely up to date.