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Sunday, October 30, 2011

CF soldier Master Cpl. Byron Greff of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry dies in Kabul during OMLT mission

Rhino Armoured Bus
At least five U.S. troops and eight U.S. civilians in Kabul are dead on Saturday after a Taliban bomber targeted the lightly-armored bus transporting them through the Afghan capitol.
While details are still sketchy, the Taliban attack shows sophistication. The bus, known colloquially as a “Rhino,” is a slow transport vehicle built to withstand small arms fire. Its hull is V-shaped, like a Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) vehicle, so it can survive driving over a homemade bomb.
But insurgents evidently spotted two vulnerabilities with the Rhino. First, unlike troop convoys or patrols, Rhinos travel along a set, predictable route. Second, as ABC News notes, the buses are not built to survive a suicide car bomb detonating along its side. And the Rhino was reportedly escorted by a convoy of thickly-armored MRAPs, which indicates that the insurgents understand it to be the less-secure vehicle.
Many Americans who have been to Iraq over the last decade are familiar with the Rhino. For years, it transited troops, contractors, diplomats and journalists along Route Irish, the airport road — once considered the world’s most dangerous — connecting the massive Camp Victory constellation of bases with the Green Zone.
Riding in the Rhino in Iraq meant wearing body armor and listening to a non-commissioned officer bark safety instructions about how to survive in the event of a bomb attack or ambush that disabled the vehicle. It also often meant staying awake long past midnight to secure a ride, thanks to the vehicle’s somewhat unpredictable schedule.
The attack carries a lot of symbolism. It is perhaps the most bloody assault on Americans in Kabul of the entire decade-long war. It occurred in the capital, which the previous U.S. commander, David Petraeus, often boasted was an inhospitable environment for the Taliban. (“Touch wood, but security in Kabul has been really quite good,” Petraeus told Danger Room in August 2010.) And it took place the day after the Pentagon released a report to Congress claiming violence in Afghanistan has dropped for the first time since 2006.
It isn’t yet clear if the NATO command in Afghanistan will vary the routes for the Rhinos. It may not be practical, since the vehicles exist to facilitate routine transportation. But retired Army officer Tim Matthews reminds in a tweet that snipers also helped protect Rhino transit in Iraq. It’s unclear if snipers cover Rhinos in Kabul.
It also remains to be seen whether the attack will change the rules NATO sets for U.S.-allied troops to drive through Afghan cities and villages. Since 2009, the counterinsurgency strategy in place has placeda premium on giving Afghan drivers the right of way, something that has sometimes sat uneasily with soldiers and marines caught in the teeming capitol’s tense traffic snarls.
Rhino after it was hit with a Suicide bomber with potentially 700 kg of explosives.

Crater from the bombing in the hard road

The remains of the ounce proud Kings palace, Kabul

Canadian soldiers help with the process of clearing the fallen.

Master Cpl. Byron Greff of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was killed in the explosion around 11:30 a.m. local time.
Master Cpl. Byron Greff of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry killed in the attack

Just days before he was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan Edmonton-based soldier, Master Cpl. Byron Greff was photographed with his wife and their newborn daughter. Photo Courtesy of E. Hornung. October 30
Just days before he was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, Edmonton-based soldier Master Cpl. Byron Greff was photographed with his wife and their newborn daughter. Photo Courtesy of E. Hornung.

But as we look at the death and destruction we should also remember Byron Greff as a fellow solider, husband, and father.

Updated: Sun Oct. 30 2011 17:02:07

Chandra Lye, ctvedmonton.ca
A local photographer captured some tender moments just days before an Edmonton based soldier was killed by a suicide bomber.
Erik Hornung said he held a photo shoot with Master Cpl. Byron Greff, his wife Lindsay and their new daughter, Brielle.
The photo of the family was taken on Tuesday, October 25, just days before Master Cpl. Greff returned to Afghanistan.
On Saturday, a car packed with explosives rammed into the NATO vehicle Master Cpl. Greff was travelling in near Kabul.
Hornung has posted a blog about the photo shoot.
"This is one of the saddest moments of my career as a photographer," he wrote.
"I hope this photo will help – in even just the smallest amount – with the healing process for Lindsay, her two children and family."
According to a statement released by the Armed Forces Master Cpl. Greff also had a son.
"They are being attended by members of his regiment to ensure they are well taken care of and provided the support that they need during this difficult period," Col. Omer Lavoie said.
Col. Lavoie described Master Cpl. Greff as a "great soldier and young leader who was well trained and ready to carry out his mission.
"His fellow soldiers will continue to train and mentor Afghan national security forces in order to ensure the country an enduring capacity in accountable Afghan-led security."
Master Cpl. Byron Greff was serving with the Third Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. 
Master Cpl. Greff was the first Canadian to die since the combat mission ended earlier this year.
He was in Afghanistan as an adviser to Afghan national Army trainers who provide recruitment training to Afghani soldiers.
The attack also left 12 other NATO personal dead. Five were soldiers and the others were civilian employees.
With files from Jessica Earle

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Graphic pics of Gaddaffi

Col Gaddfi

muammar gaddafi son killed Khamis Gaddafi Killed
Gaddafi had his own fashion sense and surrounded himself with female bodyguards

Delusion 101

File:2011 Battle of Sirte.svg
Battle of Sirte in the final stages
15 September to 20 October 2011
The death of Muammar Qaddafi
Fighter in Sirte

Al Jazeera TV shows Gaddafi apparently alive when captured

Cairo: Al Jazeera television showed images of Muammar Gaddafi, apparently wounded but still alive when he was captured.
Al Jazeera television showed images of Muammar Gaddafi, apparently wounded but still alive when he was captured
Gaddafi was shown being manhandled by a group of fighters and appearing to struggle against them at one point.
He was shown with a bloodied face and being pushed against a car and being struck on the head by a pistol.
Al Jazeera said the pictures were aired by a Libyan television channel.
Pan Am bombing victims' families 'relieved'
Trenton, New Jersey: Relatives of the victims of the 1988 Pan Am bombing say they're relieved that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is dead.
Susan Cohen of the US lost her 20-year-old daughter, Theodora, in the explosion over Scotland. She says she's buying a bottle of expensive champagne to celebrate.
Kara Weipz of the US lost her 20-year-old brother in the bombing. She says the world is a better and safer place without Gaddafi.
She says she hopes Gaddafi left evidence of Libya's involvement in the bombing. It killed all 259 aboard and 11 on the ground in the town of Lockerbie.
Many victims were Americans flying from London to New York.
In London, Prime Minister David Cameron says "today is a day to remember all of Gaddafi's victims".
Bulgarian nurses: Gaddafi got what he deserved 
Sofia: Five Bulgarian nurses imprisoned in Libya for eight years over an HIV scandal on Thursday welcomed news of Muammar Gaddafi's death saying the Libyan strongman had "got what he deserved".
"The news made me very happy. It's a punishment. A dog like him deserved to die like a dog," Valya Chervenyashka told AFP.
The nurses were tortured and twice sentenced to death under Gaddafi's regime.
Valentina Siropolu, another of the nurses who were freed in 2007, said: "I am really happy, I was expecting it. He got what he deserved."
Two others, Snezhana Dimitrova and Kristiana Valcheva, however struck a different note.
"I would have been happy if he had been captured alive too," said Valcheva.
"I can't be happy about anyone's death, even my enemy," added Dimitrova.
All five said they wanted Libya's new leaders to exonerate them.
Scenes of wild joy
Sirte: News that Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi was killed in his hometown Sirte on Thursday sparked scenes of wild joy among the ranks of new regime fighters who had crushed his final bastion of support.
"We did it! We did it!" chanted the fighters overcome with emotion, exchanging well-wishes, hugs and handshakes against a backdrop of intense celebratory gunfire.
"We finished Gaddafi and his people," said fighter Ali Urfulli.
A phone video message purporting to show Gaddafi's dead body spread like wild fire among National Transitional Council fighters in the Mediterranean city before the strongman's death was officially announced.

Col Gaddaffi still alive in this picture and captured his head in the lap of an NTC fighter
Oozing blood
The blurry video, which was viewed by an AFP correspondent, showed what appeared to be Gaddafi's corpse, dressed in khaki, with blood oozing from his face and neck before fighters drag and load it onto a pick up truck.
"We have taken revenge. Let him go to hell," said Urfulli.
"We announce to the world that Gaddafi has been killed at the hands of the revolution," NTC Abdul Hafez Ghoga said, the first high ranking official of the new regime to confirm the news.
"It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Gaddafi has met his fate," he said after earlier reports that Gaddafi was hurt and captured fuelled speculation the veteran leader died fighting as he once promised.
Tripoli: Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril confirmed Gaddafi had been killed. "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed," Jibril told a news conference in the capital Tripoli.
Initial reports from fighters said Gaddafi had been holed up with the last of his fighters in the furious battle with revolutionary fighters assaulting the last few buildings they held in his Mediterranean coastal hometown of Sirte.
At one point, a convoy tried to flee the area and was blasted by Nato airstrikes, though it was not clear if Gaddafi was in the vehicle.
Al Jazeera TV showed footage of a man resembling the 69-year-old Gaddafi lying dead or severely wounded, bleeding from the head and stripped to the waist as fighters rolled him over on the pavement.
Body on display
Witnesses said his body was put on display in the nearby city of Misrata.
Celebratory gunfire and cries of "Allahu Akbar" or "God is Great" rang out across the capital Tripoli as the reports spread. Cars honked their horns and people hugged each other.
In Sirte, the ecstatic former rebels celebrated the city's fall after weeks of bloody siege by firing endless rounds into the sky, pumping their guns, knives and even a meat cleaver in the air and singing the national anthem.
Libya's new leaders had said they would declare the country's "liberation" after the fall of Sirte. The death or capture of Gaddafi adds greater solidity to that declaration.
Rome: Western leaders welcomed the death of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi as the end of despotism, tyranny, dictatorship and ultimately war in the north African country.
"It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Gaddafi has met his fate," said a spokesman for the National Transitional Council (NTC), Libya's new rulers, in announcing the news.
As Libyans on the streets of Tripoli and Sirte fired automatic weapons into the air and danced for joy, world leaders began to weigh in on the death of the man who had ruled the oil-rich north African nation for more than 40 years.
In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said after the death of his onetime ally: "Now the war is over."
"Sic transit gloria mundi (Thus passes the glory of the world)," Berlusconi said about the ousted ruler of Italy's former colony, quoting a Latin tag.
European Union
In Brussels, the European Union said that Gaddafi's death "marks the end of an era of despotism."
The news means an end also to the "repression from which the Libyan people have suffered for too long," EU president Herman Van Rompuy Van Rompuy said in a joint statement with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek will visit Libya from Saturday.
"I am happy I will be visiting a country fully liberated from a dictator who has imposed his iron fist for more than 40 years. Now Libya can truly turn the page," he said.
In Washington, senior US Senator John McCain said the death marked the end of the first phase of the Libyan revolution.
"While some final fighting continues, the Libyan people have liberated their country," the Republican lawmaker said in a statement.
"Now the Libyan people can focus all of their immense talents on strengthening their national unity, rebuilding their country and economy, proceeding with their democratic transition, and safeguarding the dignity and human rights of all Libyans," said McCain.
"The United States, along with our European allies and Arab partners, must now deepen our support for the Libyan people, as they work to make the next phase of their democratic revolution as successful as the fight to free their country," he said.
Gaddafi was fatally wounded when new regime forces launched a final assault on the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, a National Transitional Council spokesman said.
"We announce to the world that Kadhafi has died in the custody of the revolution," Abdul Hafez Ghoga said.
"It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Kadhafi has met his fate," he added.

Died of wounds
Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered in his capture near his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, a senior National Transitional Council military official said.
The NTC official, Abdel Majid Mlegta, had told Reuters earlier that Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which Nato warplanes had attacked.
"He was also hit in his head," said Mlegta. "There was a lot of firing against his group and he died."
Asked if there was photographic evidence to prove that Gaddafi was dead, Mlegta said: "We have the footage but it is not available now."
There was no independent confirmation of his remarks.
Mlegta reported Gaddafi's death after Libyan interim government fighters took Sirte on Thursday, extinguishing the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the former leader and ending a two-month siege.

Nato warplanes struck the convoy and hit four cars as it headed west, Mlegta said, adding that the head of Gaddafi's armed forces Abu Bakr Younus Jabr had been killed during the attack.
Ahmad Ebrahim, a cousin and adviser of Gaddafi, was captured along with former government spokesman Moussa Ebrahim, he added.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter said Gaddafi had been found hiding in a hole in the ground and had said "Don't shoot, don't shoot" to the men who grabbed him. His capture followed within minutes of the fall of Sirte, a development that extinguished the last significant resistance by forces loyal to the deposed leader.
The head of Gaddafi's armed forces Abu Bakr Younus Jabr had been killed during the capture of the Libyan ex-leader.
No confirmation yet
US officials on Thursday scrambled to check reports that Gaddafi had died. However, the US State Department said it could not confirm that Gaddafi has been captured and wounded.
"We've seen the media reports but can't confirm them," State Department spokeswoman Beth Gosselin told Reuters.
Medvedev speaks up
Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that the Libyan people should decide the fate ofGaddafi, and that he hoped peace would come to Libya.
Medvedev spoke after a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said the deposed Libya leader's capture was great news if confirmed.

NTC leader to address Libyan nation
The head of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, will address the nation on Thursday, Libyan channel Free Libya reported, after a senior NTC military official announced the capture and death of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.
NTC fighters hoisted the red, black and green national flag above a large utilities building in the centre of a newly-captured Sirte neighbourhood and celebratory gunfire broke out among their ecstatic and relieved comrades.
Hundreds of NTC troops had surrounded the Mediterranean coastal town for weeks in a chaotic struggle that killed and wounded scores of the besieging forces and an unknown number of defenders.
NTC fighters said there were a large number of corpses inside the last redoubts of the Gaddafi troops. It was not immediately possible to verify that information. 

The death of Muammar Qaddafi
Burned out convoy of the late Colonel
Drainage pipe where Gaddaffi was found after his convoy was struck by French warplanes and a Predator

bang bang the witch is dead.
Final shot on Gadaffi
The death of Muammar Qaddafi
Libyans look at the body of Mutassem Qaddafi, son of strongman Muammar Qaddafi, in Misrata on October 20, 2011.   CBS
The death of Muammar Qaddafi
Libyans look at the body of Mutassem Qaddafi, son of strongman Muammar Qaddafi, in Misrata on October 20, 2011.    CBS

The death of Muammar Qaddafi
The death of Muammar Qaddafi
Liybans react to the death of Muammar Qaddafi outside the Libyan Embassy in London, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011.   CBS