Sunday, April 22, 2012

25 al-Qaida fighters killed in latest Yemen clash

Yemeni government troops launched a surprise attack in the south of the country to recapture an al-Qaida stronghold, killing 25 Islamist militants.

The official said yesterday, the army succeeded in regaining control over one district on the outskirts of Zinjibar, but the rest of the provincial capital was still in al-Qaida's hands.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.
A Defense Ministry statement yesterday said the offensive that started two weeks ago around another city in the southern Abyan province, Lawder, has so far killed 250 al-Qaida militants.
Also, 37 Yemeni soldiers have died, it said.
During a year of internal turmoil that eventually led to longtime Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation, al-Qaida took advantage of a security vacuum to overrun parts of the south.
The US believes al-Qaida's branch in Yemen is the most dangerous arm of the terror group because of its repeated attempts to carry out attacks in the US.
In recent weeks, the Yemeni military has been hitting the militants in ground and air operations, while al-Qaida has carried out some bloody surprise attacks of its own against government forces.
Yemen's government expressed determination.
"The war on terrorism will expand and reach all the terrorist elements; it will continue and will not stop until it curbs it and uproots it," a statement yesterday from the Ministry of Interior read.
Under a power transfer deal brokered by Arab Gulf countries and backed by the United States, Saleh received immunity from prosecution in return for stepping down.
Protesters have been on the streets ever since, rejecting the terms.
The new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has pledged to purge Saleh's loyalists and family members from top security and military posts, a step toward restructuring the army to enable it to effectively combat al-Qaida militants in the south.
Hadi's decisions have met with stiff resistance from the Saleh's allies.

Infrastructure development a must for India’s growth – Dr. C.P. Joshi


Country’s first RFID Technology Based Electronic Toll Plaza dedicated to the Nation Dr. CP Joshi, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways today dedicated to the nation country’s first RFID Technology Based Electronic Toll collection Plaza at Chandimandir, Punchkula (Haryana) and four-laned Zirakpur-Parwanoo section of NH-5 in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Joshi said that this is the high time to make coordinated efforts by Central and State Governments to fulfill the dream of making India a developed nation. He said that a qualitative infrastructure development is a must for the growth of the country. Dr. Joshi said that Government of India has given thrust on infrastructure development in 11th and forthcoming 12th Five Year Plans with a view to increase national GDP. He said that central government is committed to facilitate the common man by providing new technology and better road transportation facility.
Referring about the new RFID Toll Plaza, he said that all the highways in the country will be provided RFID technique, which helps users to make payment without stopping at toll plazas and reduces traffic congestion and commuting time. Toll Statements can also be made available on line to the road users and they need not have to stop for receipt. He said that besides satisfying functional requirements, it is the cheapest mode for collection.
Dr. Joshi further informed that National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has completed the projects of 491 km. roads costing Rs. 1913 crore in Haryana, 357 km. roads worth Rs. 1419 crore in Punjab and 5 km worth Rs. 50 crore in Himachal Pradesh. The projects under implementation are 969 km. of Rs. 5962 crore in Haryana, 645 km. of Rs. 4791 crore in Punjab and 124 kms. of Rs. 1994 crore in Himachal Pradesh. The projects of 508 km worth Rs. 3574 crore in Haryana, 454 km worth Rs. 3301 crore in Punjab and 204 km worth Rs. 3664 crore have also been awarded to NHAI.
Dr. Joshi assured compliance of the balance projects of Rohtak-Hisar, Ambala-Kaithal, Kaithal-Rajasthan border, Hisar-Dabwali in Haryana; Jalandhar-Amritsar, Ludhiana-Chandigarh, Sri Gangananagar-Amritsar, Jalandhar-Haryana border in Punjab; and Parwanoo-Solan, Solan-Shimla, Ner Chowk-Manali in Himachal Pradesh soon after the scrutiny of technical aspects of these projects.
On the occasion, Union Minister for Culture and HUPA, Kum. Selja said that highway development is a flagship programme of Government of India and Central Government is committed to provide uninterrupted road connectivity in all parts of the country. She also urged Dr. Joshi to exempt the daily commuters of peripheral area from toll tax at the newly setup toll plaza. She demanded highway at Yamunanagar-Saha section in Haryana and a mega circuit project to boost the economy of this region by encouraging tourism.
Shri Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab and Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana conveyed their gratitude to the Union Minister for connecting Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with the new Himalayan Express Way from Zirakpur to Parwanoo section. Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala, PWD Minister Haryana also highlighted the issues of construction of new flyovers and underpasses in Haryana. Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Dr. Tushar A. Choudhary was also present on the occasion.

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