Pakistan kills senior Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant in Baluchistan raid

Shiites have sought protection from the Pakistani army, saying they had lost thousands of people in militant attacks in recent years. (AP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Pakistan kills senior Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant in Baluchistan raid

  • The military released pictures of a blood-spattered militant laying dead on the ground, along with photos of ammunition.
  • Islamist militants have killed thousands of people in Pakistan since early 2000s, in their bid to impose a hardline version of Islam.

QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistan's military has killed a senior member of Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi(LeJ) along two suicide bombers in a raid in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, the army's media wing said on Thursday.

A military intelligence officer was killed and four other soldiers wounded during the operation targeting Salman Badeni, the Baluchistan region chief of LeJ, on the outskirts of provincial capital Quetta.

Badeni had been "involved in killings of over 100 innocent personnel of Hazara Community and police", the army said in a statement.

The military also released pictures of a blood-spattered militant laying dead on the ground, along with photos of ammunition and what appears to be bomb-making material.

LeJ, a group which subscribes to the hardline Takfiri Deobandi school of Islam, considers Shi’ites apostates and has carried out scores of bloody bomb and gun attacks in Baluchistan over the past two decades, most of them aimed at the Shi'ite Hazara community.

Earlier this month members of the Hazara community went on a hunger strike in Quetta to protest a recent spate of killings targeting them and to demand greater protection in the resource-rich province that has been plagued by violence and insurgency.

Over the past couple of years Islamic State militants have also targeted the Hazara community in Baluchistan.

The Hazaras called off the protest after meeting with Pakistan's powerful army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who vowed greater protection and promised those targeting Hazaras "shall suffer twice as much".

Violence in Baluchistan is also a worry for China, which has voiced concerns about security in the province that hosts a key route in the $57-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a transport and energy link planned to run from western China to Pakistan's southern deep-water port of Gwadar.

Islamist militants have killed thousands of people in Pakistan since early 2000s, in their bid to impose a hardline version of Islam.


FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

Updated 34 min 30 sec ago
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FBI warns Russians hacked hundreds of thousands of routers

WASHINGTON: The FBI warned on Friday that Russian computer hackers had compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and could collect user information or shut down network traffic.
The US law enforcement agency urged the owners of many brands of routers to turn them off and on again and download updates from the manufacturer to protect themselves.
The warning followed a court order Wednesday that allowed the FBI to seize a website that the hackers planned to use to give instructions to the routers. Though that cut off malicious communications, it still left the routers infected, and Friday’s warning was aimed at cleaning up those machines.
Infections were detected in more than 50 countries, though the primary target for further actions was probably Ukraine, the site of many recent infections and a longtime cyberwarfare battleground.
In obtaining the court order, the Justice Department said the hackers involved were in a group called Sofacy that answered to the Russian government.
Sofacy, also known as APT28 and Fancy Bear, has been blamed for many of the most dramatic Russian hacks, including that of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US presidential campaign.
Earlier, Cisco Systems Inc. said the hacking campaign targeted devices from Belkin International’s Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear Inc, TP-Link and QNAP.
Cisco shared the technical details of its investigation with the US and Ukrainian governments. Western experts say Russia has conducted a series of attacks against companies in Ukraine for more than a year amid armed hostilities between the two countries, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and at least one electricity blackout.
The Kremlin on Thursday denied the Ukrainian government’s accusation that Russia was planning a cyberattack on Ukrainian state bodies and private companies ahead of the Champions League soccer final in Kiev on Saturday.
“The size and scope of the infrastructure by VPNFilter malware is significant,” the FBI said, adding that it is capable of rendering peoples’ routers “inoperable.”
It said the malware is hard to detect, due to encryption and other tactics.
The FBI urged people to reboot their devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and help identify infected devices.
People should also consider disabling remote-management settings, changing passwords and upgrading to the latest firmware.