For the night of 3 October 2013
India-Pakistan: Indian military authorities report a week-long series of gun battles has been taking place in the central region of the Line of Control in Kashmir. Some 30 to 40 fighters crossed the Line on 24 September, up to 12 of whom have been killed by Indian soldiers. Five Indian soldiers have been wounded.
The infiltrators holed up in an abandoned village, which appears to be the location of the gun fights.
Although General Officer Commanding of the Army's 15 Corps Lt Gen Gurmit Singh had said it will be premature to say whether the Pakistan Army was involved in infiltration of militants, he said there were definite indications that some special troops were part of it.
"I can only say, analyzing the methodology of this infiltration, it was not a pure infiltration. It was a BAT [Border Action Team]-cum-infiltration. The number of militants who attempted this infiltration was rather large. In fact, Wednesday night 10 to 12 militants tried to sneak into the cordoned off area from across (the Line of Control)."
Pakistani authorities deny that an infiltration occurred.
Comment: A Border Action Team is a mixed unit of Pakistan Army special forces commandos and irregular forces including terrorists or Kashmiri militants. Allmost every time the top political leaders have a cordial meeting, a shooting incident occurs along the Line of Control.
Pakistan: A faction of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan [TTP] said today that no ceasefire has yet been reached and that the initiative for talks should not be taken as a sign of weakness, according to the TTP Mohmand Agency chief, Omar Khalid Khorasani.
Khorasani also accused the government of continuing to torture prisoners and of killing them. He named three of his colleagues whom he claimed were killed recently in Karachi. He said that talks cannot succeed in the prevailing situation.
One group also called for the withdrawal of government forces from the tribal agencies as a condition for talks.
Comment: The statements today are typical of the problems in arranging talks with the Pakistani Taliban. No one group speaks for all the fighting groups who are hostile to the Islamabad government. A comprehensive and binding ceasefire is not feasible because it is not enforceable.
Syria: For the record. Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syrian documents handed over on Wednesday "looked promising". The team said analysis of technical diagrams would be necessary and "more questions remain to be answered".
Onsite inspections and arms disabling are scheduled to start next week. The exact schedule depends on the outcome of preparatory talks with Syrian experts which began on Wednesday.
Libya- Russia: The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the evaluation of employees from the Russian embassy in Libya.
"On the evening of 2 October, the Russian embassy in Tripoli was subjected to an armed attack by a group of militants. According to available information, the direct cause of the aggressive actions against our diplomatic mission was the murder of a Libyan officer and the stabbing of his mother by a Russian woman on 1 October. Criminal proceedings have been instituted against the woman who is a Russian national. The Libyan side is to inform us about all the circumstances of this incident and the course of the investigation."
"What occurred provoked the relatives and friends of the murdered Libyan man to decide to 'avenge' his death with an attack on the Russian diplomatic mission. The armed assailants managed to break into the territory of the embassy, whose employees and their family members took refuge in safe rooms."
"The embassy's own security forces, with the support of a Libyan pro-government formation, forced the attackers out of our diplomatic mission. At the same time, Libyan International Cooperation Minister Muhammad Abd-al-Aziz, after visiting the embassy, informed the Russian ambassador that the Libyan side at this stage is not in a position to guarantee the security of the Russian embassy, and he recommended that its employees leave the diplomatic mission. In this situation, it was decided that all members of our foreign missions and members of their families should be evacuated immediately from Libya via Tunisia."
In a telephone conversation with Libyan International Cooperation Minister Muhammad Abd-al-Aziz, Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov demanded that the Libyan side take all measures to guarantee the appropriate security of all employees of the Russian diplomatic representation and members of their families, in accordance with their international obligations, during their unhindered travel to Tunisia, and also to restore as quickly as possible safe conditions for the Russian embassy in Libya to resume normal activity. M. Abd-al-Aziz gave assurances that the Libyan leadership would do all in its power. Assurances have also been received that the Libyan authorities will take measures to guarantee the preservation of the Russian embassy's removable property and real estate.
This demarche was also raised with the Libyan charge d'affaires in Moscow, who was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
All employees of the Russian embassy and members of their families successfully crossed the border with Tunisia during the day on 3 October. It is planned that they will return to Moscow on a special Emergencies Ministry flight on 4 October.
A group of Russian diplomats from the senior employees of the Russian embassy in Libya are temporarily remaining until issues related to guaranteeing the safe operation of our diplomatic mission in Tripoli are resolved.
In these conditions, the Russian Foreign Ministry recommends that Russian citizens refrain from trips to Libya.
Comment: Security conditions in Tripoli are so poor that a domestic altercation can escalate into a mob attack that succeeds in breaking into an embassy compound.
The head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, A. Pushkov, said the attack on the Russian embassy in Libya is a natural consequence of the West's ill-considered actions to change the regime.
"It really surprises us, the Russian side, why the USA condemns the forces in Libya and Mali, the same forces that they are supporting in Syria. Those who are fighting against al-Asad in Syria are representatives of the same circles," he noted.
"The policy of changing regimes and supporting any opposition, as long as it is against a leader whom the West does not like, leads to such consequences - chaos, loss of control, and diplomats are subjected to threats," Pushkov added.
He said that "whatever is said about al-Qadhafi, he did not give extremists the opportunity to act on Libyan territory; he refused Bin-Ladin who asked for refuge in Libya; he cooperated, including with Western special services, in the fight against terrorism."
Comment: Pushkov is a senior deputy in the Duma who said the Navy Yard incident in Washington, D.C., last month disproved the notion of US "exceptionalism". He is a senior Duma member and a scholar. What is significant about his remarks is they typify the Russian judgment that the Syrian and Libyan crises are linked. The Russian leaders are determined to not lose another ally.
Venezuela-Russia: For the record. Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro said that President Vladimir Putin's efforts to prevent a strike on Syria make the Russian leader deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.
"If anyone deserves the Nobel Peace Prize at this historic moment in time it is President Vladimir Putin, who helped stop a war that would have destroyed the lives of many who deserve to live in peace, like those of the Syrian people," Maduro said Tuesday on state television.
Putin's candidacy for the prize, which was put forward Tuesday by an obscure Russian public academy, has been supported by several State Duma deputies, RIA Novosti reported.
Maduro said Saturday that the head of Venezuela's parliament, Diosdado Cabello, will personally hand Putin a letter during a state visit to Moscow this week congratulating the president on "the role he plays in building a new world without wars."
End of NightWatch for 3 October.
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