Adrees Latif http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif Adrees Latif's Profile Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:00:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 Seven dead as commuter train hits car near New York City http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/04/usa-new-york-train-idINL1N0VE0BH20150204?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11709 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2015/02/04/seven-dead-as-commuter-train-hits-car-near-new-york-city/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 10:20:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/?p=49 , Feb 4 (Reuters) – Seven people were
killed and a dozen injured when a crowded New York commuter
train struck a car stalled on the tracks near suburban White
Plains during rush hour on Tuesday evening, in what officials
said was the railroad’s deadliest accident.

Six people on the train died, as well as the driver of a
Jeep Cherokee that got stuck on the tracks and was hit at about
6:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) on Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
told a news conference.

“This is a truly ugly and brutal sight,” he told reporters
after visiting the scene in Valhalla, some 20 miles (32 km)
north of New York City. “The third rail of the track came up
from the explosion and went right through the (rail) car, it’s a
devastatingly ugly situation.”

“It’s actually amazing that not more people were hurt on
that train,” Cuomo added.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino told reporters 12
people were injured, 10 of them seriously. The Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (MTA) said the crash was the deadliest
accident for Metro-North, the second largest commuter railroad
in the United States.

The crash also meant that thousands of commuters faced a
snarled journey to work on Wednesday morning.

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said roughly 45,000 riders take
the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line on an average weekday,
about 14,000 of whom board north of where the crash occurred and
would be directly affected.

Parts of the line would stay closed on Wednesday, according
to the MTA, which was arranging for shuttle buses to fill the
gap and warned of crowding and delays.

The third rail, which carries 750 volts of direct current,
tore through the floor of the first car of the train, charring
the carriage and sending billows of smoke into the air. Damage
to the other seven cars was minimal.

Hundreds of passengers from the eight-car train were taken
to a rock-climbing gym for shelter, authorities said.

Jared Woodard, an employee of BGC Financial in New York, who
was on the train traveling home to Chappaqua, described the
frightening scenes as the train was evacuated.

“The smoke was orange coming off the train, it was still on
fire at that point. The front car was billowing heavy smoke out
of the windows and doors,” Woodard said.

Media reports said the driver of the car got out briefly to
try to push it off the tracks, then got back in before it was
hit by the train.

Some 650 passengers regularly take the train, which carries
commuters through affluent New York City suburbs such as
Westchester County, one of the richest in the United States.

Westchester is home to many bankers, doctors and corporate
lawyers, boasts a median household income of roughly $82,000,
and houses the headquarters of major companies, including IBM
and PepsiCo Inc.

Tuesday’s crash is the latest in a string of accidents
involving Metro-North trains in recent years, which have drawn
strong criticism.

One derailed near the northern edge of New York City on Dec.
1, 2013, killing four people and injuring 70. It was traveling
nearly three times the speed limit for the section of track
where it crashed, investigators said.

Astorino made a distinction between that crash, which was
the result of a train employee error, and Tuesday’s accident.
But he said the latest incident was still under investigation.

In May 2013, two Metro-North passenger trains collided
between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut, injuring more
than 70 people and halting services.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report
late last year that identified common safety issues with the
railroad following probes of those accidents and three others
between May 2013 and March 2014.

The safety board said it was sending investigators to the
scene of Tuesday’s crash.

(Additional reporting by Mike Segar in Mount Pleasant, Jonathan
Allen and Chris Kaufman in New York City; Writing by Fiona Ortiz
and Curtis Skinner; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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At least six dead as commuter train hits car near New York City http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/04/usa-newyork-train-idINKBN0L804Q20150204?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11709 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2015/02/04/at-least-six-dead-as-commuter-train-hits-car-near-new-york-city/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 02:59:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/?p=47 By Adrees Latif

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. (Reuters) – At least six people died and 12 more were injured on Tuesday evening when a New York commuter train struck at least one car near the town of White Plains, sparking a fire, ABC News reported.

Media reports said the driver of a Jeep that was hit by the train and five passengers on the train were killed. ABC quoted the Metropolitan Transit Authority as saying the collision sparked a fire that gutted the lead car of the train.

The accident happened about 6:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) and involved a train heading out of New York City on the Harlem Line. Service was suspended on a segment of the line between North White Plains and Pleasantville, the Metro-North Railroad service said.

Several news media showed images of a car on fire and smoke coming from train cars, and reported that passengers were evacuated from the train.

ABC quoted a passenger saying that some 750 people were on the train. The passengers were evacuated to the back of the train and then put on buses, according to media reports.

Roads were blocked off for many blocks around the site, and the entire area is lit up with lights from emergency and police vehicles. A Reuters witness saw emergency workers carrying someone off the train on a stretcher at around 9:45 p.m. local time.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department, which responded to the accident about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of New York City, did not immediately provide information on injuries or fatalities.

The Harlem Line train runs from Harlem, a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, to Wassaic in southeast New York state.

(Additional reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago and Peter Cooney in Washington; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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A moment of stillness http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2014/08/22/a-moment-of-stillness/ http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2014/08/22/a-moment-of-stillness/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:26:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/?p=45 Ferguson, Missouri
By Adrees Latif

A man is doused with milk and sprayed with mist after being hit by an eye irritant from security forces trying to disperse demonstrators protesting against the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

I was on holiday and far away from Ferguson, Missouri, when 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a policeman in the town.

The killing of this unarmed black teenager on August 9 sparked huge protests, and by the time I arrived the demonstrations had been going for well over a week.

Before I got there, clashes between protesters and police had been intense, with tear gas being fired at demonstrators, some of whom let fly rocks, bottles and more. But when I got to Ferguson late evening on August 19, the unrest had started to calm down.

As the evening rolled past midnight, I saw one man among the crowd who looked particularly agitated. He seemed to be a local resident, very upset with the police, and people were holding him back as he yelled towards the officers. As he kept shouting, the police targeted him with some kind of eye irritant – it looked like pepper spray.

He wasn’t very close, but they got him right in the eye and his friends immediately pulled him to a parking lot nearby, where they poured milk on his face to flush away the effects of the spray.

As they started to pour the milk, I began photographing and noticed a bright spotlight in the background. I believe it was from the police. At that point the people taking care of the man started spraying mist or water to further clear his eyes and I positioned my camera and used the light source to create a rim light around his head and bring attention to the droplets.

The effect achieved in my picture would not have been created if I had not moved over and used the light source to back-light the image.

It was extremely dark and I wasn’t using a flash so it was really a struggle to photograph with a shutter speed of 1/250, but I needed it to freeze and define the droplets of water. Using this particular shutter speed in such low light would not have been possible without an ISO of 8000, available in newer digital cameras.

The whole incident lasted just a couple minutes. Afterwards, I saw medics trying to help this man and as the media gathered around those taking care of him asked for space and for the media to leave. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find out his name.

What I think makes this image stand out is the combination of back-lighting, the shutter speed to stop the action and the low depth-of-field which creates a studio-like effect for a candid moment captured in a fluid environment. It is not an image that I would normally be able to attain from the site of a demonstration.

Camera details:
Camera: Canon EOS-1 D X
Lens: Canon 35mm F2
ISO: 8000
Aperture: F2
Shutter: 1/250

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People return to charred cities after Colorado wildfires http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/01/us-usa-wildfires-colorado-idUSBRE85S11220120701?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11563 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2012/07/01/people-return-to-charred-cities-after-colorado-wildfires/#comments Sun, 01 Jul 2012 22:33:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2012/07/01/people-return-to-charred-cities-after-colorado-wildfires/ By Adrees Latif

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – Residents began returning to charred areas of Colorado Springs on Sunday after the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and left the landscape a blackened wasteland.

Bears and burglars posed further danger to home owners who headed back to towns and cities after the fire, which killed two people.

The so-called Waldo Canyon Fire has scorched 17,659 acres, burned 346 homes and devastated communities around Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city, since it began eight days ago.

Governor John Hickenlooper said he believed the worst was over and almost all of the seven blazes were under control.

“Now we’re beginning to look at how do we rebuild and begin the recovery. But we also know that Mother Nature can be pretty fickle out there, so we’re keeping ourselves very alert,” Hickenlooper told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Two more houses were looted overnight for a total of 24 during the disaster that forced an estimated 32,000 residents to evacuate, authorities said.

To maintain order, 165 National Guard troops were on the ground under orders from President Barack Obama, who toured the area on Friday.

Many of those allowed to stay home remained without power.

Colorado Springs residents from the Mountain Shadows neighborhood were being allowed back to view their properties during the day on Sunday, but were being required to clear the area by 6 p.m. Mandatory evacuation orders were being lifted for some other parts of the city at 8 p.m. Sunday.

About 3,000 residents remained forced out of their homes on Sunday afternoon, officials said, adding that among areas expected to reopen to the public were the Pike’s Peak highway and Garden of the Gods park.

“It was emotional for those who didn’t lose their homes and for those who did,” said Steve Cox, a member of the mayor’s executive team in Colorado Springs. “The strategy is to continue to shrink the focus area down.”

RESTORING SERVICES

Electricity and water service has been restored to most residences where people are being allowed to return home, but gas service has not yet been restored.

The governor described the devastation he saw flying over the Pike National Forest west of Colorado Springs, a city of more than 400,000 about 50 miles south of Denver.

“It was like your worst nightmare of a movie, trying to show what the Apocalypse or Armageddon would look like,” Hickenlooper said on CNN.

“I thought it was trees burning, as we got closer it was homes.”

Firefighters remain challenged by a wildfire in Grand Junction in western Colorado, the only one of seven wildfires that was not yet under control, he said.

The largest of the 11 active Colorado wildfires, called the High Park Fire, has consumed nearly 88,000 acres just west of Fort Collins and is now considered fully contained. There were 259 homes lost to the High Park Fire.

About 150 firefighters remained on the ground for the High Park Fire, about one-tenth the number working to contain the Waldo Canyon Fire in and near Colorado Springs.

“We are cautiously optimistic. The perimeter is stable,” Waldo Canyon Fire Incident commander Rich Harvey told reporters early on Sunday, adding that there was some danger from bears wandering about, possibly displaced by the fires.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer and Vicki Allen; Writing by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Tom Brown and Cynthia Osterman)

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Retracing my steps in Pakistan http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2011/08/02/retracing-my-steps-in-pakistan/ http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/08/02/retracing-my-steps-in-pakistan/#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2011 20:40:02 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/08/02/retracing-my-steps-in-pakistan/ On August 7, 2010, with a camera in hand, I dropped into a flooded village on an army helicopter that was delivering food aid to marooned villagers. As a crewman slid the door open to find solid ground, I leaped out, took some photographs, and managed to get back on before the chopper departed.

Time stamps on the images show the hover-stop lasted less than the length of an average song. For those three minutes, my thoughts were focused on finding an image that would bring the Pakistan floods story to life.

After getting back to base, I worded the caption, “Marooned flood victims looking to escape grab the side bars of a hovering Army helicopter which arrived to distribute food supplies in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan’s Punjab province August 7, 2010.”

I never got a chance to speak to the villagers in my image. Trapped in the belly of the chopper, I did not even know where we had descended. All I could confirm was that I had leaped onto a graveyard, where the winds from the propellers threw me from one dirt mound to another.

On July 30, 2011, nearly one year later, I found the village and my subjects.

I raced towards the elevated graveyard where I had captured this moment. My heart, in disbelief, started beating faster than it had the first time. Amongst the graves, I sought forgiveness from the dead below, for soiling their resting place with my boots a year ago for the sake of capturing a moment.

As a second source, I pulled out the printed images I carried in my bag to confirm I was in the same exact location and slowly villagers gathered around me and started pointing themselves out. Answers I thought I would never have started to be revealed. The village once again gathered on top of the graveyard that had given them refuge one year earlier.

The idea to revisit the site of my images came to me in Bangkok while covering the red-shirt protests in 2010. Intersections, which were set ablaze one day, would return to normal working condition the next. I felt the only way to remind us of what really happened was to place images of the same exact locations next to each other. As I am based in Pakistan, I transferred the idea to the Pakistan floods story.

To start the before and after series, I went through every single image I shot over a three-week period in 2010 and chose key moments that I would attempt to revisit. Then I printed a wide selection of images around the moments to assist in locating the sites.

For the August 7 before-and-after images, every single image from the original take was printed. Images, including aerials, from other photographers on the helicopter were also printed, to find key markers that could help me locate the villagers.

I knew we had taken off from a helicopter pad in Kot Adu in Muzaffargarh district on August 7, and time stamps proved we were in the air for seven minutes before descending. I used that information to plot a 10-mile radius around the airbase in Google Maps to start my search. Some of the images showed two mosques, key markers near the graveyard as we started descending during the floods. I enlarged certain images to help with the identification process.

On July 30, driving about 10 miles out of Kot Adu, I began stopping every 15 minutes to question locals at roadside stalls. On my third stop, I found a man who said he knew one of the villagers in the photographs. I asked him to come with us to identify the man. Minutes later, only about 500 yards from the main road, I stood facing the cemetery.

To give coherence to the series, all images have been shot using the same lens, at the same focal distance, with the same aperture and shutter speed that the original images were shot with. Only the ISO in the images has been changed, to compensate for differences in exposure.

The handful of extra prints were handed to the villagers as the shoot ended.

(View the combination images in large format on Full Focus here)

Take a tour of this story and more on The Wider Image app for the iPad

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Pakistan general: No plan for N.Waziristan campaign http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/06/01/idINIndia-57436420110601?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11709 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/06/01/pakistan-general-no-plan-for-n-waziristan-campaign/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:32:34 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/06/01/pakistan-general-no-plan-for-n-waziristan-campaign/ MOHAMMAD GAT, Pakistan (Reuters) – One of Pakistan’s top military commanders on Wednesday ruled out an imminent offensive in North Waziristan, contradicting a newspaper report that Pakistan had agreed to attack militants in the region following pressure from the United States.

Speaking at a news conference in Mohmand Agency, one of the seven tribal areas on the Afghan border torn by militant violence, Lieutenant-General Asif Yasin Malik, commander of the 11th Corps based in Peshawar, said there was no change in his forces’ posture in the last weeks.

“I have no such plans as far as I am concerned,” he told reporters. “We will undertake operations when we want to do it, when it is militarily and otherwise in the national interest to undertake such operations.”

Pakistan’s The News newspaper reported on Monday that the military would launch an offensive against militant safe havens in North Waziristan.

Later on Monday a senior official with an international humanitarian agency said relief groups active in the northwest region were quietly told two weeks ago to prepare for up to 365,000 displaced people in advance of a military offensive.

But Pakistan military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said the armed forces were too stretched to go into North Waziristan, pointing to ongoing operations elsewhere.

“We are engaged in many agencies at the moment,” he said. “There are stabilisation operations, there is a consolidation phase going on. There are active operations, like in Orakzai and Kurram and Mohmand agency,” he said.

The United States has long demanded that Pakistan attack the region to eliminate the Haqqani network, one of the deadliest Afghan militant factions fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been reluctant to do so, but it has come under more pressure and its performance in fighting militancy is under scrutiny again after it was discovered that Osama bin Laden had been living in the country.

The News quoted unidentified “highly placed sources” as saying Pakistan’s air force would soften up militant targets under the “targeted military offensive” before ground operations were launched.

The newspaper cited the sources as saying that a strategy for action in North Waziristan had been drawn up some time ago.

But an “understanding for carrying out the operation was developed” when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen visited Pakistan last week.

The military, long regarded as the most effective institution in a country with a history of corrupt, inept civilian governments, suffered a major blow to its image when U.S. special forces killed bin Laden deep inside Pakistan.

It was further humiliated on May 22-23 when a group of between four and six militants besieged a naval base for 16 hours and destroyed two P-3C Orion aircraft from the Unites States, crucial for Pakistan’s maritime surveillance capabilities.

Some analysts say any joint U.S.-Pakistani operation would subject the army to even more public criticism in a country where anti-U.S. feeling runs deep.

But the South Asian nation, dependent on billions of dollars in U.S. aid, is under more pressure than ever to show it is serious about tackling militancy.

Pakistan maintains about 140,000 troops in the northwest, including about 34,000 in North Waziristan.

“We have enough forces who are maintaining a reasonable environment which is stable, stable enough to undertake some developmental activity,” Malik said.

(Additional reporting by Salman Rao and Zeeshan Haider; Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Michael Roddy)

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Pakistan commanders: No plans for N. Waziristan campaign http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/06/01/idINIndia-57430820110601?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11709 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/06/01/pakistan-commanders-no-plans-for-n-waziristan-campaign/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2011 14:18:40 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/06/01/pakistan-commanders-no-plans-for-n-waziristan-campaign/ MOHAMMAD GAT, Pakistan (Reuters) – One of Pakistan’s top military commanders on Wednesday ruled out an imminent offensive in North Waziristan, contradicting a newspaper report that Pakistan had agreed to assault the militant-infested region following pressure from the United States.

Speaking at a news conference in Mohmand Agency, one of the seven tribal areas on the Afghan border torn by militant violence, Lieutenant-General Asif Yasin Malik, commander of the 11th Corps based in Peshawar, said there was no change in his forces’ posture in the last weeks.

“I have no such plans as far as I am concerned,” he told reporters. “We will undertake operations when we want to do it, when it is militarily and otherwise in the national interest to undertake such operations.”

Pakistan’s The News newspaper reported on Monday that the military would launch an offensive against militant safe havens in North Waziristan.

Later on Monday a senior official with an international humanitarian agency said relief groups active in the northwest region were quietly told two weeks ago to prepare for up to 365,000 displaced people in advance of a military offensive.

But Pakistan military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said the armed forces were too stretched to go into North Waziristan, pointing to ongoing operations elsewhere.

“We are engaged in many agencies at the moment,” he said. “There are stabilisation operations, there is a consolidation phase going on. There are active operations, like in Orakzai and Kurram and Mohmand agency,” he said.

The United States has long demanded that Pakistan attack the region to eliminate the Haqqani network, one of the deadliest Afghan militant factions fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been reluctant to do so, but it has come under more pressure and its performance in fighting militancy is under scrutiny again after it was discovered that Osama bin Laden had been living in the country.

The News quoted unidentified “highly placed sources” as saying Pakistan’s air force would soften up militant targets under the “targeted military offensive” before ground operations were launched.

The newspaper cited the sources as saying that a strategy for action in North Waziristan had been drawn up some time ago.

But an “understanding for carrying out the operation was developed” when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen visited Pakistan last week.

The military, long regarded as the most effective institution in a country with a history of corrupt, inept civilian governments, suffered a major blow to its image when U.S. special forces killed bin Laden deep inside Pakistan.

It was further humiliated on May 22-23 when a group of between four and six militants besieged a naval base for 16 hours and destroyed two P-3C Orion aircraft from the Unites States, crucial for Pakistan’s maritime surveillance capabilities .

Some analysts say any joint U.S.-Pakistani operation would subject the army to even more public criticism in a country where anti-U.S. feeling runs deep.

But the South Asian nation, dependent on billions of dollars in U.S. aid, is under more pressure than ever to show it is serious about tackling militancy.

Pakistan maintains about 140,000 troops in the northwest, including about 34,000 in North Waziristan.

“We have enough forces who are maintaining a reasonable environment which is stable, stable enough to undertake some developmental activity,” Malik said.

(Additional reporting by Salman Rao and Zeeshan Haider; Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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No plans for North Waziristan campaign: Pakistan commanders http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/01/us-pakistan-northwaziristan-idUSTRE75042B20110601?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11563 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/06/01/no-plans-for-north-waziristan-campaign-pakistan-commanders/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2011 14:12:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/06/01/no-plans-for-north-waziristan-campaign-pakistan-commanders/ MOHAMMAD GAT, Pakistan (Reuters) – One of Pakistan’s top military commanders on Wednesday ruled out an imminent offensive in North Waziristan, contradicting a newspaper report that Pakistan had agreed to assault the militant-infested region following pressure from the United States.

Speaking at a news conference in Mohmand Agency, one of the seven tribal areas on the Afghan border torn by militant violence, Lieutenant-General Asif Yasin Malik, commander of the 11th Corps based in Peshawar, said there was no change in his forces’ posture in the last weeks.

“I have no such plans as far as I am concerned,” he told reporters. “We will undertake operations when we want to do it, when it is militarily and otherwise in the national interest to undertake such operations.”

Pakistan’s The News newspaper reported on Monday that the military would launch an offensive against militant safe havens in North Waziristan.

Later on Monday a senior official with an international humanitarian agency said relief groups active in the northwest region were quietly told two weeks ago to prepare for up to 365,000 displaced people in advance of a military offensive.

But Pakistan military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said the armed forces were too stretched to go into North Waziristan, pointing to ongoing operations elsewhere.

“We are engaged in many agencies at the moment,” he said. “There are stabilization operations, there is a consolidation phase going on. There are active operations, like in Orakzai and Kurram and Mohmand agency,” he said.

The United States has long demanded that Pakistan attack the region to eliminate the Haqqani network, one of the deadliest Afghan militant factions fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been reluctant to do so, but it has come under more pressure and its performance in fighting militancy is under scrutiny again after it was discovered that Osama bin Laden had been living in the country.

The News quoted unidentified “highly placed sources” as saying Pakistan’s air force would soften up militant targets under the “targeted military offensive” before ground operations were launched.

The newspaper cited the sources as saying that a strategy for action in North Waziristan had been drawn up some time ago.

But an “understanding for carrying out the operation was developed” when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen visited Pakistan last week.

The military, long regarded as the most effective institution in a country with a history of corrupt, inept civilian governments, suffered a major blow to its image when U.S. special forces killed bin Laden deep inside Pakistan.

It was further humiliated on May 22-23 when a group of between four and six militants besieged a naval base for 16 hours and destroyed two P-3C Orion aircraft from the Unites States, crucial for Pakistan’s maritime surveillance capabilities.

Some analysts say any joint U.S.-Pakistani operation would subject the army to even more public criticism in a country where anti-U.S. feeling runs deep.

But the South Asian nation, dependent on billions of dollars in U.S. aid, is under more pressure than ever to show it is serious about tackling militancy.

Pakistan maintains about 140,000 troops in the northwest, including about 34,000 in North Waziristan.

“We have enough forces who are maintaining a reasonable environment which is stable, stable enough to undertake some developmental activity,” Malik said.

(Additional reporting by Salman Rao and Zeeshan Haider; Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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Photos show three dead men at bin Laden raid house http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/04/us-binladen-pakistan-photos-idUSTRE74370620110504?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11563 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/05/04/photos-show-three-dead-men-at-bin-laden-raid-house/#comments Wed, 04 May 2011 19:50:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/05/04/photos-show-three-dead-men-at-bin-laden-raid-house/ ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.

The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, sold the pictures to Reuters.

None of the men looked like bin Laden. President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of his body because it could have incited violence and used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool, the White House said on Wednesday.

Based on the time-stamps on the pictures, the earliest one was dated May 2, 2:30 a.m., approximately an hour after the completion of the raid in which bin Laden was killed.

Other photos, taken hours later at between 5:21 a.m. and 6:43 a.m. show the outside of the trash-strewn compound and the wreckage of the helicopter the United States abandoned. The tail assembly is unusual, and could indicate some kind of previously unknown stealth capability.

Reuters is confident of the authenticity of the purchased images because details in the photos appear to show a wrecked helicopter from the assault, matching details from photos taken independently on Monday.

U.S. forces lost a helicopter in the raid due to a mechanical problem and later destroyed it.

The pictures are also taken in sequence and are all the same size in pixels, indicating they have not been tampered with. The time and date in the photos as recorded in the digital file’s metadata match lighting conditions for the area as well as the time and date imprinted on the image itself.

The close-cropped pictures do not show any weapons on the dead men, but the photos are taken in medium close-up and often crop out the men’s hands and arms.

One photo shows a computer cable and what looks like a child’s plastic green and orange water pistol lying under the right shoulder of one of the dead men. A large pool of blood has formed under his head.

A second shows another man with a streak of blood running from his nose across his right cheek and a large band of blood across his chest.

A third man, in a T-shirt, is on his back in a large pool of blood which appears to be from a head wound.

U.S. acknowledgment on Tuesday that bin Laden was unarmed when shot dead had raised accusations Washington had violated international law. The exact circumstances of his death remained unclear and could yet fuel controversy, especially in the Muslim world.

Pakistan faced national embarrassment, a leading Islamabad newspaper said, in explaining how the world’s most-wanted man was able to live for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of the capital.

Pakistan blamed worldwide intelligence lapses for a failure to detect bin Laden, while Washington worked to establish whether its ally had sheltered the al Qaeda leader, which Islamabad vehemently denies.

(Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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Photos show three dead men at Osama bin Laden raid house http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/05/04/idINIndia-56778420110504?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11709 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/05/04/photos-show-three-dead-men-at-osama-bin-laden-raid-house/#comments Wed, 04 May 2011 19:43:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/adrees-latif/2011/05/04/photos-show-three-dead-men-at-osama-bin-laden-raid-house/ ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.

The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, sold the pictures to Reuters.

None of the men looked like bin Laden. U.S. President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of his body because it could have incited violence and used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool, the White House said on Wednesday.

Based on the time-stamps on the pictures, the earliest one was dated May 2, 2:30 a.m., approximately an hour after the completion of the raid in which bin Laden was killed.

Other photos, taken hours later at between 5:21 a.m. and 6:43 a.m. show the outside of the trash-strewn compound and the wreckage of the helicopter the United States abandoned. The tail assembly is unusual, and could indicate some kind of previously unknown stealth capability.

Reuters is confident of the authenticity of the purchased images because details in the photos appear to show a wrecked helicopter from the assault, matching details from photos taken independently on Monday.

U.S. forces lost a helicopter in the raid due to a mechanical problem and later destroyed it.

The pictures are also taken in sequence and are all the same size in pixels, indicating they have not been tampered with. The time and date in the photos as recorded in the digital file’s metadata match lighting conditions for the area as well as the time and date imprinted on the image itself.

The close-cropped pictures do not show any weapons on the dead men, but the photos are taken in medium close-up and often crop out the men’s hands and arms.

One photo shows a computer cable and what looks like a child’s plastic green and orange water pistol lying under the right shoulder of one of the dead men. A large pool of blood has formed under his head.

A second shows another man with a streak of blood running from his nose across his right cheek and a large band of blood across his chest.

A third man, in a T-shirt, is on his back in a large pool of blood which appears to be from a head wound.

U.S. acknowledgment on Tuesday that bin Laden was unarmed when shot dead had raised accusations Washington had violated international law. The exact circumstances of his death remained unclear and could yet fuel controversy, especially in the Muslim world.

Pakistan faced national embarrassment, a leading Islamabad newspaper said, in explaining how the world’s most-wanted man was able to live for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of the capital.

Pakistan blamed worldwide intelligence lapses for a failure to detect bin Laden, while Washington worked to establish whether its ally had sheltered the al Qaeda leader, which Islamabad vehemently denies.

(Writing by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Jon Boyle)

(For more Reuters coverage of Pakistan, see: here)

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