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ISIS Fighters Killed in Libya by Misr...
Misrata
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

Photos of the corpses of ISIS fighters who were killed in clashes in Sirte, with militias loyal to Libya Dawn.



Among the dead was the ISIS commander of Tunisian origin, Ahmed al-Ruwaysi, also known as Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi. 



ISIS claimed the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunisia on March 18, days after their commander was killed in Libya. 

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With the Afghan Army
Herat
By laura.lesevre
07 Oct 2014

Fausto Biloslavo follows the soldiers of the Afghan Army during an operation against the Taliban who are surrounding all the areas close to Herat. He travels with the soldiers through the wild Afghan landscape and listens to the stories of the soldiers who are paid 200 euros for risking their lives against the Taliban. And as soon as the Nato mandate will end by the end of 2014, it would get even worse for the Afghan people.

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Text and Photos by: Fausto Biloslavo

"The policemen were ambushed. One agent was killed instantly, but the other five were alive, although injured," says the soldier Maitullah Wafa, back from a violent battle.

After placing the last belt of ammunitions, the young Afghan adds, "The Taliban have reached them while they were fizzling on the ground. They were shot to death one by one with a Kalashnikov.”

The forgotten war in Afghanistan continues with no mercy, but NATO troops are ready to leave the country by the end of 2014.

Now the army of Kabul has to repel the assault of the Taliban by itself, with no help from foreign armies. Since January 2014 there have been 422 attacks in western Afghanistan, especially booby trap attacks. Throughout the country, every month the Afghan army loses from 200 to 400 men.

The reconnaissance operation starts in the territory of Herat, from the base of the 207th Corps at Camp Zafar - which means"victory". At five in the morning, before dawn, the officials pray toward Mecca and they are illuminated by the lights of the armored jeeps left in dowry by the Americans.

The column of soldiers moves along a sandy track and goes through a valley surrounded by barren mountains where there are houses made from mud and straw. In addition to the tanks, with no anti-mine system, the Afghans travel on uncovered vehicles. If they bump on a booby trap they would explode ending in a thousand pieces like twigs.

The mountains on the other side of the river are Taliban-infested. A week ago the Talibans attacked the army along the road that leads to the great dam of Selma. "On the armor of the tank I felt the bullets bouncing. The rockets were exploding everywhere. A few meters away, I saw a Dushman (which means enemy), who had launched a rocket bursting in three steps from us. I took the grenade launcher firing at him and I saw him fall, "says Maitullah, a young soldier, with a bit of pride.

When the column of soldiers passes through their villages, the people remain composed. Women covered by turquoise burqas look like ghosts, some children wave to the soldiers while the shepherds look after their sheep.

To prevent any suicide bombing, the soldiers check all the cars and passengers, even the turbans of the men, which could hide a detonator.

The Afghan army is made up of almost 200,000 men. The base pay of an Afghan soldier is 11,500 afghani, less than 200 euro per month: this is all they are given for risking their lives every day.

The commander of the corps army built with the help of Italians, general Taji Mohammed Jahed, is convinced that "there is no difference between Daish (the Islamic state in Arabic) and the Talibans. Both distort Islam to use it against humanity. The first one kills in the name of the caliphate while the Talibans kill in the name of their emirate. "

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Shooting at Milan Tribunal
Milan
By laura.lesevre
09 Apr 2015

BREAKING: A man identified as Claudio Giardiello is suspected to have opened fire at Milan's tribunal on Thursday killing at least two people including Fernando Ciampi, a judge, police and a top court official said. Footage from inside the courthouse, where security responds to the attack. The suspect, now in custody, was the defendant in a bankruptcy case.

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Shooting at Milan Tribunal (PHOTO)
Milan
By laura.lesevre
08 Apr 2015

A victim is treated after a man identified as Claudio Giardiello is suspected to have opened fire at Milan's tribunal on Thursday killing at least two people including Fernando Ciampi, a judge, police and a top court official said. Footage from inside the courthouse, where security responds to the attack. The suspect, now in custody, was the defendant in a bankruptcy case.

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ISIS Fighters Killed in Libya by Misr...
Misrata
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

The body of slain ISIS commander of Tunisian origin Ahmed al-Ruwaysi, also known as Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi, who was killed in Libya during clashes with forces from the Islamist Libya Dawn coalition near Sirte.

ISIS claimed the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunisia on March 18, days after their commander was killed in Libya.

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ISIS Fighters Killed in Libya by Misr...
Misrata
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

An ISIS fighter who killed during the clashes against the Misrata militias in Sirte.

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ISIS Fighters Killed in Libya by Misr...
Misrata
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

An ISIS fighter who killed during the clashes against the Misrata militias in Sirte.

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Troops Loyal to Libya Dawn Launch Off...
Sirte
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

March 17, 2015
Sirte, Libya

Islamist troops loyal to Libya Dawn, a self appointed government based in Tripoli, have been instructed to drive ISIS out of Sirte. The 166 Brigade and militias from Misrata began their offensive against ISIS in Sirte, a coastal city that used to be a stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi.

The allied Islamist fighters have not yet been able to enter the city despite launching an offensive on Saturday March 14, 2015. They claim that Gaddafi loyalists are in control of the city and are now fighting under the ISIS flag.

In this video Gian Micalessin, an Italian veteran war reporter with more than 30s years of experience in war journalism who has covered Libya since 2011 revolution, visits the front lines with the allied fighters.

A longer rough cut is available on request.

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The Suttoro militia fighters
Qamishli, Syria
By laura.lesevre
21 Oct 2014

Suttoro (which means protection) is the militia created a year and a half ago to protect the Syrian Christians of the province of Qamishli. Threatened by ISIS, in this territory Christians are fleeing. The community that once counted 40 thousand people in only two years halved. Now the Christian community created an armed and well trained militia to oppose the threat of the Islamic terrorists and to contain the exodus of the Christians people. The militia's main task is to protect the Christian neighborhoods, schools and places of worship.

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Isis horror stories
Qamishli, Syria
By laura.lesevre
20 Oct 2014

Qamishli is one kilometer far from the Turkish border and less than 90 kilometres from the Iraq border. Most of the Southern, Western and Eastern part of the province of Qamishli is surrounded by Isis. The towns around Qamishli, as Tal Maruf, are inhabited by Kurdish, Sunni Arabs and Christians. These people are at the mercy of Isis.
The inhabitants of Tal Maruf recount what Isis did to them, to their houses and to their worship places, even mosques.

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The other Kobane: on the Qamishli fro...
Qamishle
By laura.lesevre
20 Oct 2014

On the front line of Sharmuk Koli the Kurdish militias of YPG (Syrian variant of Abdullah Ocalan PKK) are fighting ISIS. Included in the Kurdish ranks are many female fighters, determined to keep ISIS at bay. In the Northeast of Syria, ISIS is trying to push on Qamishli, a city inhabited by Kurdish and Syriac Catholic minorities - squeezed between the Turkish border, ISIS, and the Iraqi border. Some believe Qamishle will be the next Kobane.

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Kidnapped by ISIS and Forced to Conve...
Qamishli, Syria
By laura.lesevre
20 Oct 2014

Qamishli (Northern East Syria, close to the Turkish border): a Christian man tells when he was at the mercy of the Isis, forced to convert to Islam and threatened to be beheaded

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Afghan Interpreters for Italian Army ...
Herat
By laura.lesevre
07 Oct 2014

In December 2014 NATO troops will withdraw from Herat and other bases around Afghanistan after a ten years mission. Interpreters who worked alongside NATO forces now feel that they are in danger and receive death threats from the Taliban. They risked their lives for 10 years alongside NATO troops, and now some are beginning to feel that they are being abandoned. It is turning out harder than they thought to obtain the visas promised them by the governments of NATO forces.

Mohammed and Abbas were translators for the Italian NATO forces based outside of Herat. They are pleading with their government to put pressure on the Italian government to allow them visas, having risked their lives for ten years while working to protect Italian forces and ensure their communication with Afghan communities and leaders.

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Afghanistan's only Female General Att...
Herat, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
01 Oct 2014

RAW INTERVIEW + B ROLL
Length: 26'
[English translation on camera]

Maria Bashir is General Attorney of Herat, the only woman in Afghanistan occupying such a position. Her office in Herat is manned 24/7 by bodyguards. In the first interview she grants foreign press, she tells reporters that the NATO mission against the Taliban has been a failure, and that the country is still threatened by the Taliban.

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Afghanistan's only Female General Att...
Herat, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
01 Oct 2014

Maria Bashir is General Attorney of Herat, the only woman in Afghanistan occupying such a position. Her office in Herat is manned 24/7 by bodyguards. In the first interview she grants foreign press, she tells reporters that the NATO mission against the Taliban has been a failure, and that the country is still threatened by the Taliban.

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Afghan Women Take up Arms
Herat, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
13 Oct 2014

There are 21 women enrolled in the 207th Corps in Herat. A sergeant with a black veil on her head shouts to the female soldiers standing in rank and file: Attention, march! Between combat boots you can see also female sandals as the women line up in rank and file.

Sakina Ismaili is a 27-year-old mother of three children. She proudly says: "Of course I am able to use the Kalashnikov. I would challenge you in shooting!"

The Taliban consider her "shameless," but Sakina doesn't care: she wants to become a general.

The oldest woman in the platoon is lieutenant Laila Ibrahimi. She had to live for months under police protection because of death threats by the Taliban. When she was just 18 years old, the youngest of the soliders, Zhara Kawari decided to wear the uniform.

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Afghanistan's Endless War
Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
13 Oct 2014

Video report with Standup by Italian journalist Fausto Biloslavo

In Afghanistan you are greeted by an explosion of a rocket. This way the Afghan soldiers of the 4th platoon make you clearly understand that the war is not over, even if the West would like to forget it.

The 4th platoon of the Afghan army trains in Herat. The Afghan army is made up of almost 200 thousand men who earn a base pay of 11,500 Afghani, less than 200 euro per month. They train every day to fight the Taliban, knowing that when the Nato will withdraw they will have to be ready to defend against the Taliban's attacks by themselves. For this reason, the training of the Afghan army is supervised by American contractors and Italian soldiers who help them to improve their use of weapons and to become themselves trainers.

The last battle of the 4th platoon was fought less than two weeks ago in Shindand, the former huge Soviet air base south of Herat. Captain Abdul Amid says that all hell broke loose: "They fired a barrage of rockets from behind the trenches while shouting in the loud speakers "Allah o Akbar (God is great). If you surrender you will stay alive. We responded by shooting and crushing them."

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On the Frontline with the Afghan Army
Herat
By laura.lesevre
13 Oct 2014

Afghanistan’s forgotten war continues with no sign of letting up as NATO troops ready to withdraw by the end of the year.

Now it's up to the army of Kabul repel Taliban attacks. Italian reporter Fausto Biloslavo follows a brigade of Afghan soldiers during a reconnaissance mission in Herat province, from their Camp Zafar base to Chest-i-Sharif, stopping at Salma dam where the soldiers built an outpost with an underground bunker.

Since January in western Afghanistan, there have been 422 attacks, mostly with roadside bombs and IEDs. The Afghan Army officials say they have lost between 200 and 400 men every month.

Footage and stand-ups by Fausto Biloslavo.

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Afghan army 27
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

Afghan Army vehicles patrol the roads on the way from Herat to the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 23
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier on the way from Herat to Obe base. He uses a mattress to shade the turret of the armored personnel carrier.

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Afghan army 24
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

Afghan general Zariat Shah Abed, commander of the first brigade of Afghan soldiers, on the way from Herat to the base in Obe.

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Afghan army 25
Herat, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan official prays before leaving for the reconnaissance mission from Herat to Chest-i-Sharif.

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Afghan army 26
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers patrol the roads on the way from Herat to the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 18
Obe, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers relax in the shade after lunch at their base in Obe.

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Afghan army 19
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier covers his face to protect it from dust and wind during a patrol mission from Herat to Chest-i-Sharif.

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Afghan army 21
Chest I-sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers from the 3rd Battalion train to fight the Taliban at the Chest-i-Sharif base near the Salman Dam.

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Afghan army 20
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers line up, one of them donning the national flag for the camera, at their outpost at Chest-i-Sharif.

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Afghan army 22
Obe, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

General Zariat Shah Abed harangues the soldiers at the base in Obe.

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Afghan army 14
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers patrol the roads on the way from Herat to the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 13
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers patrol the roads on the way from Herat to the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 15
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers patrol the roads on the way from Herat to the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 16
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

An ancient site sits on the horizon where Afghan soldiers have stopped along their route between Herat and the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 17
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

The road from Herat to the Chest-i-Sharif base is difficult to cross without well-outfitted military vehicles.

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Afghan army 02
Obe, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier poses in his military vehicle while patrolling the streets of Obe.

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Afghan army 10
Chest I-sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier mans his post on the outskirts of Chest-i-Sharif.

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Chest I-sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers prepare for a mission at their outpost in Chest-i-Sharif.Chest i Sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan: Afghan soldiers on outpost at Chest i Sharif.

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Afghan army 12
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier smiles down from a covered vehicle on the way from Herat to the Afghan Army's Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 03
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
30 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier mans a machine gun mounted atop an armored personnel carrier during reconnaissance operation against the Taliban between Herat to Chest i Sharif.

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Afghan army 07
Chest I-sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers from the Third Battalion have been deployed at the Chest-i-Sharif base.

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Afghan army 08
Chest I-sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

Afghan soldiers prepare for a mission at their outpost in Chest-i-Sharif.

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Afghan army 09
Chest I-sharif, Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan soldier stationed in Chest-i-Sharif stands at attention. His rifle has been decorated with a patriotic decal.

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Afghan army 04
Herat Province, Afghanistan
By laura.lesevre
29 Sep 2014

An Afghan policeman supervises surveillance of the Salman Dam close to Chest i Sharif. The dam has come under attack by the Taliban on multiple occasions. The Taliban tried to conquer the dam the week before the reporter was there.