The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Friday, August 24, 2007

War News for Friday, August 24, 2007

(1) MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Task Force Lightning soldier in "an explosion" in Salah ad Din Province on Friday, August 24th. Four soldiers were also wounded in the blast.

(2) The French Ministry of Defense has announced the death of one of their soldiers, a brigadier-chef or cavalry corporal, in a road traffic accident in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, August 23rd. The soldier's name has not been released, but his unit was given as the 1er RĂ©giment de Hussards Parachutistes (1e RHP) (1st Parachute Hussar Regiment) of Tarbes, France. According to the ISAF release, two French soldiers were injured in the accident, one slightly, the other seriously. They were both evacuated to an ISAF medical facility where the seriously injured soldier later died of his injuries.

(3) The British Ministry of Defense has announced the deaths of three of their soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment who died in a friendly fire incident in Helmand Province on Thursday, August 23rd. They were apparently engaged in a fighting patrol northwest of Kajaki when they were attacked by Taliban insurgents and an intense engagement ensued. Two U.S. F15 aircraft were called in to provide close air support. Unfortunately, one bomb dropped from the aircraft killed the three British soldiers and injured two others. An investigation of the events leading up to the deaths is underway.

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Baghdad:
#1: U.S. forces opened fire from helicopters during an overnight clash with Shi'ite militants in western Baghdad, killing at least 13 people, police said on Friday. A police source at nearby al-Hakim hospital said one woman was among 13 bodies brought to its morgue. Another 13 wounded were treated there. U.S. forces said a patrol had come under fire and eight militants died in the clash, but gave no further details.

#2: Police found (12 ) dead bodies in the following of Baghdad’s neighborhoods ( 8 ) in west Baghdad( Karkh bank) ; 2 in Amil, 2 in Huriyah , 1 in Saidiyah , 1in Mansour , 1 in Jihad and 1 in I’laam. While ( 4 ) were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank); 2 in Sadr city , 1 in Ur and 1 in New Baghdad.

#3: A security detainee died at the Theater Internment Facility at Camp Cropper, Iraq Aug. 23. Preliminary medical tests indicate the cause of death was from acute renal failure.


Diyala Prv:
#1: A total 237 gunmen were killed and 300 wanted others arrested in security operations Arrowhead Ripper and Lightning Hammer in Diala province, 57 km north of Baghdad, since June 19, an Iraqi security official said on Friday.


Numaniya:
#1: Gunmen killed a policeman in Numaniya 120 km (72 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.


Diwaniya:
#1: Police said they found a body riddled with the bullets in central Diwaniya.

#2: Gunmen killed two construction workers in a drive-by shooting in Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, police said


Samawa:
#1: Muqtada al-Sadr’s office in al-Khidra area, Muthanna province, came under attack on Friday, causing severe material damage but no casualties, police said. "Unidentified gunmen opened machine-gun fire and launched rockets and shells in the direction of the office during the early hours of Friday," a police source from al-Khidr, 30 km southeast of Muthanna, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity. The shooting continued for nearly one hour at the office, which was vacant at the time, the source said, adding that the gunmen then withdrew outside al-Khidr. The source did not mention the number of gunmen who attacked the office, the reasons for the attack or why security authorities did not intervene.


Tarmiya:
#1: In another raid in the town of Tarmiya north of the capital, U.S. forces said they killed seven militants.


Samarra:
#1: Sixty suspected al-Qaida in Iraq fighters hit national police facilities in a coordinated attack in Samarra, sparking two hours of fighting that saw three people killed and more than a dozen insurgents captured, police said Friday. The masked attackers drove into the city at dusk Thursday in about 20 vehicles, including pickups with machine-guns, then split into small groups and assaulted four police checkpoints and a headquarters building, a Samarra police official said. One policeman and two civilians _ a woman and an 11-year-old girl _ were killed in the fighting in the city 60 miles north of Baghdad, and nine others were injured including a police commando and three children. There were no details on insurgent casualties, but police arrested 14 suspects, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information

#2: Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a U.S. military spokesman in northern Iraq, said he had no details on the incident reported by Samarra police, but that an American patrol got into a firefight with gunmen in the city on Friday. Two of the insurgents were killed and another captured, Donnelly said. There were no immediate reports of U.S. casualties. The U.S. command reported that one soldier was killed in an explosion Friday in Salahuddin province, which includes Samarra, and four soldiers were wounded. It was unclear whether the incident was the same one reported by Donnelly.

#3: One Task Force Lightning Soldier died Aug. 24 as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion earlier in the day while conducting operations in Salah ad Din Province. Four Soldiers were also wounded and transported to a Coalition medical facility for treatment.


Riyadh:
#1: Police found one body with gunshot wounds and signs of torture in the town of Riyadh 60 km (40 miles) southwest of Kirkuk on Thursday, police said


Hawija:
#1: Police said they found a body with gunshot wounds and signs of torture in central Hawija.

#2: Gunmen killed a barber in a drive-by shooting in central Hawija 70 km (43 miles) southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk, police said.


Mosul:
#1: A booby-trapped parked car containing two dead bodies exploded in central Mosul on Thursday, police said. Two people including a policeman were killed in the blast and 12 were wounded.

#2: Iraqi police have found two bodies, one of whom was an instructor at the University of Mosul, a security source from Ninewa police said on Friday. "The bodies, found by policemen under the al-Sokkar tunnel, northeastern Mosul, were blindfolded and had their hands tied and showed signs of having been shot in the head and chest," the source, who declined to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq


Kurdistan:
#1: Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq accused Iran on Friday of launching shells across the border, causing damage to farmland but no injuries. "Yesterday there was shelling of villages on the border with Iran near Penjwin," said Jabar Yawar, spokesman for Peshmerga Kurdish forces, referring to a border town east of Sulaimaniya, the main city in eastern Kurdistan, Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.



Afghanistan:
#1: It is with profound sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of three soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment who were tragically killed in what is believed to be a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan yesterday, Thursday 23 August 2007. Two other soldiers were also injured in the incident. All of the soldiers were taking part in a fighting patrol to disrupt Taliban activity and reassure the local population north west of Kajaki, Helmand Province, when the incident occurred at approximately 6.30pm local time. Their patrol was attacked by Taliban insurgents and during the intense engagement that ensued, close air support was called in from two US F15 aircraft to repel the enemy. One bomb was dropped and it is believed the explosion killed the three soldiers.
#2: In the western province of Herat, a vehicle rollover killed two US-led coalition soldiers and wounded two others Friday in the Kajaki district, the US military said in a statement.

#3: Meanwhile, US-led coalition troops killed a militant and arrested 11 people in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the coalition said in a statement Friday. The fighter was killed when he tried to attack coalition and Afghan troops, the statement said. The prisoners were being questioned, it added.

#4: Suspected Islamic militants drove an explosive-laden car into a military convoy and detonated a roadside bomb in northwestern Pakistan Friday, killing six soldiers and wounding five more, officials said. The suicide car bomber struck on a road near Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, killing five soldiers, a local security official said.

#5: Hours later, a roadside bomb went off near another military convoy in the nearby village of Razmak, killing at least one soldier, said the official. Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad confirmed the attacks and casualties, but provided no details.

#6: Earlier Friday, rebels fired several rockets at a military checkpoint in Miran Shah, wounding two soldiers, the official said. Troops responded with mortars, rockets and assault rifles, but it was unclear whether the militants suffered any casualties.

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