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

Monday, December 31, 2007

War News for Monday, December 31, 2007

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from non-combat related injuries in Iraq on Sunday, December 30th. No other details were released and the incident is under investigation.

The Canadian DND is reporting the death of a Canadian soldier in an IED attack against his Armoured Vehicle 20 km West of Kandahar city, in the Zharey District, Afghanistan on Sunday, December 30th. Four other Canadian soldiers were also injured. Here's the NATO statement.

Security incidents:

#1: In the capital, a mortar round wounded three civilians when it landed on a house in Baghdad's western neighborhood of Amariyah Monday, a Baghdad police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information to the media. The intended target was believed to have been a nearby Awakening Council headquarters.

#2: Iraqi soldiers killed 12 gunmen and detained 29 others during the last 24 hours across Iraq, the Defence Ministry said.

#3: Around 9 a.m. U.S. military found and detonated a roadside bomb near a checkpoint in Karrada.

#4: Around 10:30 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted a police convoy in Zafaraniyah near Al Kubaisi mosque, injuring three police men.

#5: Police found two bodies in Baghdad, one in Shaab and in Abu Desheer.

#6: A fire broke out on Monday night in the interior ministry without knowing the reasons behind it, a police source said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In the town of Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, gunmen traded fire with police and Awakening Council members, leaving one council member and one policeman dead and wounding three policemen, a police officer said.

#2: six mortar rounds landed near an Iraqi Army checkpoint near the town, wounding two soldiers, the officer said.

#1: a roadside bomb targeting a patrol near the Iranian border killed two Iraqi soldiers and injured another four, police said. The attack occurred shortly after dawn in the frontier town of Mandali, about 30 miles from the Iranian border in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, a police officer said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information to the media.

#1: A woman wearing a suicide bomb vest wounded two policemen and five civilians including a child when she attacked a police station in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A truck bomb targeted an awakening council check point in Al Musaib, north of Babil province, killing one and injuring three other members of the group, Iraqi police said.

Maysan Prv:
#1: Gunmen killed three teachers in Maysan province in southern Iraq on Sunday, the Education Ministry said.

#1: The police chief of Iraq's second-largest city, Basra, has survived a roadside bomb attack, the first attempt on his life since British forces handed the city to Iraqi control on December 18, police said. Abdul-Jalil Khalaf had already survived six assassination attempts since he was placed in control of Basra's police force in June, with orders to battle the Shi'ite militias who held sway in the city's streets. One of Khalaf's bodyguards was wounded when two bombs exploded near the police chief's convoy in the northern part of the city, police said. Khalaf himself was not hurt.

#1: A suicide bomber drove a truck rigged with explosives into a checkpoint manned by members of a U.S.-backed security volunteer group in a town north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people, police and a member of the volunteer group said. Another three people were missing following the explosion in the town of Mishada, 20 miles north of the capital, on part of the main highway linking Baghdad to northern Iraq, according to a police officer and Adil al-Mishhadani, a member of the volunteer group.

#1: Five people were killed including two al Qaeda militants during clashes on Sunday between militants and residents of a village near Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: (see Balad) A similar attack, in which three villagers were killed, was launched against a village near the city of Samarra, 120 kilometres (70 miles) north of Baghdad, an Iraqi security official said. "Clashes erupted between residents and Al-Qaeda operatives who attacked Tal al-Thahab village. Three villagers and two of the attackers were killed," the official said.

#1: Four militants were killed and 10 detained in a joint US-Iraqi military operation on Monday in the northern Iraqi town of Bayji.

#2: Meanwhile a policemen died from a head injury sustained during a fire-fight, said local authorities.

Northern Iraq:
#1: A land mine explosion hit a convoy of Turkish trucks in northern Iraq on Saturday, killing one driver and leaving five others injured, Turkey’s TV channels reported. Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Bilman confirmed the convoy, transporting construction material from Turkey to neighboring Iraq, ran into a land mine, but said Turkish authorities were still trying to clarify the casualties. The incident occurred early on Saturday on a road linking the northern Iraqi cities of Duhok and Mosul.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded two policemen when it struck their patrol in central Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: An explosive charge went off on Monday near an Iraqi army vehicle patrol in southern Kirkuk, wounding an Iraqi colonel, said a police source." A colonel was injured on Monday afternoon in a roadside bomb explosion near an army vehicle patrol in Wahed Hozayran region in southern Kirkuk," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency voices of Iraq

#3: Two civilians were killed on Monday by unknown gunmen in southwest of Kirkuk, a police source said."Unidentified gunmen opened fire on two civilians in al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk, killing them instantly," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq

#1: A detainee died Dec. 29 of natural causes while under escorted movement for routine questioning. The Soldier providing security escort and medics on site attempted CPR and other life-saving measures. However, the detainee was pronounced dead at 10:56 p.m. by an attending physician at Diamondback Combat Support Hospital. An investigation is pending to determine the cause of death..

#1: Another Canadian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. Jonathan Dion was killed when the vehicle he was riding in struck a roadside bomb west of Kandahar.

#2: Sixteen policemen were killed when their post in the southern province of Kandahar - a hotbed of Taliban activities - was attacked by Islamic rebels on Saturday, the interior ministry said.

#3: Two other police officers were killed on Monday in a roadside bomb blast in Musa Qala, a town in southern Helmand province, which was captured from the Taliban by Afghan and NATO forces this month, a district chief said.

#4: Similar bomb attacks killed five Afghan soldiers - one of them in eastern Paktia on Monday and four others in southern Uruzgan a day earlier, the defence ministry said in a statement.

#5: Two other soldiers died in a road accident Sunday in the southern province of Zabul, which is also hit by the Taliban insurgency.