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

Saturday, January 19, 2008

War News for Saturday, January 19, 2008

#1: Around 10 a.m. two mortar shells slammed into Al Shoala neighborhood, minutes later another two mortar shells hit Al Ghazaliyah neighborhood. No casualties were reported.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In northern Baquba, an explosive device was detonated, killing three civilians and wounding two others.

Three bodyguards of Diala governor were killed and two others wounded in an improvised explosive device attack in the northeast of Baaquba city, Iraqi police said on Saturday. "An explosive charge detonated at Friday midnight in the orchard surrounding the residence of Diala Governor Raad Rasheed al-Mulla Jawad in al-Khashab area, 45 northeast of Baaquba, killing three of his security personnel and wounding two others," an assistant to Diala governor for administrative formation, Hafiz Abdul Aziz, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq

#1: Security forces on Saturday overran a mosque in southern Iraq where Shiite doomsday cultists were holed up, ending two days of clashes in two cities that killed at least 70 people, police said. The mosque was the last stronghold of the cultists. Wearing yellow headbands sporting the Star of David, they attacked police simultaneously early Friday afternoon in the southern port city of Basra and in Nasiriyah. Fighting raged through the afternoon in both cities. It died down in Basra during the night but continuing sporadically in Nasiriyah. The security forces had found the mosque to be booby-trapped and disposal experts later triggered a blast which destroyed the building, he said. Amid the rubble were found yellow headbands and anti-government literature. Police officials said at least 35 cultists were killed in Basra and 18 in Nasiriyah. A total of 12 police, two Iraqi soldiers and three civilians were also killed, according the latest police figures.

#2: Two policemen were killed by teenage snipers during Saturday's clashes in Nasiriyah. The snipers, two 14-year-old boys, were quickly arrested, police said.

#1: The Murjana Hospital in Babel received 12 cases of food poisoning of local residents from Wassit province, an official source from the Babel police said."The Murjana Specialist Hospital in the city of Hilla received 12 people suffering from food poisoning and all of them were from Wassit," the source, who did not want to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Clashes broke out in central Basra for a second day with no casualties reported, while joint security forces conducted raid-and-search operations in hunt for escaped gunmen, a local security source said on Saturday. "Limited clashes renewed on Saturday morning between security forces and gunmen belonging to the self-styled 'Soldiers of Heaven' group in downtown Basra's al-Janiniya area," the source, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq

#1: The most wanted al Qaeda leader in Salahuddin province was killed on Jan. 16 by U.S. troops and Iraqi police in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S military said.

#1: On Saturday, two people were killed and seven wounded in a roadside bomb attack on an Ashura event in the northern city of Kirkuk, police said

#2: Two militants were killed while trying to bury a roadside bomb which exploded in Kirkuk, police said.

#1: Four soldiers and three civilians were wounded in an attack on the Iraqi army 2nd Brigade's 1st contingent headquarters with mortar shells, a security source said."The 1st contingent, stationed in Mosul Hotel, western Mosul, came under attack on Saturday with five mortar shells that wounded four Iraqi soldiers," Brig. Abdul-Kareem al-Juburi, the Ninewa police operations chief, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq a medical source from a Mosul hospital said the hospital received the four wounded soldiers in addition to three civilians wounded as a result of random fire opened by the Iraqi army the attack that targeted the 1st contingent.

Tal Afar:
#1: A rocket slammed into the northern city of Talafar, killing four and injuring twenty people.

In northeastern Tal Afar, insurgents sent a Katyusha rocket scudding into a crowd observing Ashura, killing seven people and wounding 20, Mayor Najim Abdallah told AFP.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Police found two bodies with gunshot wounds near Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

#1: PAKISTANI troops captured 50 Islamist militants in an operation in the rugged tribal region near the Afghan border, a day after killing dozens of rebels in the area. Troops also recovered 10 bodies of the rebels from the Chaghmalai area of South Waziristan - the scene of a major clash on Friday in which an estimated 30 militants were killed,.

Casualty Reports:

U.S. Navy Corpsman Christopher Braley, a medic wounded in September in an explosion in Iraq, is back home in Manteca for 30 days. The 23-year old Sierra High School graduate has spent the past four months in hospitals, where he has undergone seven surgeries to recover from a Sept. 13 attack in which he lost one eye and suffered brain trauma.

Army Specialist Lawrence Guerro is the third known injured Navajo soldier from Iraq. The 26-year-old was injured on May 25, 2007, when his Humvee was hit with an improvised explosive device, or IED, while patrolling the streets of Baghdad.Guerro sustained injuries to his right-leg, which eventually had to be amputated above the knee at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Guerro spent several months at a base at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he began a long process of therapy and recovery.