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, February 25, 2008

War News for Monday, February 25, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in an IED attack in a northern neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, February 24th.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier from a small-arms fire attack in a southern neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, February 24th.

The Danish Ministry of Defense is reporting the death of a soldier in a training accident in Helmand province in Afghanistan on Sunday, February 24th. Here's the ISAF statement.

Security incidents:

#1: Also Monday, a roadside bomb exploded in the middle of a crowd of Shiite Muslims in southeastern Baghdad on Monday, killing three and wounding 15, an Interior Ministry official told CNN. The strike, in the Zafaraniya district, is the latest in a flurry of attacks against pilgrims trekking to Karbala for al-Arbaeen, one of the holiest days of the Shiite religious calendar. It falls on Wednesday this year.

#2: An Iraqi militant group has posted a video on the internet showing the killings of 12 Nepalese men who worked for a Nepalese company with a US contract. In 2004, an Iraqi militant group killed 12 Nepali hostages who had gone to Iraq to work as cooks and cleaners for a Jordanian firm. It showed pictures of one being beheaded and the others with bullet wounds to the head and back.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has dismissed news reports of killing of 12 Nepali workers in Iraq by Islamic insurgents. MoFA spokesperson Hira Bahadur Thapa told Nepalnews that Nepali embassies in Islamabad and Saudi Arabia reported to the ministry, after being asked to find out the truth, that so far no proof had been found to corroborate the news.

#2: A traffic policeman was wounded when two improvised explosive devices went off simultaneously in downtown Baghdad, Baghdad operations command said on Monday. "Two roadside explosive charges detonated simultaneously on Muhammad al-Qasim highway while an Iraqi police patrol was passing the location, wounding a traffic cop who was close to the scene of the blast," a spokesman for the operations command, Major General Qassim Ata, told Aswat al-Iraq, Voices of Iraq,

Around 12:30 p.m., two roadside bombs exploded at the Qasim highway near the Shaab stadium (east Baghdad). Two people were injured in that incident.

#3: Around 7:30 a.m., a roadside bomb exploded at Zafaraniyah neighborhood (east Baghdad) near Al-Noor mosque. No casualties recorded

#4: The mayor of al-Aazamiya, central Baghdad, on Monday escaped a kidnapping by unknown gunmen in al-Kazemiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad because local residents saved him.Hussein al-Juburi told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq - (VOI) over the phone "Unidentified gunmen stopped his car after leaving a funeral in al-Kazemiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad, forced him to exit his car, and disarmed his bodyguards.""I tried to escape but they caught me, but some persons arrived from the funeral and saved my life along with two of my bodyguards," the mayor added.

#5: Around 2p.m., a roadside bomb exploded near Al-Dayer church .No casualties or damage reported.

#6: Around 4 p.m., mortars hit Qadisiyah neighborhood..No casualties recorded.

#7: Around 5:30 p.m., gunmen using Toyota sedan car opened fire on an army check point near the Um Al-Tibul mosque and ran away. No casualties recorded.

#8: Police found three dead bodies in Baghdad today. Two of them in Risafa bank : 1 in Ubaidi and 1 in Zafaraniyah while the third was found in Amil in Karkh bank.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms stormed a house and killed a woman near Baquba, police said.

#2: Police found the decomposing bodies of eight women who had been blindfolded, handcuffed and shot in the head, in a grave in a town just north of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#3: "Unidentified gunmen killed two persons near a garage in central Baaquba," the source, who declined to reveal his name, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#4: Five Iraqi soldiers, including their commanding officer, were killed when al Qaeda militants ambushed their patrol south of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, said Major-General Abdul Kareem al-Rubaie, leader of Iraqi security forces in Diyala province.

Around 2:30 p.m., gunmen attacked an Iraqi army patrol at Buhrz (6km south of Baquba) and killed all the eight patrol members including a major.

#5: Around noon, a roadside bomb targeted a civilian car on the way between Qara taba and Khanaqeen in the north east of Baquba .Both passengers of the vehicle were killed in that incident.

#1: (update) The death toll from Sunday's suicide bomb attack on Iraqi pilgrims heading to a Shi'ite festival south of Baghdad has risen to 63, a health official said on Monday.

#1: This morning, gunmen opened fire on three oil company guards at Bahadriya of Abu Al-Khaseeb, southeast of Basra. One guard was killed and the other two were seriously injured.

#2: Police found the body of the engineer Ali Mahmoud at Hamdan neighborhood in south Basra. Ali was kidnapped a month ago from his house at a residential compound by gunmen who were wearing police uniforms.

#1: A disabled, wheelchair-bound man blew himself up on Monday in a northern Iraqi police station, killing a top police official and wounding six police officers, police told CNN. The attack, which occurred in Samarra in Salaheddin province. A high-ranking official with Samarra police said that the man came to meet with Brig. Gen. Abdul Jabbar Rabei Muttar, the deputy commander of security, at the security operations building in the city. The pair met last week as well. The man was searched when he entered the building, but police didn't look under his wheelchair seat, where the explosives had been placed. The man detonated the explosives when Muttar approached him.

In a separate attack on Monday, a handicapped man in a wheel chair wearing an explosives vest blew himself up inside a police building in the central city of Samarra, killing three policemen, including a general, officials said.

#1: A civilian was killed and nine people were wounded (6 of them are Sahwa members including the leader of Sahwa Colonel Hussein Khalaf Ali and a commander of battalion in Sahwa) when a car bomb exploded targeting Sahwa members in Hawija town south of Kirkuk on Monday morning.

#1: In the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a police commander, General Sarhad Qadir, escaped an assassination attempt, according to security officials. A bomb went off as the general's motorcade was driving by the main hospital in central Kirkuk.

In Kirkuk, police chief Brigadier Sarhad Qader escaped injury when a roadside explosive device detonated as his convoy passed, KUNA reported.

#2: A civilian was injured on Monday in a bomb blast in southern Kirkuk, a police source said. "An improvised explosive device went off in al-Khadraa neighborhood in southern Kirkuk, targeting a police vehicle patrol, wounding a civilian," the source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: In the northern city of Mosul, three people from the same family including a child, and four women were injured in a blast. An object fell on a house in the Tal al-Roman area, in western Mosul, causing the blast, security sources told VOI.

A mortar shell killed three and wounded four civilians.

#2: Also in Mosul, four policemen were killed in an attack by gunmen on their patrol in the eastern Muarid district, VOI reported.

#3: A boy was killed when insurgents opened fire on a U.S. patrol in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The boy, who was playing with children in the street, was hit by a stray bullet fired by the insurgents.

#1: A Turkish helicopter crashed in Iraq and eight soldiers were killed during a cross-border ground operation against Kurdish rebels, who planted booby traps on the bodies of their slain comrades, Turkey's military said Sunday.

#2: the Turkish toll since the start of the incursion Thursday to 15, the military said on its Web site. Thirty-three rebels were killed in Sunday's fighting, bringing the rebel death toll since Thursday to 112, according to the armed forces.

#3: Late Sunday, several military helicopters took off from a base in the hilltop town of Cukurca, flying with their lights off. Earlier, Turkish F-16 jets flew into northern Iraq. Armored personnel carriers transported troops, and four long-range guns were positioned at the Cukurca base, one of the main support centers for the Turkish operation.

#4: Turkish fighter jets pounded Kurdish rebel positions for the fifth day running on Monday in the mountainous Hakurk region of northern Iraq, security sources said.

#1: A Danish soldier in Afghanistan was killed in an accidental shooting, Denmark's military said Monday. The Army Operational Command said the 21-year-old soldier was killed late Sunday as his unit was getting ready for a drill outside the Danish camp in southern Afghanistan. His name was not immediately released.The army said the shooting was accidental but did not release any other details, pending an investigation.

Denmark lost Sunday its 10th soldier in Afghanistan when a 21-year-old was killed accidentally during training in southern Helmand province, the Danish military said. "The accident happened while soldiers of the mechanised infantry company... were preparing for a night exercise at Camp Bastion," a statement from the military was quoted as saying by AFP.