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, March 3, 2008

War News for Monday, March 03, 2008

The Canadian DnD is reporting the death of a soldier from an IED attack in the Mushan region of the District of Panjawayi, 45 kilometers west of Kandahar City, Kandahar province on Sunday, March 2nd. No other soldiers were injured. Here's the ISAF statement.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is reporting the death of a South African man in Iraq who apparently worked as a private contractor. No other details were released.

Security incidents:

#1: In Baghdad, a parked car bomb killed at least 21 people and wounded 43 in central Baghdad's Bab al-Mudham area. The car was parked on a road leading to the nearby Housing and Municipality Ministry, police said. The dead included one police officer, while another four were wounded. The district is a commercial area on the eastern side of the Tigris River.

#2: In the suicide attack, a man drove a minibus into the headquarters of the Interior Ministry's 4th Brigade, a special quick reaction force based in Baghdad's eastern Zayouna neighborhood. The blast killed at least two police officers and wounded six other people.

#3: Two civilians were wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in a third incident in the Iraqi capital on Monday despite strict security measures over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit, a police source said. "The new bombing occurred on Monday afternoon when a roadside IED planted by unidentified gunmen on the main road in al-Waziriya area, northern Baghdad, went off, inuring two nearby civilians," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#4: The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that a South African man has been killed in Iraq. Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa says the department was contacted by the man's employer who sought assistance with bringing the body back home. Foreign affairs agreed to assist in this regard and they are in contact with the family to finalise the repatriation. Mamoepa said he could not give any further details on the circumstances surrounding the man's death.

#5: Five unidentified bodies were found on Monday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad by police patrols, police said.

#6: Three Iraqi army soldiers were injured on Monday in a bomb blast in western Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said." A roadside bomb was detonated this afternoon targeting an Iraqi army patrol near an al-Shurta tunnel in western Baghdad, injuring three soldiers," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

Diyala Prv:
#1: A Katyusha missile fell on a residential compound in the district of al-Saadiya, (100 km) northeast of Baaquba, wounding four civilians and destroying a house," the source, who did not want to be named, told Voices of Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#2: A joint Iraqi army-police force killed 10 gunmen and captured 12 others suspected of links to al-Qaeda in a security raid on 20 villages in Diala as part of Operation Foxhunt, in effect for 48 hours now, a security official said on Monday.

#1: An IED went off when a civilian vehicle was driving by south of Buhrez district, (5 km) south of Baaquba, wounding three people and causing severe damage to the vehicle," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A policeman working as a bodyguard for top Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani's representative in al-Nuaamaniya district was killed on Monday northwest of Kut, a police source said. "Unknown gunmen opened fire on the cop while he was on his way home in al-Sharqiya region in al-Nuaamaniya, northwest of Kut, killing him instantly," the source, who wished to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

#1: At least four people were killed and four injured Monday when British forces responded with artillery to a rocket attack on their base at Basra airport in southern Iraq, a local official said. The artillery shelling by British troops hit the Hussein residential area in Basra, 550 kilometres south of Baghdad, Akil al-Friji, a member of Basra's municipal council, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#2: In the restive southern port city of Basra, gunmen ambushed a top Iraqi provincial police chief's convoy and shot him and his three bodyguards dead, police said. Colonel Qassim Obeid, the inspector general of Dhi Qar provincial police, was ambushed in central Basra's al-Aswad street by gunmen who riddled his convoy with bullets, Basra police spokesperson Colonel Karim al-Zaidi said.

#1: In yet another attack on Monday, police reported that three officers were killed by a parked (car) in the town of Shikaat, north of Baghdad.

#1: The U.S. military said its soldiers discovered 14 bodies on Sunday in a mass grave south of the city of Samarra, located about 60 miles north of Baghdad. believed to be members of the Iraqi security forces and thought to have been executed by al-Qaida in Iraq.

#2: The military also said Monday that a car bomb in Samarra had on Sunday killed four people, including one child. Police in Samarra reported that at least seven people were killed and 10 people were injured in Sunday's car bomb.

#1: Two policemen were killed and four others, including two civilians, wounded in a car bomb attack near a police station in al-Shurqat district, 80 km south of Mosul, a police source said on Monday. "A pickup truck rigged with explosives, parked near a police station in Sedeira, on the left coast of Shurqat district, was blown up by means of remote control on Monday morning upon arrival of the station chief, who survived unscathed," the source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A civilian was injured on Monday when a suicide bomber blew up a car rigged with explosives in western Mosul, the official spokesman for the Ninewa operations said."A suicide bomber detonated a booby-trapped car in al-Thawra neighborhood in western Mosul, wounding one civilian," Brig. Khaled Abdul Sattar Saadon told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A Canadian soldier based in Edmonton who was nearing the end of his tour in Afghanistan was killed Sunday by a roadside bomb. The blast happened in a persistent trouble spot for the Canadian military in Kandahar, a group of villages about 45 kilometres west of Kandahar City known as Mushan. Hayakaze had been on a supply mission in the area when his armoured vehicle struck the improvised explosive device around 3:45 p.m., Brig-Gen. Guy Laroche said in a briefing with reporters at the Kandahar Airfield. No one else was injured in the blast.

#2: In the southern Helmand province, U.S.-led coalition troops targeted a Taliban commander in Garmser district on Sunday, the coalition said. "Several insurgents were killed when they fired on coalition forces," who detained four men with suspected links to the militants, the coalition said in a statement late Sunday.

#3: Also Sunday, Afghan and foreign troops clashed with militants in Helmand's Sangin district, resulting in 20 casualties, according to a Defense Ministry statement that did not provide a breakdown of the number of dead and wounded militants. Four other suspected militants were detained by coalition troops in the Qalat district of Zabul province. The men were accused of involvement in attacks along the main highway connecting Kabul with the country's south, the coalition said.

#4: A suicide car bomber launched attack on the U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, damaging a guard post and injuring three NATO soldiers inside, Afghan official said. Sgt. 1st Class Brian Lamar, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said three soldiers of the NATO's International Security Assistance Force were injured in the explosion and were rushed to hospital for treatment.

Taliban insurgents raided a compound used by NATO and Afghan forces on Monday in a gun and truck bomb attack that caused several casualties, an Afghan provincial official said. Assailants opened fire on soldiers manning the compound then drove a bomb-laden truck inside before detonating the explosives, the official from southeast Khost province said. The attack occurred in Sabri district close to the border with Pakistan, Sabri's district chief, Lutfullah Babakarkheil, told Reuters. "I know two rooms have been destroyed and there are some casualties," he said. Several NATO helicopters were also seen rushing towards the site, witnesses said, adding they saw a number of casualties being taken out from the base in vehicles.

Casualty Reports:

Matt Keil--One sniper's bullet in Iraq left Matt a quadriplegic.

Josiah Blystone was on his first tour of duty near Baghdad when he was seriously injured during a routine patrol. He was “just walking along and all of a sudden the IED exploded,” Blystone's sister Christin Porter said. Shrapnel flew into his right arm, tearing apart the nerves. It landed in the side of his face and in his right eye. “They're not expecting him to be able to see out of it (his right eye) again,” Porter said. Blystone is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Blystone was injured by the homemade bomb Feb. 16. He had only been in Iraq for about four months.

Lee Jones, 25, suffered a brain injury and severe burns in combat, he has survived three strokes that have slowed his speech.