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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

War News for Thursday, March 13, 2008

We have discovered the identities for four of the five soldiers killed from Mondays suicide bombing attack in the Mansor market. They were part of the Army’s 164th Armored Division, 3rd Infantry. There names are Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Suzch; Robert Taylor McDavid III; no rank listed David Julian; and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ernesto Guadalupe Cimarrusti

Security incidents:

#1: A parked car bomb that exploded in a commercial district of central Baghdad killed eight people and wounded 41 on Thursday, police said. The bombing took place off a bridge in Tahrir Square, a district of clothing shops just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and much of the Iraqi government, an Iraqi police official said.

A parked car bomb exploded in a commercial district of central Baghdad Thursday, killing 11 people and wounding 57, police said.

A parked car bomb exploded in a commercial district of central Baghdad Thursday, killing 18 people and wounding dozens more.

#2: A roadside bomb wounded five people near a market in al-Shurta al-Khamissa in southwestern Baghdad, police said.

#3: A car bomb killed one person and wounded four in central Baghdad, police said.

#4: One Iraqi journalists was killed on Thursday by unknown gunmen in central Baghdad, the Syndicate of Journalists said. “Unknown gunmen opened fire on Qassem Abdul Hussein al-Eqabi, journalist in the local al-Muwaten newspaper, in al-Karada neighborhood in central Baghdad, killing him on the spot and fled to unknown place,” Muaayad al-Lami, the syndicate’s secretary, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#5: Mortar rounds hit the Green Zone this morning at 11.15. No casualties were reported. The US Military do not generally comment on indirect fire

#6: An IED was successfully detonated under control in Oqba Bin Nafi' Square, Karrada, central Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: U.S. soldiers shot and killed a young Iraqi girl after firing a warning shot at a woman who "appeared to be signaling to someone" along a road where several bombs had recently been found, a military official said early Thursday. The shooting, which took place Wednesday afternoon, happened in the volatile Diyala province north of Baghdad. An exact location was not given in a military statement. The girl appeared to be "around 10 years old," said Maj. Brad Leighton, a military spokesman.

#1: Security forces on Wednesday discovered three unknown corpses dumped in Diala province, north Baghdad, an Interior ministry source. “Police forces found two unknown bodies dumped in the main road of Muqdadiya town, 45 km north-east of Baaquba,” a Diala security source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq

Balad Ruz:
#1: Elsewhere, the source added “police forces found an unknown body dumped in the main road of Baladruz town, 45 km south-east of Baaquba, riddled wih bullets mainly to the head.

#1: Armed confrontations flared up late Wednesday in al-Biejat village in Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, between popular committees elements and al-Qaeda group,” the source, who asked anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI).“Six popular committees’ fighters were killed and three were injured in the clashes,” he added.He did not provide further details.

#1: 1 civilian was killed by gunmen near al-Farouq Mosque, central Baquba this morning.

#1: Another two soldiers and a civilian were wounded in the same area where a civilian bus was hit by a roadside bomb on Tuesday.

#1: An Iraqi police official, who asked not to be identified, said as many as 11 Katyusha rockets landed on the U.S. base near Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, late on Wednesday. Two Iraqi men, who the police source said were brothers, were killed and four others, including a 6-year-old girl, were wounded when U.S. soldiers responded to the rocket attack with mortar rounds, the official said.

#1: In other violence on Thursday, five members of an Awakening Council were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked two separate checkpoints near Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad. Nine others were wounded in the attacks.

Gunmen killed 3 Sahwa (Awakening Councils) members and kidnapped 4 from a location close to al-Hajaj village, 25 km to the north of Tikrit early this morning.

#2: 1 policeman killed and 2 Sahwa members injured by an attack by gunmen in west Tikrit this morning.

#1: two people died and 10 others were injured in a roadside bomb explosion that targeted a U.S. Army patrol in the al-Amin region, al-Sumaria, the Iraqi satellite television network, reported Thursday.

#1: Two soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded close to an Iraqi army convoy near the town of Udhaim, north of Baghdad, police said.

Al Zab:
#1: Two members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood security patrol were killed and six wounded by a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest in the town of al-Zab near Kirkuk, police said.

#1: Two people were killed and two wounded when gunmen attacked a neighbourhood security checkpoint near the city of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen attack a checkpoint manned by Support Forces of Baiji and kidnap 4 on the highway between Baiji and Tikrit at dawn today.

Tuz Khormatu:
#1: A Kurdish citizen, Mwaffaq Raheem Kereem was kidnapped this morning near Tuz Khormatu district, to the south of KIrkuk by gunmen. The kidnappers took Kereem and left his car on the side of the highway. District Police towed his car to Sulaiman Bek military garage for further investigation as to why this person was abducted.

#2: 3 IEDs were detonated under control by Iraqi Army in Tuz Khormatu district on the main route between Tuz and Baghdad.

#1: A roadside bomb wounded three people in Kirkuk, police said.

#2: A suicide car bomber killed an Iraqi army soldier and wounded 10 others in an attack on a security checkpoint near the city of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop in Iraq who was kidnapped last month, has been found dead, an Italian Catholic news agency quoted an Iraqi bishop as saying on Thursday. "Archbishop Rahho is dead. We found his lifeless body near Mosul. The kidnappers had buried him," Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad was quoted as telling SIR, the news agency of the Italian Bishops Conference.

#1: A body was found on the side of the route between Erbil city and Makhmoor district in Nineveh province. The body was found near Daybeka village, to the southwest of Erbil, it was the body of a 40 year old male and has not been identified yet.

Qindal Mountains:
#1: Iran shelled bases used by Kurdish separatist rebels in the Qandil Mountains in northeastern Iraq for about 90 minutes, said the spokesman for Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq, Jabbar Yawar. There were no reports of any casualties.

#1: NATO-led forces in Afghanistan killed four Pakistani civilians, including two children, when they fired artillery across the border, a Pakistani military spokesman says. Up to 2,000 villagers protested against the artillery strike that happened on Tuesday in Pakistan's North Waziristan border region where militants opposed to both the Afghan and Pakistani governments are based.

#2: In southern Helmand province, Afghan and international forces attacked Taliban militants Wednesday morning as they traveled by motorcycle toward the Pakistan border, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, governor of neighboring Nimroz province. The troops employed airstrikes during the four-hour battle and killed 41 militants, including 17 from Nimroz, he said. A Taliban commander from Nimroz was among the dead. The U.S.-led coalition could not confirm the attack. NATO said they were looking into the report, but did not immediately have any information.

#3: In other violence, U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces killed nearly a dozen suspected militants in Helmand during a clash Tuesday in Garmsir district, the coalition said in a statement. The troops had been searching compounds for Taliban traffickers of weapons and foreign fighters when they were came under fire.

#4: In Wardak province, a remote-controlled bomb hit a police vehicle Thursday in Saydabad district, killing one policeman and wounding four others, said district police investigator Mohibullah Khan.

#5: In Zabul province, Afghan security forces and NATO troops launched an operation Wednesday against Chechen fighters meeting in Daychopan district, said district chief Fazel Bari. The ensuing two-hour gun battle left three Chechens dead and six wounded, he said.

#6: On Wednesday in Farah province, authorities recovered the dead body of the Pusht Rod district police chief, a day after he was kidnapped along with five other policemen, said Bariyalai Khan, spokesman for the Farah provincial police. There was no information on the fates of the five other men.

#7: Military officials say six Afghan civilians are dead after a suicide car bombing targeting a U.S. convoy today in Kabul. Twenty other people were wounded, but none of the four American troops in the two-vehicle convoy was badly injured. The attack happened near Kabul's airport. The Taliban are claiming responsibility for the attack.

#8: A Canadian soldier suffered minor injuries yesterday when a suicide car bomber blew himself up alongside a military convoy in Kandahar city, killing one civilian and injuring at least two others.

Casualty Reports:

A program manager for the military's joint amputation care system said 800 troops had lost limbs in Afghanistan and Iraq since the end of 2001.

Marine Cpl. Evan Morgan lost both legs and the sight in his right eye in an explosion in Iraq three years ago. Three years have passed since Morgan was severely wounded in Iraq, and after spending 15 months in a military hospital.