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

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

War News for Wednesday, March 19, 2008

#1: In other violence, a bomb stuck to a taxi exploded in central Baghdad, killing the driver and wounding a passenger and three pedestrians, police said.

#2: U.S. forces killed two suspected al Qaeda insurgents and detained 23 others during operations in central and northern Iraq on Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

#3: Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a checkpoint manned by neighbourhood security members, wounding three members and one civilian, police said.

#4: Gunmen stole $115,000 from a money exchange in Karrada and killed its owner and wounded an employee, police said.

#5: A bomb attached to a car killed a police colonel and wounded another in Karrada district in central Baghdad, police said.

At 11:44 a.m. a magnetic bomb attached to Col. Midhat Ali, military intelegince, exploded in Karrada killing Midhat and injuring a colleague in the passenger seat.

Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: A woman suicide bomber killed four people, including two policemen, and wounded 12 others on Wednesday in restive Diyala province north of Baghdad, police said. The woman approached police guarding the premises of an organisation that arranges religious pilgrimages in the town of Balad Ruz, about 70 km (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad, before blowing herself up, police said.

#2: A Coalition Force Soldier was killed as a result of a vehicle rollover in Diyala, March 19. The incident is currently under investigation.

#1: The bodies of two Iraqi security guards were found in Kerbala, 110 km (70 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A roadside bomb killed a woman and wounded two others in the town of Iskandariya.

#2: A roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding two in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, on Tuesday, police said.

#1: Militants set fire to a fuel pipeline supplying a power station in the town of Mussayab, about 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Police said Wednesday 17 border guards have been shot dead by gunmen in different areas in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The killings occurred over the last 24 hours, police sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. The sources did not say whether the killings were carried out by the same gunmen and what the motive behind them was.

#2: A senior police officer from the Basra police survived an attempt on his life on Wednesday afternoon in northern Basra when an explosive charge went off near his motorcade, a police source said. “Colonel Mazen Abdul Wahed survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded targeting his motorcade on the commercial street in northern Basra,” the source, who preferred anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. “The explosion injured one of his bodyguards and two passing civilians,” he added.

#3: Unknown gunmen on Wednesday killed a policeman in central Basra, a security source said. "Unknown gunmen shot dead a policeman in Manawi Pasha District, central Basra" a security source told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq . The source identified the policeman as "Yassin Majeed, who worked in the computer department."

#1: Gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by neighbourhood security members, killing one and wounding two in the city of Tikrit, 175 km (105 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: US troops have shot dead three Iraqi policemen by mistake in the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk. A US military statement described the incident as a tragic accident, which was sincerely regretted. The soldiers are thought to have opened fire after feeling threatened when the police drove at high speed into an area which had been cordoned off.

#2: Two persons were injured on Wednesday by a roadside bomb blast in southwestern Kirkuk, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off targeting a car of the Digla constructions company in al-Senaaei neighborhood in southwestern Kirkuk, wounding two of the company’s workers,” the source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: A suicide car bomb also struck an Iraqi army building in the northwestern city of Mosul, wounding 14 people, police said.

A suicide car bomber targeted an Iraqi army checkpoint, wounding 11 soldiers and three civilians in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iran shelled Iraq's northern Qandil mountains, targeting PJAK Kurdish separatist guerrillas, but there were no casualties or any damage to property, said Azad Wassu, a local mayor in the area

#1: U.S. forces searching for bomb makers raided Afghan homes near the border with Pakistan early Wednesday, exchanging gunfire with militants. Six people were killed, including two children and a woman, Afghan officials said. The U.S.-led coalition said its forces were searching compounds in Khost province for a militant named Bismullah who organized roadside bomb attacks and smuggled weapons. Militants shot at the troops, who returned fire and killed "several militants," including Bismullah and Rahim Jan, another man suspected of making bombs, the coalition said. The raid began just after midnight and lasted about an hour, said Mirza Gul, a villager from Hom in Khost province. Angry villagers had gathered at daybreak, chanting anti-U.S. slogans, he said.

#2: Taliban militants destroyed another tower of a telecommunication company in their former stronghold of Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday. “The enemies in their subversive activities attacked an antenna of a mobile company in Loya Wala area, five km north of Kandahar city Tuesday night and destroyed it completely,” city official Mohammad Ahsan said.

Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Claude O'Berry, Jr. earned his Purple Heart on Nov. 23, 2006, on a rough road in Afghanistan. One minute he was on patrol, and the next he was the target of a rescue mission, his armored vehicle torn up by a rocket-propelled grenade.The rocket shot into the Humvee through the door behind O'Berry. Shrapnel pierced his seat and his body armor, coming to rest inside his back, near his right kidney. Another man in the vehicle had his right leg severed in the explosion.A third man, a good man, was dead.