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

Sunday, April 6, 2008

draft--War News for Sunday, April 06, 2008

#1: A US air strike in Baghdad's Shiite bastion of Sadr City killed at least nine people on Sunday, the American military told AFP. The air strike killed "nine criminals in Sadr City at around 8:00 am (0500 GMT)," the military said without providing further details.

#2: Iraqi security officials had earlier said clashes erupted between Shiite fighters and US forces in Sadr City, Baghdad bastion of the powerful Mahdi Army militia of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The firefights started around midnight (2100 GMT Saturday) and continued sporadically until after dawn, defence and interior ministry officials said.

Overnight clashes in Baghdad's volatile Sadr City district killed five people and wounded 17 a day after the Iraqi government relaxed security measures there, police and hospital officials said Sunday. Officials at two local hospitals said the injured included two women and four children. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

A police officer who also spoke anonymously for the same reason, said that a U.S. Stryker armored personnel carrier was damaged in the fighting.

The death toll from clashes between US forces and gunmen in Baghdad's Sadr City has risen to 20, Iraqi hospital officials said on Sunday.

Around 8 am, clashes took place between gunmen and the joint forces ( Iraqi and American ) at 55 intersection and Falah street in Sadr city .20 gunmen were killed and 55 were injured in that clashes.

U.S. and Iraqi forces battled gunmen in the Shi'ite Sadr city district of eastern Baghdad, police said. The U.S. military said a helicopter air strike had killed nine "criminals" in the area. Hospital sources said at least 25 Iraqis died and 98 were wounded.

#3: Two policemen were wounded when two mortar rounds landed on a police station in the Sadr city district, police said. Three police vehicles were damaged in the attack.

#4: Around 6 am, a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol at 55 intersection in Sadr city .No casualties recorded but one Humvee was burned.

#5: Around 11 am, a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol at Zayouna neighborhood (east Baghdad) near Badr Al-Kubra school .Three Iraqi army soldiers were injured.

#6: Around 12 pm, a mortar shell hit the main street near the Air Force Club near Palestine street. One civilian was killed and 4 were injured with three cars damaged.

#7: The Iraqi army killed 17 militants and arrested 51 others in different areas across Iraq over last 24 hours, the army said.

#8: Around 4pm, mortars hit six locations at the same time:

#9: 3 shells hit Muthana airport compound (downtown Baghdad) which has military headquarters and political parties. No casualties recorded.

#10: 1 shell hit Karradat Mariam (downtown Baghdad and few meters from the green zone).5 people were injured in that incident.

#11: 1 shell hit Beirut intersection in Palestine street (east Baghdad). 2 people were injured in that incident.

#12: 1 shell hit Sadr city police station .No casualties recorded.

Two policemen were wounded when two mortar rounds landed on a police station in the Sadr city district, police said. Three police vehicles were damaged in the attack.

#13: 1 shell hit Alawi Jamila warehouses which are one of the main places to support merchants by food stuff in Baghdad. Fire is still there till the time of this report and the fire brigades have difficulties to reach the area due to the clashes between the gunmen and the joint forces in the area.

A mortar or rocket strike hit the Jamila wholesale market in eastern Baghdad, setting it ablaze. Police said at least 100 shops were destroyed and firefighters were unable to reach the market to put out the blaze.

#14: A shell hit the special tasks directorate building of MOI in Sadr city which was hit in the morning .no casualties recorded.

#15: Police found 5 dead bodies in Baghdad today: 3 dead bodies were found in east Baghdad (Risafa bank); 2 in Zayuna and 1 in New Baghdad. While two were found in west Baghdad (Karkh bank); 1 in Yarmouk and 1 in Amil.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Around 12:10 pm, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol at Abu Khamis village (12 km south Baquba).

#1: Around 11:30 am, police and Sahwa found 9 dead bodies at Al-Zour village of Muqdadiya (35 km north east Baquba).

#1: Unidentified gunmen set fire to a cultural center belonging to the Sadrist bloc, or Iraqis loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, in Hilla city on Sunday but no casualties were reported, a security source said. "Unidentified gunmen set a Sadrist cultural center on fire, located in the area of Mehezem, central Hilla, but no casualties were reported," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: In the evening, a roadside bomb targeted civilians downtown Tikrit. 7 people were injured in that incident

#1: Seven members of an Iraqi community force were killed in fighting with Al Qaida in Baghdad, police said on Sunday. The guards were raiding an Al Qaida stronghold near Samarra on Saturday when the incident occurred. "Seven of the group, including a local tribal leader, were killed in the security operation," said police captain Mohammed Omar.

#2: Around 8:30 am, an IED targeted a house of Sahwa member in downtown Samarra .No casualties recorded, but a little damage to the house.

#1: Around 5 pm, a roadside bomb targeted a truck which supplies food for the American army at a village south of Baiji. No casualties reported but the truck damaged.

#1: In the morning, gunmen kidnapped one supporting member in Hawija Al-Bahriya (2 km west Dhulwiya who was maintaining power supply lines in the area.

#1: At noon, police found a female body at Bartukhana neighborhood on the main road between Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah .

#1: Iraqi authorities say gunmen have kidnapped 42 college students traveling on a bus near Mosul. An official says three students on a second bus were injured when gunmen opened fire as the driver sped away. Brig. Gen. Khalif Abdul-Sattar says the ambush occurred early Sunday on the main highway linking Mosul with Baghdad.

A group of at least 40 students kidnapped by gunmen on Sunday near the northern city of Mosul have been freed by Iraqi security forces, police said.

#2: Gunmen blew up an unfinished government building, wounding three women nearby, police said.

#3: Two gunmen were killed while they were planting a roadside in eastern Mosul, police said.

#1: Afghan and NATO troops killed 15 suspected militants during clashes in southern Afghanistan. The joint forces fought with militants in the Zhari district of Kandahar province as part of a week-long operation in the area, a Defense Ministry statement said. Fifteen militants were killed during the fighting Saturday, and authorities recovered a number of weapons and ammunitions, the statement said.

Security incidents:

Spc. Benjamin Stephens, 20, a 2005 graduate of Magna Vista High School, lost his right index finger, broke both wrists and sustained injuries on his arms and legs when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle March 18, according to his mother, Dee Stephens of Ridgeway.
Spc. Stephens, a gunner with the 108th Military Police Battalion out of Ft. Bragg, N.C.,