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

Friday, April 18, 2008

War News for Friday, April 18, 2008

The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers in a roadside bombing in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan on Friday, April 18th. Two additional soldiers were wounded in the blast. The Dutch MoD reports that the attack was about twelve miles northwest of Camp Holland. They also report that one of the wounded soldiers is in critical condition and the other is listed as serious injured but stable condition. Here's the ISAF statement.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an neighborhood just north of Baghdad on Friday, April 18th. No other details were released.

Security incidents:

#1: A company of government troops abandoned its positions in Sadr City when the forces came under attack from Shiite militiamen who took advantage of a sandstorm to attack, police said today. The clashes overnight killed two people and injured nine, a police commander said. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear whether there were any casualties among the soldiers.

U.S. troops responded with artillery fire, but no helicopters or unmanned drones were sighted, the officer said. There was no immediate comment from the Iraqi or U.S. military. The attack in Sadr City occurred late Thursday while Baghdad was blanketed by one of the worst sandstorms in months. The thick clouds of dust reduced visibility and forced the closure of the international airport. It also appeared to affect military flights.

#2: Apparently taking advantage of the reduced aerial activity, militants also repeatedly shelled the Green Zone that houses diplomatic missions and much of the Iraqi government.

#3: Around 10 am, a bomb which was planted in a civilian car at Binouk neighborhood (east Baghdad) .The driver was killed and two others were injured.

#4: A roadside bomb exploded near Musa bin Nusair fuel station in Karrada, central Baghdad injuring 2 civilians.

#5: 2 mortar rounds fell in Baladiyat neighbourhood hitting what used to be the Intelligence facility before 2003 and is now a US base at around 5.30 pm Friday. No casualties were reported.

#6: A mortar round hit stalls in the Jamila fruit and vegetable open air market causing a fire. The fire trucks couldn't enter the area to fight the fire as it was cordoned by security forces, said Iraqi police. No casualties' report was available at the time of publication.

#7: 4 mortar rounds hit al-Adala Camp in Kadhmiyah neighbourhood. No casualties were reported.

#8: 1 mortar round fell in Palestine Street, near al-Ibtisam restaurant injuring 3 civilians and causing material damages to a house.

#9: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi Army patrol in Dakhiliyah, Yarmouk neighbourhood, west Baghdad killing 1 soldier, wounding 4.

#10: 2 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in al-Qanat Street and 1 in Hurriyah.

#11: Iraqi troops clashed with Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's militia on Friday in what was described as some of the heaviest fighting in Baghdad for weeks. An Iraqi security source described the fighting as among the heaviest since confrontation erupted there in late March. The source said seven people had died in combat lasting four to five hours. A nearby market was in flames. Ali Bustan, head of the health directorate for east Baghdad, said 132 wounded were brought to Sadr City's two hospitals by nightfall. "The Iraqi Army still hold their positions in Sadr City," U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Stover said, quoting a dispatch from U.S. troops at the front. "They are currently under attack ... but are organizing a counter-attack."

#12: A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier was killed in an improvised-explosive device attack at approximately 1:45 p.m. April 18. The attack struck the vehicle the Soldier was riding in while conducting a combat patrol just north of Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Six civilians were killed and four others wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Diala province, northeastern Baghdad, on Friday, a local police source said. "The blast left six killed and four others wounded in al-Khalis district, north of Baaquba," the source, who refused to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: In another development, security sources told dpa on Friday that militants killed two police officers and injured a security guard in the southern city of Basra. Sources said the militants opened fire on two police officers in Basra's Jazaer area in the late hours of Thursday.

#2: Also in Basra, militants wounded a security guard, who was standing atop one of the buildings, in the city's Kornish area on Thursday.

#3: Iraqi troops cordoned off the Basra office of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's followers on Friday and prevented them holding prayers in a move that seems sure to inflame tensions.

Tuz Khormato:
#1: At least two Iraqi soldiers were killed on Friday and another wounded when a bomb went off near the northern Iraqi town of Tuz Khormato, police said. Abbas Amin, an Iraqi police officer, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that an explosive device targeted a patrol in the early morning of Friday near the village of Maftol close to Tuz Khormato, which is some 185 kilometres north of Baghdad.

#1: Two Iraqi army servicemen were killed and another wounded on Friday when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their patrol on a main road south of Kirkuk, according to an official police source. "An IED went off on the highway linking Kirkuk to Touz district, (85 km) south of Kirkuk, near al-Maftoul village, while a patrol of the Iraqi Army 3rd Brigade's 2nd Regiment, was passing by," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Two ISAF soldiers were killed and two were wounded during an explosion in southern Afghanistan early this morning.

The son of the Netherlands' top military officer was killed early Friday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, the day after his father assumed command of the Dutch armed forces, the Defense Ministry said. Lt. Dennis van Uhm, 23, was among two NATO soldiers killed and two wounded in the explosion in Uruzgan province, said spokesman Lt. Gen. Freek Meulman. The second fatality was not fully identified. All the casualties were Dutch. The soldiers' vehicle was returning to base after a large reconnaissance mission in the area, where they face Taliban insurgents, the military said. "There is no reason to believe that the roadside bomb attack was directed at Lt. Van Uhm," said Meulman.

#2: Military officials say one Canadian soldier has been injured in a roadside bombing that struck a Canadian military vehicle in southern Afghanistan. The attack occurred near Spin Boldak, a town on the Pakistani border. Canadian Forces spokesman Capt. Sylvain Chalifour says the soldier suffered slight injuries in Thursday's attack.

#3: Three Afghan civilians died in a roadside bomb blast near the capital Kabul on Friday, police said. The men were killed and another wounded when their vehicle hit a bomb laid on a road frequently used by Afghan and international forces in Logar province just south of Kabul, provincial police chief Ghulam Mustafa told AFP.