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, April 14, 2008

War News for Monday, April 14, 2008

The British MoD is reporting the deaths of two RAF servicemen in a roadside bombing two kilometres west of Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on Sunday April 13th. Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's the ISAF statement.

The Warsaw Business Journal is reporting the death of a Polish ISAF soldier in a hospital. Last week Private Grzegorz Politkowski wounded when a roadside bomb exploded under his vehicle. No other details were given. We believe he was the soldier wounded on Tuesday, April 8th in a roadside bomb attack in Ghazni province, when a Polish IASF soldier died and another was wounded.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Coalition force soldier in a roadside bombing in Salah ad Din Province on Monday, April 14th. No other details were released.


Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A fire caused by a roadside bombing in volatile eastern Baghdad overnight damaged a U.S. military vehicle and roared through a market, an Interior Ministry official told CNN on Monday.
The official said there were no Iraqi casualties in the incidents, in which a bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy. He said the blaze broke out at 2 a.m. Monday and firefighters extinguished the blaze hours later. A U.S. military spokesman reported a roadside bombing targeting an MRAP vehicle in the Karrada district at around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. The spokesman said the blaze caused a fire that burned down a market. The military could not immediately confirm American casualties.

U.S. military said none of the soldiers involved were seriously hurt.

#2: In the central part of the capital, at least four civilians were killed and 10 others wounded when a bomb placed under a parked car detonated near a gas station Monday, the Interior Ministry said.

#3: Fighting resumed in Baghdad's Sadr City overnight after a day's lull, ending hopes of a let-up in clashes between US and government troops and Shia gunmen who control the streets of the sprawling slum. Angry mourners carried a coffin containing the body of a man killed in the clashes through the streets. A hospital said seven wounded casualties had arrived overnight. Residents swept out the rubble from freshly damaged buildings.

"We heard the sound of bombing and clashes after midnight. It lasted for around an hour and then it stopped. American planes were hovering in the sky until morning," said grocer Ali Sittar.

Ten people including six children were wounded in a clashes overnight of Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, police said.

#4: The U.S. military said militants firing rocket propelled grenades ambushed an American patrol in eastern Baghdad late Sunday night. Armed helicopters and an Abrams tank repulsed the attack, killing six of the gunmen, the statement said.

#5: Around 8 am, a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol at Tahriyat intersection in Karrada neighborhood .No casualties reported.

#6: Around 8:30 am, a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol at Fudhailiyah neighborhood (east Baghfdad).No casualties reported.

#7: Around 11:30 am, a roadside bomb targeted an American patrol at Shaab intersection. No casualties reported.

#8: Around 11:45 am, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol at Tayran square in Bab Al-Sharji (central Baghdad).Five policemen were killed and nine others were injured (two policemen and 7 civilians).

#9: A bomb inside a bus killed at least two people and wounded six others near the Technological University in eastern Baghdad, police said.

#10: Around 3 pm, 7 mortar shells hit the following neighborhoods:

4 shells hit Zayuna neighborhood killing one person and injuring 4 others.

2 shells hit Ghadeer of the New Baghdad neighborhood injuring three people.

one shell hit a mini bus (coaster model) at Sinaa street Karrada near Technology University .Two people were killed and 6 others were injured.

#11: Police found (5) dead bodies in the following neighborhoods in Baghdad: (3) were found in east Baghdad (Risafa bank); 1 in Zafaraniyah , 1 in Qahira and 1 in Khilani. While (2) were found in west Baghdad( Karkh bank); 1 in Amil and 1 in Doura.


Diyala Prv:
Baquba:
#1: Gunmen killed an Independent Electoral Commission worker in a drive-by shooting outside his house east of Baquba, 65 km (42 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

An armed group assassinated an official NGOs official near the district of al-Wajihiya, 20 km east of Baaquba city, on Monday, a security source in Diala said. "Abdul-Kareem Sabaa was killed by unidentified gunmen fire in al-Wajihiya," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Muqdadiya:
#1: U.S. soldiers discovered at least 20 bodies Sunday in a mass grave near the town of Muqdadiya, the military announced Monday. Military officials said the bodies may have been at the gravesite for nearly eight months. The discovery marks the second time in a week when soldiers have come across a mass grave site.

A joint security force found five unidentified bodies in a village in al-Muqdadiya district, 45 km northeast of Baaquba, a security source from Diala province said on Monday. The mass grave, found in al-Zor village, Muqdadiya, contained 35 bodies. Thirty were discovered on Sunday and five on Monday. All of them were decayed," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Yusufiya:
#1: A roadside bomb killed two policemen and wounded another when it hit their patrol near Yusufiya, 15 km (9 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.


Mahaweel:
#1: Two bodies were found with gunshot wounds in Mahaweel, 75 km (45 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.


Basra:
#1: Iraqi's interior ministry executed 28 criminals and militant cult members in the city of Basra, some 550 kilometres south of Baghdad, media reports said on Monday.

#2: Late Sunday, unknown gunmen assassinated police Maj. Ali Haider, a commander in the department's serious crimes directorate, said Col. Salim Zaydi. Haider was a member of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a Shiite political party that is part of al-Maliki's governing coalition, Zaydi said.

#3: A British journalist kidapped in Iraq's southern city of Basra on February 10 has been freed, state television said on Monday. "The Iraqi army liberated the British journalist Richard Butler," the television said, quoting defence ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askari.

#4: Iraqi security forces lost 15 soldiers and 400 others wounded since the commencement of Operation Saulat al-Forsan (Knights' Assault) in the southern Iraq city of Basra last March, according to the interior ministry's National Command Center on Monday.


Shirqat:
#1: Gunmen attacked houses and wounded 17 people including five women early Monday morning in Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

In the morning , gunmen of about 40 members of what is called the Islamic State of Iraq attacked some houses at Ral Al-Dhahab village north of Fatha andwest of Baiji which is 240 km north of Baghdad )injuring 17 Sahwa members.


Dour:
#1: In the morning, the Iraqi army found a dead body in Dour (south Tikrit and north of Baghdad).


Rashad:
#1: A body was found with gunshot wounds and signs of torture on Sunday in the town of Rashad, south of Kirkuk, police said.


Kirkuk:
#1: Two bodies were found with gunshot wounds and signs of torture northeast of Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb on Monday detonated in the northern city of Kirkuk, leaving no human casualties, police said. “An improvised explosive device (IED) went off near Baghdad's main coach station, central Kirkuk, leaving no human casualties or material damage.”


Sulaimani Prv:
#1: Iranian artillery began shelling the villages in Sengeser sub-county and Pishder District of Sulaimani Province in Northern Iraq on Monday, a news service associated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani reported. The shelling in Quandil mountain targeted the PEJAK, a breakaway faction of the outlawed separatist PKK, PUK media reported. Abdullah Ibrahim, the director of Sengeser sub-county, said "Iranian artillery struck Kinera, Sawen Mountain and Mamenda areas without causing any damage,” it reported.


Mosul:
#1: “the first car bomb went off in al-Ghezlani region, southern Mosul, without causing casualties as the police had sealed off the area prior to detonating the bomb.”

#2: “The second car went off in al-Mahta district, south Mosul, wounding four civilians including two fire brigade fighters,” the source added.

#3: “The third car detonated in al-Muthana district, east Mosul.” (2 dead, 14 wounded?)


Rabiaa:
#1: Police chief Col. Mutlaq al-Shimmari says a parked car bomb exploded as an Iraqi army convoy passed in the Rabiaa area west of Mosul. He says 10 soldiers died in that attack and seven were wounded.


Tal Afar:
#1: Mayor Najim Abdullah says a suicide bomber also blew himself up during a funeral for a Shiite family, killing three people and wounding 10 others in the northern city of Tal Afar.


Al Anbar Prv:
Fallujah:
#1: At least 500 Iraqi children are disabled or handicapped in the wake of U.S. assaults on Fallujah, a children's advocacy group says. Alaa Hamed of the Society for the Welfare of Children said military operations in Fallujah, located about 40 miles west of Baghdad, caused "massive destruction," leaving at least 500 children under 5 mentally or physically handicapped, the Iraqi daily newspaper Azaman reported on its English-language Web site Sunday.

#2: update A local council member and five members of his family were killed in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, on Sunday by a stick bomb in their car, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the deaths of two servicemen from the Royal Air Force Regiment yesterday, Sunday 13 April 2008, in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan. Two other servicemen were also injured in the same incident. At approximately 1848 hrs local time, the men were conducting a routine patrol two kilometres west of Kandahar Airfield when the vehicle they were travelling in hit an explosive device. Medical care was given at the scene and all four servicemen were evacuated to the field hospital at Kandahar Airfield. Sadly, despite the best efforts of the medical team, two of the servicemen died as a result of their wounds. The injuries sustained by the other two men are not believed to be life-threatening.

#2: Taliban militants attacked a group of police officers sleeping on the mud floor of an isolated roadside checkpoint early Monday in southern Afghanistan, killing 11 in the latest assault against the nation's vulnerable police force. Insurgents apparently sneaked up on the police checkpoint 15 miles north of Kandahar _ the Taliban's former stronghold _ just after midnight, killing an officer who was supposed to be keeping watch but who may have fallen asleep, said Mohammad Rauf, a policeman sent as a replacement. Militants walked into the mud-brick compound and opened fire on the officers, who were sleeping on simple mattresses and blankets on the dirt floor, Rauf said. Of the 12 police officers at the compound, 11 were killed and one was seriously wounded, he said.

#3: Private Grzegorz Politkowski from the Polish contingent in Afghanistan died in hospital
last week after being wounded when a roadside bomb exploded under his vehicle. His death brought the total number of Polish fatalities in Afghanistan to four.

#4: An army battalion has revealed one in five of its soldiers was wounded or killed in its latest tour of Afghanistan. The 1st battalion the Royal Anglians, which employs Leicestershire soldiers, lost nine men, including Private Chris Gray, of Ratby, who was shot dead by the Taliban in April last year. A further 135 men in the battalion were wounded during the six-month tour, levels that the Army has not seen since the Second World War.About 700 troops were stationed in Helmand Province and were engaged in action almost every day.

#5: update The bodies of two Indian engineers killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan are expected to be flown in to New Delhi Monday. The bodies of the two engineers, M.P. Singh and C. Govindaswamy, were airlifted to Zaranj and then taken to Kabul. Officials in the ministry of external affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said the bodies of the two engineers would be brought to Delhi once the formalities are completed.


On the home front:

#1: A Fort Bragg soldier remained in critical condition Sunday night from being shot in the neck by robbers after leaving a Bragg Boulevard nightclub, authorities say. Spc. Sergio A. Sanchez, 22, was shot around 3 a.m. at Blue Street and Washington Drive. Authorities believe he may have stumbled across a group of five or six men who were in the process of robbing other people on the street.


Casualty Reports:

Marine Staff Sgt. Juan M. Arreola, 32, of Joliet. was deployed to Fallujah and he was severely injured on April 8, 2006, while on a vehicular patrol when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. He sustained injuries to both legs, his left wrist and shrapnel wounds to his hands and face. Arreola is currently undergoing physical therapy at a hospital in Washington, D.C.

Air Force Senior Airman Daniel E. Acosta II, of Joliet, was serving as an explosive ordnance disposal technician with a team assigned to investigate a crater for explosive devices. He discovered and detonated one device, but another one exploded. His left arm had to be amputated at the shoulder and he received burns to both legs, arterial damage and shrapnel wounds.

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