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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

War News for Saturday, April 26, 2008

#1: Three traffic policemen and two civilians were injured when gunmen in a black sedan opened fire on them in the Wathinq Square in Baghdad's central district of Karrada, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: In a separate incident, a roadside bomb explosion struck an Iraqi army patrol in an intersection in the al-Suleikh neighborhood in northern Baghdad, damaging one of the patrol's vehicles and wounding three soldiers aboard, the source said. The blast was followed by gunfire, he said.

Since 2003, the United States has lost 63 helicopters in Iraq. Most of them belong to the U.S. Army, the rest are marine and civilian (mainly security contractors.) In 2007, helicopters were fired on about a hundred times a month, and about 17 percent of the time, the helicopters were hit.

#3: Iraqi police sources told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency that a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vehicle on Saturday, killing one member of the Awakening Councils and wounding another three in Amiriya area western Baghdad. In Baghdad's Salikh area, a bomb went off targeting an Iraqi checkpoint injuring three soldiers.

#4: Forty-six people were injured in the violence across Iraq -- 28 of them in the sprawling Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have been battling Shiite militiamen for a month.

An Iraqi Interior Ministry official said the eight dead in Sadr City included two children.

#5: Five militants were killed and three Iraqi soldiers wounded in an exchange of fire at an Iraqi army checkpoint on the northern outskirts of Baghdad on Friday, police said. Passengers opened fire against soldiers searching a vehicle who discovered weapons inside it. The soldiers responded, killing the five passengers.

Diyala Prv:
#1: In Diyala province north of Baghdad, three Iraqi soldiers died when a roadside bomb struck their patrol about about three miles east of Baquba, the interior ministry official said.

#2: A roadside bomb explosion near a house in central Baquba's al-Hay neighborhood wounded two Iraqi civilians, the official said.

#3: A police officer was killed when gunmen attacked a police patrol in the town of Sheikh-Saad, about 18 miles north of Baquba, the official said.

#1: An Iraqi oil pipeline south of Baghdad has been repaired after an explosion yesterday, the Oil Ministry said. `The pipeline is located in an area which gets attacked all the time,'' Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said today by telephone. ``The fire was controlled and the pipeline has been repaired.'' The explosion at the pipeline near the town of Iskandiriya caused a fire and disrupted fuel flows to the south of the country, Jihad said. He said security officials have counted eight people hurt in the blast, a number he was unable to confirm.

An explosion that blew up an Iraqi oil pipeline south of Baghdad was caused accidentally, the US military said on Saturday, adding the firefighters had contained a blaze sparked by the blast. On Friday, an Iraqi police officer in Babil province said the pipeline had been bombed and 10 guards were wounded in an attack near the town of Musayyib, south of Baghdad.

#1: An Iraqi soldier died and two other civilians were wounded when U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted a joint raid in the southern city of Kut, police said. The operation led to sporadic clashes and resulted in the arrest of 25 suspects, said captain Azeez al-Imara, the commander of the Iraqi unit involved. U.S. forces confirmed there were sporadic clashes in the town.

#1: Iraqi soldiers advised by U.S. Special Forces killed two gunmen during an operation in the Jazeera Desert. One Iraqi soldier died in the firefight, the U.S. military said.

#1: In Tikrit, some 180 kilometres north of Baghdad, US forces killed five suspected terrorists during military operations, US military said. US forces also discovered weapons and some 900 explosives in the town.

U.S. forces said they killed five gunmen in air strikes and gunbattles during a raid on suspected al Qaeda militants in Tikrit, north of Baghdad.

#2: Police said a roadside bomb blast wounded eight people, including four police officers in central Tikrit, a major Sunni city in Salaheddin province about 100 miles north of Baghdad.

#1: US forces killed two suspected terrorists and detained another seven in the northern city of Samara, US military said.

U.S. forces said they killed three gunmen in an air strike on a vehicle in the Samarra area on Friday.

#2: Five militants from al-Qaeda were killed, including a senior leader dubbed Mohammad Zahim al-Harboni, when U.S. warplanes struck their house on Friday evening in the Jillam area near Samara, said Iraqi Colonel Mazin Yunis. He said two of those killed were Saudis and the other two were Algerian and Syrian.

#3: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a U.S. position during an operation east of Samarra, U.S. forces said. U.S. troops killed a second suspected militant and arrested seven, and destroyed a suspected safe house, U.S. forces said.

#1: U.S. forces said they killed a suspect during a raid northwest of the northern town of Balad.

#1: Armed men attacked a police car on Friday in Hatra, south of Mosul, killing two policemen.

#1: Turkey's army said its warplanes struck Kurdish separatist targets inside northern Iraq on Friday and Saturday, in what army sources called the biggest Turkish air operation in northern Iraq this year. A Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) spokesman said the bombing had caused no casualties. "Turkish Airforce planes, supported by ground weapons, struck PKK targets in an effective operation on April 25-26," the General Staff said in a statement on its website.

#1: Two policemen were killed and four others were wounded when their vehicle was blown up by a remote-controlled mine in Waghaz district of the southern Ghazni province on Saturday morning, Haji Mohammad Zaman, deputy provincial police chief said.

#2: In another attack on Saturday morning, one police officer was killed and another wounded in a roadside attack in Bala Boluk district of western Farah province, said Khalil Rahmani, provincial police chief.

#3: In eastern Paktika province, a provincial spokesman said on Saturday that at least 15 suspected Taliban militants were killed in a NATO-led airstrike on Friday evening.

#4: Taliban militants fired several rockets at police headquarters Charbaran district of the province that wounded a police officer, Ghamai Khan Mohammadyar, spokesman for provincial governor told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#5: In another attack blamed on the militants, a district director for the census due in August was killed in an ambush in the eastern province of Paktia on Friday, a provincial spokesman said.
His driver was also killed, said local government spokesman Rahmatullah Samoon. "It was the work of the enemies of Afghanistan," Samoon told AFP, using a term to refer to Taliban.

#6: Militants meanwhile fired six rockets at a compound housing various UN agencies in the western city of Herat late Friday but they all landed outside the facility, regional police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said.

#7: Also Saturday, four suspected Taliban militants were killed when a car they were using to move explosives blew up in the eastern province of Laghman, a provincial official said.

Casualty Reports:

Pfc. Matthew Bradford, 19, son of Debbie Bradford of Mosinee, was injured Jan. 18, 2007 while serving with the U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq. He lost both legs and his left eye and suffered intestinal damage, a ruptured bladder and broken bones.

Spec. Casimir Werda was a gunner on a Humvee in Iraq when an explosion ripped the sight from his eyes. After nearly a year of healing and rehabilitation -- in which he learned how to do routine tasks without sight. "It was a tragedy," Werda, 24, said of the March 14, 2007, attack.

Tim Butler a 20-year-old Watertown man is preparing to return to military service next week after a stay at home to recover from wounds he suffered in a March 7 roadside bomb blast in Iraq. It was the 10th time Pfc. Tim Butler was hit by a roadside bomb. “This last hit messed me up pretty good,” Butler said. “Any time I took a hit, I went to the doctors and said I was all right, so I could keep going out, because I really liked my job. The 10th blast I took sent me over the edge with my concussions though. It just got worse and worse, and that last one was it. I've got a traumatic brain injury.”