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

Thursday, April 3, 2008

War News for Thursday, April 03, 2008

Baghdad:
#1: A parked car bomb targeting a police patrol in western Baghdad killed at least one civilian and wounded 10 other people, including three officers, police said.

Three people were killed and ten others injured by a car bomb explosion targeting a police patrol in western Baghdad on Thursday, an Interior Ministry source said. "The incident occurred at about 11:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) when a booby-trapped car went off near a police patrol in the al-Kindi thoroughfare in the Harthiya neighborhood," the source told Xinhuaon condition of anonymity. The blast resulted in the killing of three civilians, includinga woman, and the wounding of ten others, including three policemen,the source said.

#2-5: Earlier, four roadside bomb explosions across Baghdad resulted in the killing of an Iraqi soldier and the wounding of eight people, the police said.

#2: A roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol elsewhere in the predominantly Sunni Yarmouk neighborhood in the capital, killing one soldier and wounding three others.

#3: A roadside bomb struck street cleaners in Sinaa Street, east-central Baghdad, wounding 4 cleaners, police said.

#4: A roadside bomb exploded near a restaurant in western Baghdad wounding a traffic policeman, police said.

An IED planted in the Traffic Police umbrella stand in Mansour neighbourhood, central Baghdad, near al-Sa'a restaurant went off at 7.15 am Thursday injuring one policeman.

#5: A roadside bomb exploded in Qahtan Square of western Baghdad wounding 2 civilians, police said.

#6: A mortar shell slammed into a house in Sadr City late Wednesday, killing three members of one family, including two children and their grandmother, police said. Five people were injured.

#7: US soldiers accidentally shot and killed an Iraqi woman while targeting a man planting a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the military said Thursday. The soldiers were on a foot patrol Wednesday in northeastern Baghdad when they fired three rounds at the suspect, killing him, according to a statement. The troops then opened fire on another man trying to remove the roadside bomb from the site as a crowd gathered. The military said the man was wounded, along with one of two local women he was using as shields against the soldiers. "After the engagement, the woman died of her wounds," the military said.

#8: A roadside bomb targeted a US military convoy in al-Bayaa, southwestern Baghdad at 5 pm Thursday. No comment was available from the US military at the time of publication.

#9: 2 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Baladiyat and 1 in Hurriyah.


Mahmudiya:
#1: A road side bomb struck a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol in Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad killing one and wounding two others, police said.


Hilla:
#1: U.S. forces called in helicopter strikes during a clash with gunmen on Thursday in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla. Police sources in the Shi'ite city said five people had been killed in the predawn operation, including four policemen. They said fighting broke out after U.S. troops wearing civilian clothes entered the al-Jamiya district in central Hilla. Sattar al-Jeshaami, spokesman for the main hospital in Hilla, said six bodies had been brought in after the clash, including four policemen. Around 15 people had been wounded, half of them civilians, he said.
The U.S. military said gunmen opened fire on U.S. troops who were on an operation to detain a so-called "special groups" member, the military's term for rogue elements in the Mehdi Army militia of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

In Hilla, south of Baghdad, security officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that night guards opened fire by mistake on a US patrol in the early hours on Thursday in Jamiyah district in the city centre. Later, a US gunship shelled the scene of the shooting, killing five policemen and injuring 11, including two women in their homes, the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.


Basra:
#1: A U.S. warplane in the southern Iraq city of Basra launched an airstrike "against enemy forces" that killed one person and destroyed a house, the U.S. military has said. The U.S. military said Thursday the strike -- carried out overnight in support of Iraqi security forces -- took place near the western Basra neighborhood of Qibla.

But witnesses said three people were killed and three others were believed to be buried in the rubble, apparently leading to confusion over the number of casualties. "While we were preparing for evening prayer, US aircraft bombed this house, we rushed to save survivors but in vain," one said. "The father, mother and a young boy were killed and three others were buried under rubble. We evacuated two people and one is still under the rubble." Hospital officials said three bodies had been received, including two men and an elderly woman, and two women were wounded in the strike.

The US military has been accused of killing six Iraqi civilians during an air strike in the southern city of Basra yesterday.

#2: update Iraqi soldiers rolled through a Shiite militia stronghold in Basra on Wednesday. Later, the camera operator, Mazin al-Tayar, told Alhurra by telephone that the soldiers faced "many roadside bombs and mortar rounds" during the operation, although there were no reports of military casualties.

#3: Iraqi security forces arrested Yusuf al-Mawsawi, head of the Tharallah Shi'ite religious party, in an overnight operation in the al-Maqal area of northeast Basra, said Baqir al-Jabiri, an official in the party.


Tikrit:
#1: "U.S. troops made an airdrop in Ain al-Faras region, west of Tikrit, after receiving intelligence reports indicating the presence of fighters carrying Arab nationalities in the region," the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. "Separate clashes broke out between suspected al-Qaeda gunmen and U.S. forces, during which 11 gunmen, including seven carrying Arab passports, were killed," he explained. "The U.S. forces told the police that they carried the gunmen's bodies to the U.S. base north of Tikrit," the source added. "One U.S. soldier was injured in the clashes," he also said.


Samarra:
#1: The U.S. military said in a statement that its forces fought and killed four militants on Wednesday east of Samara.

#2: A road side bomb struck a police patrol near the Askariya shrine in central Samara, 100 km (62 miles) north of Baghdad, killing five policemen, police said.


Kirkuk:
#1: Gunmen opened fire upon a civilian on the main route between Kirkuk and Baghdad, Wednesday evening killing him instantly.

#2: Gunmen assassinated a police officer in the Iraqi Police, Department of National Investigation in downtown Kirkuk, late Wednesday evening.


Mosul:
#1: In northern Iraq, a suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi checkpoint west of Mosul late Wednesday, killing seven people, including a woman and a 5-year-old child, and wounding 12, according to the Iraqi military. The U.S. military confirmed the Wednesday night attack but put the casualty toll at five dead and 19 wounded.



Afghanistan:
#1: An airstrike in southern Afghanistan killed three armed militants. The airstrike Wednesday killed militants north of Kandahar city, the capital of the southern Kandahar province, deputy provincial chief Amanullah Khan said.

#2: In neighboring Helmand province, U.S.-led coalition troops killed several insurgents during a raid targeting a Taliban commander in Kajaki district, the coalition said in a statement. During the Tuesday raid the insurgents fired on the coalition soldiers before the troops returned fire, killing "a number" of militants and detaining four others, the statement said.

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