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

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

War News for Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing and small-arms fire in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, April 7th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a rocket-propelled grenade attack (in Baghdad?) on Tuesday, April 7th. No other details or location were given.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing (in Baghdad?) on Tuesday, April 7th. No other details or location were given.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an explosion in Ghazni province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, April 8th. One additional soldier was wounded in the blast. No other details were released and we assume this to be an American soldier.

Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi government forces and the Mahdi Army clashed anew Tuesday in Baghdad. Fighting broke out again early Tuesday morning after Iraqi units tried to enter the cleric's stronghold, a police officer said. The boom of explosions could be heard across much of Baghdad, apparently coming from the neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. Low-flying jets circled the center of the capital several hours before sunrise. The two sides were using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars in the ongoing combat, said the police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information to the media.

Fifteen civilians have been injured in the clashes, he said.

Eight people were wounded in clashes in Sadr City on Tuesday and another seven people were wounded in other districts of eastern Baghdad, police said.

Hospital sources in the eastern Baghdad slum of Sadr City said fighting on Tuesday had killed three and wounded 52.

#2: The two main hospitals in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad, received 12 wounded on Tuesday, hospital officials said. On Monday the hospitals received seven dead people and 143 wounded.

#3: Meanwhile, security forces were reported to be blocking al-Sadr's supporters from traveling to Baghdad from outlying areas to attend an anti-U.S. rally scheduled for Wednesday. Al-Sadr called for the protest to mark the fifth anniversary of the capture of Baghdad by U.S. troops nearly a month after the war started, but many observers see it as a show of force in his confrontation with the government.

Aides to Muqtada al-Sadr say the anti-American Shiite cleric is calling off a mass rally in Baghdad Wednesday. Two aides in al-Sadr's office in the holy city of Najaf told The Associated Press that the rally had been canceled. They spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement.

#4: Hundreds of civilians have already fled Sadr City, where gunbattles have raged since last week. The sprawling district of some 2.5 million people, the nerve center of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, has been under siege by about 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops.

#5: A roadside bomb wounded three policemen, two traffic policemen and four civilians on Tuesday in the Zayouna district, in eastern Baghdad, police said.

#6: Six people, including two bomb squad personnel, were wounded while defusing an improvised explosive device (IED) in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, an Iraqi police source said."The blast, which occurred near the al-Shaab playground, eastern Baghdad, wounded six people, including two explosives experts," the source, who refused to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. The same source earlier said that four people, including two bomb squad personnel, were wounded while defusing the explosive charge.

#7: Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened on Tuesday to end a ceasefire he imposed on his militia last August, raising the prospect of further violence just as top U.S. officials get set to testify on Iraq's progress.

#8: Four mortar shells hit the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad around 9:00 A.m.

#9: Three mortar shells hit the building of Jawiyah club (air force club) in Palestine Street in east Baghdad around 12:00 p.m. No casualties reported.

#10: update Five New Hampshire National Guard soldiers police have been wounded during an attack on their base in Baghdad. The National Guard says four of the military police officers from the 237th Military Police Company were treated and are back on duty. Guard spokesman Sgt. Michael Daigle says the fifth is in the hospital in Iraq and doing well. The attack on Sunday killed a North Carolina National Guard soldier and wounded nine others. The National Guard says the soldiers were hit during mortar or rocket attacks on their base.

#11: U.S. military fired four Hellfire missiles at gunmen and mortar crews in Sadr City in three separate air strikes on Tuesday, killing an estimated 12 gunmen, Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Stover said.

#12: Around 4:00 p.m. a katyosha rocket hit the Green Zone. No report about casualties.

#13: Two civilians were killed and five others were wounded when 10 mortar shells hit Sadr city in east Baghdad around 5:00 p.m.

#14: Two civilians were wounded in a bomb explosion in Adhemiyah neighborhood in north Baghdad around 6:00 p.m.

#15: Police found three unidentified bodies in the neighborhoods of Saidiyah (1 body), Shaab (1 body) and the last body was found in Ur neighborhood.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Unidentified gunmen attacked early Tuesday the home of a Sunni tribal leader working with the U.S.-sponsored Awakening Council killing him and his three sons, Iraqi police said. Police said the man, whose name was not given, was active in the Awakening Council in the Sunni-dominated area around the town of Baqouba, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

Balad Ruz:
#1: Iraqi police say a roadside bomb has struck a minibus northeast of Baghdad, killing at least six civilians and wounding 10. Officials in the Diyala provincial police center say the blast struck morning commuters in the Dahalkah area on the outskirts of the religiously mixed city of Balad Ruz. The officials say the six killed in Tuesday's blast included four children and two women. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

Five others were also wounded in the blast, including four children and a woman, Major Karkhi added.

#1: update Two senior army officers were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near an Iraqi army convoy in northern Basra, an Iraqi army source said on Monday. “Brigadier Wessam Mahdi, commander of the 2nd brigade of the 14th division, and Colonel Fadel Ouda, an intelligence officer, were wounded in a bomb explosion on al-Kazeeza bridge in northern Basra,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Irar. “Colonel Fadel’s injuries were serious and he was rushed to Baghdad for treatment,” he added.

Tuz Khurmato:
#1: A roadside bomb wounded 16 people in a commercial area in Tuz Khurmato, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: A woman was killed and three of her relatives were wounded in a mortar attack on their house in Dalouiya, Salah al-Din, a police source said on Tuesday. “Two mortar rounds landed on a house in al-Sadeeq village in east of Dalouiya, killing a woman and seriously injuring three of the same family as well as causing severe material damage to the house,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq

#1: Gunmen attacked the house of al-Hadhar local mayor, killing his wife on Monday in al-Hadhar, 280 km (175 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: An improvised explosive device (IED) went off inside a shop in al-Hai al-Sinaie neighborhood, Rubaiaa district, (120 km) west of Mosul, killing one civilian and wounding two others," Brig. Khaled Abdul-Sattar told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: South of Mosul, Abdul-Sattar said, clashes with light and medium weapons broke out on Monday evening between unidentified gunmen and the bodyguards of the al-Hadar mayor, Ali Saleh Mady, near his home. Mady's wife was killed in the clashes.

#1: Taliban militants killed two police officers and wounded another at a checkpoint in western Afghanistan, an official said Tuesday. Rauf Ahmadi, spokesman for the western region police, said the militants attacked the police checkpoint Monday in the Shindand district of Herat province.

#2: Also in Shindand, eight people were killed Tuesday morning during a six-hour gunbattle between two tribes, Ahmadi said.

#3: A soldier from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed and the other was injured in an explosion Tuesday in central Afghanistan's Ghazni province, an ISAF statement released here said. "An ISAF soldier died of wounds and one was injured as a result of an explosion during a patrol in Ghazni province," said the statement.

#4: A government spokesman says militants have killed 17 Afghan road workers in the country's south. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary says insurgents attacked the road construction crew Tuesday morning in Zabul province. Sixteen other workers have been wounded. Bashary says Afghan and international security forces killed seven militants and wounded 12 in an ensuing firefight.

Marine Jeremy Stengel, 22, lost his leg after combat injury in Iraq in February 2007 while on a sweep for improvisedexplosive devices.

Luke Cassidy gave his heart and soul to his country as a Marine and police officer. Nine days after arriving in Al Ramadi in 2004, an improvised explosive device detonated beneath the vehicle Cassidy was driving. The explosion broke his legs, shattered his heels and tore off the big toe of his right foot. An insurgent also shot him in the right calf, he said. "Ten to 15 days later, after about 10 surgeries, the doctors gave me a choice," said Cassidy, 33, who received an honorable discharge as a Marine Corps Reserve staff sergeant. "I could either have my left leg below my knee amputated, or I could keep it and continue fighting infections, have it 3 inches shorter than my other leg and limp the rest of my life. It was not a hard decision."

Cpl Stuart Hale lost a leg in Afghanistan. The former sniper lost his left leg in 2006 to a land mine which killed one comrade and injured four others in Helmand province.