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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

War News for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a northwestern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, April 29th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier by small-arms fire in a northwestern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, April 29th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a northern neighborhood of Baghdad on Wednesday, April 30th. No other details were released.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an explosion in Logar Province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, April 30th. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack. No other details were released. Czech Happenings - News is reporting these to be Chech soldiers.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the deaths of two Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a southern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, April 29th. No other details were released.

Security incidents:

#1: A blinding dust storm hit Baghdad for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, forcing pedestrians to stay indoors and bringing road and air traffic to a halt, officials said. Fine dust from the storm, which is expected to continue for several days, has seeped into homes, depositing a thin film of yellow powder. Flights into and out of Baghdad have been cancelled, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

#2: A Sadrist leader said on Wednesday that at least 500 people have been killed, most of them women and children, and 2,000 wounded in the ongoing intense clashes between militants and Iraqi forces in Baghdad's Sadr City since March 25. Fatah al-Sheikh, a Sadrist leader, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the situation in Sadr City is 'dramatic.'

#3: US air raids on the city continued between late Tuesday and the early hours Wednesday amid intense clashes between militants and Iraqi forces, al-Sheikh said. The Sadrist leader stressed that the militants engaged in clashes with the Iraqi troops do not belong to the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Moqada al-Sadr. He added that the Sadrist movement plans to issue a statement on Sunday to explain the violent acts taking place in the city.

#4: Under the cover of the dust, dozens of rockets and mortar rounds have been fired since Tuesday at the Green Zone, the seat of Iraqi government and the US embassy.

#5: An official at the local hospital, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to release the information, said two people were killed and 16 wounded overnight in Sadr City. He said this brought the death toll in the district since Tuesday to 31, with 107 wounded.

The death toll from the clashes in Sadr City in the past 24 hours reached 35 dead and 129 wounded, a medical source said on Wednesday.

#6: The Sadr City violence continued overnight with the destruction of a school in the district. AP Television News footage showed that parts of the two-floor Baghdad Girls' School had pancaked as the result of an explosion. Desks were hanging down from the slanting classrooms where the outer walls were blown out by the blast.

The U.S. military had no comment about the school but said an Abrams tank fired at gunmen shooting at U.S. troops in Sadr City, killing all three. In another part of Sadr City, an unmanned drone fired a missile at a group of men planting a roadside bomb and killed one, the military said.

#7: The U.S. military withdrew from a building of the education department in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, which they used it as a barrack last month, an official source in the education department said on Wednesday. “The U.S. forces, stationed in the building when they entered Sadr City later last month, withdrew from the building, near one of Sadr City’s inlet,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. No word was available from the U.S. army on the incident.

#8: One civilian was killed and six others were injured when U.S. troops opened fire after being hit by a roadside bomb near their patrol in Baghdad's southeastern neighborhood of Fadhiliyah, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The source could not tell whether there were casualties among the U.S. soldiers as the troops immediately cordoned off the scene. The U.S. military did not confirm both incidents yet.

#9: Another civilian was killed and four others were wounded when two mortar rounds struck a residential area in the Rahmaniyah neighborhood in central the capital, the source said.

#10: In a separate incident, clashes broke out between U.S. troops and Mahdi Army militiamen in the al-Baladiyat neighborhood in eastern Baghdad resulted in the wounding of three people, the source said.

#11: Separately, several mortar rounds struck the Shiite neighborhoods of Bayaa and al-Amil in southern Baghdad, injuring six civilians, he said.

2 mortar rounds fell in Bayaa neighbourhood, southwest Baghdad at 12.15 pm injuring 2 civilians.

2 mortar rounds fell in al-Amil neighbourhood, southwest Baghdad at noon Wednesday, injuring 6 civilians.

#12: In addition, four mortar rounds landed on the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad around midday, the source said.

#13: A roadside bomb exploded in Ur neighbourhood, northern Baghdad at 7 am Wednesday. No casualties were reported.

#14 The brother-in-law of an Iraqi journalist who works with the Los Angeles Times also was reported killed. The victim recently had moved his immediate family out of the neighborhood because of the fighting. The journalist, reached by phone Tuesday night, said he was at the funeral and could not speak.

#15: Militants killed the nephew of the Interior Ministry spokesman and hung his body from an electric pole in Baghdad, the prime minister said Wednesday. The attack Tuesday was in apparent retaliation for the spokesman's role in a government crackdown against Shiite militias. Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf's nephew was killed in Sadr City district — the stronghold of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army — Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said.

#16: 4 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad by Iraqi Police today. 1 in Palestine Street; 1 in Khulani Square; 1 in Qahira and 1 in Ataifiyah.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Six women were wounded on Wednesday in a bomb explosion in south of the city of Baaquba, an official security source said. “An improvised explosive device was detonated near a rural road in al-Nahr al-Kabeir village in Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, wounding six passing women, four of them are in serious condition” the source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

A roadside bomb targeted a civilian pick up truck carrying women, injuring all six, three of whom are critical, at 7.50 am Wednesday. The truck was on its way from al-Baijat village, 15 km to the south of Buhruz, heading towards Baquba.

Persian gulf:
#1: Second US aircraft carrier deployed to Gulf. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Tuesday the deployment of a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf should be seen as a "reminder" of US military power in the region. "I don't think we'll have two carriers for a protracted period of time. So I don't see it as an escalation. I think it could be seen, though, as a reminder," Gates told reporters here during a visit with Mexican officials.

#1: Gunmen stormed a house and killed one woman in the west of the city of Kut, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Meanwhile, two members of the Awakening Councils were killed and another one was wounded when a road bomb went off in Abasy area in the Northern city of Tikrit, Iraqi police sources told dpa.

#2: 2 unidentified bodies were found in west Tikrit by the local police Tuesday evening.

#1: Two Awakening Council (Sahwa) fighters were killed on Wednesday and two more were wounded in a bomb blast near their vehicle patrol in al-Huwaiyja district, southwest of Kirkuk, a police source said. “An improvised explosive device went off targeting an Awakening Council fighters’ vehicle patrol in al-Ahnaf village in al-Abasi region in al-Huwaiyja district, southwest of Kirkuk, killing two fighters and injuring two others,” the source, who preferred anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: One body was found in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Tuesday, police said.

#1: Afghan security forces raided a Kabul hideout of militants with suspected links to the weekend attack on President Hamid Karzai, sparking a clash Wednesday that killed seven people, officials said. Two militants, a woman and a child were among those killed during the clash when the two sides traded rocket-propelled grenade and automatic gunfire for several hours, intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh told a news conference. Three intelligence agents also died, he said.

#2: The United States is considering pulling a battalion of Apache attack helicopters out of the Korean Peninsula to deploy it to Afghanistan on an anti-terror mission, a senior diplomat said Wednesday.

#3: Another Australian soldier has been shot and wounded in a firefight with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. Defence said the unnamed soldier was wounded during a clearance operation in the restive Oruzgan Province in south-central Afghanistan. He was evacuated by helicopter to a hospital for treatment for a gunshot wound to his arm. Defence said the wound was not life-threatening and the soldier's condition was stable.

#4: Militants threw a hand grenade and opened fire at a police van in a northwestern Pakistan city, killing three policemen and injuring two others, police said. The policemen were on patrol when they were hit by a grenade in the garrison city of Kohat, where Pakistan's army has a base that runs the anti-militant campaign in the nearby tribal districts of North and South Waziristan.
"The attackers then opened fire and policemen did not have a chance to retaliate," police chief of North West Frontier province, Malik Navid, told AFP.

Casualty Reports:

Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy Stengel 22-year-old Marine suffered massive internal injuries and wounds to both legs when he was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington has been his home ever since.

Pvt. Nathon Bagwell, 24, a 2003 graduate from East Hall High School, was shot in the left side of his abdomen by a sniper in Sauder City on Sunday, said his mother, Carolyn Bagwell. An official from Nathon Bagwell's base in Colorado Springs, Colo. called Carolyn Bagwell Monday evening and told her oldest son had been shot in the line of duty. His bowels have been damaged and one of his vertebrae is shattered. Doctors are still not sure whether or not the wound resulted in any paralysis. Nathon Bagwell's condition is critical but stable. He is no longer relying on a ventilator, and Carolyn Bagwell was able to speak to him on the phone today. Nathon Bagwell was able to tell his mother that he was in a lot of pain, but assured her that he was "okay." Since he arrived in Germany, Nathon Bagwell has undergone a surgery on his kidneys and a CT scan revealed that one of his vertebrae are shattered. He will undergo another surgery tonight, and doctors will replace the vertebrae with a steel rod.