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

Friday, May 23, 2008

War News for Friday, May 23, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Center soldier in a roadside bombing 12 miles southwest of Baghdad on Thursday, May 22nd. no other details were released.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Iraqi soldiers opened fire to disperse supporters of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who were gathering for prayers in Basra on Friday, jeopardising a fragile peace in the southern city. Police said Iraqi troops fired in the air to disperse hundreds of worshippers, whom they said had no right to gather in a square in northern Basra, wounding six. But Sadr supporters accused the Iraqi armed forces of attacking the worshippers and of indiscriminately opening fire on them. They said one person was killed and five wounded.

Lake al-Tharthar:
#1: west of Samarra on Friday, the body of a woman near Lake al-Tharthar, police said. A body of a woman in her 30s showing signs of having been shot was also found in a cell under the ground," Shakir added.

Tuz Khormato:
#1: 2 Iraqi army soldiers from Sulaiman Bek were attacked by gunmen near Tuz Khormatu on the main route from Kirkuk to Baghdad Friday.

#1: One civilian was killed and three others wounded when an explosive charge went off in al-Rimaniya village, Huweija district, on Friday, police said. "An improvised explosive device went off near a gathering of people in al-Rimaniya village in Huweija, (70 km) west of Kirkuk, leaving one civilian killed and three others injured," a security source speaking on condition of anonymity told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: At least one civilian was killed on Friday, and another three wounded when a bomb went off in the northern city of Kirkuk, media reports said. The Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said that an explosive device targeted people gathered in the al-Romaniya area in Kirkuk.

#1: A fire erupted in a house in northern Mosul when U.S. forces raided it on Friday, a security source in Ninewa police said."A house in the northern Mosul neighborhood of al-Rifaq was on fire while U.S. soldiers were raiding it. The U.S. soldiers detonated a stun bomb near the door, causing the house to burn," the source, who did not want to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). The source did not say whether the house owners were arrested. "None of them was hurt," he said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A suicide bomber killed at least six Iraqi civilians in an attack on a checkpoint in the Sunni Arab town of Fallujah, Iraqi police said. Captain Mohammed Hussain said the suicide bomber targeted a joint Iraqi and US military checkpoint in the Al-Julan neighbourhood of Fallujah, 50 kilometres west of the capital Baghdad. "The victims were civilians," he said. There was no immediate reaction from the US military.

#2: A roadside bomb on Friday struck a dismounted joint patrol of U.S. troops and Iraqi police in the city of Fallujah in Anbar province, killing one interpreter and wounding two Iraqi policemen, a provincial police source said. The bomb detonated in the morning when U.S. troops and Iraqi police were on foot patrol in the al-Azraggiya neighborhood in northern Fallujah, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. It was unclear whether any U.S. soldier was killed or wounded by the attack as the troops immediately cordoned off the scene, allowing a U.S. helicopter to evacuate the casualties, the source said. The U.S. military has not confirmed the incident yet.

Six U.S. marines were wounded and their Arabic-speaking interpreter was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

#3: A roadside bomb exploded in Falluja when Iraqi police tried to safely dispose of it, the U.S. military said. The blast wounded two policemen.

#4: Gunmen attacked the home of Falluja's local council leader Hameed al-Hashin but were repelled by his guards returning fire. No one was hurt.

#5: A police officer was killed and four were wounded when a suicide car bomber drover into the compound of a police station in Falluja, police said.

#1: A government official says a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan has killed four Afghan soldiers and a child. Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi says the suicide bomber blew himself up as the Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of the road.
Azimi says the attack Friday killed four soldiers and a child. Four other soldiers were wounded.
The attack occurred about 12 kilometres west of Khost city.

Casualty Reports:

Private Liam Haven, Brisbane-based soldier, was inside a Bushmaster armoured vehicle near An Nasiriyah in the early hours of last Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded, injuring his arm, neck and face. He has undergone surgery in Germany. "The 19-year-old is assessed as being in a stable condition," a Defence statement said.

Jesse Schertz, 24, is also a Marine, injured in Iraq almost four years ago when a car bomb exploded near his convoy. "They had homemade napalm and stuff like that, so we got a lot of burns," said Schertz. "I had burns from my face, my hands, caught shrapnel in my ankle and broke my leg." Doctors amputated his leg. Schertz spent 15 months in the hospital.

Army Specialist Josh Eckley serving two tours in Iraq and surviving a devastating Humvee explosion that left him fighting for his life.


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