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, May 8, 2008

War News for Thursday, May 08, 2008

#1: Iraqi soldiers for the first time warned residents in the embattled Sadr City district to leave their houses Thursday, signaling a new push by the U.S.-backed forces against Shiite extremist who have been waging street battles for seven weeks. Iraqi soldiers, using loudspeakers, told residents in some virtually abandoned areas of southeastern Sadr City to go to nearby soccer stadiums, residents said. UNICEF says about 6,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Sadr City, most of them from the southeastern section.

#2: At least four people were killed and 13 injured in clashes late Wednesday in Sadr City, Iraqi health officials said Thursday. It was not clear whether any militants were among them.

Fresh gunbattles between Shiite fighters and US occupation forces in Baghdad's Sadr City killed seven people and wounded 20 others, Iraqi security and medical officials said on Thursday.

The U.S. military said it killed 17 gunmen in several clashes across Baghdad, including in the Shi'ite slum of Sadr City. It said the incidents took place on Wednesday and Thursday.

#3: On Wednesday, Claire Hajaj, a UNICEF spokeswoman based in Jordan, said up to 150,000 people — including 75,000 children — were isolated in sections of Sadr City "cordoned off by military forces." She said about 6,000 have fled their homes.

#4: Meanwhile, gunmen wearing police uniforms killed a police captain Wednesday after kidnapping him from a police station in Shiite neighborhood of Abu Dshir, police said Thursday. His body was found near the station.

#5: A Katyusha rocket landed in central Baghdad, killing two people and wounding four, police said.

2 Katyusha rockets slammed into the street next to al-Nasr cinema, Sadoon Street, central Baghdad killing 2 civilians, injuring 2 others and causing material damage to several civilian cars.

#6: Iraqis employed at the British embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone claim to have been sexually abused, the Times reported Wednesday. An Iraqi woman, who worked as a cleaning lady, told British diplomats that the head of KBR had asked her to stay the night and promised to double her wage in return. Her refusal resulted in a pay cut and she was later dismissed.
Two Iraqi cooks, who confirmed the woman's claims to Foreign Office staff, also lost their jobs shortly afterwards, the Times reported. They had worked in the canteen and said that KBR managers groped Iraqi staff regularly and paid or rewarded them for sex. Those who refused or spoke out were dismissed. The British embassy heard the complaints initially, but left KBR to investigate the claims. KBR later reported they were unfounded.

#7: Baghdad's crumbling roads, burst sewage pipes and chronic water shortages are casualties of war that get little attention amid the daily litany of gunfights, bombs and bloodletting in Iraq. As summer approaches, the city is facing an acute shortage of drinking water despite the efforts of officials like Sadiq Shumari, its director of water services.

#8: 1 Katyusha rocket slammed into the Green Zone at 9 am Thursday. No casualties were reported.

#9: A roadside bomb exploded in Humat al-Watan intersection near Shaab stadium, east Baghdad. It targeted an Iraqi Army patrol injuring 5 servicemen.

#10: An adhesive IED in a Kia minibus exploded killing 1 civilian, severely injuring 5 others. The incident took place in Zayuna neighbourhood, near the traffic fly over at around 3 pm Thursday.

#11: A roadside bomb exploded behind the National Theatre in Karrada, central Baghdad injuring 3 civilians.

#12: A parked car bomb exploded targeting a police patrol in Mansour neighbourhood, west Baghdad, near Samad restaurant in Rowad intersection at 5 pm Thursday. The explosion killed 3 policemen and 4 civilians and injured 2 policemen and 17 civilians amongst whom were 2 women and 1 child. The location is a central commercial centre and the explosion resulted in burning 4 civilian cars completely as well as the police vehicle in addition to extensive material damages to 10 stores and completely destroying the restaurant.

#13: A roadside bomb exploded in Jihad neighbourhood, near Mohammed Rasool Allah Mosque at 7 pm injuring 7 civilians.

#14: 4 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police. 1 in Nahdha; 1 in Dola’I and 2 in Abu Disheer.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Thursday kidnapped a judge in Diala, a security source said.“Unknown armed group abducted judge Rasheed al-Manhal on the road linking Baldruz district and Kanaan district, south-west Baquba”, a Diala security source, who requested anonmity, told Aswat al-Iraq-Voices of Iraq.

#1: In the southeastern Shiite city of Kut, gunmen on Thursday stormed the Technical Institute and abducted a professor, Nuri Kamil Khanjar, local police said. It was not clear why Khanjar was kidnapped.

#1: Up to 20 rockets have been fired at the British base at Basra airport, say police in the southern Iraqi city. No British personnel are reported to have been seriously injured in the attack, thought to have happened at about 1415 local time (1215 BST). Iraqi and British Army units responded by sealing of part of the Zubair district of the city, from where the katyusha rockets had been fired.

#2: Violent clashes broke out between the security forces and gunmen in al-Askari neighbourhood, Zubair district 35 km t the west of Basra city after many Katyusha rockets were fired targeting a Notional Police camp in Zubair. The fighting continues and no casualties report was available at time of publication.

As a result, Iraqi army and police forces moved toward the missiles' launching location, and immediately clashes erupted with gunmen," he said."I heard explosions as security forces were approaching the area," he added. Another eyewitness from al-Rasheediya area of al-Zobair suburb said "fierce clashes broke out between the national police and gunmen for more than two hours." "Helicopters and jet fighters flew over the clashes field, but without bombarding any target," he added. "I saw an Iraqi Humvee vehicle damaged, while two houses were set on fire due to the random fire exchange," he noted. Security forces' sources could not be immediately reached for a comment.

#1: A former senior Al-Qaeda leader in central Iraq now working in one of the so-called Awakening groups alongside US forces survived a suicide bombing on Thursday north of Baghdad, officials said. The suicide bomber detonated the explosives as Mullah Nadhom Mahmud's convoy was driven by Dhuluiyah, a town some 70 kilometres (40 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraqi police official Mohammed al-Jubburi told AFP. Jubburi himself was in the vehicle targeted by the suicide bomber, but he escaped unhurt. He said Mahmud, 30, and three others were wounded.

#1: A policeman was seriously wounded when a bomb exploded near his home in the northern city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: The body of a man was found in Mosul on Wednesday, police said.

#1: Police say its officers have clashed with and killed six Taliban fighters in western Afghanistan. Provincial police chief Shah Jahan Noori said among militants killed during the clash Thursday was the Taliban-appointed governor for the western province of Ghor. He said about 10 militants had crossed into Ghor from the neighboring Helmand province before the clash. Noori said two police and one civilian were wounded during the firefight.

#2: A suicide car blast rocked Afghan capital Kabul Thursday, injuring five civilians, an interior ministry spokesman told Xinhua. The attacker exploded his car and injured the civilians nearby,the official said, adding that the blast, of which the target has still been unidentified, caused no other casualties.

Casualty Reports:

Pfc. Jeffrey Rosas, a 19-year-old Army soldier and 2007 Carroll High School graduate, was in critical condition at a Baghdad hospital after he was shot in the chest during a training exercise this week with his unit, his parents said. "All I was told was that he had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest," said Rosas' mother, Linda Rosas, who was contacted Tuesday afternoon at work by an official at Fort Carson, Colo., where her only child's unit is based. "Someone mentioned today -- one of the captains called today -- and said he was at a training exercise and they weren't able to release any more information," she said.

Marina Cpl. Jimmy Kinsey lost one leg and severely injured the other when his Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device.