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 29, 2008

War News for Thursday, May 29, 2008

#1: Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a minibus, wounding six people in central Baghdad, police said.

#2: The bodies of eight men were found in Baghdad on Wednesday, police said. Four of them were found in the al-Obaidi district in eastern Baghdad.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Two Iraqi army soldiers were killed and one was injured when an improvised explosive device went off targeting their vehicle patrol in south of Baaquba, a police source said."The bomb, planted on the main road in south of Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: A tank truck was stopped at a Sahwa checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tikrit. The truck that was heading towards Baghdad was searched and the checkpoint personnel found that the driver, his assistant and 13 stowaways were wearing explosive vests ready to detonate. All 15 suicide bombers were executed.

At least 12 insurgents were killed on Thursday in clashes with members of a U.S.-backed Iraqi neighbourhood patrol near the city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, police said. The fighting erupted when insurgents jumped out of the container of a fuel tanker and attacked the patrol, said police officials. A police official said one of the insurgents blew himself up during the attack. He said 12 were killed, but did not clarify if the man who blew himself up was included in that number. "It was a fuel tanker. There were 14 terrorists inside, including Sudanese and other Arabs," said Ahmed al-Dulaimi, the head of a regional neighbourhood patrol network. "The driver shot at one of the (patrol) members, wounding him seriously. Then the clashes followed."

#1: A few hours earlier, a suicide bomber drove into a group of police officers and detonated his explosives in Al-Gabat, just north of Mosul, police captain Aziz Imara said. At least three people, including two policemen, were killed and 12 people were wounded, he said, adding that the blast had also damaged shops and restaurants.

#2: Three people were wounded, including two policemen, when a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: A police officer was injured on Thursday in an explosive charge blast near a police vehicle patrol in eastern Mosul, a police source said. "A roadside bomb exploded this afternoon in al-Amn neighborhood in eastern Mosul, targeting a police vehicle patrol, injuring one police lieutenant," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#1: An Iraqi official says 16 people have been killed and 14 wounded in a suicide bombing in a remote area in northwestern Iraq. The top official in the town of Sinjar says the bomber blew himself up among a crowd of men at a police recruiting center. Dakhil Qassim says 14 of those killed in Thursday's blast were recruits and the other two were policemen.

Hakurk Region:
#1: Turkish warplanes struck 16 Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, the military headquarters said. The latest operation was launched at 4 a.m. EDT in the Hakurk region and had been completed "successfully", the statement on the General Staff's website said. The Europe-based, pro-Kurdish news agency Firat confirmed the raids Thursday, saying warplanes taking off from a military base in southeastern Diyarbakir had hit villages in the mountainous border region. The agency said there were no immediate reports on possible casualties or damage.

#1: A suicide car bomber hit a convoy of international soldiers in Kabul on Thursday, killing three Afghans caught in the blast, police said. The attack in Kabul targeted two armored SUVs, causing minor damage to the vehicles. None of the soldiers inside the vehicles was wounded or killed, said Lt. Col. David Johnson, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition. He did not immediately know the nationalities of the troops.

#2: Meanwhile, a clash in the western province of Farah killed more than two dozen Taliban fighters, a police officer there said. A joint operation by Afghan and NATO forces in Farah, meanwhile, killed 30 Taliban fighters, said Nabi Popal, the deputy provincial police chief. One policeman and two Afghan soldiers also were killed. Afghan fighters surrounded the militants in the Bala Baluk district of Farah, Popal said, before NATO forces called in airstrikes. He said intelligence reports indicated that 30 Taliban had gathered in the area, but he did not say how he knew 30 had been killed and Popal's information could not immediately be verified.

#3: Also Thursday, a senior Taliban commander in Afghanistan's central Ghazni province contacted CBS News and said militants had kidnapped a French national near the town of Janda. The French citizen, said to be a man, and his Afghan driver were allegedly seized while traveling by car. The Taliban commander, who spoke to CBS on condition or anonymity, did not give the French national's name, but said the captive used to work for the Afghan government. CBS News could not independently verify the Taliban's claim, but the source has provided accurate information in the past. Officials on duty at the French Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry told CBS early Thursday morning they were unaware of any French nationals missing in Afghanistan.