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, May 28, 2008

War News for Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Xinhuanet is reporting the death of a ISAF soldier in an explosion in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, May 28th. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's NATO statement.

The DoD is reporting a new death previously unreleased by CENTCOM. Sgt. Frank J. Gasper died in an IED explosion in Najaf, Iraq on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released.

The DoD is reporting a second new death previously unreported by CENTCOM. Sgt. Blake W. Evans died in an IED attack in the Al Jazeera Desert, Iraq on Sunday, May 25th. No other details were released.

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Fighting between U.S. troops and militant forces in Baghdad's Sadr City killed five people and wounded eight, Iraq's Interior Ministry said Wednesday. The fighting occurred in Sadr City's Fadhailiya district, scene of several clashes between U.S.- and Iraqi-led forces and supporters of rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, CNN reported.

#2: Iraq's largest Sunni Arab political bloc has suspended talks on ending its boycott of the Shiite-led government due to a dispute over which positions it would assume, the head of the bloc said Wednesday.

#3: In violence Wednesday, sporadic gunbattles broke out in a Shiite stronghold in southeastern Baghdad as detentions and raids against al-Sadr's followers continue to strain a truce that ended nearly two months of fierce clashes in the capital. Iraqi police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information, said three civilians were killed and five others wounded in the fighting that broke out about 6 a.m.

#4: A roadside bomb also struck a car in the Qara Taba district, northeast of Baghdad, killing a farmer and his son, local official Serwan Shukr said.

#5: Around 9am, police found 4 dead bodies in Ubaidi neighborhood after being informed by the American troops.

#6: Around noon, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol at Diyala bridge neighborhood.6 people were injured including 2 policemen.

#7: Around 12:30 pm, a mortar hit the ministry of planning building. No casualties recorded.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A father and a son were killed Wednesday in a bomb blast in Iraq's restive Diyala province. bomb went off on a main road linking Qura Tiba and Kafri near Baquba, 185 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, hitting a civilian vehicle, the Voices of Iraq news agency quoted a local official, Sirwan Shukr, as saying. Two passengers in the car - a father and his son - were killed and another son was injured in the blast.

#2: At least a civilian was killed and one more wounded on Wednesday in a roadside bomb explosion in Diala province, central Iraq, a police source said. “An explosive charge detonated, this morning, in al-Khwelis village near Ba’aquba, killing a civilian and wounding another,” the source, who asked to be unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.

#1: Two people were killed in clashes between Iraqi police and unidentified gunmen near the Shi'a holy city of Karbala, police said on Wednesday. Heavy fighting erupted on Tuesday evening between police and gunmen in the district of Al-Rafee, 30km from Karbala, local Police Chief General Shakir Jowdat told AFP. He said a search operation had been launched in the area. There were no further details about the identity of the attackers or their motive.

#1: An Iraqi army soldier was killed on Tuesday by unknown gunmen in central Amara city, a security source said. “Unknown armed men opened fire on an Iraqi army soldier in al-Qadissiya region, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: Police killed seven suspected al-Qaeda militants during clashes in a village just outside the town of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, on Tuesday and Wednesday, police said. Three policemen were wounded in the clashes.

#1: Deputy Chief of Kirkuk Emergency Police Forces survived unharmed an attempt on his life in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Wednesday morning, a police source said. “An explosive charge detonated, this morning, near the motorcade of Lieutenant Colonel Fuad Shewani in central Kirkuk, wounding an escort,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq. The source added that Shewani survived the attack unharmed.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A policeman was killed on Tuesday in a roadside bomb explosion targeting a police vehicle patrol in eastern Falluja, a police source said. “An explosive charge, planted on a road in al-Senaa neighborhood in eastern Falluja, went off, killing a policeman,” the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: A mob stormed the house of a member of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol and stabbed him to death in the town of Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

#1: In the eastern province of Khost, meanwhile, two suicide bombers tried to attack a US military outpost but were stopped by Afghan police at a checkpoint. Police opened fire and killed both bombers, said Gen. Mohammad Ayub, the provincial police chief. He said no one else was killed. A US spokesman said he didn't immediately have any information about the incident.

Police fired on a suicide bomber who was driving a vehicle filled with explosives toward a military base with US and Afghan troops in Gurbaz district of south-eastern Khost province, said Mohammad Ayoub, provincial police chief. He said three Afghan civilians were injured in the explosion Wednesday morning.

#2: In Helmand province, a suicide bomber on a motorbike targeted a police truck but missed, said Doulad Wazir, the governor's spokesman. One civilian was killed, he said.

a man riding a motorbike packed with explosives detonated himself near a police vehicle in Lashkargah city, in southern Helmand province, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andewal said. The blast killed the bomber and wounded two policemen and two civilians, he said.

#3: At least six Pakistani Taliban militants were killed in an explosion in their vehicle in the northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan today. The armed Taliban cadres were travelling through the Bajaur tribal region when explosives in their vehicle went off in the Salarzai area. Six of the militants were killed while two others were injured in the explosion, TV news channels reported. There was no official word on the incident.

#4: One soldier serving the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) died of wounds and four other soldiers were wounded Wednesday in an explosion during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan, the ISAF said. In a statement, the military alliance said an improvised explosive device (IED) caused the blast and the troops found another IED in the vicinity of the explosion site along with a truck containing various IED parts.