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

Saturday, August 23, 2008

War News for Saturday, August 23, 2008

#1: Friday policemen found an unidentified body of a man in his 40s in the western Baghdad neighborhood of al-Jameaa.

#2: A mortar shell hit Adhemiyah palace where the Iraqi army is based in Baghdad neighborhoods of Adhemiyah. 3 soldiers were injured.

#3: Gunmen killed a senior advisor in the Ministry of Culture in his car in a drive-by shooting in central Baghdad, police said.

Diyala Prv:
#1: A roadside bomb detonated in Mansouriya (24 miles east of Baquba). One person was killed.

#1: Gunmen kidnapped eight Iraqis from their homes on Saturday in a raid in the country's volatile Diyala province. The men were seized by the gunmen who arrived in the town of al-Gotin, north of Baghdad, in a convoy of more than a dozen vehicles, a police source said on condition of anonymity.

"Eight civilians were kidnapped by an armed group believed to be affiliate to al-Qaeda Organization in Iraq south of the district of Buhrez, (5 km) south of Baaquba," the source, who asked for anonymity out of security concerns, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#1: In separate incidents, two bombs exploded in different parts of the provincial capital Baquba on Saturday, killing a civilian and wounding two rubbish collectors.

#2: Unknown gunmen on Saturday kidnapped the general coordinator between the so-called Salah al-Din armed factions and the U.S. forces near Baaquba city, a security source said. "Unidentified gunmen driving three motorbikes kidnapped Mustafa Salah, a coordinator between Salah al-Din factions and the U.S. forces, in al-Tahrir neighborhood, Baaquba city," the source, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq­- Voices of Iraq.

#1: A local morgue in Kut city on Saturday received three unknown bodies that were pulled out of a river in the north of the city, an official source from the morgue said. "Today, al-Zahraa Hospital's morgue in Kut received three bodies belonging to unknown civilians, who were fished out of a river in northern al-Suwaira district (135 km north of Kut city)," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq­- Voices of Iraq.

#1: Gunmen killed four members of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol in a drive-by shooting at their checkpoint just south of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#1: Iraqi police found the body of a civilian bearing gunshot wounds in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Gunmen shot dead an Iraqi army officer and a soldier in an attack in eastern Mosul, police said.

#3: Two militants accidently blew themselves up while trying to plant a bomb in eastern Mosul, police said.

#1: Militants on Friday attacked the base camp of a Korean company, SAMBU, contracted for the construction of the Lowari Tunnel, camp officials said. No casualty was reported in the incident. The militants attacked the camp established near the tunnel’s opening in Dir Upper during Friday prayers with assault rifles. The camp’s water tank, building roofs, a nearby mosque and labourers’ room were hit during the attack. A Korean camp official, wishing not to be named, that militants opened indiscriminate fire on the camp and fled. The official said that around 20 rounds of shells were collected from the scene and later handed over to the police. Eyewitnesses said neither the Frontier Constabulary (FC) men nor the local police squad stationed in the area to protect the camp returned the fire.

#2: Three civilians were killed and seven others got wounded as a bomb planted by insurgents struck a car in Afghanistan's eastern Khost on Saturday, police said. "A mine planted by anti-government militants on a road in Tanaidistrict hit a civilian car around 11 a.m. local time, killing three men and wounding seven others including three women and four children," Kalim Khan, the police chief of Tanai told Xinhua.

#3: Afghan National Army (ANA) and police forces launched a joint operation Friday targeting Taliban rebels in southern Afghan province of Eland killing at least 17 rebels, said an official on Saturday. Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, the provincial police chief told Xinhua that the clean-up operation was launched early Friday morning in Nad Ali district of Helmand where the joint forces engaged with a group of Taliban militants and killed at least 17 of them. "Fire fight last for around three hours during which only one ANA soldier got injured," Andiwal said. However, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, the purported Taliban spokesman confirmed with Xinhua via phone from an unknown hideout that the outfits engaging with a large number of Afghan army and police Friday have inflicted great casualties on the combined forces, but he failed to give the casualty number on Taliban side.

#4: a blast occurred near a police station, killing at least 20 people, state television said. The suicide bomber rammed a explosive-laden car into a police station in Charbagh Tehsil of Swat valley of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), PTV quoted the police as saying. There are also paramilitary soldiers in the police station.