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, October 10, 2008

War News for Friday, October 10, 2008

Oct. 8 airpower summary:

As Iraqi elections near, uptick in assassinations:

Karzai’s brother visited Saudi to plea for Taliban mediation:

Reported Security incidents:

#1: Residents said heavy firing was heard in Sadr City where Iraqi troops and the US military stepped up security after Thursday's bombing that killed 41-year-old Shiite MP Saleh al-Ogayly. Iraqi security officials said there were no casualties from the overnight gunfire in Sadr City and that the shooting died down as US troops took up positions at the entrance to the impoverished district where two million people live. "There was shooting at Iraqi forces, but no casualties," a security official said. "Buildings were hit."

#2: A civilian was killed and 10 others were wounded when an improvised explosive device went off in southern Baghdad on Friday, a police source said. “An explosive charge was detonated near a small vehicle in al-Doura region in southern Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring 10,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#3: Thursday Around 4 pm an adhesive bomb detonated under a civilian car in Mansour neighborhood. The driver was killed in that incident.

#4: Thursday Police found 2 dead bodies in Baghdad neighborhoods today: one was in Sleikh in Risafa bank (north Baghdad) and one was in Tobchi in Karkh bank (west Baghdad).

#5: A roadside bomb targeted a U.S military convoy in Madain, to the southeast of Baghdad around 2 p.m. Friday. One military vehicle was destroyed, according to Iraqi Police. No comment from the U.S. military was available at time of publication.

#6: A car bomb in the south of Baghdad has killed at least 12 people and injured more than 20, say local police. The blast struck a market in Abu Dshir market in the southern Dora district of the Iraqi capital. Several shops were reported to have been destroyed by the explosion and vehicles set on fire.

#7: One unidentified body was found in Ghadeer, east Baghdad by Iraqi police today.

Diyala Prv:
#1: Roadside bomb on Friday went off targeting an Iranian fuel tank in eastern Khanaqin suburb, setting it on fire, said a source from the Border Force in Diala province. “The bomb exploded at the Khanaqin-Montheriya highway, targeting an Iranian fuel tank that was heading to Khanaqin, (155 km) northeast of Baaquba,” Sarchal Abdelkareem told Aswat al-Iraq. “The explosion set the tank on fire but caused no casualties,” he said.

#1: A civilian was injured in a bomb explosion on Friday in southwestern Arbil, an Iraqi army source said. “An explosive device went off this morning on the road between Makhmour district and Qayara region near Sultan Oula village in west of Makhmour while a taxi was passing, seriously injuring the driver,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#1: Four people were killed and at least 15 were wounded when two bombs exploded in Bab al-Tob, a commercial area in central Mosul especially crowded by shoppers on Fridays, police said. Mosul is 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al-Faisaliyah neighbourhood, downtown Mosul at 1 p.m. causing no casualties or damages.

#3: “Two gunmen driving Opel came across two Christian individuals in al-Wihda district, north Mosul, and shot them dead after asking for identifications’ papers,” an Iraqi army source told Aswat al-Iraq.

#4: Meanwhile, the same source said “two gunmen killed two Christians in al-Mithaq district, east Mosul”.

#5: Fifteen civilians were killed and 30 others wounded in a suicide blast that ripped through al-Corniche souk (market) in central Mosul city on Friday, an official Iraqi army source said. “A suicide bomber with an explosive vest attacked the souk on Friday, killing 15 and wounding 30 others,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq. The source did not give more details.

#6: A mortuary in Mosul received three decomposed unidentified bodies from a U.S. military base in the southern part of the city on Friday, an official police source in Ninewa said. “The bodies showed clear signs of having been shot in the head and chest,” the source said, not giving more details.

#1: Turkish jets carried out a fresh bombing raid overnight from Thursday to Friday on Iraqi territory against separatist Kurdish rebels who were trying to cross the border, the army said on Friday. "A large group of terrorists was neutralised" during the operation on Thursday night which also involved the use of artillery, army general Metin Gurak told a press conference. Gurak said the rebels were "preparing to commit attacks in Turkey," but did not give out any toll for PKK losses from the raid.

Turkish war planes backed by artillery on Thursday night conducted attacks on a large group of Kurdish separatists inside northern Iraq, the Turkish military announced on Friday. A Turkish General Staff spokesman said the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) group were attempting to cross into Turkey where they planned to carry out attacks on Turkish targets. A large number of the PKK group were killed in Thursday night's bombardments, the spokesman said.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: Thursday A suicide bomber targeted the battalion emergency headquarter for Al-Subtayeen brigade in Habaniya area ( 13 miles west of Falluja). Three policemen were killed and eight others were wounded.

#2: Eight Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a car bomb attack on a military site southwest of Falluja city on Friday, a police source said. “A car bomb blew up in the Iraqi army’s al-Sibtayn Brigade headquarters in the area of al-Habbaniya, southwest of Falluja, on Friday evening, leaving eight wounded,” the source, who is from Habbaniya police station, told Aswat al-Iraq on condition of anonymity. “Three of the eight wounded soldiers are in a serious condition and are now received treatment at a hospital,” the source said, adding the blast also caused damage at the brigade headquarters.

#1: Three Afghan intelligence officers have been killed in a bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan.
Provincial officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that three officers had died and two other people had been injured in the attack in Khost on Friday. Sayed Ahmad Khan, the provincial district governor, told Reuters news agency that it was a suicide attack. "The suicide bomber on foot attacked the detective while he was going to work," he said.

#2: A patrol of Polish soldiers came under fire in Afghanistan, Thursday. No casualties were experienced on the Polish side though one of the assailants was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire. The incident occurred in the Ghazni province, eastern Afghanistan, where the Polish troops are stationed. The Polish patrol was raked with machine-gun fire. The soldiers set off in pursuit of the insurgents who launched the attack while riding a motorcycle. One insurgent escaped after this compatriot was shot. Next to the abandoned motorcycle, soldiers found landmines, weapons and ammunition.

#3: A suicide bomber killed a provincial intelligence officer and wounded three policemen in the eastern Afghan province of Khost today. The incident took place in the Baak district of Khost province, some 150 km (90 miles) east of the capital Kabul. "The suicide bomber on foot attacked the detective while he was going to work," provincial district governor Sayed Ahmad Khan said. "No civilians were killed or wounded in the attack."

#4: A suicide bomber was the only casualty in a blast that caused partial damage to an oil tanker, carrying fuel to Afghanistan near the Michini check-point on the Pak-Afghan Highway on Thursday. Eyewitnesses said the suicide bomber, identified as Qari Ajman, 32, blew himself up at around 2:35 pm during traffic jam on the highway between Landikotal and Torkham. A passenger of a mini-coach told our sources that the bomber, travelling in a jeep, disembarked and ran towards the oil tankers during traffic jam, detonating the explosives fastened around his body. Officials of the Landikotal administration said the bomber tried to target the convoy of Afghanistan-bound oil tankers at the Torkham border’s parking lot, but missed the target.

#5: A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter aircraft crashed in the country's northeast on Thursday and there is no casualties, a PAF statement said. The F-7 aircraft was on an operational training mission when it crashed near Sargodha district of eastern Punjab province, a PAF spokesman said in the statement. Fortunately the pilot ejected safely from the plane.

#6: Taliban militants in Pakistan beheaded four tribal elders who had attended a pro-government meeting in the insurgency-hit region of Bajaur, officials and residents said on Friday. The victims were abducted when heading home after a jirga (gathering), which the Charmang tribe had called to plan action against Taliban militants in their area, a member of the tribe, Malik Abkar Jan, told AFP. A local government official said residents found the beheaded bodies in a town near where the jirga had been held on Thursday.

#7: A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people and 30 wounded attending a tribal council in Pakistan's Orakzai region in the northwest on Friday, said a tribal elder who witnessed the attack. "We were busy in raising a lashkar (a tribal militia) to evict Taliban from the region when this attack took place," Qeemat Khan Orakzai, a member of the council told Reuters.

Casualty Reports:

US Army Specialist Alan Seals, 26, military career ended Oct. 4, 2003, when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the tank he was in while on patrol at an Iraq power plant. On Oct. 4, 2003, he was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade while exiting the tank in which he was riding. The blast threw him from the vehicle. As he got up and made his way back to the tank, he remembers briefly looking at his arm, seeing blood and trying to figure out where it came from. He woke up six days later, although it seemed all of 30 minutes, he said. It was then he learned his right arm was am-putated. What followed were surgeries to repair his small intestines and skin graft operations to heal neck, chest and stomach wounds. Shrapnel still is embedded in his body, said his mother, Marjorie Seals.