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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

War News for Sunday, August 31, 2008

The DPA is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier in a roadside bombing on the Kabul-Kalat highway in Northwestern Afghanistan on Sunday, August 31st. Three additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. Here's the Romanian military release.


Six dead after PKK attack on Turkish military base:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Unknown gunmen shot dead a civilian who were driving his car on the highway of Muhammad al-Qasim in central Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

#2: In a separate incident, two Iraqi soldiers and a civilian were seriously wounded when a bomb planted in a civilian car went off while approaching an Iraqi army checkpoint in the al-Resala neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad, the source said.

#3: Also in southwestern Baghdad, the source said that police patrols picked up two unidentified bodies with gunshots wounds in the head and chest from the al-Rey neighborhood.

#4: Earlier, a roadside bomb hit a U.S. patrol in Baghdad northwestern neighborhood of Shu'la, the source said, without providing further detail as the troops immediately sealed off the area. The U.S. military did not confirm the incident yet.

#5: Saturday Police found one dead body in Baghdad in Al Saidiyah neighborhood.


Diyala Prv:
Balad Ruz:
#1: Unknown gunmen on Sunday launched an armed attack on a Baladruz village, driving 46 families to leave their homes for safer areas, a local security source said. "Today, unidentified gunmen launched an attack on Baladruz's village of al-Wathba (45km southwest of Baaquba), forcing 46 families to leave their houses," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq ­- Voices of Iraq


Kut:
#1: A high-ranking police officer survived with serious wounds from a gunfire attack that left his wife dead in the city of Kut, the capital of Wasit province, on Sunday, an Interior Ministry source said. "Lieutenant Colonel Yas Khudheir Abbas, a police chief in Kut, some 180 km south of Baghdad, was seriously injured when unknown gunmen stormed early in the morning his house in the al-Ezza neighborhood in western the city," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Abbas's wife was killed during the incident, the source said, adding that the motivation behind the attack remained unknown.


Kirkuk:
#1: Police found the body of a bodyguard of one of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's advisers with gunshot wounds just after he was kidnapped on Saturday in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen killed an off-duty police officer and wounded his brother in a drive-by shooting on Saturday in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: One body was found with gunshot wounds on Saturday in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: Two Chinese telecoms engineers have gone missing in northwest Pakistan along with their driver and a security guard. A senior diplomat at the Chinese embassy told AFP the group disappeared on Friday in restive North West Frontier Province near the border with Afghanistan.

#2: At least five Taliban insurgents were killed last Friday in a firefight with a combined force of NATO troops and local police in western Afghanistan. The incident occurred after insurgents attacked a Spanish convoy on a humanitarian mission around 25km from Qala i-Naw in Badghis province, prompting them to call in reinforcements, including, decisively as it turned out, air cover. According to the Spanish Defence ministry, no NATO troops nor Afghan police were injured in the battle, which lasted for more than two hours.

#3: Taliban militants shot dead a security guard of a local intelligence office in a restive Pakistani tribal area, accusing him of spying on them, officials said Sunday. The body of Sher Baz Khan, 55, who was kidnapped on Friday, was found on Sunday morning by residents near Miranshah, the main town of lawless North Waziristan which borders Afghanistan, a local government official told AFP. "Khan was shot and then one of his hand was chopped and a note found on his body said he was spying on Taliban activities, that's why he was killed," the official said.

#4: Four people, including two Canadians of Arab origin, were killed and two other people injured when a missile reportedly fired from Afghanistan hit a house in the Korzai area of South Waziristan on Saturday. According to local people, a plane was seen flying over the area shortly before the missile hit the house of one Noor Khan Gangikhel near a scout camp in Wana at around 4.30pm. The injured, who reportedly belong to Punjab, were taken to a local hospital.


Casualty Reports:

Marine Chris Hahn lost his leg in Iraq in 2006.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

War News for Saturday, August 30, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Coalition force Soldier in a a non-combat related incident while conducting operations in Ninewa province on Thursday, August 28th. No other details were released.


Land mine blast kills 12 officers in India:

Bomb blast wounds 45 in Sri Lankan capital:

Bombs kill at least 2 Russian soldiers in Chechnya:

4 soldiers killed, 10 wounded in Philippine rebel ambush:

Two Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish rebels:

Iraqi troops take control of Iranian refugee camp:

CNPC to develop Ahdab oil field in Iraq:

Iraq to clear out Baghdad squatters:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Two bodies were found in eastern Baghdad on Friday, police said.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army vehicle injuring two soldiers in Al Mansour neighborhood at 10 a.m.

#3: Two civilians were injured in Karrada neighborhood when a bomb was attached to their car exploded around 1 p.m.


Baquba:
#1: Four people were killed in an armed attack near the central Iraqi city of Baquba, a security official said, stating that a leader of the anti-terrorist Awakening councils was among the dead. The attack which took place in al-Ihbas village, 45 kilometres south-west of Baquba.

Gunmen burst into the home of a local militia fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq's Diyala province before dawn on Saturday and killed the man, his wife and two sons aged seven and 12, police said. A police official said Al-Qaeda fighters were behind the ferocious early-morning bloodletting in the town of Ahbash east of the provincial capital Baquba.


Iskandariya:
#1: Police found two bodies on Friday bearing gunshot wounds and signs of torture in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. Police said that one of the people discovered had been decapitated.


Mosul:
#1: Police on Friday killed three militants who had attacked a checkpoint in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a police spokesman for Nineveh province said.

#2: The body of a doctor who had been kidnapped several days ago was found in Mosul, police said.

#3: Three Turkish oil tanker drivers on Saturday were wounded in an explosive charge attack that ripped through northern Mosul, an Iraqi army source said. "Today, an improvised explosive device detonated near three Turkish oil tankers in al-Arabi neighborhood, northern Mosul, leaving three Turkish drivers injured," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.



Afghanistan:
#1: The U.S.-led coalition says several militants have been killed in clashes and airstrikes north of the Afghan capital Kabul. The coalition says in a Saturday statement its troops targeted insurgents in Nijrab district of Kapisa province. It says militants retaliated with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire before coalition troops called in airstrikes, killing several rebels Friday.

#2: Pakistani forces pounded militant positions in the Swat valley in the northwest on Saturday and a military spokesman said nearly 40 insurgents had been killed in the past 24 hours. The military used jet fighters and helicopter gunships to attack militant positions in the Matta area on Friday, with the assault continuing through the night until after dawn on Saturday. Major Nasir Ali, a military spokesman in the region, said nearly 40 militants had been killed in the past 24 hours.

#3: In a separate incident, a missile strike on a house in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border killed five people, residents of the area said. A missile hit a house in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, killing five people, said a resident who saw the bodies taken out of the rubble. The house was owned by a man known to have militant links, residents said.
It was not immediately clear who fired the missile but U.S.-operated pilotless drone aircraft have launched attacks in Pakistani border regions several times this year, killing dozens of militants.

#4: A suicide bomber in a vehicle attacked a foreign military convoy west of the Afghan capital Saturday, but no troops or civilians were killed, a provincial police chief said. The suicide bomber died in the blast, which occurred just outside Kabul, police Chief Ayub Salangi said. A spokesman for the NATO-led force in Kabul could not immediately confirm the blast.

#5: The shots that killed three civilians at an Afghan checkpoint Friday were probably fired by Germans, not Afghan security personnel, the German armed forces said here several hours later as an inquiry into the incident continued.”According to what we know now, evidence has been obtained at the scene suggesting that the shots fired at the vehicle came from German guns,” the armed forces website in Germany said. “Whether shots were fired from the other side towards the vehicle has yet to be conclusively established.” An Afghan woman and two children were killed and four other children were injured as German soldiers opened fire on the car when it failed to stop in the northern province of Kunduz, Afghan police said earlier Friday. Both Afghans and Germans were manning the checkpoint.

#6: Afghan soldiers killed more than 10 insurgents in Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province on Friday after coming under heavy gunfire, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

#7: The United States has deployed a much-needed battalion of 800 troops to assist Canadian and Afghan Forces in Kandahar and to try to tame the province's Wild West.


Casualty Reports:

Army Sgt. Christopher Perkins, has been receiving treatment for numerous injuries suffered Aug. 8 while on duty in Iraq. Christopher Perkins' back, liver, eye and ear were hurt when an improvised explosive device, or IED, blew up "on a road that hadn't been traveled by Americans in two months," Laurie Perkins said.

Chris Hahn lost part of a leg in Iraq. things abruptly went wrong on Jan. 30, 2006. Hahn was the gunner on a night convoy, sitting atop a 7-ton troop truck. All the headlights were off so the convoy would be invisible to potential attackers, and the drivers were wearing night-vision goggles. The goggles have one problem, Hahn said: poor depth perception. On that run, the driver of Hahn’s truck misjudged where the edge of the road was and took the vehicle over the edge, a 15-foot drop. “The truck came down on top of me and pinned my leg,” Hahn said. “And I was conscious for everything.” The surgeons put the left foot back together and sent him stateside to recover. But in March, a checkup at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., found gangrene in his heel. Surgeons had to amputate the heel — and then the foot — and then the lower fourth of his leg.

Friday, August 29, 2008

News of the Day for Friday, August 29, 2008

Shi'ite people march during an anti-U.S. military rally after attending Friday prayers in Baghdad's Sadr City August 29, 2008. REUTERS/Kareem Raheem (IRAQ) Note: Al Sadr announced yesterday that he is extending the cease fire, but his movement continues to oppose the occupation by peaceful means. -- C


Reported Security Incidents

As is typical of Fridays, there was comparatively little political violence reported today. I do want to note that the deaths of U.S. soldiers on Wednesday and Thursday, which Whisker noted yesterday, have gone largely unreported in U.S. corporate media, as did the other substantial violence which occurred yesterday.

Baghdad

Roadside bomb explodes in Yarmouk. No casualties reported.

Tal Afar

Police foil an attempted suicide attack on a mosque, kill the attacker.

Tikrit

"Coalition" (probably meaning U.S.) troops kill a "wanted man" in an operation targeting an "al Qaeda" leader. Implication seems to be that the "wanted man" was not the target of the operation.

Other News of the Day

Contrary to earlier reports, it appears a deal on the continued presence of U.S. forces is not imminent after all. The Bush administration is balking over the Iraqis' demand for withdrawal by 2011. VoI report:

Most of the items in the long-term security agreement with Washington are still pending negotiations and not settled yet, an Iraqi legislator said on Friday, ruling out the parliament would vote over the deal.

"Differences revolve around a schedule of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as well as their powers and the description of these troops," Abdelkareem al-Samarraie, a member of the Iraqi parliament's Security & Defense Committee, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). A declaration of principles had been signed by U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in December 2007. The declaration was planned to be ratified on July 31, 2008, to be effective as of January 1, 2009.

The agreement should govern the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq after the year 2008. This presence is currently depending on a mandate by the UN, renewed annually upon the request of the Iraqi government. The deal should not be effective before a 275-member Iraqi parliament approves it. Samarraie, who belongs to the (Sunni) Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF), the third largest in parliament with 38 out of a total 275 seats, pointed out that the Iraqi political leaders hope the year 2011 would be a final date for the end of foreign presence in Iraq.

"Although the Iraqi delegation has insisted on that date, the Americans have some reservations over it," he added.


U.S. forces arrest a senior member of the "de-Baathification Committee chaired by their old friend Ahmad Chalabi. Chalabi defends him. Reuters report:

U.S. forces arrested the deputy head of a committee that purged Iraq's government of members of Saddam Hussein's party, an ally said, but the U.S. military said he was a wanted militia leader behind a deadly Baghdad bombing. U.S. troops detained Ali al-Lami, general manager of a committee established in 2003 and 2004 by then U.S. governor Paul Bremer to remove members of Saddam's Baath party from the government, on Wednesday, the committee's head said on Thursday.

A U.S. military statement said its troops seized a man at the airport suspected of planning a bomb attack in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City slum in June that killed 10 people, including two U.S soldiers and two U.S. civilian contractors. "He was captured at the airport. He had just returned from Lebanon with his family," Ahmed al-Chelabi, director of the deBaathification Committee, said in a statement. "We strongly condemn this operation against one of the highest officials of the ... committee, who had done good work."

The U.S. military said the man they picked up at the airport, whom they could not name, was a senior "special groups criminal", jargon for Shi'ite militia cells it says are backed by Iran. Iran denies backing Iraqi militants.

"Coalition forces captured a man suspected of working within the highest echelons of the special groups criminals," spokesman for the U.S. military, Major John Hall, said.


AP's Robert Reid channels the U.S. spin that al-Lami was working for Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah. Reading between the lines, however, it seems more accurate to portray this as a further attempt to walk back the pro-Shiite tilt of the first years of the occupation. The reaction to the arrest splits along sectarian lines. -- C Excerpt:

BAGHDAD — A senior official in Nouri al-Maliki's government was in custody Thursday suspected of ties to Iranian-backed Shiite militias and plotting a June bombing that killed 10 people, including four Americans, Iraqi authorities said.

The arrest of Ali al-Lami — taken Wednesday as he left a plane arriving from Lebanon — reinforced suspicions about Tehran's influence within the Shiite-led Iraqi government and could open wider probes into Shiite networks, including possible links to Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Al-Lami heads a commission responsible for keeping Saddam Hussein loyalists out of government posts and has been a target of criticism from Sunni leaders who claim the government wants to limit the overall Sunni voice in political and security issues.

He was arrested by U.S. and Iraqi troops at Baghdad's airport as he returned with his family from medical treatment in Beirut, said a member of his committee, Qaiser Watout.

U.S. and Iraqi troops were waiting for al-Lami as the plane's doors opened, Watout said.

"We condemn this act," Watout said. "Al-Lami was a moderate official and we are surprised by his arrest."

U.S. military officials would not confirm the arrest of al-Lami, who has been involved in government affairs since shortly after Saddam's fall in 2003.

But the U.S. command said a "suspected senior" leader of Iranian-backed "Special Groups" militias was detained at the airport for allegedly planning the June 24 bombing of a municipal building in the capital's Shiite district of Sadr City. Two American soldiers and two State Department employees died in the blast along with six Iraqis.

"The man has been known to travel in and out of Iraq to neighboring nations including Iran and Lebanon, where it is believed he meets and helps run the Iranian-backed Special Groups in Iraq," the U.S. military statement said.

In Washington, a senior U.S. military intelligence official said Thursday that the statement referred to al-Lami and that he was believed to have information that would lead investigators to people connected to "other countries," an apparent reference to Iran and Lebanon.

snip

Reaction to al-Lami's arrest was sharply divided along sectarian lines.

Ahmad Chalabi, a secular Shiite and former Pentagon favorite once viewed by Washington as a possible successor to Saddam, condemned the arrest, saying that al-Lami had played "a great essential role" in "fighting and confronting Saddam's regime despite the risks that surrounded him." Chalabi, who spearheaded the first moves against Baath members, called for al-Lami's release and said in a statement that his arrest showed that U.S.-led forces pay "no attention to Iraqi human rights."

But Sunni legislator Mohammed al-Daini accused al-Lami and others of sectarian bias and links to Iran. "The Americans know very well that such people were brought up and trained in Iranian intelligence system," al-Daini said without offering evidence. "The detention of al-Lami is part of a chain of events that will lead to the uncovering of others."

Salim Abdullah al-Jubouri, spokesman for the main Sunni bloc in parliament, said the Sunni community was "looking forward to the results of the investigation" into al-Lami's arrest because "it is unlikely that he was working alone."


China is the first to sign a contract for development of Iraqi oil reserves. Ha ha Mr. Cheney -- C Excerpt:

DUBAI - China crossed the line first in the race for big oil contracts in post-Saddam Iraq and has gained a head start over Western oil majors in the competition for future energy deals.

China's biggest oil company, state-run CNPC, agreed to a US$3-billion service contract with Iraq on Wednesday. The deal could set a precedent for terms that fall far short of the lucrative contracts the oil majors had hoped for as they jostled for access to the world's third-largest oil reserves.

Starved of investment since the Gulf War of 1990-91 and the subsquent U. S.-led invasion of 2003 that removed former President Saddam Hussein, Iraq holds some of the world's last large, cheap, untapped oil reservoirs.

"The biggest significance of this deal is that CNPC will benefit as the first international oil company to be developing one of the giant discovered oil fields in Iraq in the new era," said Alex Munton, an analyst at global consultancy Wood Mackenzie. "They will be the first with people on the ground and the first to develop a working relationship with Iraq's Oil Ministry."


Non-surprise of the week -- Marine accused of killing four unarmed Iraqi prisoners is acquitted of all charges.

KBR accused of human trafficking. That about exhausts the list of possible crimes. Oh wait, they haven't been accused of defacing a National Park Service sign yet. Well, that will come I'm sure. Excerpt:

Defense contractor KBR Inc. and a Jordanian subcontractor have been accused of human trafficking in a federal lawsuit filed after an insurgent attack in Iraq led to the killing of 12 men.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court alleged the workers were captured and later killed while they were being taken to work on a U.S. air base in Iraq.

The 13 Nepali men were recruited by Daoud & Partners and other subcontractors with promises of work at a posh hotel in Amman before their passports were taken and they were sent to work on the Al Asad Air Base in 2004, according to the lawsuit.

Twelve of the men were captured by Iraqi insurgents who intercepted their caravan on their way to the base. The men were killed days later.

Buddi Prasad Gurung, a Nepali worker who survived the attack, was forced to work on the base as a warehouse loader for 15 months, the lawsuit said.

The case was filed by relatives of the dead workers and Gurung, who has since returned to Nepal.

Heather Browne, a spokeswoman for Houston-based KBR, declined to comment, saying the company has not yet seen the lawsuit. A contact number for Daoud & Partners could not be immediately located.

Agnieszka Fryszman, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the men came from poor families that went into debt to send them abroad to work and were pushed deeper into poverty when they were killed.


Quote of the Day

One cannot help but be amused over the negotiations taking place between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki over how long U.S. troops will be permitted to stay in Iraq and whether occupation troops will be subject to Iraqi law in the interim.

My question is: Why is this something that even needs to be negotiated? I thought that Iraq was now a sovereign and independent country. Isn’t that what President Bush and U.S. officials have been telling us ever since U.S. troops invaded and occupied Iraq some six years ago?

Well, if Iraq really is a sovereign and independent country, then why does it have to negotiate anything with the United States, including an exit date for U.S. troops and how criminal offenses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq are going to be handled? Why can’t Iraq simply tell the U.S. government when it is going to leave Iraq and how the actions of its troops are going to be handled as long as they are in Iraq?


Jacob G. Hornberger (Note: A libertarian opponent of imperialism)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

War News for Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a U.S.-led coalition soldier in a roadside bombing in a southern Province of Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 27th. No other details were released.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a small-arms attack in a neighborhood of Baghdad on Wednesday, August 27th.

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Thursday, August 28th.


South Ossetia: Georgian spy plane shot down:

Kins of 12 Nepalese slain in Iraq sue KBR: (good luck)

Iraqi child dies of cholera in S Iraq:

VA Again Denies Health Hazards of Gulf War:

U.S. military secretly sending foreign fighters to home nations:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Early morning, gunmen assassinated the brigadier general Najam Abdullah from the 7th division of the Iraqi army and his wife in front of his house in Adel neighborhood (west Baghdad).
#2: Mortars hit the international zone (IZ) in central Baghdad. No casualties reported.

#3: Two roadside bombs targeted an American patrol near Al-Khansa police station in Mashtal(east Baghdad). No casualties reported.

#4:Around 11 am, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Baladiyat neighborhood (east Baghdad). Five people were injured (three policemen and two civilians).

#5: A mortar shell hit Baladiyat neighborhood (east Baghdad. Two people were injured.

#6: Around 2 pm, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol near Al-Rubayee bridge in Karrada neighborhood (downtown Baghdad). Two policemen were injured.

#7: Gunmen kidnapped 4 persons in bani Izz village in Qara Taba (north east Baghdad).

#8: Gunmen killed an army colonel and his wife in a drive-by shooting in the al-Adil district in western Baghdad, police said.


Diyala Prv:
#1: A total of 50 unknown bodies have been buried in Diala's Baaquba city, an official source said on Thursday."In cooperation with several charities, the Baaquba Public Hospital's morgue buried 50 unidentified bodies in al-Shareef cemetery in Baaquba al-Jadeeda neighborhood in the downtown of the city,"The source, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq- (VOI). "All of the bodies that have been found by police forces in different parts of the province throughout the past few weeks were decayed," the source added.

#2: Around 7:30 am, a roadside bomb detonated at Abu Shanuna in balad Ruz (east Baquba). One shepherd was killed.

#3: A roadside bomb killed a shepherd in southeastern Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.


Basra:
#1: British forces stationed in southern Iraq on Thursday warned civilians not to approach the desert areas surrounding Basra International Airport, where it said its troops will conduct heavy artillery training. "On Thursday afternoon, British forces will fire heavy artillery shells towards the desert surrounding Basra International Airport," a spokesperson for the Multi-National Force (MNF), Captain Kris Ford, told Aswat al-Iraq- Voices of Iraq.


Kirkuk:
#1: A blast in a market in Kirkuk, northern Iraq on Thursday killed a civilian and injured seven, police officials said, reported dpa. The detonation hit a popular market in the Domeez area in southern Kirkuk and caused damage to several shops in the area, a police official told the Voices of Iraq news agency.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen shot dead an off-duty policeman in front of his house in al-Mishahda neighbourhood of western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghanistan:
#1: Suspected militants bombed a bus carrying prisoners in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least nine people, as fighting between security forces and extremists flared across the country's tribal belt. The powerful blast left a massive crater in the middle of a bridge in Bannu and left the burnt-out vehicle completely mangled. The dead included police officers and prisoners, said Jalil Khan, another police official. But he could not provide an exact breakdown.

#2: Hours earlier, security forces drove off a Taliban attack on a fort and pounded another band of militants holed up in a health center, officials said Wednesday as fighting spread to new areas in the tribal belt along the Afghan border. As many as 49 insurgents were reported killed in separate attacks.

#3: Afghan and international soldiers killed and wounded 18 insurgents in clashes in the district of Arghandab in the southern province of Zabul, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. "Twelve dead bodies of the insurgents were left on the battlefield," it said. Soldiers also found 10 kg (22 lbs) of opium left by the insurgents.

#4: In a separate incident, Afghan soldiers killed 10 insurgents, including drug traffickers, during a security operation in Girishk district of southern Helmand province on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said in another statement.

#5: Elsewhere, Afghan soldiers were engaged in fierce fighting with Taliban insurgents in Nad Ali district in another area of Helmand province. "Heavy casualties were inflicted during fierce fighting between Afghan soldiers and insurgents, but the exact number of casualties is not known," the Defense Ministry said. One soldier was killed and another wounded during the fighting, it said.

#6: In southeastern Paktika province, U.S.-led coalition forces killed one militant on Wednesday after he attacked the soldiers, the U.S. military said in a separate statement.


Casualty Reports:

Spc. 4th Class Robert L. Wolvin, 23, was injured Aug. 15 by an anti-tank explosive thrown at his vehicle in an Iraqi village, said his father, Steven Wolvin, 43, of Marysville. Robert Wolvin, who suffered second and third-degree burns to 35% of his body, is being treated in a critical care unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He has received skin grafts to his arms, hands, legs and nose, the father said. Wolvin may eventually lose fingertips or whole fingers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

War News for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in a northeastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Tuesday, August 26th.

The Washington Post is reporting the death of a German ISAF soldier in a roadside bombing south of the German military command headquarters in Kunduz, Kunduz Province, Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 27th. Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack.


Kurdish journalists under assault in Iraq:

Iraq's northern Kurdish enclave may be a haven of relative peace and serenity but independent journalists there say challenges to the political establishment are being met with intimidation and threats. about 60 Kurdish journalists were killed, threatened, attacked, or taken to court in the first half of 2008, says the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Rebel air raid wounds 10 sailors in Sri Lanka:

Iraq's oil exports increase in July:

The Iraqi Oil Ministry says that oil exports in July inched up to 58.8 million barrels _ a 0.7 percent increase from the previous month.

Iraq's Clandestine Alcohol Business:

Five village guards die in clash with PKK:

Injured troops increasingly turning to prescription medication:

VHF outbreak in Herat Province kills three:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: A bomb in a parked car killed one person and wounded seven others in the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad, police said.

"Another explosive device exploded in al-Kamaliya neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring seven," he also said.

#2: Three suspected militants died and six more were detained in U.S. operations in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, a U.S. military statement said.

#3: Anti-bomb squad defused five bombs in two separate regions of Baghdad, the interior ministry said on Wednesday. "Anti-bomb squad defused three explosive charges in Zaiyouna region near al-Rubaei-al-Malaab intersection in eastern Baghdad and found ammunitions and a mortar shell in the same area," the ministry said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#4: A roadside bomb was detonated near the national theatre in al-Karada region in central Baghdad, targeting a police vehicle patrol, injuring three civilian and three policemen and damaging a number of stores and two civilian cars," he added.

#5: "A car rigged with explosives went off in Baghdad al-Jadieda region in southeastern Baghdad, killing a civilian and injuring seven more, in addition to damaging a number of nearby vehicles," the source, who asked for anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#6: Around 8:00 a.m. an IED exploded targeting a US patrol on Mohammed al Qasim highway in east Baghdad. No casualties were reported.

#7: Tuesday Police patrols found unknown body in southeastern Baghdad, a police source said on Wednesday."Policemen found the decayed corpse late Tuesday in al-Madaen district in southeastern Baghdad," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq.

#8: A civilian was injured by an adhesive bomb that was attached to his BMW car. The incident took place in Mansour neighborhood in west Baghdad around 6:00 p.m.

#9: Iraqi police found two unidentified bodies in Sinak area in downtown Baghdad.


Diyala Prv:
#1: Two suicide bombers were among three terrorists killed Wednesday in a clash with US forces northeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the US military said. One of the bombers was shot dead and the other detonated his explosives as the troops approached, killing himself but causing no other casualties, the military said.


Kut:
#1: The body of a woman was found a street near al-Kut, a town southeast of the capital, the news agency Aswat al-Iraq reported.

Iraqi police found the body of a woman in the town of Numaniya, 120 km (72 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen shot dead a civilian in a shop in the al-Nur area of eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.

#2: 14 civilians were injured by a suicide car bomb that detonated before reaching a checkpoint in Talafar city west Mosul.

A suicide car bomber wounded 22 people in Tal Afar, some 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, according to Sabih Hussein, chief physician at the Tal Afar government hospital. A police source in nearby Mosul said that only two people had been wounded.

#3: Five civilians were injured by a suicide car bomb that targeted an American patrol in downtown Mosul city on Wednesday afternoon.

#4: A suicide car bomb detonated in eats Mosul on Wednesday afternoon. No news were reported about casualties.



Afghanistan:
#1: A French armoured personnel carrier was destroyed by ISAF forces after it was determined to be non-recoverable in Kapisa, August 25. The vehicle was involved in an IED explosion August 24. The IED site was secured following the incident. No ISAF service members were injured in the IED explosion.

#2: A Japanese aid worker kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan has been killed, police officials said Wednesday. Kazuya Ito, 31, was abducted near the city of Jalalabad early Tuesday and Japan set up a task force in Kabul to seek his release, according to Japan's foreign ministry. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

#3: Taliban fighters attacked a police checkpoint in the Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province Tuesday, sparking a clash that killed 18 militants, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said. The militants attacked the officers guarding a government compound in the district before being repelled by the police, Andiwal said. There were no casualties among Afghan troops, he said.

#4: U.S.-led coalition troops, meanwhile, clashed and called in airstrikes on another group of militants in the same province (Helmand) killing over a dozen insurgents, the coalition said in a statement. Shortly before the battle, the coalition troops spotted armed militants in small groups preparing to attack their patrol in Sangin district, the statement said. There were no coalition casualties from the clash.

#5: Separately, a roadside bomb in the central Ghazni province hit a police vehicle, killing four officers on Tuesday, said Sayed Ismail Jahangir, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

One Afghan officer was killed and one soldier was wounded when their vehicle hit a mine in Qara Bagh district of Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, the Defence Ministry said.

#6: A suicide bomber, meanwhile, blew himself up next to a British military patrol outside Lashkar Gah on Tuesday, wounding three civilians, Andiwal said. NATO-led force said they had no casualties from the bombing.

#7: Pakistani security forces fired on vehicles carrying militants in a volatile region near the Afghan border on Wednesday, killing eight of them, a police official said.

#8: U.S.-led troops killed an Afghan international cricket player, Rahmat Wali, in a raid on his house in eastern Khost province late on Tuesday and arrested his brother, two officials said.

#9: One un-manned air craft belonging to the U.S.-led Coalition forces crashed on Wednesday in eastern Afghan province of Paktika, said a Coalition statement. "The aerial vehicle used for reconnaissance suffered a mechanical malfunction causing its parachute to deploy and crash in the Yosof Khail district of Paktika," the statement said. "This incident is under investigation," it added.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

War News for Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Danish military is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier in an IED attack in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, August 26th. No other details were released. Here is the NATO statement.


Bomb wounds 20 at rally in southwestern Pakistan:

Afghanistan demands review of international troops: (what a joke)

U.N. says has evidence air strikes killed 90 Afghans

The United Nations said on Tuesday it had found convincing evidence that 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan last week.

Battles kill 15 rebels, 7 soldiers in Sri Lanka:

Reaper UAS Completes First Weapons Engagement In Iraq:

Human error is causing most Predator crashes:

Kuwaitis in Iraqi jails found infected with TB:

How Russia clobbered Georgia - and lost the war: (commentary)

N. Korea says it halts nuclear reactor disablement:

Kurdish rebels clash with Turkish military, 11 die:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Four persons, including two policemen, were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a police patrol near the Maysaloun square in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, an Iraqi police source said."An IED went off near the Maysaloun squre in al-Ghadir area, eastern Baghdad, targeting a police patrol. The explosion left four people, including two policemen, wounded," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: A roadside bomb targeted a Sahwa patrol, the U.S. backed militia, in al-Mowasalat neighbourhood, western Baghdad at 10 a.m. Tuesday injuring two Sahwa members.

#3: A roadside bomb in targeted a police patrol in Ghadeer neighbourhood at noon injuring two policemen and two civilians.


Diyala Prv:
Julula:
#1: Iraqi security officials say at least nine people have been killed in the northeastern Diyala province. Tuesday's blast struck the town of Jalula but officials have offered conflicting reports about the circumstances of the explosion and the casualty count. Col. Sarchal Abdul-Karim of the Iraqi border guards in the area says nine people were killed and 25 wounded. Local police have put the number of dead at 12 and said 40 people were wounded.

A SUICIDE bomber today rushed into a crowd of police recruits in central Iraq and detonated his explosives-laden vest, killing at least 25 people and wounding 40, the local police chief said.
Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Khalifa said the attack targeted a crowd of young Iraqis at a police recruiting centre in Jalawla, 150km north of Baghdad. Most of those killed had been waiting to join the police, he added. Earlier, officials said a man wearing an explosives-laden vest arrived by car and was stopped by police. He then leapt from the car and ran into the crowd where he detonated his bomb.

At least 35 people were killed and 47 were injured Tuesday in a suicide attack in front of a police station in Iraq's Diyala province, medical and witnesses said.

Mandali:
#1: Elsewhere in Diyala, a roadside bomb struck a van carrying a Sunni family near the town of Mandali along the Iranian border, said Col. Sarchal Abdul-Karim, a spokesman of Iraqi border guards in the area. Five members of the family were killed, including two women and two children, the spokesman said. The family was on the way to a religious shrine, the colonel added.


Kut:
#1: Two policemen were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near their patrol in the district of al-Aziziya, north of Kut city, on Tuesday, police said. "The IED went off today in the area of al-Dayniya, eastern Aziziya, (90 km) north of Kut, targeting a police patrol. Two policemen were injured in the explosion, which also destroyed a patrol vehicle," a security source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Tikrit:
#1: A police official says a bomb planted in a parked car has killed four people and wounded six _ including three policemen _ in the city of Tikrit north of Baghdad. The official says Tuesday’s blast happened at 7:30 a.m. on a major central street used by local government officials to commute to work. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

In the second attack, a car exploded at the Salahaddin provincial health center, killing four people, including two security men, police officer Hassan Ahmed told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Six people were injured in the blast as a preliminary casualty count, Ahmed added.

#2: In one attack in city of Tikrit in the northern Salahaddin province, a car bomb targeting a police patrol killed two civilians and wounded 12 persons, police officer Abdullah Qatan told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency. He said that of those wounded, four were police and the rest were civilians, reported dpa.


Hawija:
#1: Four police personnel were wounded on Tuesday in an explosive charge attack that targeted their patrol in southwestern Kirkuk, a police source said. "While conducting a raid-and-search campaign in al-Safra village (10 km southwest of al-Huweija district), an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near one of the patrol vehicles belonging to the force, wounding four police personnel," Brigadier Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq­- Voices of Iraq.


Kirkuk:
#1: Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a civilian man in al-Wasiti neighborhood, southwest of Kirkuk city, on Tuesday, a security source in the Kirkuk police department said. An armed group kidnapped a civilian man near his home in al-Wasiti neighborhood, southwest of Kirkuk, and led him to an unknown place," the source, who declined to have his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Mosul:
#1: Unidentified gunmen wounded a policeman in central Mosul on Tuesday while policemen killed a gunman and wounded another, the official spokesman for the Ninewa Operations Command (NOC) said. "Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday waged an armed attack on a policeman near his home in the area of Bab Lakash, central Mosul, seriously wounding him," Brig. Khaled Abdelsattar told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. "The patrol near the scene tracked down the gunmen, killing one of them and injuring another who managed to escape to an unknown place," Abdelsattar added.



Afghanistan:
#1: Gunmen opened fire on the top U.S. diplomat in northwestern Pakistan early Tuesday as she left for work in her armored vehicle, police and embassy officials said. No one was killed in the attack. Lynne Tracy, principal officer for the consulate in the bustling city of Peshawar, was 100 yards from her house when two men with AK-47s jumped out of their dark blue Land Cruiser and sprayed her car with dozens of rounds of ammunition. Her driver reversed the vehicle and peeled back to her home, said Arshad Khan, the local police chief and senior investigator in the case. Though no one was killed by the gunfire, a rickshaw driver was hurt when his three-wheeled taxi was hit by the consulate vehicle, he said. The man was hospitalized, but the extent of his injuries was not immediately known.

#2: A Japanese aid worker was kidnapped at gunpoint with his driver in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, and a spokesman for the Taliban has claimed the group was involved, the government and news reports said. The Japanese aid worker was abducted in early Tuesday, according to the Foreign Ministry. Kyodo News agency said a Taliban spokesman in Kabul claimed the group was involved, but it offered no immediate details. The Foreign Ministry said Kazuya Ito, 31, was kidnapped near the city of Jalalabad. It established a task force in Kabul to seek his release. The government said it had not confirmed whether Ito was injured in the kidnapping, and could not confirm the reports of the Taliban being involved. Kyodo News agency said Ito and his driver were abducted by a group of armed assailants. It said the driver was released soon afterward. TV Asahi, a major network, said Ito was alive. The government said no ransom demands were made.

Afghan police clashed with the kidnappers of a male Japanese aid worker in eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, freeing the man's local driver, a police spokesman said. The Japanese aid worker was seized earlier on Tuesday while he worked on a construction project in the Daraye Noor area of Nangarhar, provincial police spokesman Ghafour Khan said. "In the clash, one kidnapper was also wounded and efforts are underway to release the Japanese," he said.

#3: A Czech military police officer was wounded in a road accident in the Afghan province Logar, where the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) operates, on Monday, Jana Ruzickova from the general staff told CTK today. He suffered medium injuries, Ruzickova said. The soldier was in a convoy of vehicles of the military police that was moving from the Czech base in Logar to Kabul. Half way through, one of the vehicles turned over following a defect on its wheel.
One of its four soldiers fell out from it and was injured. He was airlifted to the U.S. field hospital in Bagram from where he will be moved to the Czech Republic.


Casualty Reports:

Sgt. Thomas Green III was wounded in April 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom when his truck, returning from a trip delivering soldiers and supplies, was in an explosion and flipped several times. Green sustained a crushed pelvis, fractured back, and brain damage, and has short-term memory loss and chronic headaches.

Monday, August 25, 2008

War News for Monday, August 25, 2008

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a small-arms fire attack in an northern neighborhood of Baghdad on Monday, August 25th.


A recovering neoconservative:

An Uncertain Death Toll In Georgia-Russia War:

Iran launches submarine production line:

Iraq power generation finally hits pre-invasion levels:

Russia denies halting NATO transit to Afghanistan-Ifax:

Iraq's PM demands changes in U.S.-Iraqi security draft deal:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Unknown gunmen killed a university professor in Iraq. Police found the body of Professor Khaldoun Sabry in in the capital's Yarmouk district. He was handcuffed and had gunshot wounds and bruises all over his body, police officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

#2: An Iraqi soldier was injured when an explosion hit an army patrol in west Baghdad's Mansour district on Monday, witnesses told dpa. Several shops were damaged in the explosion, according to the witnesses.

#3: Sunday One body was found with gunshot wounds on Sunday in Baghdad, police said.

#4: A bomb attached to a car wounded a man, his wife and his daughter in the Jamiaa distict in western Baghdad, police said.

#5: One civilian man was wounded when a bomb emplaced inside his vehicle went off in northern Baghdad on Monday, an Iraqi police source said."A locally-made bomb planted by unidentified persons went off inside a civilian man's vehicle on a street in the northern Baghdad district of al-Aadhamiya, wounding him severely," the source, who preferred not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

Around 11 am a bomb left inside a mini bus detonated in Adhemiyah neighborhood(north Baghdad). Only the driver was injured in that incident.

#6: Mortars hit the International Zone(IZ) in downtown Baghdad. No casualties reported.

#7: The Iraqi army killed six suspected militants and arrested 48 others in operations in different parts of Iraq over the past 24 hours, the Defence Ministry said.

#8: A roadside bomb detonated in Adel neighborhood(west Baghdad). One person was injured.

#9: Mortars hit Ghazaliyah neighborhood. A petrol station got fire by one of the mortar shells.

#10: Gunmen opened fire on an army patrol. 2 soldiers were killed and another one was wounded.

#12: Police found 2 dead bodies in Baghdad. 1was in Sleikh(north Baghdad) and 1 was found in Mansour(west Baghdad)


Abu Ghraib:
#1: Meanwhile the death toll in Sunday's suicide bombing west of Baghdad had risen to 25, Arab media reports said Monday. Initial reports had put the figure at 21 dead. In addition, 30 people were wounded when the attacker detonated his explosives vest during a banquet thrown by a family celebrating a relative's release from prison, a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency. The attack took place in the Abu Ghraib district, 30 kilometres west of Baghdad.


Mussayab:
#1: A roadside bomb was planted near the house of Basim Mohammed, a Lieutenant-Colonel of the government facilities guard force, killing his daughter and wounding two sons on Sunday in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.


Tikrit:
#1: A roadside bomb exploded near a convoy carrying Major-General Hamad Namis Yasin, the police chief of Salahuddin province, wounding six of his guards in central Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.


Shirqat:
#1: A roadside bomb killed two bystanders in the town of Shirqat, 300 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.


Mosul:
#1: Gunmen killed a man working as a guard for the dean of Mosul University in a drive-by shooting in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

"Unknown gunmen in a vehicle opened fire at a bodyguard of Mosul University President Abi Saeed al-Dayouji near his home in al-Muthanna intersection, eastern Mosul," the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.

#2: Meanwhile, the same source said an armed group last night kidnapped an engineer working for the Ninewa Sewage Department near his home in the area of al-Baladiyat, northern Mosul.

#3: A police officer was killed by unidentified gunmen fire in northern Mosul on Monday, a security source in Ninewa said. "Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a police officer in the rank of captain while on duty in al-Majmoua al-Thaqafiya area, northern Mosul city, killing him instantly and escaping to an unknown place," the source, who preferred not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Tal Afar:
#1: Five civilians were injured on Monday when an explosive charge went off in western Mosul, a police source said. “An explosive charge went off automatically in Hassan Kewi region in Talafar in western Mosul, injuring five civilians,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq. He gave no more details.



Afghanistan:
#1: Six Canadian soldiers and two journalists have had a close call in Afghanistan. The group was returning to Kandahar Airfield from nearby Panjwaii District yesterday when their armoured vehicle struck an roadside bomb. Four soldiers and National Post reporter Scott Deveau were airlifted to hospital. Deveau was treated and released, while the soldiers suffered more serious but not life-threatening injuries.

#2: Karachi, Two Afghanistan-bound armoured vehicles of NATO forces were damaged here when a group of people torched a parked trailer transporting them, the Dawn newspaper Monday said. Quoting witnesses, Dawn said that 30-35 men, some of them armed, set fire to the trailer when its driver and cleaner were having dinner at a nearby restaurant. The attackers also fired in the air. However, a police officer told the newspaper that no firing took place.

Gunmen set fire to two armoured personal carriers (APCs) headed to US forces in Afghanistan from Karachi, police said on Monday. A lorry carrying the APCs was stationed at Karachi’s port since August 18 due to a truckers’ strike on fuel costs. "They were armed and about two dozen of them. They first fired and then burned the two APCs," a police official said.

#3: A U.S.-led Coalition helicopter made a precautionary landing in the Sabari district of eastern Afghanistan's Khost province Monday morning but caused no injuries to the pilot, said a Coalition statement. "The helicopter was preparing to attack an enemy mortar site near the center of Sabari district when a tail rotor blade struck the ground," the statement said. The helicopter, according to the statement, has minor damage while the pilot successfully landed the aircraft with no injuries.

#4: Militants used rockets and a bomb to attack the family home of a lawmaker in Pakistan's volatile northwest early Monday, killing eight people including the politician's brother, police said. The militants targeted the Swat Valley residence of provincial lawmaker Waqar Ahmed Khan of the ruling Awami National Party. Khan said his brother, two nephews and several guards died in the attack on the compound, which belongs to him and his extended family.


Casualty Reports:

Jonathan Ryall, 27, is now on his way back to Texas for surgery. His parents tell us he was near a bomb in Southern Afghanistan when it exploded on Friday. Ryall suffered burns and fractures on his face and a broken nose and arm. His father says he is awake. But he cannot talk because of breathing tubes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

News of the Day for Sunday, August 24, 2008

Artist Talib Jomaa, supported by the local council, paints murals on the concrete blast walls that divide the north and south parts of the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008. Iraqi and U.S. forces won control of Sadr City in May after weeks of battles with anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia, now claimed by Sadr to be largely disbanded.
(AP Photo/Karim Kadim) This is not really accurate. Sadr says the Mahdi Army is observing a cease fire, and that undisciplined elements have been removed, not that the militia as a whole is disbanded. -- C


Reported Security Incidents

Baghdad

Two roadside bombs in Beirut Square on Falasteen St. kill 4, including 2 police, and injure 15. According to multiple accounts, the first bomb targeted a police patrol and the second targeted police responding to the first.

Iraqi police free a kidnap victim. Not clear if this was a political or economic crime, but most likely the latter. -- C

Three civilians were killed and five others were wounded by a roadside bomb that targeted a civilian car in al Dyna area northeast Baghdad around 12:00 p.m.

Two civilians were injured by a roadside bomb in Doura neighborhood around 1:30 p.m. Note: For some reason McClatchy has a number of incidents not reported anywhere else today, including these last two. It's the same link, to their round-up post

Baquba

Two police killed, six injured (including one woman) in a gun battle. VoI says 3 police killed, 4 civilians wounded, identifies the location as a checkpoint near a parking lot in al-Anasera area. Assailants are unidentified.

Two more incidents reported only by McClatchy:

Three civilians were killed and five others were wounded by a roadside bomb in Dayniyah village east of Baquba city around 2:00 p.m.

Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and eight others were injured by an IED that targeted a patrol of the Iraqi army in Dayniyah village east of Baquba city around 2:30 p.m.

Mosul

Three police, 1 civilian injured in suicide car bomb attack that may have targeted a U.S. patrol.

Basra

Attack on U.S. patrol near the airport produces no casualties. Note: U.S. forces have remained in the Basra area since coming to support the government offensive earlier this year.

Shiite cleric Haider al-Saymari killed Saturday in an ambush. He was a follower of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and known as a critic of militias.


Hilla

Two people injured in a drive-by shooting. No further explanation given.


Other News of the Day

U.S. forces release AP cameraman Ahmed Fouad after nearly three months in detention without charges, according to Ibrahim al-Siraji, an Iraqi advocate for journalists' rights. The U.S. had no comment.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani meets briefly with reporters to dispel rumors that he is in failing health. He also takes the opportunity to express concern about attacks on journalists.

Kurdish official condemns a raid by the Iraqi army on the headquarters of the Peshmerga (Kurdish army) in Qurat Tabba. For background, yesterday's report from VoI on the incident. Essentially, in the context of the security offensive in Diyala province, the Iraqi army is attempting to seize control of areas which are currently controlled by the Kurdish government and armed forces. "On Saturday morning, Iraqi army personnel raided the headquarters of the PUK, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Communist Party, lowering the flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). . . . The central government has ordered Kurdish bodies to hand over the security responsibility of Diala's border areas to the Iraqi army and withdraw their Peshmerga forces from those areas. It is rather astonishing that this conflict is being completely ignored by the U.S. media. Note that U.S. forces are working with the Iraqi army in Diyala, even as a low grade civil war is simmering between Arabs and Kurds. -- C

Juan Cole provides English translation of an article from Al-Arab Online. Excerpt:

Baghdad Residents Gathering has condemned the collective punishment that has been imposed by the Iraqi forces on a number of neighborhoods in Baghdad that witness security turmoil. The punishments include limiting the movements of the citizens, imposing curfews for long hours, in addition to building walls and fences around neighborhoods and isolating them from each other.

The gathering stated in a statement it released that "in a new development of the methods of the wanton occupation and its agent government, the forces called the (Iraqi) army and the police backed by the occupying troops impose collective punishments on the residents of the Baghdadi neighborhoods and on the rest of the Iraqi areas. These punishments include isolating those neighborhoods, limiting the movement of citizens after those neighborhoods turned into detention centers. This happened through constructing sectarian segregation walls that caused a lot of hardship especially, for children, elderly people, and women who stand in queues under the stifling sun heat, noting the presence of many sick people among them.
The application of this method comes after the targeting of their beasts (troops) by the national resistance and that is exactly what happened recently in Al-Amiriyah and Al-Saydiyah neighborhoods in Baghdad, in a way that is similar to what happened before in Al-Fallujah and Samaraa."


Reuters Missy Ryan and Sattar Rahim report on the continuing critical shortage of potable water in Iraq. Excerpt:

Water and sewage are perennial challenges in this arid country, where the overhaul of decrepit public works has been hindered by years of war and neglect.

Nearly a billion litres of raw sewage is dumped into Baghdad waterways each day -- enough to fill 370 Olympic-sized pools.

The United Nations estimates that less than half of Iraqis get drinking water piped into their homes in rural areas. In the capital, people set their alarm clocks to wake them in the middle of the night so they can fill storage tanks when water pressure is under less strain.

New investments in water and sanitation are only slowly bearing fruit even as Iraq seeks to capitalise on a dramatic drop in violence over the past year.

Iraqi and U.S. officials have been working to refurbish existing water plants, distribution lines and sewage works, but they say major infrastructure improvements will take years.

Since 2003, the United States has spent about $2.4 billion on Iraq's water and sanitation sector, and the Iraqi government has now taken over funding major construction. But the World Bank estimates that at least $14 billion is needed.

In the apartment bloc where Suhad Mohammed lives in eastern Baghdad, water pressure is so weak that water doesn't reach the top floors. Each morning, her husband and son help her fill plastic jugs from a communal tap downstairs and lug them up several flights of stairs.

"It gets even more complicated in the summer," she said.

The shortages are also causing health problems.

Acute cases of diarrhoea are three times more common in eastern Baghdad, where water service is most problematic, than in the rest of the city, the United Nations says. That side of the city has also seen a higher incidence of cholera.


Afghanistan Update

In yet another atrocity, AP reports that foreign fighters bombed a village and killed at least 78 Afghans. Excerpt:

Scores of Afghan civilians who had gathered in a small village for the memorial ceremony of a militia commander were killed when U.S. and Afghan soldiers launched an attack in the middle of the night, officials and villagers said Saturday.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the early Friday operation in western Afghanistan and said most of the dead were civilians. The U.S. coalition, however, said it believed only five civilians were killed and said that it would investigate the Afghan claims.

An Afghan human rights group that visited the site said Saturday at least 78 people were killed. The Ministry of Interior has said 76 civilians died, including 50 children under the age of 15, though the Ministry of Defense said 25 militants and five civilians were killed.

snip

An Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission researcher visited Azizabad in Herat province and found 15 houses had been destroyed and others were damaged, said Ahmad Nader Nadery, the group's commissioner.

Nadery said the information was preliminary and the group would publish a final report. He did not provide a breakdown of how many were civilians or militants, and said 20 women were among the dead and children also were killed.

Nadery confirmed reports from villagers that a memorial ceremony was held for a deputy militia commander allied with the Afghan police named Timor Shah, who died in a personal dispute several months ago. Because of the memorial, relatives and friends from outside Azizabad were staying overnight in village homes, he said.


Al Jazeera, which now gives the death toll as 89, reports on the aftermath.



Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, has sacked a senior army general after at least 89 people were killed in an Afghan military operation, suported by US air raids.

The move came after a delegation appointed by Karzai travelled to the Shindand airstrip and Azizabad village in Herat to investigate the charges that scores of civilians had died.

General Jalandar Shah Behnam, head of the corps for western Afghanistan, and commando Major Abdul Jabar, were fired for "negligence and concealing facts," a presidential decree issued on Sunday said.

"In the tragic air strike and irresponsible and imprecise military operation in Azizabad village in Shindand district more than 89 of our innocent countrymen, including women and children, were martyred."

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Kabul, said that the two men had been summoned to the capital where they will be questioned by the defence ministry.

"Karzai has been under a lot of pressure, he has lost a lot of support among the local population as a result of these air strikes," she said.

The president has regularly appealed to the US and Nato-led forces to take more care to prevent civilian casualties amid warnings that such incidents are sapping the goodwill of the Afghan people.

Conflicting accounts

However, there were still conflicting accounts of the number of civilians deaths with the US military insisting the air raids had killed 25 Taliban fighters and five civilians after it was called in to support the Afghan national army.

While the chief of police in the western Herat province of Afghanistan told Al Jazeera on Sunday that 95 civilians had actually died.


A supply helicopter contracted to NATO crashed in Afghanistan eastern Kunar Province on Sunday, killing one and wounding three others, the alliance said in a statement. The Mi-8 supply helicopter, contracted to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), 'was forced to make an emergency landing' after it took off from a military base in the province, ISAF said in a statement. 'One person on board the aircraft died and three were wounded during the incident,' the statement said, but did not say if the victims were soldiers or civilians working for the contracted company. The statement did not say if the hostile fire was the reason for the helicopter's crash.

Quote of the Day

The call to put Kirkuk under Kurdish authority is dangerous. Splitting Kirkuk from Iraq in this manner could open the floodgates for sectarian, religious and ethnic violence that might destroy the province – particularly because Iraq does not yet have a powerful central government.

Particularly worrying is that Turkey, which has close ties with Kirkuk Turkomans, has warned the Kurds that the Turkish military may intervene if Iraqi Kurdistan tries to grab Kirkuk. With Ankara behind them, Kirkuk Turkomans are an assertive community, some of whom may hinder efforts to find a solution for Kirkuk.

But the Turkomans must not forget that they are Iraqis too, and nothing but the Iraqi army and the constitution can protect them in the end.


Iraqi journalist Samah Samad

Saturday, August 23, 2008

War News for Saturday, August 23, 2008

Baghdad:
#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.

Buhrez
#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.

Baquba:
#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.


Kut:
#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.


Baiji:
#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.


Mosul:
#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.



Afghanistan:
#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.

Friday, August 22, 2008

War News for Friday, August 22, 2008

The AFP is reporting the death of a US-led coalition soldier in an IED attack in an eastern province of Afghanistan on Friday, August 22nd. No other details were released.


The DoD is reporting a new reclassified death. Sgt. Nickolas Lee Hopper died Sept. 8, 2007 from wounds received while supporting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq, on June 20, 2005. Hopper’s final autopsyconcludedhis death was a result of wounds received in Iraq; however, Hopper was not previously identified as an OIF casualty.


Fresh fighting erupts in southern Philippines:


Reported Security incidents:

Baghdad:
#1: Gunmen using pistols with silencers shot Major General Ahmed Rasheed Majeed, the director of the government office that issues identification cards near the national theater in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 7:30 p.m. Majeed was injured seriously.

#2: A civilian was killed and another one was injured when a member of a security company opened fire in Bab al Sharji neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 8:00 p.m., Iraqi police said. The US military had no immediate comment.

#3: Three civilians were wounded by a sound bomb in Karrada neighborhood in downtown Baghdad around 9:00 p.m.

#4: Thursday Police found two unidentified bodies throughout Baghdad. One body was found in Zayuna and another in Shoala.

#5: A colonel in the former Iraqi Army suspected a bunch of strangers standing next to his parked car in Amil where he was shopping, of wrong doing and reported this to the police. The police found that an adhesive bomb had been stuck to his car which they were able to defuse without casualties at 9 a.m. Friday.

#6: A mortar round targeted the Green Zone at 9 a.m. It fell near the Ministry of Planning. No casualties were reported.

#7: A man who works as a guard in one of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's offices was killed during raids conducted by the Iraqi army in eastern Baghdad's Sadr City, a source in Sadr's office said. Another man was also killed, police said.


Diyala Prv:
Bahraz:
#1: An Iraqi soldier was killed and eight others were wounded on Friday in a roadside bomb blast in south of Baaquba, a police source said. "An improvised explosive device went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol on the main road in south of Bahraz district, south of Baaquba, killing a soldier and injuring eight,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Samarra:
#1: A member of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol in central Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, wounded fellow guards when he opened fire on them, police said.


Hawija:
#1: Three civilians were killed on Friday by unknown copter fire in southwest of Kirkuk, the local police chief said. "Unknown helicopter opened fire today against a civilian car on the road between al-Huwaiyja and Kirkuk, southwest of Kirkuk, killed three civilians onboard,” Brigadier Sarhad Qader told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq.


Mosul:
#1: A policeman with the Iraqi Police was found dead with a bullet wound in his head in Jamia neighbourhood, central Mosul on Thursday 21 August.

#2: A policeman was killed by light arms fire at a checkpoint near al-Maash market yesterday.



Afghanistan:
#1: U.S.-led coalition forces killed 30 militants, including a Taliban commander, in an air strike in west Afghanistan, the U.S. military said on Friday, but Afghan officials said there were also civilian casualties. The air strike was called in after Afghan and coalition soldiers were ambushed by insurgents while on a patrol targeting a known Taliban commander in the western province of Herat, the U.S. military said in a statement. "Insurgents engaged the soldiers from multiple points within the compound using small-arms and RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) fire," it said. "The joint forces responded with small-arms fire and an air strike killing 30 militants." Saeed Sharif, an elder and member of a local council where the strike took place, told Reuters many civilians were killed. "Last night, around 2 a.m. some people were attending a holy Koran recitation in Shindand district when Americans started bombing. Tens of civilians were killed," said Sharif.

#2: Separately, Taliban insurgents killed four Afghan border police in a clash in southern Kandahar province, close to the Pakistani border, late on Thursday, senior police official Mohammad Anwar Khan told Reuters. Two insurgents were also killed in the fighting, he said.

#3: U.S.-led coalition forces also carried out air strikes in Kapisa province on Thursday, northeast of the capital, Kabul, after coming under attack, killing an unspecified number of insurgents, the U.S. military said.

#4: The Minister of Defence Ignazio La Russa, hearing the news of? Explosion occurred this morning in the area of Kabul and which involved three soldiers of the Italian Contingent operating there, it was immediately informed about the conditions of health personnel wounded. Il Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa, Gen. The Chief of Staff of Defence, Gen. Vincenzo Camporini, lo ha rassicurato circa il carattere lieve delle lesioni riportate. Vincenzo Camporini, has reassured about the slight injuries reported. Il Ministro della Difesa ha manifestato la propria vicinanza e solidarietà ai soldati interessati all?evento. The Defence Minister expressed his closeness and solidarity to all soldiers involved? Event. Il Ministro La Russa ha subito informato il Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri Silvio Berlusconi. Minister La Russa has been informed the President of the Council of Ministers Silvio Berlusconi.

#5 U.S.-led coalition forces killed 76 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan on Friday, most of them women and children, the Afghan Interior Ministry said. "Seventy-six civilians, most of them women and children, were martyred today in a coalition forces operation in Herat province," the ministry said in a statement.

An operation by international forces in western Afghanistan on Friday killed 76 civilians, including 50 children and 19 women, the Afghan interior ministry said. The US-led coalition confirmed it had carried out an operation, which included air strikes, in the area but said only 30 Taliban were killed, while the Afghan defence ministry said five civilians and 25 rebels had died. It was impossible to independently verify what happened in volatile Shindand district in Herat province, but the conflicting reports highlight the difficulty in establishing facts in regular clashes between troops and rebels. The police chief for western Afghanistan, Akramuddin Yawer, had also said 76 people were killed in the incident and 15 houses were destroyed in strikes.