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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

War News for Tuesday, February 22, 2010

The Romanian MND is reporting the death of a Romanian ISAF soldier in a roadside bombing about 20 km south-east of Qalat, Zabul province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, February 23rd. Four additional soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Suicide bomb kills Brit convert:

NATO seeks more trainers for Afghan army, police:

Reported security incidents

#1: update Assailants burst into the home of an Iraqi campaign volunteer before dawn Monday, fatally shooting the man before they stabbed his pregnant wife and their five daughters to death, relatives and authorities said. A sixth child, the only son, was found hanging from a ceiling fan with key arteries severed, a cousin said. Over the last week and despite warnings that it was too dangerous, 47-year-old Hussein Majeed Marioush had been hanging campaign posters in the volatile mixed-sect district of Zafaraniya, a semi-rural area on the outskirts of southern Baghdad. He was a volunteer for Entifadh Qanbar, a secular candidate and longtime associate of the controversial politician Ahmad Chalabi. Both are running on the main Shiite Muslim ticket in parliamentary elections March 7.

#2: One policeman was killed on Monday evening (Feb. 22) by an unknown sniper in central Baghdad,” the source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The policeman was killed while standing in al-Nasr square in al-Saadon street in central Baghdad,” the source explained, noting that security forces did not find the sniper despite searching the whole area.

#3: “A bomb, stuck to a physician’s vehicle, exploded in al-Adhamiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad,” the same source said. “The explosion wounded Dr. Jassem Mohammad, who was taken to the nearby al-Nuaaman hospital for treatment,” he added.

#4: Three mortar shells landed this morning on Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, an Iraqi police source said. There has been no word on casualties or damage.

#5: Two Katyusha rockets have been found in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, an official spokesperson for the Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) said on Tuesday. “The Katyusha rockets were set to be launched,” Maj. Gen. Qassem Ata told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.One of the rockets was found in al-Hurriya area, while the other was found in al-Baladiyyat area, the official pointed out.

#1: The Basra International Airport came on Monday under Katyusha rockets attack, according to an eyewitness. “Four Katyusha rockets were fired toward the Basra International Airport on Monday evening (Feb. 22), with no immediate word on damage,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, noting that they landed far from the airport. The source said the rockets were targeting the U.S. base in the airport.

#1: One gunman was killed and another one was wounded in a bomb blast in central Tikrit, a police source said on Monday. “One gunman was killed and another one was seriously wounded when an explosive charge they were planting inside a car went off in Jameel street in central Tikrit,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#1: An investigations officer has been killed by unknown gunmen in southern Kirkuk City, a local police chief said on Monday. “This afternoon, unknown gunmen opened fire on Lt. Col. Kamran Ali Ihsan in front of his house in al-Asra Wal Mafqodeen neighborhood, southern Kirkuk, killing him on the spot,” Brig. Sarhad Qadir told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The officer, who worked in the investigations department in al-Muqdad police station, was attacked while he was heading back home, the official pointed out.

#2: Police forces on Monday found the body of an Iraqi contractor in southwest of Kirkuk, a senior police officer said. “Policemen found on Monday morning the body of, Mohammad Khalaf Ahmad, a contractor, born in 1974, near al-Rashad district, southwest of Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the director of the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD), told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The body bore signs of gunshot wounds to the chest,” he added, noting the body was sent to the Azadi hospital’s morgue.

#3: A police officer survived an attempt on his life on Monday when a bomb exploded in front of his house in western Kirkuk, a senior police officer said. “Captain Mohammad Attiya, officer at the internal affairs in Kirkuk, escaped an attempt on his life when an improvised explosive device went off in front of his house in al-Bajwan village in western Kirkuk,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the director of the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD), told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The explosion caused material damage to the house and wounded one of his family’s members,” he added, without giving further details.

#1: Two Iraqi policemen have been injured when an explosive device hit their patrol vehicle in Mosul City, a local security source said on Monday. “This afternoon, an improvised explosive device (IED) hit a police patrol vehicle in al-Majmoua al-Thaqafiya area, northern Mosul, wounding two policemen, including a lieutenant,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: One Iraqi serviceman and a gunman were killed during clashes in eastern Mosul, a local security source said on Tuesday. “Last night, an Iraqi soldier was killed when gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint in al-Naby Younus area, eastern Mosul,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.An exchange of gunfire has left one gunman dead, the source noted.

#3: Two mortars have been fired at a village near Mosul City, but no casualties were reported, a local security source said on Tuesday. “This morning, unknown gunmen attacked Umm al-Shababeet village, Sinjar district (120 km northwest of Mosul City) with two mortar shells,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.No casualties were reported as the mortars landed on an uninhabited area, the source noted.

#4: A roadside bomb wounded a civilian in central Mosul on Monday, police said.

#5: Two policemen were wounded when a bomb they were trying to diffuse detonated on Monday in Tikrit, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: Seven civilians were killed and 14 injured Tuesday in the detonation of a bicycle loaded with explosives in southern Afghanistan, a local official said. The explosion took place in Kandahar bus station in Lashkargah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand, on Tuesday morning, Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said. "All the seven dead and 14 wounded people were civilians," he said. "We don't know what the target of the attack was, because there were no security forces or government officials in the area at the time of the blast."

#2: A BRITISH woman has been killed in a suicide bombing in Pakistan — after reportedly converting to Islam just a month ago. The woman was among eight people who died in the huge blast in a bustling market in Pakistan's war-torn Swat Valley region yesterday. Dozens of others — including the woman's Pakistani husband — were injured in the attack in Mingora, the area's main city. It is believed the attack was aimed at Pakistan's security forces who were on patrol in the market. A military spokesman confirmed two soldiers were among the 37 people injured in the attack.

#3: Two Taliban militants were killed and another one detained by Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers during a massive NATO-Afghan operation in Taliban bastion Marja district of southern Helmand province, Defense Ministry said in a statement issued here on Tuesday. "Troops fighting militants in Marja district came in contact with the rebels yesterday, as a result two militants were killed and another one detained,"the statement said.

#4: A bomb on a covered motorcycle exploded when a police convoy was passing by. Two people were killed and two were wounded in the attack, the statement said. It was unclear if the victims were police officers or civilians.

#5: Clash between police and Taliban insurgents in Herat province west of Afghanistan left five militants dead and wounded four others, acting police chief of the province Dilawar Shah Dilawar said Tuesday. "Taliban rebels opened fire on a police patrol in Kushk-e-Khona district Monday night and the police returned fire killing five enemies,"Dilawar told Xinhua. Four more rebels and a police constable sustained injuries in the firefight lasted for a while, he added.

MND: Senior Sergeant Badiceanu Florin