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

Monday, April 18, 2011

War News for Monday, April 18, 2011

NATO is reporting the deaths of two ISAF soldiers from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, April 16th.

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an IED attack in an undisclosed location in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, April 16th.

Reported security incidents

#1: Two powerful car bombs exploded near a security checkpoint at a crowded entrance to Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Monday, killing five people and wounding at least 15, a security official said. Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi said two suicide bombers struck during the morning rush hour in a line of vehicles queuing at the western entry to the Green Zone, where government buildings and foreign embassies are located in central Baghdad. The bombers' vehicles were packed with large quantities of explosives and blew up near two motorcades carrying a senior army commander and an official with Iraq's presidential council, Moussawi said. It was not immediately clear if they were the targets. In a statement, the media office of the Iraqi parliament said one of the explosions hit the motorcade of Amjad Abdul Hameed, an adviser to parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi. Hameed was not injured but one of his bodyguards was killed and three others were wounded, the statement said. The blasts destroyed an Iraqi army Humvee and set fire to several other vehicles at the scene. An Interior Ministry source said the explosions killed three people and wounded 20, including some Iraqi soldiers.

#2: Gunmen using silenced weapons raided a goldsmith shop, killing one person and wounding another in Baghdad's southeastern Ameen district, an Interior Ministry source said.

Three goldsmiths have been killed, together with a gunman, in an armed attack by unknown gunmen east of Baghdad, a security source said on Monday. “A group of unknown gunmen have opened fire on three goldsmith shops in eastern Baghdad’s al-Amin district, killing three goldsmiths and one of the attackers,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#3: Two roadside bombs wounded four civilians when they exploded in southern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

Four persons have been injured in two explosive charges blasts in central Baghdad, raising the number of explosions in the Iraqi capital to four blasts over the past few hours of Monday, a security source said. “Two explosive charges, planted on the roadside in central Baghdad’s Jadiriya district, close to Baghdad University, blew off to wound 4 persons, and cause damage to a number of nearby shops and cars,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#4: Iraq’s Finance Ministry’s Director-General, Ali Abu-Naila, has escaped an assassination attempt in eastern Baghdad on Monday, a security source said. “A group of unknown gunmen opened fire on the motorcade of the Finance Ministry’s Director-General, Ali Abu-Naila and an advisor of the Central Bank, accompanying him, on southeastern Baghdad’s Mohammed al-Qassim highway on Monday, causing no casualties, but damaging Abu-Naila’s car,” the security source said.

#5: Two explosive charges blew up on Monday targeting two liquor shops in eastern and central Baghdad on Monday, a security source said. “Two explosive charges blew up on Monday morning, aimed at two liquor shops. One of the shops is in southeast Baghdad’s ‘New Baghdad’ district and the other in al-Nidhal Street, in the center of the city,” the security source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. He said that both explosions did not cause any casualties, but damaged a number of trade shops and civilian cars, close to the areas of the attacks.

#6: The Adviser to the Iraqi Parliament speaker has escaped an assassination attempt by a booby-trapped car explosion, a Parliament statement announced on Monday. “The Adviser to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Amjad Abdul-Hamid has escaped an assassination attempt, when a booby-trapped car blew up in west Baghdad’s Qadisiya district on Monday,” the Parliament’s source said in a statement, a copy of which was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The source said that one of Abdul-Hamid’s bodyguards was killed and three others suffered serious injures, caused by the explosion.

Al Anbar Prv:
#1: A bomb attached to a car wounded an off-duty army captain and three passengers in central Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

#2: Two roadside bombs wounded three civilians on Sunday when they exploded in central Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"
#1: A suicide attacker entered the Afghan Defence Ministry in Kabul, shot dead two Afghan soldiers and wounded seven others, Defense Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimy said. He said the bomber was shot dead before he could set off the explosives attached to his body.

#2: A powerful landmine exploded under a police vehicle, killing six officers and seriously wounding two more in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul on Monday, provincial police chief Delawar Zahed said.

#3: Armed men have kidnapped 12 Iranian engineers in Western Afghanistan, as insecurity continues in the war-torn country despite the long-term military presence of US-led forces.

#4: A local official in Khost province was killed and three of his family members injured following a roadside bomb struck their vehicle on Sunday, provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai said Monday. "A senior provincial official Khayal Mohammad was killed and three members of his family sustained injuries Sunday evening when his car ran over a mine," Ishaqzai told Xinhua. The incident happened outside provincial capital the same name Khost city, he further said.

DoD: Spc. Joseph A. Kennedy