The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Friday, June 29, 2012

War News for Friday, June 29, 2012

Afghan Officials Hail Talks With Insurgents

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants from Afghanistan attacked the Karakar check post near the Lower Dir area. The attack was thwarted by security forces who in retaliation killed at least six militants. This was the second attack by militants from Afghanistan in the area during this week. Eight militants were killed when they attacked the Rig Pam check post two days ago.

#2: At least 20 Taliban militants were killed during a massive clash with security forces in eastern Afghan province of Nuristan on Friday, the provincial governor said. "An estimated 60 to 80 Taliban militants launched a massive attack on Afghan National Police (ANP) checkposts in Kamdesh district at around 3 a.m. local time Friday and the clashes lasted for several hours, leaving more than 20 militants dead," governor Tamim Nuristani told Xinhua. The militants used small arm and rocket-propelled grenade in the attack in the district bordering Pakistan, the governor said, without saying if there were any casualties on the side of security forces. Citing initial information from the police, the governor added that at least three civilian women were also killed and several civilians were injured in the clashes. The remaining militants fled the scene after the police were reinforced by some army soldiers, the governor said. Zabihullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman told local media from undisclosed location that two militants were killed in the attack on police checkposts in Nuristan, during which over a dozen police were also killed.

#3: In a separate development, a Taliban local leader was killed in an operation conducted by Afghan soldiers and NATO-led coalition forces in eastern Logar province. "An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation, in Charkh district, Logar province, Thursday," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement on Friday morning. "The target of the operation was Maulawi Sadiq, a Taliban leader and explosives expert who coordinated the movement of insurgents, provided explosive materials and training to insurgents, and planned attacks against Afghan and Coalition forces in the region," the statement said.

#4: Eight troops, including a captain, were killed and three others injured in a remote-controlled bomb blast near Alhaj Market in Bara on Thursday. "At least eight troops, including an officer, were killed and three others wounded in a bomb explosion, targeting two vehicles of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC)", a spokesman for the force told AFP. The vehicles were on a routine patrol when attack happened, he added.

#5: Pfc. Kevin R. Jaye, a U.S. Army infantryman serving in Afghanistan, will be returning to the United States Friday after suffering numerous serious injuries from a improvised explosive device, his father said Wednesday. Ken Jaye of Smithsburg said his 25-year-old son, who was with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, stepped on the pressure plate of an IED, and it exploded violently, resulting in the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

#6: At least 20 people were killed and 25 others injured when a roadside bomb blast hit a passenger bus on Thursday evening in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan, local media reported.
According to the Urdu channel AAJ TV, the incident took place at about 6:00 p.m. local time in Hazarganji area of the provincial capital Quetta. The bus with around 50 people on board was bound for Quetta from Iran. When the bus reached Hazarganji area, a roadside bomb exploded and destroyed the bus completely before the bus fell into a nearby ravine which made the rescue operation very slow. One of the two police vehicles providing security to the bus also came under attack, leaving at least one policeman dead and three others injured.

#7: At least eight soldiers were killed and three others injured on Thursday when a roadside bomb struck a security convoy in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region of Khyber agency, officials said. The convoy was targeted with a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) when it was passing through the Qambarabad area of Khyber agency, one of Pakistan's restive tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. Shortly after the incident, the security forces launched a search operation during which security personnel encountered some unknown militants and killed two of them in the clash

#8: At least one person died on Thursday when an oil truck caught fire in Pul-e- Khumri, the provincial capital of northern Afghan province of Baghlan, the police said. "An oil truck caught fire at around 4 p.m. local time Thursday in Pul-e-Khumir city and as we know so far one person lost his live in the incident," Zia Kargar, head of the anti-criminal police department in the province, told Xinhua. He said at least six shops were also burned in the incident and an investigation was under way to probe the incident. However, some locals said that a sticky bomb attached to the vehicle might cause the fire incident.

Eyewitnesses in the area said a suicide bomber detonated explosives packed in a vechicle near the NATO supplies convoy and there are fears of increase in the number of casualties.

#9: According to reports an Afghan helicopter crashed in north-eastern Takhar province late Thursday evening. Afghan Natural Disasters Managemen Department officials said the incident took place in Eashkamesh district of north-eastern Takhar province. Natural Disasters Management Department officials said the passengers and crew members of the helicopter did not suffer any casualties following the incident.