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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

War News for Saturday, March 29, 2014

Govt shy to share drone statistics

UN rights forum calls for use of armed drones to comply with law

Reported security incidents
#1: A bomb blast targeting a vehicle carrying security forces killed a young girl and wounded 16 others - including up to eight children - in Pakistan's troubled southwest Saturday, police said. The attack occurred in the Saryab area on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of the oil and gas rich Baluchistan province that borders Iran and Afghanistan.

#2: Taliban insurgents are attacking the headquarters of the Afghan election commission in Kabul, a week before the presidential election, police say. Gunmen have entered a nearby building and are firing at the election commission with automatic weapons. Afghan special forces have entered the building to confront the attackers, police say. The assailants are using a three-storey building as a launching pad to attack the heavily secured compound of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), a senior official told the BBC.

#3: Taliban militants on Friday attacked a Kabul guesthouse used by a US anti-landmine charity, killing one girl as gunfire and explosions rocked the Afghan capital one week before the presidential election. A terrified group of foreigners, including several young children, briefly took shelter behind a generator on the street as Afghan special force commandos fought militants for more than three hours.

#4: Three soldiers were killed in blasts in Afghanistan, the country's defence ministry said Saturday. "Three soldiers were martyred following separate improvised explosive device (IED) attacks across the country within the last 24 hours," the ministry said in a statement.

At least four Afghan national army (ANA) soldiers were martyred in various incidents across the country, defense officials said Saturday.

#5: Suspected Taliban rebels killed the driver of a NATO oil tanker they set on fire on Friday in Pakistan's southwestern Bolan district, officials said. "The oil tanker was on its way to southern Afghanistan via Chaman Border when it was intercepted at Dhadar. Armed attackers set it on fire and killed the driver," Abdul Wasey, a spokesman for the Frontier Constabulary paramilitary forces, told The Anadolu Agency.

#6: Twenty Taliban militants were killed in military operations conducted by the Afghan security forces since early Friday, the Interior Ministry said Saturday morning.

#7: Two unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on the car of a TV anchor of a private news channel, killing his driver and injuring his security guard on Friday. Raza Rumi luckily remained safe in a deadly attack that took place near his office in Raja Market at around 8:50pm. He had just completed his show and had left the studio when two unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle approached near his vehicle and opened fire.

#8: A Hindu temple has been desecrated and set on fire by unidentified persons in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, two weeks ahead of an annual fair at the holy site.

#9: Pakistani security officials said that Afghan forces fired six mortars into Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday but no casualties had been reported. The mortars from an Afghan National Army post landed near a post of security forces at Ghulam Khan, a small border town in North Waziristan, military sources said.

#10  Five Afghan civilians were killed while three others wounded Friday in a blast in Tirin Kot, the provincial capital of southern province of Helmand, said an official. "A minibus set off an improvised bomb in Tirin Kot's western outskirts at around midday, leaving five civilians of the bus killed and three passengers wounded," the chief of staff of the provincial governor, Ahmad Farid Faizi, told Xinhua.

#11: The Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) foiled coordinated attacks by Taliban group in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan. National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced Saturday that a group of six Taliban terrorists were arrested during an operation by Afghan intelligence in connection to the attack plot. NDS following a statement said the group of terrorists was looking to carry out coordinated attacks and explosions to target election campaigns in this province.