The present-day U.S. military qualifies by any measure as highly professional, much more so than its Cold War predecessor. Yet the purpose of today’s professionals is not to preserve peace but to fight unending wars in distant places. Intoxicated by a post-Cold War belief in its own omnipotence, the United States allowed itself to be drawn into a long series of armed conflicts, almost all of them yielding unintended consequences and imposing greater than anticipated costs. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. forces have destroyed many targets and killed many people. Only rarely, however, have they succeeded in accomplishing their assigned political purposes. . . . [F]rom our present vantage point, it becomes apparent that the “Revolution of ‘89” did not initiate a new era of history. At most, the events of that year fostered various unhelpful illusions that impeded our capacity to recognize and respond to the forces of change that actually matter.

Andrew Bacevich

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

War News for Tuesday, September 30, 2014

184 polio cases reported in Pakistan this year

Pakistan anti-polio campaign misses over 16,000 children

Afghanistan and USA ink long-awaited security agreement

from the long war journal:  Islamic State ambushes Iraqi military column near Ramadi -- off topic but some good details for a change from the corporate media -- whisker

Reported security incidents
#1: Three people were injured on Tuesday when a polio team was attacked in Gujranwala. On August 31, the Gujranwala district health office had announced that a polio vaccination campaign would be launched on September 29.

#2: One militant has reportedly been killed in an ongoing encounter between the army and militants in  Jammu and Kashmir's  Kupwara district on Tuesday.

#3: At least 47 Taliban militants were killed and 26 others were injured following counter-terrorism operations in the past 24 hours.

#4: At least 6 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following roadside bomb explosion, defense officials said Tuesday. The exact location of the incident where the 6 Afghan army soldiers were martyred was not disclosed.

Monday, September 29, 2014

War News for Monday, September 29, 2014

New Afghan president sworn in after disputed vote

Taliban kills Australian citizen: Reports

Taliban detainees break prison in Herat province

Reported security incidents
#1: A Taliban suicide attacker killed four civilians and injured two near Kabul airport on Monday. "We can confirm a suicide bomber on foot detonated near the airport, killing four people and wounding two," said a spokesman for the police investigation department.

#2: A fighter detonated a explosives laden vehicle at the entrance of a district headquarters in Paktia's Zurmat district on Monday, leading to a heavy exchange of gunfire between the Taliban and security officials which resulted in three of the other fighters being killed. At least eight other people, including four police officers, two intelligence staff and two civilians were killed in the attack, police said. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

#3: Five militants were killed and four others were injured on Monday in a blast in the remote Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. Intelligence sources said the blast occurred at the Lashkar-i-Islam base in Kandao area and left at least five militants dead and four others injured. Sources said that militants were testing an explosive device when it exploded causing the casualties.

#4: A bomb blast killed eight people Sunday in northwestern Pakistan. The bombing struck a refugee camp housing internally displaced people on the outskirts of the city of Hangu, police officer Anwar Saeed Kundi said. He said the bomb was rigged to a motorcycle and killed eight people, including three children. It wounded 17 people, he said.

#5: Meanwhile, the U.S. drone strike killed four suspected militants in South Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan along the Afghan border, intelligence officials and Taliban fighters said.

#6: 'In precise aerial strikes last night 5 terrorists hideouts were destroyed and 15 terrorists including foreigners were killed in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency' it said.
#7: A man was killed when unknown gunmen opened fire in Kechi Baig area of Quetta on Monday, Geo News reported. According to police, unidentified armed men barged into a house and opened indiscriminate firing on a man named Amdaan and fled from the scene.

#8: At least policemen were martyred following an attack by Taliban militants in northern Jawzjan province, local officials said Monday. The attack was carried out on a police check post in Qosh Tapa district late Sunday night leaving three more injured. Provincial police spokesman, Abdul Manan Raufi said two militants were also killed during gun battle with the police forces.

#9: A civilian was killed and seven others were injured following an explosion in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan. The incident took place late Sunday in in Baharak district, local government officials said. Provincial police spokesman, Khalil Asir said the explosives planted in a motorcycle went off near a health centre, leaving one person dead and seven others injured.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sticky bomb attached to a military truck in Zanbaq square, near the presidential palace, injures the driver.

Five police killed when their vehicle hits an IED in Maidan Wardak province.

Taliban launch an offensive in eastern Nangarhar.

Pakistani journalist Faizullah Kahn, who had been sentenced to four years in prison for illegal entry into Afghanistan, is freed and will return home. His arrest and sentence had been protested by journalist organizations.

In a development which has received surprisingly little attention, the Afghan government will be unable to meet its payroll next month. The treasury will be unable to write paychecks to hundreds of thousands of civil servants. [One wonders what will happen to the loyalty of the security forces if they are not paid.]

Ashraf Ghani will be inaugurated as the second president to hold power under the present constitution on Monday. Ghani has promised to sign a security agreement with NATO which will allow 12,500 foreign troops to remain next year. He has also promised to institute merit-based civil service hiring. [Of course, that won't mean much if he can't pay them.]

Saturday, September 27, 2014

War News for Saturday, September 27, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan security forces on Saturday fought back against a major Taliban offensive in the east of the country after the militants killed up to 100 security personnel and civilians, beheading 12 of them, officials said. "Afghan soldiers, police and commandoes have launched clean-up operations against the insurgents in Ajristan," Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor of Ghazni province, told AFP. "The Taliban insurgents were holed up, using civilian houses as shelters. They were driven out and are being beaten back," Ahmadi said.

#2: A bomb planted on a motorcycle killed a civilian and wounded 22 others in a busy marketplace in Pakistan's troubled southwest, police said. The bomb, detonated by remote control, exploded in the town of Sibbi, in the oil- and gas-rich province of Baluchistan bordering Iran and Afghanistan, police official Nazar Muhammad told AFP.
#3: Two members of the peace committee were killed and another sustained injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Pandyali tehsil of Mohmand Agency on Friday, sources said. The sources said that the members of Tahir Amn Committee were patrolling in Anzar Miangan village when they were targeted with an IED.Two members, whose identity could not be ascertained, were killed on the spot while another was injured.

#4: Security forces have killed 17 Taliban militants in the Afghan northern province of Faryab over the past week, army spokesman Mohammad Reza Rezai said Saturday. "Units of security forces have raided Taliban hideouts in Almar district over the past week during which 17 militants have been killed," Rezai told reporters. However, he didn't say if there were any casualties on the security personnel, insisting several villages have been liberated from the Taliban clutches. Meantime, Taliban militants, without commenting on the clash in Almar district, have claimed that the armed militants and destroyed an army vehicle and injured two security personnel in the neighboring Daulatabad district of Faryab province on Friday.

#5: Four people were injured as a mine struck a military vehicle in Kunduz provincial capital the Kunduz city, 250 km north of Kabul, on Saturday, police said. "A sticky bomb planted on an army vehicle exploded at 09:00 a.m. local time, injuring four civilians,"a police officer said but declined to be identified, adding that authorized officials would brief the media after investigation. An eye witness on the condition of anonymity said that one civilian was killed and four others sustained injuries in the blast.

Friday, September 26, 2014

War News for Friday, September 26, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Hundreds of Taliban fighters have stormed a strategic district in an Afghan province not far from the capital, killing dozens of people in five days of fighting and the insurgents could capture the area, officials said today. The Ghazni provincial government has lost contact with police in the province’s western district of Ajrestan, said Asadullah Safi, deputy police chief of the area. The attack by an estimated 700 Taliban fighters began about five days ago and early reports were that more than 100 people had been killed, including 15 who were beheaded by the militants, said provincial deputy governor Ahmadullah Ahmadi.

An Afghan official says Taliban insurgents have beheaded 12 civilians and torched some 60 homes in an assault on security forces in the eastern Ghazni province. The province's deputy police chief Asadullah Ensafi says the Taliban have attacked several villages over the past week in the Arjistan district. He says that on Thursday night they captured and beheaded 12 family members of local and national police and burned down 60 homes. He added that the battle was still raging. Ensafi says the Taliban also detonated a car bomb in front of an encampment where some 40 police were posted. He said it was not immediately possible to reach the area to ascertain casualties because the insurgents had mined the roads.

#2: Two persons were killed and eight others, including two women and two police personnel, were injured when a bomb targeting senior anti-terror police officer SSP Farooq Awan went off in Defence area of Karachi on Thursday evening.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

War News for Thursday, September 25, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A group of insurgents attacked a marble mine in Chesht district of western Herat province on Wednesday night, local officials said on Thursday. According to the provincial officials, the attack started around 9 p.m. Wednesday night and continued until 1 a.m. The attack claimed the life of one mine worker and wounded three others. The insurgents kidnapped four other workers upon fleeing the area.

#2: A bomb blast ripped through a bazaar in Maimana city the capital of Faryab province 425 km northwest of Kabul on Thursday killing one person and wounding 18 others, deputy to provincial police chief Mohammad Naem Andarabi said. "Militants planted explosive device on a bicycle and detonated it next to a police vehicle parked in the bazaar of Maimana as a result one person was killed on the spot and 18 others, all civilians sustained injuries, some in critical condition," Andarabi told Xinhua. Since the police van was empty, no police personnel were harmed, the official said.

#3: A bomb blast rocked the southern town of Spin Boldak in Taliban former stronghold Kandahar province 450 km south of Kabul on Thursday, injuring six persons, all civilians, spokesman for provincial government Samim Khapalwak said.

#3: Two civilians including a Pakistani immigrant were killed in attack of Taliban in Kunar province today. Abdul Habib Syeedkhail police chief of Kunar said BNA; two civilians which one of them is Pakistani immigrant were killed in attack of armed Taliban in Ozbel region, Asmar district, Kunar province.

#4: According to another report, four armed Taliban were killed in clashes by security forces in Ghaziabad district of that province. According to the source, Taliban attacked on police post in Ghaziabad district, in clashes between Taliban and police forces, four armed Taliban lost their lives. It should be said that there were no casualties among civilians and police forces in the clashes. 

#5: At least two American soldiers were injured following an explosion in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan. District administrative chief, Abdul Shakoor Qadusi, said an armoured vehicle of the US forces struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Bagram on Wednesday night.

#6: Unknown gunmen shot dead a prosecutor in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, local officials said Thursday. Provincial police spokesman, Farid Ahmad Obaid said the appellate prosecutor was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Lashkargah city late Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

War News for Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NATO concludes AWACS mission in Afghanistan

Reported security incidents
#1: A US drone strike killed at least five suspected militants near the Afghan border in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, intelligence officials said.  

#2: Thirteen militants were killed in fresh airstrikes by Pakistan Air Force in Tirah Valley at Khyber Agency today. Political administration has confirmed that 13 militants were killed by the jet fighters of Pakistan Air Force. Several militant hideouts were also destroyed in the airstrikes.

#3: At least three civilians were wounded in a blast in Mazar-i-Sharif city, the capital of northern Afghan province of Balkh, on Wednesday morning, police said.

#4: Four police were killed while four others were wounded as Taliban launched an attack on a security checkpoint in Kunduz city, capital of northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Wednesday morning, police said. "The militants attacked an Afghan Local Police (ALP) checkpoint in Atmanzai locality in outskirts of Kunduz city at around 08:00 a.m. local time. Four ALP cops were killed and four ALP members were wounded as a result of the gunfight lasting for a while," an ALP official Sarraj Uddin told Xinhua.

#5: An Afghan lawmaker escaped unhurt from an attack by militants in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan. According to local security officials, the incident took place late Tuesday night in Kelagay area. Provincial police spokesman, Jawid Basharat said a group of militants attacked the vehicle of lawmaker Aashiqullah Wafa while he was returning to capital Kabul.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

War News for tuesday, September 23, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: 11 died in an armed clash between two Baluch separatist groups which took place in southwestern Baluchistan province on Monday, officials said. The Home Secretary of Baluchistan, Akbar Durrani said the clash occurred in the remote Turbat district, located some 750 Kilometers off Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

#2: At least four people, including a child, were killed and 24 others injured today in a powerful car bomb suicide attack targeting a convoy of security forces in this restive northwestern Pakistani city. The explosion took place when a convoy of Frontier Corps (FC) was passing through the Saddar Road in Peshawar in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. City police chief Ijaz Khan visited the spot of the bombing and told reporters that the target of the attack was brigadier Khalid Javed of the FC but he survived the blast. Gunfire was also reported from the area after the blast and windows of nearby buildings and cars were shattered.

#3: At least 23 more suspected terrorists were killed in the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb launched by the Pakistan Army in North Waziristan Agency, according to a statement issued by military's media wing. A statement released by the ISPR said that gunship helicopters and fighter jets targeted militant hideouts in Bandegar areas of Ghulam Khan.

#4: 162 rockets were fired by Pakistani forces on Kunar province last night. Colonel Abdul Habib Syeedkhail police chief of Kunar province said BNA, Pakistani forces fired 162 rockets on different parts of Dangam district which had no human casualties but, inflected damages to agricultural lands.

#5: "Units of police backed by the army have conducted series of anti-terrorism operations in Nangarhar, Kapisa, Laghman, Balkh, Zabul and Helmand provinces over the past 24 hours. As a result, 38 armed Taliban insurgents have been killed, three wounded and four others arrested," Interior Ministry said in a statement released here on Tuesday.

#6: A doctor who was busy in administering the immunity vaccine to children under five to eradicate polio the crippling children disease in a village of Watapor district in the eastern Kunar province was abducted by Taliban militants on Monday, provincial police Abdul Habib Sayed Khili told reporters Tuesday. The police chief also said the armed militants later on the day sprayed bullets on the innocent doctor and brutally killed him on the spot and thus forcing health workers to stop polio campaign there in the village.

#7: Two mine planters were killed in Matakhan district, Paktika province last night. Defense ministry press office said BNA, two mine planters wanted to plant an anti-vehicle mine in Matakhan district, Paktika province; the mine exploded and killed them.

#8: A senior Taliban leader was shot dead along with three other Taliban fighters by unknown gunmen in western Herat province of Afghanistan. According to local security officials, Mullah Ghani Shah was shadow district governor of Pashtun Zarghoon district who was shot dead by unknown gunmen early Tuesday morning.

Monday, September 22, 2014

War News for Monday, September 22, 2014

3 Afghan military officers missing from Cape Cod military base

U.S. releases 14 Pakistani prisoners from Bagram

Reported security incidents
#1: At least four people, three policemen among them, were shot dead in a suspected militant attack in a remote area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hungu district today. According to officials, the attack took place in Qazi Pump area where unknown gunmen opened fire on a police mobile close to a check post, killing three policemen on the spot. Another person, who was critically injured, later died.

#2: Clashes between border police forces and armed oppositions wounded two children in Logar province today. Deen Mohammad Darwish spokesman of Logar governor reported BNA, the clashes occurred, while Taliban militants attacked on border police checkpoint in Baraki Barak district of the province, in which two children in a family wounded.

#3: At least three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following improvised explosive device (IED) explosion, defense ministry officials said Monday. Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said the three Afghan soldiers were martyred in the past 24 hours. He did not disclose further information regarding the exact location where the incident took place.

#4: Afghan security forces conducted military operations yesterday killed 17 armed insurgents.

#5: Four members of a family including two women a boy and a child were martyred and 13 residents of the area were wounded in rocket attacked of Taliban last night. Abdul Khair governor of Bak district, Khost province said BNA, the rocket fired on a residential house in Balabalok district of Khost province. 

Deputy provincial police chief, Abdul Qadir Omid, said the rockets were fired from the other side of Durand Line on Sunday night. Omid further added that 23 rockets were fired in the latest wave of cross-border shelling which landed in Dangam district.

#6: At least 2 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred and 13 others are missing following an attack by Taliban militants in Herat province. According to local security officials, Taliban militants launched an attack on a security check post in Rabat-e-Sangi district late Sunday. In the meantime, unconfirmed reports suggest that the 13 soldiers have joined Taliban group and have taken with them the weapons and ammunition.

#7: A group of senior Taliban leaders were killed following an airstrike in western Farah provice of Afghanistan, security officials said Monday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ending months of brinksmanship, presidential rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah sign a power sharing agreement. Although official results of the election tally have yet to be announced, Ghani will become Afghanistan's new president, while Abdullah will nominate a person (presumably himself) to the post of "Chief Executive Officer." However, the constitution vests all meaningful power in the presidency, so we will have to see how this works out in practice. The way is now clear, it seems, for the new president to sign a security agreement with NATO, which Hamid Karzai has refused to do, allowing a small force to remain in the country next year. (Oh I'm sorry, did you think U.S. forces were leaving Afghanistan?)

WaPo has a lengthier discussion which only manages to highlight the uncertainty going forAward.

Sixty-two rockets are fired from Pakistan into Kunar province. No casualties reported.

Security forces say they foiled a planned car bomb attack on a military installation in Nimroz province.

Fighting in Sar-e-Pul leaves one police officer and four insurgents dead, five police injured, and five insurgent captured, according to local officials.

An exemplar of the confusing nature of Afghan politics is the career of Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, a former al-Qaeda associate and mentor of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who is suspected of committing atrocities during the Afghan civil war and of complicity in the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud. He is now a member of Parliament. In the linked story, he is quoted denouncing attacks on Afghan security forces as haram.

The occasion of Sayyaf's remarks is the third anniversary of the assassination of former president Ustad Burhanuddin Rabbani, whose family claims that the perpetrators are known to the authorities but are being protected. Folks, you'll have to decide if it's really worth it for U.S. forces to be fighting and dying for this government.

Meanwhile, more than 60,000 Kurdish refugees flee from Syria into Turkey as IS fighters rampage through the Kobani area and Kurdish forces move to confront them. Turkey is wary of the Kurdish forces in Kobani which it believes are associated with the PKK Kurdish irredentist movement in Turkey. Indeed, Kurdish fighters entering Kobani from Turkey are said to include PKK members. Although Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani has said that IS advances in Kobani "threaten the entire Kurdish nation," there is no indication as yet that the peshmerga is entering this fight.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

War News for Saturday, September 20, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: The Pakistani Taliban announced on Saturday that a senior commander of the militant group had been killed during clashes with the Pakistan Army, a first for the group, which has maintained that the military has been exaggerating the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. In a statement issued to the media, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said Afghan national Mohammad Hassan had “joined his friends” in the TTP after getting released from Afghanistan. According to the statement, the attack in the Boya region was a joint operation by the TTP, local Taliban, and Mehsud fighters that resulted in several Pakistan Army casualties. “Heavy loss of life and material was inflicted upon the Army,” said Shahid, adding that over 10 military checkposts had been destroyed.

#2: Three terrorists were killed and a Naib Subedar was martyred in clashes between Pakistan Army and extremists in Northern Waziristan. According to ISPR, security forces exchanged fire with terrorist in Boya in North Waziristan during the on going military operation Zarb-e-Azb and killed three terrorists.

#3: A trainer jet of Pakistan Army crashed on the outskirts of Quetta, leaving both pilot and co-pilot injured, Pakistan Tribune reported.

#4: A remote-controlled bomb planted by militants along a roadside exploded in Dasht tehsil of Balochistan’s Kech district on Saturday, killing at least one person and injuring two others. A levies official Muhammad Tariq told media that workers of the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) were engaged on a road construction when their vehicle was targeted with the bomb.

#5: At least 35 Taliban militants were killed and 25 others were injured following counter-terrorism operations in the past 24 hours.

#6: At least four policemen were martyred and six others were injured following an attack by Taliban militants in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan.

Friday, September 19, 2014

War News for Friday, September 19, 2014

Final agreement on Afghan unity government expected today

Whitman-Hanson graduate's death in Afghanistan reopens old wounds

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan police say a bomb blast in northern Afghanistan killed at least six people shortly after they left a mosque in northern Afghanistan following Friday prayers.on September 19. Baghlan province police spokesman Jawad Basharat said the blast, which also injured 12 people, occurred just outside the mosque.

#2: Elsewhere, Din Mohammad Darwish, the spokesman for the governor of Logar province, said four police were killed during a battle with Taliban insurgents on September 18.

#3: Three suspected militants were killed in a roadside blast in northwestern Khyber Agency in a fresh wave of infighting that has already claimed over 100 lives since March. A senior military official in the region, on condition of anonymity, told the Anadolu Agency that three militants were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck a vehicle carrying militants loyal to pro-Taliban Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) group led by Commander Mangal Bagh in the remote Sipah area of Khyber Agency.

#4: Pakistan's military says it has it killed 23 militants in aerial strikes across North Waziristan tribal district in the northwest region near the Afghan border. In a statement issued to the media on Friday, the military said: "Today in precise aerial strikes carried out on terrorists hideouts in Zerom, Ismail Khel, and Datta Khel in North Waziristan, 23 terrorists were killed."

#5: A woman was killed and three others injured when unknown gunmen opened fire at a vehicle of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Bannu on Friday. The firing incident took place in Jani Khel area of Bannu where unidentified miscreants sprayed bullets at a vehicle with North Waziristan IDPs on board.

#6: "Militants planted explosive device on a motorbike and detonated it at the 9th police district of Kandahar city this afternoon injuring six persons including two security personnel and four children," spokesman for Kandahar provincial government, Samim Khapalwak told Xinhua. Meantime, an official on the condition of anonymity said that four security personnel and four civilians sustained injuries in the blast occurred at 03:20 p.m. local time Friday.

#7: Taliban militants assassinated a local tribal elder in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan, local officials said. Tribal elder Haji Yousuf was reportedly organizing anti-Taliban public uprising in Aqcha district.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

War News for Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: A security man was killed in a blast in Balochistan's troubled Kech district on Thursday, a security official said. A security official, who requested anonymity, told Dawn that militants targeted a security forces' vehicle in Shapuk area of Turbat. He said one security man was killed in the attack. "The vehicle was targeted with a remote-controlled bomb," he added.

#2: In another incident, armed men killed a police officer in the Double Road area of Quetta on late Wednesday night. Imran Qureshi, the Superintedent of Police, told Dawn that armed militants opened fire on a police assistant sub-inspector (ASI), and killed him on the spot. He said the assailants fled from the scene after launching the attack.

#3: Tajik border guards killed an Afghan drug smuggler and wounded two others Wednesday on the Tajik-Afghan border, in Shuroabad district of Khatlon province, Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security (SCNS) said on Thursday.

#4: Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi confirmed that three Afghan soldiers were martyred in improvised explosive device (IED) attack.

#5: At least 22 Taliban militants including Punjabi insurgents were killed following clashes with the Afghan security forces in Kunar province.

DoD: Sgt. Charles C. Strong

DoD: Maj. Michael J. Donahue

DoD: Civ. Stephen Byus

Pol/MoD: Sergeant RafaƂ Celebudzki

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

War News for Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reynoldsburg Ohio Reservist Killed In Afghanistan -- Stephen Byus

Over 1,500 Afghan policemen martyred since the start of the year

Reported security incidents
#1: A provincial security official said on Wednesday that Taliban fighters killed six Afghan policemen in an ambush in western Afghanistan. Raouf Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Herat province said that six other police were wounded in the assault late Tuesday. Mr. Ahmadi said that eight Taliban fighters were also killed in the battle.

#2: The Pakistan army Wednesday said fighter jets bombed positions of militants in the North Waziristan tribal region and killed 40 local and foreign militants.

#3: Two militants were on Wednesday killed in an encounter with security forces near the Line of Control (LoC) in Macchil Sector of Kashmir Valley. “In the wee hours today, two unknown terrorists were killed in Macchil Sector in an encounter with troops,” an Army spokesman said.

#4: At least three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following improvised explosive device (IED) explosion, defense officials said Wednesday. Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said the three Afghan soldies were martyred in the past 24 hours.

#5: A female journalist was murdered by unidentified men in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan. The female journalistm – Palwasha Tokhi Miranzai was reportedly working for Bayan-e-Shamal new network. According to reports, Miranzai was repeatedly stabbed by unidentified men inside her house in Mazar-e-Sharif city.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

War News for Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an ANA soldier who turned his weapon against an ISAF soldier in western Afghanistan on Monday September 15th. News reports that an ANA soldier shot his trainer in Herat Province. 
NATO is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers from an insurgant attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, September 16th. News reports that a sucide bomber attacked a NATO convoy killing at least three soldiers including a Polish soldier.

Military suicides outnumbered deaths in Afghanistan, new stats show (Canadian Army)

Reported security incidents
#1: A group of militants attacked a Pakistan army post from neighboring Afghanistan Tuesday morning, sparking a shootout that left 11 insurgents and three soldiers killed. A group of terrorists" crossed over from Afghanistan and attacked the army's Dandi Kuch post in North Waziristan before fleeing back, the military said in a statement.

#2: Also Tuesday, Pakistani warplanes targeted three militant hideouts in a Taliban stronghold in the Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border, killing at least 20 insurgents.

#3: An Frontier Corps (FC) vehicle was partially damaged in an explosion on Joint Road in Quetta on Tuesday. However, no loss of life was reported in the blast. “The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) packed in a cooking oil box was planted beside the Shaheed Benazeer Bhutto flyover on Joint Road. An explosion was caused as the detonator of the IED exploded, and splinters and other destructive objects were spread on the site,” an official at the scene of the blast told reporters.

#4: a suicide bomber blew himself up in a parking lot of oil tankers in the border town of Torkham linking Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province to Peshawar of Pakistan late Monday night, burning to ashes more than 20 oil tankers.

#5: At least two civilians were killed and three others were injured following an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in southern Helmand province.

#6: Taliban militants beheaded a religious cleric in central Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, local officials said Tuesday.

Monday, September 15, 2014

War News for Monday, September 15, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Pakistani authorities say militants killed three people in attacks targeting police in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province on September 15. In Tahll, a city near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, one police officer was killed when six militants attacked a police station. Authorities say the officer was killed when a suicide attacker detonated a bomb. Further south, in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, militants attacked the home of a police station chief, killing two of his brothers.

#2: A man was killed Monday when armed men attacked a polio campaign team in Pakistan's Balochistan province. According to a campaign official, armed men opened fire at the team in Pishin's Karbala area, Dawn online reported.

#3: Seven suspected militants were killed following a US drone strike on the Pak-Afghan border area. The strike was reportedly carried out at the Pak-Afghan border on zero line with Paktika province along the South Waziristan Agency.

#4: In the latest bloody incident which occurred in the northern Baghlan province, one police personnel was killed and seven civilians injured, a local official said. "The blast took place near Baghlan-e-Markazi District bazaar at around 10:30 a.m. local time today. The bomb went off when a police vehicle was passing the area as a result one police in the vehicle was killed and seven civilians including two children at nearby wounded," the District Governor Gohar Khan Babri told Xinhua.

#5: In a related incident, the security forces raided Taliban hideout in the western Herat province early Monday morning leaving five militants including a senior commander dead, police contended.

#6: Afghan security forces have pressed on to clear the militants in restive provinces and killed 52 militants in the latest operations, the country's Interior Ministry said on Monday.

#7: A civilian wounded in firing of Pakisani rocket attacks from other side of Durand Line on Kunr province last night.

#8: At least four Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion. Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said the four Afghan Naional Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred during the past 24 hours.

#9: A suicide bomber was shot dead by Afghan police forces in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan on Sunday, local officials said.

#10: At least six people were injured after an Afghan army helicopter collided with a wall in central Daikundi province of Afghanistan. Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said at least one person was killed and three others were injured following the crash of the helicopter. In the meantime, Dawlat Waziri, deputy spokesman for the ministry of defense of Afghanistan has said at least eight people including two pilots of the helicopter and six members of the quick reaction forces were injured.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, September 14, 2014

Member of Parliament General Ali Akbar Qasimi is injured by an explosion while he is exercising at a gym.

Taliban attack security checkpoints in Ghazni province. Government spokesman claims 40 militants killed, including many from Pakistan, with no mention of any government casualties. However, Taliban claim 3 police killed and 5 injured. As usual, we should treat casualty reports with skepticism, as there are no journalists working in the area.

Drone strike on the border between Paktika province and South Waziristan said to kill 7 militants. Although the story refers to a drone strike by "coalition forces" this of course means the U.S. A second strike in Kunar apparently also killed a Taliban commander.

We have linked before to stories about the cultural institution of sexual exploitation of boys in Afghanistan. The Ministry of the Interior (famous for preposterous accounts of battlefield success and invulnerability) held a meeting with police leaders to discuss the practice of firing into the air during celebrations. Apparently children are often forced to dance at wedding ceremonies and (the story is not clear) are sexually abused, and this also came up. The story then goes on to note that the "Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan (AIHRC) released its latest report on ‘Bacha Bazi’ – sexual abuse of teenage boys in Afghanistan last month, stating that influential figures as well as wealthy people in Afghanistan are hiring teenage boys aged between 10 to 18 years old for their sexual satisfaction."

Following intimidation and threats against its workers in the extended electoral dispute, the UN threatens to withdraw aid  if the harassment continues. WAPO also has extensive coverage of the problem. The city of Mazar-e-Sharif is of particular concern as it is home to many Tajiks who favor Abdullah. (It is clear that Abdullah will not accept the results if Ghani is declared the winner, which seems to be where things are headed.)

Meanwhile, in Iraq and Syria, the political situation is at least as complex as the military situation. The peshmerga, with U.S. air support, are advancing on Mosul. All well and good but Mosul is of course an Arab, not a Kurdish city. What exactly happens if the Kurds capture Mosul from IS is a bit of a mystery. Meanwhile, an Iranian legislator claims that the U.S. war on IS is actually a conspiracy to occupy Syria. (I don't normally link to Fars as it is not a reliable news source but it is a reliable source of Iranian propaganda. The idea is that IS is a creation of the Gulf monarchies and the U.S. should cut off support to them instead of invading Syria.)  Australia goes back into Iraq with 600 troops and 10 aircraft, while U.S. military "advisers" enter Ramadi. (The Iraqis seem to need a lot of advice, for some reason.) British PM David Cameron calls and emergency meeting following the beheading of British aid worker David Haines in the lates IS video. It is possible that Britain, which has so far refrained from joining in combat against IS, will now take part in the air campaign. Human Rights Watch calls for an investigation of an Iraqi air strike on September 1 which hit a school housing displaced persons in al-Alam, near Tikrit, which killed 31 civilians including 24 children.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

War News for Saturday, September 13, 2014

Afghan election commission delays vote results

Reported security incidents
#1: Armed militants attacked a container carrying equipment for US and Nato troops in Pakistan's bordering town with Afghanistan on Saturday, police said. Wahab Khan, a police official, told Dawn that armed militants opened fire at a Nato container in the Bypass area of Chaman and injured its driver and cleaner.

#2: A car bomb exploded in a bazaar in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least three people and wounding 24 others, police officials said. Saturday's attack took place when a vehicle carrying security forces was passing through a bazaar near Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province, senior police officer Abdur Razzak Cheema said. The dead included a paramilitary soldier and two civilians, Cheema told the Associated Press news agency.

#3: Unknown gunmen early on Saturday killed a Khasadar force man along with his wife in Bara Tehsil of the northwestern tribal region of Khyber. Official sources said the tribal policeman was going out of his house in Shalobar Qambarabad area of Khyber Agency when the assault left him and his wife dead on the spot.

#4: Fifteen armed militants were killed and seventeen others wounded in clashes between ANA forces and Taliban in Manogi district, Kunar province this morning. Shojaul-Malik Jalala governor of Kunar province said BNA, the clashes started while a group of Taliban militants attacked on different parts of Manogi district. In the attacks, three ANA forces were also martyred and four others wounded.

#5: 90 rockets were fired by Pakistani forces on different parts of Kunar province last night which had no casualties.

#6: The driver of the abducted Pakistani engineers was killed by kidnappers in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.

#7: A group of Taliban militants launched attack on a government compound in eastern Paktia province of Afghanistan early Saturday. According to local government officials, the attack was carried out by a group of at least 40 Taliban militants on Jani Khel district government compound. He said the district chief was not in the office when the attack was launched and the Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties during the clashes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

War News for Friday, September 12, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Eighteen Taliban militants have been killed in fresh military operations across Afghanistan, said the country's Interior Ministry on Friday morning.

#2: Two armed Taliban lost their lives and four others wounded in recent clashes in Kandahar province last night. The clashes occurred between police forces and Taliban in Maiwand and Zheri districts of the province. The clashes started while police forces attacked on three hideouts of Taliban in the districts.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

War News for Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reported security incidents
#1: Militants blew up a railway track on Thursday morning in Balochistan' s Bolan district, officials told Dawn. A Levies official who requested anonymity said militants had planted explosive material close to the railway track in Bolan district’s Bala Nari area.

#2: At least 65 terrorists were killed and three hideouts destroyed during two separate airstrikes in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on Wednesday. According to security officials, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets carried out precision strikes in Shawwal and Dattakhel areas after getting credible intelligence about the presence of militants.

#3: A mine targeted a police van in Kunduz city at 11:45 a.m. local time Thursday, leaving two persons including a police injured," police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Husaini told reporters.

#4: Moreover, three persons including a local official sustained injuries as a roadside bomb struck a civilian car in the southern Uruzgan province on Thursday.

#5: Eight armed Taliban were killed and six others wounded in clashes between Taliban and local police forces in Marwara district, Kunar province last night. General Abdul Habib Syeedkhail police chief of Kunar said BNA, the incident occurred in Bache region, Marwara district, while a group of armed Taliban attacked on local police post, in which eight armed Taliban lost their lives and six others wounded. According to Syeedkhail, after the incident, armed Taliban set on fire seven houses belonged to local police and also abducted 12 tribal elders from the site.

#6: Twenty rockets were launched by Pakistani forces from other side of Durand line on several parts of Kunar province last night.

#7: The Uruzgan Hajj and Religious Affairs Directorate Chief, Mohammadullah Abdali was injured following an explosion on Thursday morning. According to local government officials, the incident took place after an explosive device planted in the vehicle of Abdali went off while he was on his way towards his office.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

War News for Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thousands flee as Pakistan floods spread to plains

Violence Erupts in Yemen Capital After Weeks of Rallies

Reported security incidents
#1: Afghan officials say 14 people, including civilians, have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in eastern Afghanistan. Abdul Ghani Musamem, a spokesman for the governor of Kunar province, says 14 people died in the airstrike in Narang district. Musamem says 13 others were wounded in the strike on Tuesday.

#2: Pakistan's military says its warplanes struck three hideouts at a Taliban stronghold near the Afghan border, killing 35 militants. Officials say the air strikes early Wednesday targeted the North Waziristan tribal region

#3: Gunmen have killed a member of the tribal police guarding a polio vaccination team in Pakistan's northwest in the latest attack on health workers trying to combat the disease. Officials said the attack took place on September 10 in Damadola area of Bajaur, a tribal area on the border with Afghanistan where polio is a serious problem.

#4: At least six militants were killed in the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency on Tuesday. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a soldier of the Pakistan Army also embraced martyrdom in fight against militants in Dattakhel during clearance operation. A civilian logistics staff member was also killed in the soldiers' shootout with terrorists when he was providing logistics supplies to the fighting soldiers.

#5: Units of police backed by the army have rooted out militants in Chardara district of the northern Kunduz province after month-long cleanup operations, provincial police chief Ghulam Mustafa Mohsini said Wednesday.

#6: Afghan police backed by the army units have killed 50 Taliban militants during series of operations across the country over the past 24 hours, Ministry of Interior said in a statement released here on Wednesday.

#7: Two traffic police were wounded in Ghazni province yesterday. The traffic police while moving toward their mission have been targeted by firing of an insurgent who riding motorcycle in Deh Khuda region, Ghazni city yesterday.

#8: Three mine planters were killed, as a result of their own mine explosion in east of the country yesterday.

#9: National Directorate of Security (NDS) officers were martyred following an attack by Taliban militants in western Badghis province. Local government officials said the incident took place on Tuesday after a group of Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of the NDS operatives in Karkh district.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

War News for Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nearly half million people affected in Pakistan floods

Afghan Candidate Vows to Reject Disputed Vote

Reported security incidents
#1: Taliban militants attacked a Karachi naval dockyard in a weekend raid which left a Pakistani officer and two insurgents dead, officials said on Tuesday. An officer and six sailors were also wounded in the attack early Saturday on the high security facility, a navy spokesman said, adding that four attackers had been captured alive.

#2: Pakistan’s military said on Monday it had killed 10 militants and destroyed an explosives cache in ongoing airstrikes as part of a major offensive against the Taliban in the northwest. “Army aviation gunship helicopters struck an area ahead of Boya Degan in North Waziristan. In a precise strike on a terrorist hideout, gunship helicopters destroyed one explosive dump and five vehicles and killed 10 terrorists,” the military said in a statement. The conflict zone is off-limits to journalists, so there is no way to independently verify the number and identity of those killed.

#3: Five Afghan police were killed in a clash followed by a blast in eastern province of Laghman on Tuesday, sources said. "Taliban militants launched an attack on Afghan Local Police ( ALP) checkpoint in Badpakh district. The ALP responded the attack, killing several militants," the provincial government said in a statement. Two ALP cops were also killed and one police was wounded in the clash. The statement said, adding three other ALP members were killed when their vehicle set off a roadside bomb at the same area.

#4: Earlier on the day, six civilians were wounded in a bomb attack in Mazar-i-Sharif city, the capital of northern Balkh province, 305 km north of Kabul.

#5-6: Six militants were killed and six others wounded in two separate incidents in Afghanistan on Tuesday morning, authorities said.

#5: In one incident, three militants were killed and two others wounded when a NATO drone fired a missile on a compound in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province, the provincial police spokesman Hzrat Husain Mashriqiwal told Xinhua.

#6: In neighboring Paktika province, three militants were killed and four others wounded when a roadside bomb they were planting along a road in Khir Kot district went off prematurely at around 6: 00 a.m. in the morning, according to district governor Raz Mohammad Mukhlis.

#7: a suicide attack Police chief of Raghistan district, Kandahar province along with two other policemen were martyred last night. Zia Durani spokesman of police chief in the province told BNA, the attack occurred while a suicide assailant entered to Raghistan security command and exploded himself.

#8: At least three militants were killed following a drone strike by NATO-led coalition security forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Monday, September 8, 2014

War News for Monday, September 8, 2014

Pakistani, Indian Troops In Rescue Effort After Deadly Kashmir Floods

Afghan election on brink of collapse as Abdullah-Ghani talks fail

Reported security incidents

#1: An Afghan official says a Taliban suicide bomber has killed a district police chief and his two guards in southern Kandahar province. Samim Khpolwak, spokesman for the provincial governor in Kandahar, says the attack took place on Sunday evening at the police headquarters in Arghistan district. Khpolwak says the police chief, Abdul Manaf, and two policemen who served as his bodyguards died in the explosion while six other policemen were wounded.
#2: In the latest episode of cross-border skirmishes, two missiles fired from the Afghan side of the border injured a boy in Bajaur agency, political administration officials in the area confirmed. Officials said missiles hit Lagharrai village in Bajaur agency during the early hours of Sunday morning, as a result 10-year-old Yaseen sustained serious injuries.
A mother and her child were killed following cross-border shelling from the other side of Durand Line in Kunar province. According to local government officials, at least six others were also injured following the shelling.
#3: The incident took place in the Ahmedwal area of Noshki in Balochistan where the security forces traded fire with militants after intercepting the explosives-filled vehicle coming from Afghanistan.In cross fire, three militants were killed and the explosive-laden vehicle was destroyed. Three security personnel were also injured in the firing and they were shifted to hospital for treatment.
#4: Gunmen killed three people including a senior army officer in an attack on a Sufi shrine in central Pakistan, officials said on Monday, in the latest deadly sectarian violence to hit the country. The incident happened in the town of Sargodha, 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of the capital Islamabad, late Saturday but was not immediately reported.
#5: Militants have blown up a 24-inch gas pipeline in Balochistan's resource-rich Dera Bugti district on Monday, an official said. A security official, who requested anonymity, told Dawn that militants had planted explosive materials close to the gas pipeline in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti district.
#6: Afghan security forces killed at least 35 Taliban members and wounded six others in nationwide military operations, said the country's interior ministry on Monday.
The Afghan army has killed 18 Taliban militants within the last 24 hours, the country's Defense Ministry said Monday morning. "Up to 18 militants had been killed and five others injured during Afghan army operations in seven out of 34 provinces within the last 24 hours,"the ministry said in a statement. The statement also confirmed that six army personnel were killed in roadside bomb attacks and enemy forces'direct fire over the same period across the country.
#7: Gunmen kidnapped two Pakistani engineers in Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province on Sunday, officials said.
#8: Four Afghan soldiers were killed as a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Badakhshan province with Faizabad as its capital 315 km northeast of Kabul on Sunday, a local official said. "A mine planted by militants on a road in Wardoj district struck a vehicle of national army today morning, killing four soldiers on the spot and injuring two others," district governor Daulat Mohammad Khawar told reporters.
#9: At least 3 militants were killed following a drone strike by NATO-led coalition security forces in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan. Local security officials said the airstrike was carried out on Monday morning in Marwara district.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

News of the Day for Sunday, September 7, 2014

Defense Ministry says two Afghan soldiers killed in past 24 hours, gives no specifics.

Taliban attack a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Ghazni city, kill three police and abduct four. A spokesman says 18 militants were killed in the incident.

Just to demonstrate a point, comes now the Ministry of the Interior claiming 19 militants killed in the past 24 hours, with, as usual, zero government or civilian casualties. As we already know there are at least five government forces killed and four captured, something would appear to be missing, no?

And something has been missing for a long time. It seems 200 government forces have been killed in a Taliban offensive in Helmand this summer, but for some reason we haven't heard about it.

Here's another claim, that 48 insurgents were killed in an operation in Balkh in the past 4 days, with two police killed. I don't know what to make of these highly disproportionate casualty claims, which are ubiquitous, and which the Taliban always dispute. (They have yet to comment on this report.) Keep in mind that we are largely dependent on government press releases for our picture of the conflict; independent corroboration by enterprise journalists is almost non-existent, at least in the countryside. 

Afghan court sentences seven men to death for a gang rape in Kabul that provoked widespread outrage. A large group of men, some dressed in police uniforms, stopped a convoy returning from a wedding, dragged four women from the vehicles, and raped them in a field. Violence against women is commonplace in Afghanistan but it is mostly in a domestic context.

Meanwhile, in the other war without endU.S. launches air strikes on IS in the vicinity of the Haditha dam. Note that this represents an unannounced expansion of the U.S. role in Iraq, as this operation has no conceivable connection to protecting U.S. personnel. It turns out that U.S. air power has been operating extensively in Anbar, and has killed 42 militants in Ramadi and Bervana.

It is a near certainty that U.S. special forces are on the ground in the area to coordinate these actions with Iraqi forces. Even if the U.S. DoD is tight-lipped about it, we can glean some info from the Canadians, who announced they are sending "several dozen" troops to Iraq. " The contingent of special operations forces will work closely with U.S. forces but remain under full command of Canada's Chief of Defence Staff." No word on precisely what they will be doing except that they will not be engaged in combat. Well okay then.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

War News for Saturday, September 6, 2014

Heavy monsoon downpours hammers Pakistan, India

Afghans Say Taliban Are Nearing Control of Key District (Sangin district in northern Helmand)

Reported security incidents
#1: A Sikh businessman was shot dead on Saturday in Peshawar’s area of Gulberg, a private news channel reported. According to the report, the victim was a resident of Dabgari. He was attacked by two unidentified gunmen at his shop in Nothia area of Gulberg.

#2: Foiling a big sabotage attack, police on Saturday morning claimed seizing an explosives-laden truck near Maidan Hawai (Airport) road in capital Kabul, an official said.

#3: At least two security personnel sustained injuries when a remote controlled bomb exploded here in Darsamand area (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) on Saturday,

#4: About 86 Taliban militants have been killed and 62 others got injured as the Afghan security forces carried out cleanup operations in different provinces within the last 24 hours, said the country's Interior Ministry on Saturday morning.

#5: Two mine planters were killed, as a result of their own mine explosion in Badghis province yesterday.

#6: In clashes between Taliban militants and Afghan police forces, 9 insurgents were killed in Shah Wali Koot district of Kandahar province last night.

#7: A policeman was killed and seven civilians wounded in a suicide attack in Kandahar province last night.

#8: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and militants attacks, defense officials said Saturday.

DoD: Spc. Brian K. Arsenault

Friday, September 5, 2014

War News for Friday, September 5, 2014

US troops killed by friendly fire

Torrential monsoon rains kill nearly 70 in Pakistan

Reported security incidents
#1: Two policemen were martyred in explosion of a bomb in Zabul province last evening. The blast occurred in Shahjou district bazaar while passing of a caravan of militaries forces from the area.

#2: Six armed Taliban were killed in recent conflicts in Kunar province last night. The clashes occurred late last night; five sliders also lost their lives. The clashes started while a group of armed Taliban attacked on a military base in the province.

#3: At least 48 Taliban militants were killed following a military operation in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan, local officials said Friday. The operations were conducted by Afghan national security forces in Alborz district on Thursday night.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

War News for Thursday, September 4, 2014

NATO is reporting the death of an ISAF soldier from an insurgent attack in an undisclosed location in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, August 4th.

Reported security incidents
#1: The Taliban has struck a government compound in eastern Afghanistan in a dawn attack that included two suicide truck bombings and left at least 12 people dead, including eight off duty policemen asleep in their quarters nearby. The attack started at sunrise, with the Taliban setting off two massive suicide truck bombs outside the government compound in the provincial capital of Ghazni, followed by an assault by nearly a dozen gunmen. The assault triggered a gunbattle with policemen and security forces at the compound and officials said all 13 assailants were subsequently killed, including the two suicide bombers.

Taliban suicide bombers attacked Afghanistan's regional spy headquarters in Ghazni city early Thursday, leaving 21 people dead and more than 150 civilians wounded, a government official said. Nineteen of the dead were the suicide attackers. The remaining two were members of the National Directorate of Security personnel. The NDS is the nation's spy agency. The assault began when one of the suicide attackers detonated an explosives-filled truck at the front gate of the spy agency, said Shafiq Nang, a spokesman for the governor of Ghazni province. Twelve of them stormed the NDS. Six others hit the Rapid Reaction Police headquarters in the city.

#2: Seven Afghan army soldiers and 40 Taliban militants have been killed within the past 24 hours, said the country's Defense Ministry on Thursday morning. Up to six army soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing and one army personnel was killed in direct enemy's fire over the same period, the statement noted.

18 armed Taliban were killed and 8 others wounded in the outskirts of Zabul and Ghazni provinces.

#3: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were martyred following an attack by Taliban militants in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan. According to local government officials, the attack was carried out late Wednesday after a group of Taliban militants attacked a security check post. Provincail governor, Shuja-ul-Mulk Jalal, said the assailant militants who attacked the check post were disguised in Afghan army uniform.