Thursday, December 08, 2005

War News for Thursday, December 8, 2005 Bring 'em on: A suicide bomber who jumped on a bus after security checks had been completed detonated an explosives belt among passengers heading to a Shiite city Thursday, killing up to 30 people and wounding nearly 40, officials said. Bring 'em on: A Task Force Baghdad Soldier was killed when a convoy struck an improvised explosive device in east Baghdad shortly after 10 a.m. Dec. 8. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi army servicemen were killed in a street gun battle with unknown militants in western Baghdad on Thursday, a police source said. Bring 'em on: Unknown gunmen opened fire at a high-ranking police officer in southern Baghdad on Thursday, killing a civilian and wounding the officer and five other people, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua Bring 'em on: - Four Iraqi policemen were seriously wounded when a suicide car bomber hit their patrol in Sulaiman Pek, a small town about 165 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad Bring 'em on: A Soldier assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed in action while conducting a combat patrol against the enemy when his vehicle hit a mine in the vicinity of Habbaniyah, Dec. 6. Bring 'em on: Gunmen kidnapped the eight-year-old son of a guard at Saddam Hussein's trial in front of his house in Baghdad, Iraqi police said on Wednesday. Bring 'em on: One Iraqi policeman was seriously wounded when a bomb planted on the side of the road exploded and struck a police patrol in Musaib, an area south of Baghdad known as the Triangle of Death, police said. Bring 'em on: The bodies of three people who had been bound and shot dead were brought to the main hospital of Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, a medical source said. The victims were wearing civilian clothes and were found on the outskirts of the city. A soldier has been arrested in connection with the death of Army Pvt. Dylan Paytas, an Army official said Tuesday. Martha Rudd, a spokeswoman for Army Public Affairs at the Pentagon, said her office was notified of the arrest on Monday. She could not name the suspect, but did confirm that the suspect is a member of the military. The investigation into Paytas' death is being handled by the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, which said on Monday that Paytas died after an argument. Paytas, 20, of Freedom was killed at a forward operating base in Baqubah, Iraq, northeast of Baghdad, on Nov. 16 after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. He was a combat engineer assigned to the Army's 3rd Brigade Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for sweeps, patrols and security. A week from the forgotten battlefield: Thirteen Taliban militants were killed, five Coalition forces were injured Sunday in an offensive operation carried out by Afghan and Coalition forces in Afghan southern province of Kandahar, US military said Wednesday. Nato foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have endorsed a plan to expand the alliance's role in Afghanistan. It will involve deploying 6,000 more troops in the south of the country, a third of them expected to be British. Three Canadian special forces soldiers have been wounded on operations in southern Afghanistan, the first known casualties within the highly secretive Joint Task Force 2 in the troubled southwest Asian country. More than 10 people were killed and around 40 others were wounded in twin bomb explosions in the busy market of a Pakistani remote tribal area, bordering Afghanistan on Thursday morning, said security officials and witnesses. Afghanistan still far from becoming stable country. The election results offered a troubling portrait of the future for a nation racked by decades of invasion and war. Worse, the balloting has done nothing to stop the killing in the bloodiest year since the United States ousted the Taliban from power four years ago. Insurgents continue to wreak havoc and kill U.S. soldiers and Afghan civilians. ABC Poll: Most in Afghanistan say life is better now than under.... Unidentified men have abducted four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers in the country's South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan, local journalists said on Wednesday. A policeman, a military driver and two civilians were killed and an Afghan general was wounded in two separate attacks by suspected Taleban rebels in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday. Twenty-two Taliban guerrillas have been killed in two clashes with U.S. and local troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said on Wednesday. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb hit their convoy, while in separate incidents, two U.S. helicopters forced to make hard landings after being fired at, the U.S. military said on Monday. Afghan government forces killed nine Taliban insurgents and arrested six others Tuesday in a raid on a rebel camp in a volatile southern province, its governor said.Afghan government forces killed nine Taliban insurgents and arrested six others Tuesday in a raid on a rebel camp in a volatile southern province, its governor said. Three persons were killed and two were injured Monday under Taliban's attack in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, a local official said Tuesday. Gunmen kidnapped a Pakistani reporter on Monday in a troubled border region where Pakistan says a top Al Qaeda commander was killed in a blast last week, the man’s brother and a government official said. Two U.S. helicopters that made emergency landings were hit by fire from insurgents, a military official said Monday. (one was totally destroyed) A Canadian soldier was slightly injured in Afghanistan yesterday after a coalition convoy was targeted by a suicide bomber, said Lt.-Col. Steve Borland. The incident occurred at 3:45 p.m. local time when a Canadian patrol was driving through the centre of the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. An elected member of Afghan parliament and three others were killed Sunday morning when his armed loyalists fought a rival group in the eastern province of Laghman. "This afternoon when a Coalition convoy was heading to the west of Kandahar city, a suicide attacker exploded the bomb in his body near the convoy. The attacker and one passerby were killed on the spot, two other persons were injured," Abdul Hakim, local police officer told Xinhua. Militants blew up one vehicle and ambushed another in volatile southern Afghanistan, killing a district government chief and three police officers and wounding eight others, authorities said yesterday. They blamed Taliban insurgents for both attacks. Pakistan closed its main border crossing with Afghanistan after a confrontation between the two countries’ frontier guards...The crossing at Chaman on the Pakistani side and Spin Boldak in Afghanistan was shut late Thursday after a Pakistani soldier was “abducted” by Afghan troops. A remote-controlled bomb ripped through a vehicle in volatile southern Afghanistan, killing a district government chief and two police officers, and wounding three others, authorities said today. A district administrative chief and three policemen were killed and eight others suffered injuries in two separate attacks in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday. At least a dozen Afghan border security officers fought with 15-20 Pakistani troops on Thursday at the border in the southern Afghan town of Spinboldak, district police chief Haji Abdul Wasai said. Bring 'em on: BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FLOOD Crawford, Texas -- A tragic flood this morning destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. The flood began in the presidential bathroom where both of the books were kept. Both of his books have been lost. A presidential spokesman said the president was devastated, as he had almost finished coloring the second one. The White House tried to call FEMA, but there was no answer. A partial list of Americans killed and missing in Iraq: MISSING: An American identified on an Arabic identification card as Ronald Schulz. A video made public Dec. 6 showed a blond man with his hands tied behind his back. The tape carried the logo of the Islamic Army in Iraq and also showed the cover of a U.S. passport. _Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va. Disappeared Nov. 26 and shown being held captive with three other workers for the Chicago-based peace group Christian Peacemaker Teams. A second video threatened the lives of the four unless all prisoners are freed in Iraq by Dec. 8. _Jeffrey Ake, 47, of LaPorte, Ind. Abducted April 11 while working at a water treatment plant in the Baghdad area. Seen on a video broadcast two days later. _Sadeq Mohammed Sadeq. A Lebanese-American who formerly worked for SkyLink USA, a Virginia-based contractor. Kidnapped around midnight Nov. 2, 2004, from his home in Baghdad. Later shown on video. _Aban Elias, 41, of Denver. An Iraqi-American civil engineer. Seized May 3, 2004, by Islamic Rage Brigade. KILLED: _Jack Hensley, 48. Civil engineer from Marietta, Ga. Kidnapped in Baghdad on Sept. 16, 2004; an Internet message posted Sept. 21 reported his killing by followers of Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. _Eugene "Jack" Armstrong, 52. Formerly of Hillsdale, Mich. Kidnapped with Hensley on Sept. 16, 2004. Video made public Sept. 20 shows his beheading by al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. _Nicholas Berg, 26. A businessman from West Chester, Pa. Kidnapped in April 2004 and beheaded by al-Zarqawi's followers. Five other Americans escaped or were set free after being kidnapped, and two remain missing following an attack on a fuel convoy last year. Son killed when father 'cracked': A former soldier accused of murdering his dying 10-year-old son "cracked" and became irrational due to combat stress while in Iraq, a court has been told. Andrew Wragg suffered an "adjustment disorder" after returning to the UK to find his son's degenerative disease was worse, a consultant psychiatrist said. Dr Nicholas Wright told Lewes Crown Court it had impaired his "mental responsibility for his actions". Mr Wragg, 38, denies murdering Jacob at home in Worthing, West Sussex. The former SAS soldier admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, claiming he took his son's life in a mercy killing on 24 July last year. Politics: FORMER DIPLOMAT CLAIMS HE AND CIA WIFE WERE TARGETED TO SCARE OTHER WAR CRITICS: Joe Wilson, husband of the most famous spy in America, said Tuesday in Seaside that he and his wife were targeted by the Bush administration to send a chill through Washington and prevent other officials who were thinking of exposing flaws in the rationale for going to war in Iraq. Wilson's wife is Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose outing by columnist Robert Novak triggered the biggest scandal now facing the Bush White House. A two-year probe into who leaked her name led to the recent indictment of Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements. Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, remains under investigation. Wilson, acting U.S. ambassador in Iraq during the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, said the administration's plan to engage in ``character assassination'' against him backfired badly. ``If these guys thought I was going to be cowed by these schoolyard bullies, they were dead wrong,'' Wilson told reporters at a news conference before he addressed an enthusiastic crowd of more than 1,000 people at California State University-Monterey Bay. In 2002, Wilson was sent by the CIA to look into claims that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire uranium from Niger to advance his nuclear program. He determined then that there was nothing to the story. So Wilson was aghast when President Bush repeated the claims in his 2003 State of Union address, attributing it to British intelligence. Trials of tribulations: The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed Wednesday after a lengthy delay but without the former president, who had declared the day before that he would not take part in an "unjust" court. After testimony from a witness, the trial was adjourned until Dec. 21. America’s Covert War in Iraq: (America's Fictitious War on Terror) Max Fuller has written the most disturbing and thought provoking article of the year. In his "rying Woff: Media Disinfomation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq" (Global Research) Fuller painstakingly lays out the details and documentation to prove that the United States intelligence agencies are behind the vast incidents of murder and torture being carried out in Iraq today. If Fuller’s thesis is correct, then the War on Terror, that mighty engine of imperial carnage, is nothing more than a public relations scam intended to enlist public support for an unpopular conflict. The war on terror is the “seminal lie” from which all the administration’s criminal excesses are mere tributaries. America’s unprovoked aggression in Iraq, as well as the appalling assault on civil liberties, has been carried out in the name of the war on terror. In fact, it has been used as to mask everything from police-state legislation at home to massive human rights violations abroad. The war on terror is an all-consuming fraud that poses the greatest threat to personal freedom and global security the world has ever seen. If unchallenged, the dictatorial-powers of the president will continue to increase and the world to be plunged into another century of war. Multiply by 50--Illinois Guard faces equipment shortages: From heavy trucks and radios to night-vision goggles and guns, the Illinois Army National Guard faces significant equipment shortages at home as it responds to the Iraq war. For example, the Illinois Guard has only about half the humvees and heavy trucks it needs to be at full readiness to deal with homeland emergencies, according to numbers provided by the Illinois National Guard. It also has only one-third of the full supply of night-vision goggles and just 10 percent of a type of machine gun, the figures show. Military officials insist the shortages won't jeopardize the Guard's ability to handle emergencies in Illinois such as natural disasters because they can juggle equipment to make sure it goes where the need is greatest. Oily issues: Iraqi oil industry in crisis: Iraqi oil exports fell to their lowest level in two years in November 2005. Bad management of the reconstruction effort, widespread corruption among government figures, and sabotage by insurgents are the reasons for the decline. Experts say that the US strategy of military intervention in oil-rich regions can only diminish, rather than increase, the supply to world Two-and-a-half years after the US invasion of Iraq, the country's oil industry is still in disarray. An official of the Oil Ministry in Baghdad told ISN Security Watch, on condition of anonymity: “We do not know the exact quantity of oil we are exporting, we do not exactly know the prices we are selling it for, and we do not know where the oil revenue is going to.” Botched reconstruction: One of the reasons for the decline of the industry is a lack of progress in the reconstruction effort, due to serious managerial deficiencies. For instance Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) was awarded a US$225 million contract, without a tender, to rehabilitate the Qarmat Ali Water Plant in southern Iraq, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The plant is used to pump water into the ground in order to build pressure that brings the oil to the surface. However, the contract did not include the repair of the pipelines carrying the water to the oilfields. When the water was pumped into the ground, the old pipes burst, spilling large amounts of water into the desert. In addition, farmers often tap the water pipes in order to irrigate their fields. US officials apportion some of the blame for the delay in rehabilitating the oil industry to their own Army Corps of Engineers. During the first months after the war, the Corps was given responsibility for the first phase of repairs to oil pumps and pipelines. Oil back above $60: Oil marched above $60 on Wednesday after investors were unnerved by al Qaeda's new call for militants to strike oil sites in Muslim states, that pump nearly 20 percent of world supply. Prices had already been pushed higher by expectations that stockpiles of heating fuel would be drawn down in the U.S. Northeast, the world's biggest heating oil market, in the grip of a cold blast. U.S. crude rose 66 cents to $60.60 a barrel by 1353 GMT, having gained just 3 cents on Tuesday, its fifth consecutive day's rise. London Brent crude was up 69 cents at $58.30. Norway's Norsk Hydro confirms big oil find in Iran: Norwegian energy and aluminium group Norsk Hydro has made an oil discovery in western Iran, near the border with Iraq, that could be one of the most significant finds of recent years, Hydro said on Wednesday. Norsk Hydro said in August that the Anaran discovery could be developed into a field that could produce 100,000 barrels per day by 2010. That would correspond to a medium-sized oilfield on the Norwegian continental shelf. Al-Qaida No. 2 Urges Attacks on Oil Plants: Al-Qaida's deputy leader called for attacks against Gulf oil facilities and urged insurgent groups in Iraq to unite to drive out American forces, according to a videotape posted on the Internet Wednesday. The posting was a full version of a video by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri that was issued on Sept. 19, excerpts of which were broadcast by the Arab television network Al-Jazeera at the time. The network aired more excerpts Wednesday, originally presenting all of the footage as new. A newscaster later told viewers some of the excerpts had previously been broadcast. Qaeda will find oil targets tough to hit - analysts: Qaeda will find it hard to deal a deadly blow to heavily-fortified oil facilities in Gulf states that supply a fifth of global energy needs, security experts and analysts said on Wednesday. Al Qaeda militants have over the past years bombed an oil tanker in Yemen, hit Iraq's vital Basra Oil Terminal and killed foreigners in oil and petrochemical cities in Saudi Arabia. But analysts said it was highly unlikely the group would be able to reach key oil infrastructure in top world exporter Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations in the Gulf region. "Al Qaeda's idea is to deal a blow to governments by hitting the economy. And in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar that depend on their oil wealth, it would be a big blow," said Fares bin Houzam, an independent researcher on al Qaeda. Casualty Reports: 2 South Dakota guardsmen killed in Iraq Floridian from 101st Airborne is killed by mortar fire in Iraq Military Identifies (three) 48th Brigade Soliders Killed In Accident Local National Guardsman Killed In Iraq Jarod Behee drew deep breaths Wednesday in order to keep his emotions in check and his eyes from tearing it's not every day one receives a Purple Heart. Behee, a 26-year-old Army staff sergeant, was given the medal after receiving severe head injuries from enemy fire during a second stint in Iraq. Marine Sgt. Josh Krueger doesn't recall every detail of Feb. 27, 2005, the day he was injured in Iraq. What he'll tell someone who asks about the event is that it was a circumstance of "wrong place, wrong time." Private Dustin Evitts appreciates being home for Thanksgiving. But the 20-year-old Soldier is beyond grateful “to be alive.” On Nov. 1, he and his other 101st Airborne Division, 1st Brigade, 327th Infantry Division comrades conducted a routine patrol after hearing rumors of weapon caches. Just 20 minutes into the mission, the unit was attacked by rocket propelled grenades. “RPGs were going everywhere. It was crazy. All hell just broke loose,” said. Shrapnel shattered his thumb and left a scar on his nose. Sgt. Jared Luce's Vision still impaired. The nine months since that roadside explosion have been marked by operations to his legs and his left eye, where his vision remains a bit off. After three surgeries to his left hand, he still can't bend two fingers, and another operation is scheduled for January to create a knuckle in one of them. Not all the wounds received in Iraq are visible. Not all the combat deaths occur on the battlefield. For Capt. Michael Pelkey, the war followed him home. First Lt. Raymond Baronie, a 1998 Burrell High School graduate, had undergone several surgeries at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for injuries he received when his convoy was attacked Thursday outside Baghdad, said Baronie's aunt Alida Baronie, of New Kensington.His aunt said the soldier suffered several leg fractures as well as internal injuries. She said the family did not know many details about the attack. For Jamey Smith of Church Hill, getting life back to normal starts in his garage -- starts with finishing a little white bookshelf. Three months ago, he could barely remember how he wound up in a hospital bed. Two days after arriving in Iraq and eager to begin his naval career, 19-year-old William Franklin Briscoe III pushed his way to the front of the wrong truck. few hours later, a roadside explosive detonated, ripped open the back of the truck and sent shrapnel into his knee. He was wheelchair-ridden for months and still struggles to walk. While in his second tour in the troubled nation, Scott Murphy was standing over a .50-caliber machine gun in the middle of a Striker military vehicle when the land mine exploded. It sent shrapnel through his legs and groin into his pelvis and stomach and knocked him out of the vehicle, his father said. After 12 hours of surgery in Iraq, he was to be flown to a hospital at Fort Lewis, Wash. Three Iowa National Guardsmen were injured in an explosives attack Monday in Balad, Iraq. The Guard reports that all three received burns and two of them are back on duty. A Mercyhurst College graduate has been injured while serving his country. Raymond Baronie is a 1st Lieutenant in the 2nd Marine Division serving in Iraq. He suffered two broken legs and internal injuries when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.


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