Thursday, January 19, 2006

War News for Thursday, January 19, 2006 Bring 'em on: A British soldier was wounded in a roadside bombing today in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The blasts come a day after two US citizens employed by the Texas-based security company DynCorp were killed Bring 'em on: Two gunmen were killed and 22 others arrested on charges of involvement in killings, armed attacks and robbery in al-Diwaniya Bring 'em on: A suicide attacker detonated an explosive vest in a crowded downtown coffee shop Thursday and another bomb exploded seconds later under a nearby car, killing at least 23 people and wounding 26, police and hospital officials said. Bring 'em on: A huge explosion caused by a makeshift bomb struck a convoy of U.S. Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV)in central Baghdad Thursday morning, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua. Bring 'em on: Colonel Emad Mohammed said 35 recruits were being driven to Samarra on Tuesday when they were stopped by gunmen near Tarmiya; one wounded man told police he was the sole survivor of a group of 15 thrown into a well and sprayed with bullets. The fate of the other 20 recruits was unclear Bring 'em on: A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier died Jan. 17 from non-combat related injures. Bring 'em on: The bodies of three men, including a relative of Iraq's defense minister, were also found Wednesday with gunshot wounds to the head in a Baghdad apartment, a police official said. Bring 'em on: five policemen were killed and nine others injured on Wednesday in a roadside bomb targeting their patrol in Saada township north of Baquba, 60 km northeast of Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Mohammed Sadagi al-Batah, a tribal leader, was shot dead along with his nephew and another person while they were in their office in Baghdad's Bayaa' district, police said. Batah is a relative of the Iraqi defence minister. Bring 'em on: An Oil Ministry security officer was seriously wounded on Tuesday when gunmen ambushed his car in Baghdad, killing his driver and seriously wounding one of his guards, the government said. Bring 'em on: At least one gunman was killed and two policemen wounded in a failed attempt to seize a police station in the town of Iskandiriya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. Bring 'em on: Baghdad police also discovered the bodies of seven people, believed to be Shiites, who had been left in a deserted area of the Wahdah neighborhood Bring 'em on: In the town of Nibaei in northern Iraq, police found the bodies of 25 people who had been shot in the back of their heads, a police spokesman there said in an interview. A witness told police that armed men had set up checkpoints and scanned the identity cards of passersby with the goal of killing police officers and other government employees Bring 'em on: a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi police patrol in the town of Saadiya to the east of Baghdad, killing three officers and one civilian Bring 'em on: Police found the bodies of 11 men shot to death and wearing civilian clothes with Iraqi army and police commando ID cards on a farm in Dujail, 50 miles north of Baghdad, said police Capt. Ali al Hashmawi. Bring 'em on: A roadside bomb killed two U.S. private security contractors and seriously wounded a third in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Wednesday, the U.S. embassy said. Bring 'em on: Thirty-five Iraqi men are missing Wednesday after being abducted following failed bids to be accepted into a police training academy, police said. The aspiring police trainees were seized Monday when their bus was stopped about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Baghdad. A week from the forgotten battlefield: A powerful explosion early Thursday ruptured a section of a state-owned gas pipeline in a remote area of southwestern Pakistan, briefly disrupting supplies, but injuring no one, police said. A Pakistani security official and residents of a border region said U.S. aircraft from Afghanistan killed 18 people, including women and children, when they fired missiles at pro-Taliban Islamists early on Friday. At least three security personnel were killed and another two injured in a rocket attack by suspected tribal militants in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province late Thursday night, a local official said Friday. U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces killed six suspected militants during fighting in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. Gunmen shot and killed a former Taliban leader who renounced the extremist regime after it was ousted in 2001 and has since supported Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government, witnesses said. Two blasts in the southeastern town of Khost wounded 22 people, officials said. Twenty were wounded in a bomb attack on men playing an outdoor gambling game and two by a blast in a music shop, they said. a government soldier and two suspected Taliban insurgents were killed in a clash in neighbouring Paktia province. U.S.-led and Afghan government troops killed about six insurgents and had no casualties themselves in a clash in the central province of Uruzgan on Friday after an attack on a patrol, the U.S. military said. An American soldier was wounded in a suicide car bombing which slightly damaged a U.S. military convoy in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, police said. A car driven by an apparent suicide car bomber swerved into a military convoy and exploded Sunday in the southern city of Kandahar, killing one Canadian and injuring three others. Officials in Afghanistan said two civilians were also killed and 10 others injured in the blast. A suicide car bomb hit a Canadian military convoy Sunday in southern Afghanistan, killing two civilians and a senior Canadian diplomat, officials said. Glyn Berry, 59, who was Canada's senior diplomat in southern Afghanistan and the political director of a 250-member provincial reconstruction team died. A suicide bomber hurled himself in front of an Afghan army vehicle on Monday, killing himself, three soldiers from the country's U.S.-trained army and two civilians, officials said. Four Afghan soldiers and 10 civilians were also wounded in the attack in the heart of the southern city of Kandahar, where a Canadian diplomat and two civilians were killed in an apparent suicide attack a day earlier, the officials said. Pte. William Edward Salikin and Cpl. Jeffrey Bailey were in critical condition and in "medically induced unconsciousness," while Master Cpl. Paul Franklin, who lost a leg in the blast, was in serious but stable condition. With part of his leg blown off, Master Cpl. Paul Franklin wrapped a tourniquet around his thigh, then went to help three other wounded passengers after a suicide bomber destroyed the military vehicle he was driving. "This afternoon in the provincial capital of Khost city, a mine explosion in a crowded area killed one person, and injured 70 others," Shir Ahmat Quchai, the commander of the border force in Khost said. "But most of the injured persons were slightly injured, and some of them have out of the hospital," he added. A suicide attacker on a motorbike killed 20 people and wounded more than 20 Monday in the Afghan border town of Spinboldak, the provincial governor said. The attacker drove the motorbike into a crowd watching a wrestling match in the town, a key crossing point into southern Pakistan, and detonated a bomb, said Kandahar provincial Gov. Asadullah Khalid. 31 Fatal Chopper crashes 03/21/03--Umm Qasr--12 killed--UK 03/22/03--Persian Gulf--7 killed--UK 03/30/03--Southern Iraq--3 killed--US 04/02/03--Karbala--6 killed--US 04/04/03--Ali Aziziyal--2 killed--US 05/09/03--Samarrah--3 killed--US 05/19/03--Al Hillah--4 killed--US 09/02/03--Camp Dogwood--1 killed--US 11/02/03--Fallujah--16 killed--US 11/07/03--Tikrit--6 killed--US 11/15/03--Mosul--17 killed--US 01/02/04--Fallujah--10 killed--US 01/23/04--Qayyarah--2 killed--US 01/25/04--mosul--2 killed--US 02/25/04--Hadithah--2 killed--US 04/11/04--Baghdad--2 killed--US 07/19/04--Basra--1 killed--UK 08/11/04--Al Anbar Prv.--2 killed--US 10/16/04--Baghdad--2 killed US 12/09/04--Mosul--2 killed--US 12/15/04--Karbala--3 killed--Pol 01/26/05--Ar Rutbah--31 killed--US 01/28/05--Baghdad--2 killed--US 05/27/05--Ba’qubah--2 killed--US 05/31/05--An Nasiriyah--4 killed--It 06/27/05--Taji--2 killed--US 11/02/05--Ramadi--2 killed--US 12/26/05--Baghdad--2 killed--US 01/07/06--Tall Afar--9 killed--US 01/13/06--Mosul--2 killed US 01/16/06--Mishahda--2killed--US Deaths by country in chopper crashes: U.S.--141 U.K.--20 Poland--3 Italy--4 --------------- Total--168 U.S. Army deaths in chopper crashes: By Branch: Marines--47 Army--91 Navy--2 dod civilian--1 --------------- total--141 Officer--26 Warrant--35 Enlisted--77 unknown--2 dod civilian--1 U.S. Marines by rank in chopper crashes: E1--0--private E2--0--private first class E3-15--lance corporal E4--11--corporal E5--3--sergeant E6--5--staff sergeant E7--0--gunnery sergeant E8--0--master/first sergeant 01--0--2nd lieutenant 02--3--1st lieutenant 03--8--captain 04--2--major 05--0--Lieutenant Colonel 06--0--colonel Army by rank in chopper crashes: ( 2 unknown) E1--0--private E2--0--private second class E3--7--private first class E4--15--corporal/specialist E5--12--sergeant E6--5--staff sergeant E7--2--sergeant first class E8--0--master/first sergeant E9--1--command sergeant major WO1--19--warrant officer WO2--7--warrant officer WO3--5--warrant officer WO4--3--warrant officer WO5--1--warrant officer 01--0--2nd lieutenant 02--5--1st lieutenant 03--5--captain 04--2--major 05--0--Lieutenant Colonel 06--0--colonel Navy by rank: E4--1--Petty Officer Third Class O3--1--Lieutenant Osama Sighting: After numerous repetitions of "We don't know if Osama is still alive," Osama himself decided to send George Bush a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game. Bush opened the letter and it appeared to contain a single line of coded message: 370HSSV-0773H Bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Condi Rice. Condi and her aides had no clue either, so they sent it to the FBI. No one could solve it at the FBI so it went to the CIA, then to the NSA. With no clue as to its meaning they eventually asked Britain's MI-6 for help. Within a minute MI-6 cabled the White House with this reply: "Tell the President he's holding the message upside down." Politics and News: Zogby poll: Bush approval rating drops among supporters: The deterioration in the president's numbers appears to be the result of eroding support among the investor class and others who supported him in his 2004 re-election bid, said pollster John Zogby. And the problem is the Iraq war — just 34 percent of respondents said Bush was doing a good or excellent job managing the war, down from 38 percent approval in a Zogby poll taken in mid-October. US military calls off spy plane contract: The U.S. military has called off an 879-million-U.S.-dollar contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. to build a new spy plane for cost and weight concerns, U.S. media reported Friday. The new plane, called as Aerial Common Sensor, had been aimed to serve as a new surveillance aircraft for both U.S. army and navy. The army had planned to buy five fully configured such aircraft and the navy two through 2010. But the U.S. military ordered production work to stop in September and gave Lockheed 60 days to come up with options for fixing development problems that had emerged. Documents tie shadowy US unit to inmate abuse case: Newly released military documents show U.S. Army investigators closed a probe into allegations an Iraqi detainee had been abused by a shadowy military task force after its members used fake names and asserted that key computer files had been lost. The documents shed light on Task Force 6-26, a special operations unit, and confirmed the existence of a secret military “Special Access Program” associated with it, ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh said on Thursday. FAULTY RIFLE SAFETY RISK TO FORCES PERSONNEL: Problems continue to dog a controversial combat rifle that is standard issue to military personnel, including Plymouth Royal Marines. Official figures released by the Ministry of Defence show the much-criticised SA80 weapon failed on more than 100 occasions during recent operations in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, including where it posed a threat to life or personal injury. Web site of the week: Impeach Bush and Cheney: Iraq's reconstruction funding drying up: The $18.6 billion the United States allocated for Iraq's reconstruction will run out this year, and foreign governments aren't fulfilling pledges. The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, Gen. William McCoy, said at a briefing that the last of 3,100 reconstruction projects would soon be awarded, and almost all would be completed before the year ends. We were never intending to rebuild Iraq, McCoy said. We were providing enough funds to jump-start the reconstruction effort in this country. Units see shortages as Guard follows Army reorganization: The National Guard faces equipment, funding and personnel issues under the U. S. Army’s ongoing transformation plan, with Arkansas blazing the trail as one of the first states to undergo the organizational overhaul. The active Army is transforming into what it calls Brigade Combat Teams, more selfsufficient, modular units that can be rapidly deployed. Brigade Combat Teams are smaller units that can deploy separately and operate in combat as a cohesive unit under the guidance of an Army division commander. Chomsky: 'There Is No War On Terror' Zogby poll: Majority supports impeaching Bush for wiretapping: By a margin of 52 to 43 percent, citizens want Congress to impeach President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of Pres. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Second Republican quits amid scandal: The lobbying scandal threatening to loosen the Republicans' once iron grip on Congress claimed its second major casualty after Bob Ney stepped down as chairman of a powerful house committee. The move by Mr Ney, whose previous claim to fame had been ordering the house cafeteria to replace french fries with "freedom fries" over France's opposition to the war in Iraq, follows intense pressure from Republican party leaders who fear that the Jack Abramoff bribery case may cost them seats in mid-term elections this November. Earlier this month, Tom DeLay quit as majority leader in the House of Representatives when one of his former aides was linked to the corruption charges against Mr Abramoff. US torture undermines global rights drive: report: A human rights group said on Wednesday that torture and other abuses committed by the United States in its war on terrorism have damaged American credibility and hurt the global human rights cause. In a survey of world conditions, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said Washington should appoint a special prosecutor and Congress should set up an independent panel to investigate U.S. abuses. The annual report covered rights developments in more than 70 countries. "The U.S. government's use and defense of torture and inhumane treatment played the largest role in undermining Washington's ability to promote human rights," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. President George W. Bush's administration has come under heavy criticism from rights groups at home and abroad, and from many foreign governments, over how it has handled the interrogation and detention of suspects in the war on terrorism Washington launched after the September 11 attacks. The 532-page report said efforts by U.S. officials in 2005 to defend inhumane interrogation methods or seek exemptions from planned anti-torture legislation showed the "U.S. government's embrace of torture and inhumane treatment began at the top." The Army's Weapons are Wearing Out Fast: Much of the equipment deployed in Iraq is beginning to wear out as a result of heavy use, harsh operating conditions, and the frequent attacks launched by insurgents. Furthermore, the quantity and quality of weapons in units away from the war zone is eroding as equipment is transferred to deploying units. The latter problem is particularly pronounced in the reserves, which already were functioning with a deficit of modern equipment when the war began. According to the Association of the United States Army, during fiscal 2005 the Army deployed 23% of its trucks, 15% of its combat vehicles and 15% of its helicopters in Iraq. Much of this equipment does not rotate out when troops do, either because the Army is trying to minimize transportation costs or because it wants to retain key items such as up-armored vehicles in the war zone. As a result, the equipment is exposed to continuous use for long periods of time -- over two years in the case of some Chinook helicopters -- and may not received scheduled maintenance in a timely fashion. The Army conducted an analysis of how such stresses affect fielded equipment, and concluded that a single year of deployment in Iraq would cause as much wear and tear as five years of peacetime use. That is hardly surprising, given the fact that much of the equipment in Iraq is being used at a rate several times higher than typically prevails in peacetime. The operating tempo, or "optempo," of helicopters is twice as high in the war zone as elsewhere. Combat vehicles such as the Abrams tank and Bradley fighting vehicle operate at five or six times normal rates. And trucks are utilized at up to ten times their peacetime rates (which helps explain why so many are washed out by the end of their time in Iraq). But high utilization rates are only the beginning of the problem, because the conditions under which systems operate in Iraq are harsher than those encountered in peacetime training exercises. For example, Abrams tanks are designed to operate in open country but in Iraq they often travel on paved roads, accelerating wear. Their mechanical and electronic systems are exposed to sand, wind, precipitation and vibration far in excess of what would be experienced in peacetime. Maintenance is deferred, or carried out in sub-optimal circumstances. And then there is the enemy, who seldom misses an opportunity to shoot an RPG at whatever U.S. vehicle is going by. Considering all the insults visited on Army equipment in Iraq, it is impressive that the mission-capable rates of ground vehicles such as Abrams and the humvee have been maintained at 90% in the war zone, and the mission-capable rate for helicopters is a respectable 77%. But this high state of readiness is being bought at a price. The equipment in Iraq is being rundown rapidly, while reserve equipment in the U.S. is being transferred to deploying units so extensively that non-deploying National Guard units have virtually no night-vision goggles, up-armored humvees or chemical-agent detection equipment. Extent of soldiers' injuries in Iraq 'hidden by MoD' The Ministry of Defence has conceded that 4,017 personnel have been medically evacuated from Iraq, but it has repeatedly hidden behind the Data Protection Act, patient confidentiality or Freedom of Information restrictions in failing to provide a greater picture of the wounded. Oil: Kuwait say emir‘s death won‘t change oil policy: Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah died on Sunday after a long illness, and the Gulf Arab state‘s cabinet named his heir, Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdulla al-Sabah, as the new emir. Senior officials at government-run Kuwait Petroleum Co (KPC) and state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) said oil sector operations were normal, including refining and exports. "Kuwait‘s (oil) policy will not change. It will continue to cooperate with OPEC in the interest of both producers and consumers," an official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. Kuwait rides road to prosperity as oil prices soar: The tiny emirate, which sits on 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, has amassed $30 billion in budget surpluses during the past six fiscal years and is forecast to post about a $23 billion windfall in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31. Oil rises on Nigeria, Iran concerns: With U.S. markets closed for a holiday, the focus was on London's Brent crude. It climbed as much as 93 cents to $63.18 a barrel and stood at $63.06, up 80 cents, at 7:09 a.m. ET. Heavily armed militants from the Ijaw ethnic group killed six people in a raid on a Shell platform Sunday, the fourth in five days. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said in an e-mail to Reuters it had 5,000 fighters and vowed to cripple the world's eighth largest oil exporter. Oil product export to Iraq could be suspended: State Minister Kursat Tuzmen said yesterday that Turkish companies could suspend export of oil products on Jan. 21 if Iraq doesn't pay the amount owing for previous shipments. "It is seen that if necessary measures won't be taken, then the amount of Iraq's debt will increase considerably," he said. Tuzmen stated that Iraq has met an important part of its oil need from Turkey since May 2003, adding that Ankara exported more than 10 billion tones oil to Iraq. Oil surges to 3-1/2 month high: U.S. crude surged about 2 percent to $65.53 a barrel in electronic trading after Monday's U.S. holiday, then eased to $65.29, up $1.27. Oil is within sight of its $70.85 record of Aug. 30, fired by Nigerian violence and Iran's duel with the West over its nuclear program. London Brent crude was up 94 cents to $64.12 after rising 58 cents on Monday when European markets were open. Meanwhile Iraq has resumed oil exports from its northern oilfields with deliveries to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, the national broadcaster Al-Iraqiya reported Tuesday. Exports to Ceyhan had stopped late December after insurgents attacked a pipeline. Militants threaten Nigeria supply: World oil prices hit a three and half-month high on Tuesday after militants said they would broaden attacks on Nigeria's oil industry, threatening to cut deeper into supplies from the world's eighth biggest exporter. US crude surged US$1.80, or more than two per cent, to US$65.72 a barrel -- the highest since early October. Oil is within sight of its US$70.85 record of Aug 30, fired by Nigerian violence and Iran's duel with the West over its nuclear programme. Tuesday's push came as militants behind a spate of kidnappings and attacks on oil facilities in the West African nation's oil-rich Niger Delta threatened to use more aggressive tactics against oil workers and their families from Feb 1. "Nigeria's escalating problems ... are boosting prices. Nigeria puts almost 2.5 million barrels of crude into the market daily -- around three per cent of global oil output," said analyst Tobin Gorey of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The country's biggest foreign operator, Royal Dutch Shell, has already evacuated staff from some facilities and scaled back output as violence escalated over the past week. Exxon Mobil denied reports it had suspended exports. The country's biggest foreign operator, Royal Dutch Shell, has already evacuated staff from some facilities and scaled back output as violence escalated over the past week. Exxon Mobil denied reports it had suspended exports. Casualty Reports: Killed Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Jackson Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mitchell Carver Jr Lance Cpl. Jonathan Kyle Price Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Anthony Jordan Cpl. Justin J. Watts Army Spc. Dustin L. Kendall Rick Hickman (civilian) Samuel E. Parlin, Jr (civilian) Wounded: Sgt. Matthew P. Dalrymple--roadside bomb--shrapnel to both arms Lance Cpl. Neil Schalk--IED--lost two fingers on his right hand and is in the process of having his left hand almost completely reconstructed. Chad McCafferty--training exercise by friendly fire--shot struck the back of his left thigh Jeremy Feldbusch--artillery round--Shrapnel pierced the sergeant's right eye, damaged the optic nerve of his left eye, and lodged in his brain. Joey Mushin--Mortar round--did walk again, though he suffers from back pain. Staff Sgt. Gwendolyn Harman--series of bombs--Her right arm took so much shrapnel Army Pfc. Marissa Strock--IED--woke up from her coma, lost her left leg below the knee, and doctors are fighting to save her right leg, She broke her right arm in multiple places, as well as her collarbone and shoulder blade Specialist Alexander Aguilar--suicide car bomber--suffered serious injuries but survived


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