Thursday, January 05, 2006

War News for Thursday, January 5, 2006 Update 10:50 AM EST. Bring 'em on: Five Task Force Baghdad Soldiers were killed today when an improvised explosive device struck their vehicle while on patrol in the Multi-National-Division Baghdad area of operations. Bring 'em on: Another two American soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, Iraqi police said. Bring 'em on: a suicide car bomb killed three Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Thamir al-Gharawi said, and gunmen killed three people in separate incidents Bring 'em on: (update) A suicide bomb attack in the city of Ramadi killed more than 70 and wounded 65, said Mahmoud al-Dulaimi, a doctor at Ramadi's main hospital. Bring 'em on: four policemen were killed and four wounded when rebels attacked two patrols with small arms fire just outside Baquba, 60 kilometres (35 miles) northwest of Baghdad. Bring 'em on: The blast near the Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, killed 49 people and injured 52, said Karbala police Col. Razaq al-Taie. Bring 'em on: The attack took place at a police screening center in Ramadi, an insurgent stronghold 70 miles west of Baghdad. At least 30 people were killed, said Mohammed al-Ani, a doctor at Ramadi General Hospital and police Capt. Nassir al-Alousi. Bring 'em on: A roadside bomb exploded near a convoy of U.S. troops headed for the Shiite holy city of Karbala on Thursday, and Iraqi police said there were casualties. Bring 'em on: Three cars bombs, two of them suicide attacks, exploded in Baghdad on Thursday, killing two people and wounding six, police and Interior Ministry sources said. Bring 'em on: Two civilians were killed and four wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a U.S. patrol in Najaf Bring 'em on: Gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying Lieutenant-Colonel Adel Abdul Karem, head of criminal intelligence in Dialah province, seriously wounding him and killing three bodyguards. Bring 'em on: A major gas pipeline in Bajwan, 15 km (9 miles) west of Kirkuk, was seriously damaged in a mortar attack on Wednesday night, police said. On Thursday morning the same pipeline was attacked with explosives, causing a huge fire, they said. Bring 'em on: An Iraqi soldier was killed and two wounded when a bomb went off near their patrol in Latifiya Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi policemen were wounded on Tuesday when a makeshift bomb went off near their patrol in Iskandariya Bring 'em on: Two police commandos were killed and nine others wounded when mortar rounds landed on their checkpoint in western Baghdad Bring 'em on: Insurgents attacked a convoy of fuel tankers escorted with police commando in north of Baghdad on Wednesday, setting 19 tankers ablaze and destroying three military vehicles. Fierce fighting broke out between the attackers and US-Iraqi troops which rushed to the area. Bring 'em on: Insurgents attacked a convoy of 60 tanker trucks with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, destroying three of the tankers and damaging 15 others, said police Lt. Abdul Zahra Qassim. Three Iraqi army vehicles, which had been guarding the convoy, were also destroyed in the attack about 25 miles north of Baghdad, police said. Bring 'em on: At least eight people were killed and 12 wounded when a car bomb exploded in southern Baghdad, police and hospital sources said. The car was parked close to a busy commercial market in the Doura district. Bring 'em on: in the western part of Baghdad, police became involved in a half-hour firefight with insurgents. One policeman was killed and 16 other officers injured. Bring 'em on: Even as soldiers of Hawaii's 100th Battalion packed up its combat flag this week as they prepared to return home, their base camp near Balad came under mortar attack. The attack occurred Monday. Bring 'em on: In the capital gunmen in separate incidents killed a former army captain Bring 'em on: Gunmen in Mosul attacked the political offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, killing a civilian, Dr. Bahaldin al-Bakri said Bring 'em on: A roadside bomb in Baqouba killed a woman, the Diyala police said. Bring 'em on: In Aziziyah, 35 miles southeast of Baghdad, gunmen fired on a police patrol, killing one policeman Bring 'em on: A US drone crashed Wednesday in a residential area in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, said a security source. Bring 'em on: In central Baghdad, at least two people were wounded in a roadside bombing, witnesses said, while, in the restive town of Baquba further north, one woman was killed and several people wounded in two bomb attacks. Bring 'em on: Iraq Pipeline Watch (This list has not been updated after October 24th, 2005) 281. October 24 - 10:00a.m. mortar attack on on a network of oil and gas pipelines 40 miles west of Kirkuk. 16 pipelines cought fire. 282. October 24 - insurgents blew up a bomb under the oil pipeline at al-Malha village east of Hemrin mountains, near Bayji. 283. December 21 - the Bayji refinery was shut after insurgents threatened truck drivers transporting petrol. 284. December 24 - attack on a pipeline in Jurf Sakher area on the outskirts of Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad. 285. January 1 - a bomb exploded near a gas station near Daura. Three civilians were injured. 286. January 1 - attack on pipeline supplying petroleum products to a power plant near the Daura refinery cut capacity at the plant to 30%. 287. January 1 - riots broke out in Kirkuk. Hundreds of demonstrators, protesting fuel shortages, set two gas stations and offices belonging to the national oil company on fire. 288. January 4 - a rocket-propelled grenade attack destroyed at least 18 fuel tankers in a convoy of 60 heading to Baghdad from Bayji. 289. January 4 - Rahim Ali Sudani, a director-general at the oil ministry, and his son were killed in a drive-by attack on their car. A week from the forgotten battlefield: Two would-be suicide bombers blew themselves up while strapping on explosives in an Afghan town bordering Pakistan on Thursday, police said. Jason Hasenauer, 21, of Hilton, died Tuesday serving his country fighting the war on terror. He was serving with the army, stationed in Afghanistan when he was killed by a roadside bomb. A suspected militant has shot dead a Pakistani soldier in the tribal region of North Waziristan, officials say. The gunman opened fire on two Frontier Corps members late on Wednesday in the north-western town of Mir Ali. Shots were exchanged before the gunman fled. Officials say the headless corpse of an Afghan refugee was also found in the main town of Miran Shah on Thursday. The body had a note attached to it accusing the man of being an American spy. It is thought the man was from Khost in eastern Afghanistan. Two U.S. soldiers were injured as their vehicle hit a mine in southern Helmand province on Thursday, a local official said on condition of anonymity. Four Afghan policemen were killed and eight wounded when insurgents detonated a bomb near their checkpoint, police said on Friday. Cpl. Gary Epperson Jr., son of Gary and Vera Epperson and a 2001 Hilldale High School graduate, has multiple fractures to his legs and had an operation on his left ankle Tuesday. Epperson has shrapnel wounds to his legs and arms. He was transferred Thursday to the hospital in Germany from Baghram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. BRITISH troops set to deploy to southern Afghanistan this spring could sustain losses on a scale not seen since the Falklands war, military intelligence officers have warned. They say insurgent forces in the south are preparing for a large offensive by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, backed by sophisticated weapons and training from Iran. A suicide bomb explosion rattled Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, the former stronghold of Taliban, leaving three persons including the attacker himself deadon Monday morning, police said. A suicide attacker drove a car bomb into a convoy of Canadian troops in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing himself and wounding a woman and a child, witnesses and a provincial official said. There were no casualties among the foreign troops in the blast in the centre of the southern city of Kandahar A suspected suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car near a US military convoy in southern Afghanistan, injuring a U.S. soldier, a woman and a child, officials said. Afghanistan's government said Monday it has ordered the U.S. Embassy, the U.N. and other organizations to remove security barriers that are blocking streets in the capital and causing traffic jams. "The Bangladesh engineer named Mir Waif was shot dead by some gunmen in a mosque where he was praying," Haji Maihudin, the deputy provincial governor told Xinhua. "Some Taliban militias were busy in adjusting a Stinger missile against an aircraft in Kandahar province three days ago when suddenly it blew up, killing two on the spot," Suspected Taliban insurgents attacked a district administration office in the neighboring province of Zabul, killing one policeman and injuring two others during a two-hour gunfight, an official said. The fighting in Arghandab district also left four Taliban wounded but they were taken away by their colleagues, said district chief Mohammad Sidiq. Suspected Taliban guerrillas have beheaded a schoolteacher in southern Afghanistan, the latest in a series of attacks on teachers and schools, an official said on Wednesday. A car laden with explosive device exploded 30 minutes ago killing the suicide bomber and two passersby including a woman and her daughter in Kandahar city. Some eyewitnesses said that a U.S. army vehicle was slightly damaged in the incident. Croatia and Azerbaijan will join the Lithuanian-led NATO provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in western Afghanistan this year, the Lithuanian defence minister said on Wednesday. "We have an agreement with Croatia that it will send some 10-12 mine clearance specialists, while Azerbaijan will contribute six to eight military doctors to the team," Gediminas Kirkilas told AFP. Oil: Iraq S Oil Output Down To 200,000 B/D: Iraq has reduced oil production in the oil-rich south by 89% because of a six-day period of bad weather that has closed down exports, an Iraqi oil official said Thursday. The South Oil Co. has since Wednesday reduced output to 200,000 barrels a day from 1.8 million b/d because tankers can't leave the country's two export terminals in the Persian Gulf, which has filled oil storage facilities in the south to maximum capacity of 5 million bbl. Iraqis shutter largest oil refinery after threats of attack: Iraq has shut down its largest oil refinery in the northen town of Beiji after insurgents threatened to kill drivers and blow up trucks that distribute its oil products across Iraq, a senior Iraqi oil official said Thursday. "The refinery has suspended its operations because drivers of trucks have received death threats from terrorists," Oil Ministry Spokesman Assem Jihad told Dow Jones Newswires. The 140,000 barrels-a-day refinery is located 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad and has suspended production since Dec. 24. Iraq: Monitoring Body Raises Concerns Over Weak Controls Of Oil Revenues: An international auditing board is expressing serious concerns regarding the accounting practices and control of Iraq's current system for oil trade. The board says the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), the principal repository for Iraq's oil-export receipts, has been poorly monitored. As a result, it says, there is lingering skepticism about how properly the funds are being spent. The board has consistently raised alarms over oil revenues, but says Iraqi authorities are now moving to correct the problem. United Nations, 29 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) has repeatedly raised four concerns related to Iraq's oil trade: the widespread absence of oil metering; the use of barter transactions for certain oil sales; persistent weak controls on spending by ministries; and the use of noncompetitive bidding procedures for some contracts funded from the DFI. National Iranian Oil Company and British Petroleum to supply gas to British market: IRNA-National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and British Petroleum are participating in joint gas exploration in RUHM gas field 240 kms northeast of Aberdin in Scotland. There has been no word on the joint project and after the BP announced the news, Deputy Oil Minister in International Affairs Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian also officially confirmed the agreement. The project goes back to the early 1970s. RUHM gas field was discovered in 1973 and was confirmed in 1977. In the same year the officials of the deposed Shah's regime and the British partners established the 'Iranian Oil Cooperation UK limited.' The agreement stipulated for Iran and BP to 50-50 rights to be purchased from British government in exploration of the gas field. Word Spreads in Iraq of Refinery Shutdown: Iraq's largest oil refinery, in Beiji, was shut down on Dec. 18 because of the deteriorating security situation in the region, Minister of Oil Ibrahim Bahar el-Ulom told The Associated Press on Friday. A spokesman earlier had said the refinery had been shut down since Saturday. "The capacity of this refinery is 7 to 8 million liters a day (of gasoline), and it is considered one of the vital refineries in Iraq," he said. That's equivalent to about 2 million gallons of gas a day. Oil Prices Slip Below $60 Per Barrel: Oil prices slipped below $60 a barrel on Friday, but were up about 42 percent from the start of the year, buoyed by increased demand and events that constrained supplies, such as the war in Iraq and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. For similar reasons, there was an even sharper advance in 2005 in the price of natural gas, which surged 92 percent, making it more expensive to produce electricity, manufacture goods and heat homes. Many analysts believe the average price of oil will be below $60 in 2006, though not by much as U.S. and Chinese economic growth continues and hawkish members of OPEC, such as Venezuela and Iran, express growing interest in a production cut as early as the first quarter. The American Imperial Plan and the Iraqi Oil Ministry: The American Imperial Plan is proceeding nicely. Ahmad Chalabi is now controlling the Oil Ministry, whilst not a member of the newly elected government: Oil futures jump on US fuel supply worries: US light crude for February settled 72 cents higher at $61.04 a barrel. Prices have risen 5 per cent over the last three days of the year. London Brent crude traded 91 cents higher at $58.98 a barrel. Prices in New York have averaged nearly $57 a barrel in 2005, almost 40 per cent more than in 2004. The sustained rally has come amid growing global fuel demand and limited spare refinery capacity, encouraging investors to buy into energy amid long-term concern over tightly stretched supplies. Analysts forecast an average price of $57.34 for 2006. Bomb near Baghdad refinery sets pipeline on fire A bomb exploded near one of Iraq's largest oil refineries today and set fire to an oil pipeline, police said, in an attack that threatened to exacerbate the country's fuel crisis. It was the second sabotage attack in the past few days on a pipeline feeding the Doura refinery in Baghdad, one of the three largest in the country. Analysis: Oil still a lucrative business: There was a record $390 billion in energy mergers and acquisitions in 2005 despite volatility in energy prices, and energy deals in 2006 could set a new record. Oil is still a lucrative business, and natural gas hopes to catch up as the "new oil" in the not too distant future. Gas Supplies Fall Sharply in Europe: Gas supplies to much of Europe fell sharply Monday in the fallout of Moscow's pricing dispute with Ukraine while several nations urged energy-hungry industries to switch to oil and rationing began in Serbia. Serbia was worst affected, with its gas deliveries cut in half. But other nations also reported susbtantial losses of between 18 and 40 percent. Apart from Serbia, gas was flowing normally to homes and businesses thanks to stored supplies. Despite the dispute, gas prices rose only marginally on Monday on world markets. Oil Falls From Two-Month High After Agreement on Russian Gas: Crude for February fell 62 cents, or 1 percent, to $62.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:47 a.m. London time. Prices reached $63.80 yesterday, the highest price for the contract nearest expiration since Oct. 18. Politics: Impeach Bush and Cheney Now! Citing a litany of alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, abuses of power, and violations of the U.S. Constitution, Green Party leaders urged Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney as soon as possible. Illegal Spy Scandal Increases "Impeachment Chatter" According to Editor and Publisher magazine recently, a survey of Internet and print media shows that "impeachment chatter" is on the rise in response to revelations about the administration’s illegal domestic spying. Bush's drinking and drug use must be investigated: Moreover, with rare exceptions (e.g., the John Tower affair) the press seems very reluctant to mention heavy drinking by officials, even when it's widely known. Ted Kennedy's drinking gets an occasional mention, but I'd bet that most of Pat Moynihan's constiuents never knew their brilliant senator faced a permanent battle with the bottle. If Gary Hart's drinking problem has ever made the newspapers, I've missed it, though his behavior in the Donna Rice affair made it pretty obvious. Those in the know understood that the frequent media references to Bill Weld's "laziness" as Governor of Massachusetts referred to his persistent difficulty in keeping himself vertical after lunch, but again the voters didn't. Even foreign leaders get the same delicate treatment: Boris Yeltsin's "erratic" behavior was in fact quite regular and predictable, once vodka was entered into the equation. A Tale of Two Quagmires: Noam Chomsky interviewed by Michael Hastings Letterman to O'Reilly: 'I'm Not Smart Enough' to Debate War: The CBS star, however, couldn't resist tempering his concession with one last insult, telling O'Reilly in the next breath: "I have the feeling that about 60 percent of what you say is crap." War News: New Book Reveals Secret War Operations: A new book on the government's secret anti-terrorism operations describes how the CIA recruited an Iraqi-American anesthesiologist in 2002 to obtain information from her brother, who was a figure in Saddam Hussein's nuclear program. Dr. Sawsan Alhaddad of Cleveland made the dangerous trip to Iraq on the CIA's behalf. The book said her brother was stunned by her questions about the nuclear program because - he said - it had been dead for a decade. Combat Repair Team keeps vehicles prepared for battle: Staff Sgt. Victor Carrillo is the foreman here, overseeing 43 armored Humvees in the battalion and their upkeep. His team of about a dozen mechanics is not responsible for routine maintenance like an oil change; those tasks are mostly the responsibility of the vehicle operators. Brake work, engine re-builds, transmission overhauls and the like are his team's specialties. Friday morning there were two engines in a state of being rebuilt. And a howitzer mechanic was sending sparks flying as she jumped in to help with auto repairs, using a plasma welder to fabricate a bracket. It was like the quintessential shop class. In the five months since the soldiers from Fort Wainwright Army Post have been here, deployed with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, they have replaced 25 transmissions and 10 engines. Most of the Humvees, which often are driven 5,000 miles a week, usually need their brakes replaced about once a month. While the Stryker Brigade is named for the armored, 8-wheeled, multi-purpose battle rig, the brigade relies on Humvees as well. Stryker work is contracted to civilian workers with General Dynamics located at bases here and there. Military passengers in and out of Iraq have topped one million: If you have a relative who's been deployed to Iraq, they've made the trip to or from the war courtesy of the 38th expeditionary wing of the U.S. Air Force. Its commander, Colonel Tim Hale, says about a month ago, his operation transported it's one millionth soldier on an Iraq flight. Injuries, illnesses take more soldiers from battlefields than enemy fire: Enemy fire has wounded more than 16,000 American troops in Iraq. More than half of those returned to duty within three days. Nonbattle injuries and disease had caused the evacuations of 20,449 U.S. troops from Iraq through mid-December, Pentagon statistics show. Casualty Reports: Killed: Sergeant First Class Jason Bishop Staff Sergeant Ayman Taha Spc. Marcelino R. Corniel Michael williams (U-S civilian contractor) Wounded: Spc. Evan Mettie--car bomb--remained in a coma Tuesday--sustained extensive injury to the left side of his body--left arm was shattered and a main artery in the arm was repaired George Perez--roadside bomb--lost his leg Staff Sergeant Mike Barrera--shot twice in his right hand, once in his left hand and once in his right arm. Sergeant Cory Briest--explosion--suffered a serious head injury Specialist Allen Kokesh Junior--explosion--leg amputation, an injury to his left elbow, burns and injuries to his eyes Private Warren Bender--explosion--was also injured Lance Cpl. David Ray--bullet--destroyed an artery that supplies blood to the brain--bullet in the head and a broken neck Sergeant Derik Cormier--denied Purple Heart--shot him in the leg Pfc. Joshua Sparling--bomb exploded --underwent surgery about two weeks ago to try and save the leg Jared Myers--roadside bomb--right arm required four pins to hold it together Army Spc. Ronald Raymond III--suicide bomb--hit his buttocks and groin area Ben Simmons--road side bomb--cracked two ribs and lost consciousness and blacked out Frank Sandoval--roadside bomb--causing projectile to be lodged in the right temple of his brain. Corporal Jacob Cavanaugh--shot in the right leg and right foot.


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