Iraq/Afghan war casualties thread

Discussion in 'Wogful Wonderland' started by fuz al-nufi, May 18, 2010.

  1. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    [IMG]

    May 18, 2010

    Suicide Bomber Hits U.S. Convoy in Afghanistan

    By DEXTER FILKINS

    KABUL, Afghanistan — A man driving a Toyota minivan crammed with explosives steered into an American convoy Tuesday morning here, killing 18 people, including five American soldiers and one from Canada. At least 47 people were wounded, nearly all of them civilians caught in rush-hour traffic.

    The blast sent a fireball billowing into the air, set cars aflame and blew bodies apart. Limbs and entrails flew hundreds of feet, littering yards and walls and streets. The survivors, many of them women and children, some of them missing limbs, lay in the road moaning and calling for help.

    In a passenger bus, an Afghan woman lay dead in her seat, cut in half; with her baby still squirming in her arms. Fifty yards away, a man’s head lay on the hood of a truck.

    “I just dove on the ground to try to save myself,” said Mahfouz Mahmoodi, an Afghan police officer. “And then I got up, and I saw the terrible scene.”

    The assault demonstrated anew that the Taliban can still strike the capital — if not every day, then with regularity.

    The Taliban took responsibility for the attack in a posting on its Web site, saying the group had dispatched a young man named Nizamuddin, a resident of Kabul. The Taliban said that Nizamuddin carried more than 1,600 pounds of explosives in his van.

    It seemed likely that the driver had cruised the city for some time looking for a target, holding off on his detonator before finally finding his target. Intelligence agencies often receive word that suicide and car bombers have entered the city with plans to attack, and some of them with no particular target in mind.

    While the Taliban was quick to congratulate itself for killing the American and NATO soldiers, its statement made no mention of the dead and wounded Afghan civilians. The attack was condemned by the United Nations, NATO and the American Embassy, which accused the Taliban of “callous disregard” for the lives of ordinary Afghans.

    It was the worst attack in Kabul in weeks. The insurgency is a largely rural phenomenon in a largely rural country, and on most days the capital is quiet. The peace in the city, such as there is, is kept almost entirely by Afghan police and army, with the Americans and NATO standing back.

    The attack came shortly before President Hamid Karzai prepared to speak to reporters at the presidential palace, having just returned from meeting President Obama in Washington.

    The Karzai government is preparing, with the Americans and their NATO allies, to launch a major offensive around the southern city of Kandahar, the Taliban’s spiritual home.

    That offensive, aimed at breaking the Taliban’s hold on southern Afghanistan, is seen as the most crucial operation of the nine-year war. Afghan and American officials have warned recently that they expect the Taliban to try to counter the offensive in any way that they can.

    The bomber struck at 8 a.m., when the streets were filled with traffic. The American convoy, which contained a number of armored S.U.V.s, was moving down Dar-ul-Aman Road in the southern edge of the city. The road leads up a hill to the Afghan Counter-Insurgency Academy, one of the principal centers for teaching tactics to Afghan officers and enlisted men.

    The school, known as the COIN Academy, sits just behind the Dar-ul-Aman Palace, a grand building built by King Amonullah, an Afghan monarch, early in the 20th century. In the 1980s, the building served as the headquarters for the Soviet military. It still sits atop the barren hill, riddled with bullet and holes, a gutted husk.

    The explosion sent a plume of fire into the air and ignited the cars and buses all around.

    As the chaos unfolded, ambulances converged on the scene, and a pair of Blackhawk helicopters swooped in to take away the dead and wounded NATO soldiers.

    “People were calling, ‘Help me, help me,’ “ said Yusuf Tahiri, an ambulance driver who carried off six dead and two wounded Afghans. “There were body parts everywhere.”

    As Mr. Tahiri spoke, an Afghan soldier appeared carrying a large red trash bag. It was, he said, filled with human brains. “What do you want me to do this with this,” he asked. “Do you want me to bury it, or do you want to take it?”

    The driver nodded, and the soldier walked around to the back of the ambulance and tossed the bag in the back.

    “I have seen so many of these — so many,” said Mr. Tahiri, the driver, shaking his head.

    The blast also flung people and wreckage over into the courtyard of a veterinary clinic of Kabul University. With the mayhem still unfolding, two Afghans, both of them guards at the clinic, sat on the curb and talked.

    “I saw something just like this 10 years ago,” Mohammed Hussein said to his friend. “A rocket landed next to my house. Just like this.”

    His friend, Abdul Hafiz, gave a weary nod.

    “It was very dangerous, very horrible,” he said.


    Sangar Rahmi and Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting.
  2. Apocales 4:35a.m. just one more episode..

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    The dedication of some still stands, we is be winnin the war of turror
  3. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    Taliban insurgents attack Bagram airbase in Afghanistan

    • American contractor killed and nine troops wounded
    • Dozen suicide bombers dead in attack on military base


    Suicide bombers carrying rockets and grenades attacked one of the biggest Nato military bases in Afghanistan today, killing an American contractor and wounding nine US troops.

    About a dozen militants, many wearing suicide vests packed with explosives, were killed, the Pentagon said.

    The fighting came the day after a suicide bomber attacked a military convoy in Kabul, killing 12 Afghan civilians and six foreign service personnel.

    A spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) would not identify the American contractor until next of kin had been told.

    The attacks may mark the start of a Taliban spring offensive against high-profile foreign targets.

    The early-morning assault on Bagram airbase, led by about 30 Taliban insurgents, continued for hours with sporadic rocket and small arms fire. One rocket landed inside the base, causing minor damage, but no insurgents managed to get inside, Isaf said.

    "We're always prepared to deal with attacks on our base," said spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Clarence Counts.
  4. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    British soldier killed in Afghanistan explosion
    (AFP) – 23 hours ago

    LONDON — A British soldier was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol in southern Afghanistan on Friday, the Ministry of Defence said.

    The Royal Marine was conducting "reassurance operations" with the Afghan army when he was hit by an explosion near the Almas patrol base in Sangin in Helmand province, an area of farmland and poppy and wheat fields.

    The soldier's next of kin have been informed.

    The death brings the number of British casualties in Afghanistan since international forces arrived in 2001 to 286, of which 252 were killed in hostile action.

    NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said earlier Friday a soldier was killed by an IED, or improvised explosive device, the Taliban insurgency's weapon of choice.

    NATO did not disclose the soldier's nationality, in keeping with its policy of leaving the identification to the victim's country.

    Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
  5. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    RELEASE No. 20100524-01
    May 24, 2010

    JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – One U.S. Soldier was killed Monday while conducting operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.

    The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/. The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member’s primary next of kin.

    The incident is under investigation.
  6. Iosiah Social Drinker

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    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,687758,00.html

    Deadly Attack in Afghanistan
    German Soldiers Complain of Insufficient Training


    [IMG]

    Following deadly attacks in Afghanistan against three German soldiers on Friday, criticism of the German military has been mounting. The paratroopers involved were shipped out without proper training, one politician claims, while the German armed forces association claims soldiers are poorly equipped and face greater dangers as a result.

    No warnings, just knock, then enter -- and simply listen in. At least, that is how you do it, if you happen to be Reinhold Robbe, the German parliament's military commissioner. Over the past five years, Robbe has made many spontaneous visits to German barracks where he is able to listen freely to reports from German soldiers, both male and female. Reports about their experiences while in service, as well as their plans and their worries.


    And this is what he was doing on Jan. 18. Robbe traveled to Seedorf, a municipality in his home state of Lower-Saxony, and paid a visit to the paratroopers stationed there. The politician -- who is a member of the left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SPD) and will give up his post as commissioner in May -- spent several hours talking to soldiers there, just as they were preparing to be shipped out to Afghanistan a few days later.

    Paratroopers Felt Unprepared for Mission

    They had nothing positive to report. Instead they spoke of a lack of preparation -- the armored vehicles they were expected to use in Afghanistan, for example, had not been made available during their training. Robbe left angered by the reports and proptly filed yet another written complaint with Germany's Defense Ministry.

    Six weeks later, one of the soldiers Robbe had spoken to at Seedorf was dead. The Taliban had lured him and two others into an ambush near Kunduz. "This didn't just upset me, it also made me very angry," Robbe said. "For years I have been complaining about problems with the training. But now I feel like I am a lone voice in the desert."

    According to the latest information, on Good Friday the Taliban ambushed a German Bundeswehr patrol from several sides. The German soldiers had been scouting for mines in the locality of Isa Khel in the Chahar Dara district, in Kunduz province. Two German soldiers were hit by bullets and killed. A little later a third soldier was killed when, while looking for hidden explosive devices, he got out of a Dingo armored vehicle and set off a bomb planted on the road. He had reportedly been searching for explosives with a detector and accidentally set off a mine.

    Could the deaths have been a result of the insufficient training the Seedorf soldiers were talking about?

    According to a German armed forces spokesperson, there is knowledge inside the Bundeswehr about the lack of training vehicles, but there does not appear to be a solution in sight yet. Questioned by SPIEGEL ONLINE, a spokesperson confirmed that "there still aren't enough vehicles available for paratrooper training." The spokesperson said it would be better if vehicles were procured for training, but conceded he could not say when that might happen.

    No Time for 'Mission Preparation Time'

    Nevertheless, the spokesman continued, the paratroopers still have the opportunity to train with the vehicles shortly before the start of their mission. The rest of their training takes place in Afghanistan during what was known as "mission preparation time," the duration of which is around four weeks. In the case of the affected unit, this training phase didn't take place -- at least most of it. Both paratrooper companies -- 373 and 313 from Seedorf -- got involved in fire fights that lasted several hours outside of their camps shortly after their arrival in Afghanistan.

    Officials at the German Armed Forces Association, which represents the interests of active and former soldiers as well as their families, have also acknowledged the training deficiencies. "The fact that people can only get limited access in training to the actual vehicles is a common problem in training, since the actual vehicles are generally deployed (on missions)," said Wolfgang Schmelzer, the group's deputy chief. But the master chief petty officer does not believe that the lack of training in the vehicles played any significant role in the Good Friday losses. "A situation like that tragic ambush cannot be prevented in Afghanistan," he said. "Nevertheless, we need to ensure that, at the very least, soldiers are optimally equipped -- and that is not the case at the moment."

    Politician's Call to Bring in the Big Tanks

    The plea from his association: "We ask that the politicians put more resources into this." It's a point that both Schmelzer and SPD man Robbe both agree on. "The soldiers have a right to optimal protection," said Robbe. And he even went a step further, saying that: "If the Americans were not there with their helicopters, then we would not be able to conduct the mission this way."

    Hellmut Königshaus of the business-friendly, liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) will replace Robbe in the job of military commissioner next month. He has even called for heavy tanks to be sent in to protect the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. "The Bundeswehr must get one of the Leopard 2 battle tanks, that are sitting in depots in Germany, to Kunduz," Königshaus told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel. The politician's pithy observation: "Anyone who looks down the barrel of a Leopard 2 would think twice about attacking a German patrol."

    But within the Bundeswehr, Königshaus' idea has no lack of critics. An army spokesperson explained to SPIEGEL ONLINE that the Leopard 2 was "not deployable due to the geographic characteristics of Afghanistan." According to the Bundeswehr, the large tanks are not suitable for patrolling through the narrow alleyways of villages in the mission area. Additionally, most of the bridges there can only carry vehicles weighing up to 60 tons. The combat weight of the Leopard 2 is just over that.

    Guttenberg's New Style

    "Deploying the Leopard in Afghanistan would clearly give the wrong signal to the people there," an army spokesperson told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "We would appear to be occupying forces, invading the country rather than complying with our duty to protect its people." A symbol like this "is not compatible with the Bundeswehr's political assignment," he argued.

    German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has also moved to address criticisms of the lack of training and equipment. Internally and publicly, the politician -- a member of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union -- has made clear he wants to expedite an investigation into possible shortcomings. At a press conference held over the weekend, the defense minister announced that a thorough investigation would be conducted into Friday's deadly ambush.


    He's attempting a new management style: Guttenberg no longer wants to tolerate the sort of plodding perseverance demonstrated by his predecessors in the German Defense Ministry, who brushed off all criticisms whether they came from inside or outside his offices. And even if he, like most of the active duty military officials in the field, considers calls for heavier weaponry or more air attacks to be excessive, he nevertheless patiently explained over the weekend why none of these measures could have helped in the Good Friday attacks.

    When it comes to military training, Defense Ministry sources say that Guttenberg is prepared for swift improvements. His line on this is that every opportunity to make things safer should be utilized. Straight after returning from his interrupted Easter holiday, Guttenberg wanted to be informed in detail about Friday's events. He met with the inspector general of the Bundeswehr and the head of the Afghanistan mission, watched videos recorded by drones and had the circumstances of the attack explained to him, step by step.

    And that is exactly what the Bundestag's departing military commissioner, Robbe, would like to see. Speaking about his experiences during the last five years, he said: "These problems are not taken as seriously at the top of the Bundeswehr as they should be."

    [IMG]
  7. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    Soldier killed on patrol in Helmand

    By Sam Marsden

    Thursday, 27 May 2010

    A British soldier has been killed in a firefight with insurgents in southern Afghanistan.

    The serviceman, from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, was on a foot patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj area of Helmand Province on Tuesday morning. The joint patrol with Afghan National Army troops aimed to reassure local people. He was serving as part of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group.

    Lt-Colonel James Carr-Smith, of Task Force Helmand, said: "He died doing his duty, alongside his mates... He will be greatly missed and we will always remember him."

    His death takes the number of British troops who have died in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001 to 287.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/soldier-killed-on-patrol-in-helmand-1983912.html
  8. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    LONDON (AFP) – A British marine has been killed in a blast in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday.

    The man from 40 Commando Royal Marines was one of two British soldiers to die in the province of Helmand on Wednesday. The other, announced on Wednesday, was killed in a firefight with Taliban-led insurgents.

    "He was conducting a reassurance foot patrol in the green zone around Sangin when tragically he was struck by an explosion," military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said of the marine.

    His death brings to 288 the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001. He is the seventh to die this month.

    The new coalition government in London has made the war in Afghanistan their foreign policy priority, and Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Liam Fox visited the country last weekend.

    Britain has about 9,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of an international force, largely battling Taliban militants in Helmand.
  9. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    The U.S. military suffered its 1,000th death of the Afghan war Friday, according to an Associated Press count, when NATO reported a service member was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

    The NATO statement did not identify the victim's name or nationality, but U.S. spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said the service member was American.

    The Associated Press bases its tally on U.S. Defense Department reports of deaths suffered as a direct result of the Afghan conflict, including personnel assigned to units in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Uzbekistan.

    Other news organizations count deaths suffered by service members assigned elsewhere as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, which includes operations in the Philippines, the Horn of Africa and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The NATO statement gave no details of the bombing Friday, nor did it specify where the attack occurred. U.S., NATO and Afghan forces are gearing up for a major operation in the south in a bid to shore up government control of Kandahar, the biggest city in southern Afghanistan and the Taliban's former headquarters.

    The list of American service members killed in combat in Afghanistan begins with Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman of San Antonio, Texas. The 31-year-old career Special forces soldier was ambushed on Jan. 4, 2002, after attending a meeting with Afghan leaders in Khost province. He left a wife and two children. The base where a suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees in December bears his name.

    The latest death was reported just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend in the United States when Americans honor their dead in all the nation's wars.

    Elsewhere, Afghan officials said a Pakistani Taliban leader who spearheaded the takeover of Pakistan's Swat Valley three years ago may have been killed in a fierce battle with Afghan forces in remote eastern Afghanistan.

    Hundreds of militants have been trying since Sunday to seize control of the Barg-e-Matal district of Nuristan province along the Pakistani border, provincial officials said.

    Following a strong attack Wednesday night, villagers who took part in the fighting reported that they had killed the Taliban commander, Maulana Fazlullah, along with six of his fighters, according to Gen. Mohammad Zaman Mamozai, commander for Afghan border police in eastern Afghanistan.

    Nuristan police Chief Mohammad Qasim said authorities were unable to confirm the death of Fazlullah, who gained prominence in 2007 as the "Radio Mullah" for his vehemently anti-Western sermons on local radio stations in the Swat Valley. The former mountain resort area fell under Taliban control until Pakistani forces drove them out last year.

    In Pakistan, Maulana Faqir Mohammed, the Taliban chief in the Bajur area, told The Associated Press by phone that Fazlullah had gone to Nuristan with his fighters.

    "We are trying to contact him," he said. "We believe that he is safe and he has not been killed."

    Another Taliban commander in Bajur, Asad Ullah, insisted that Fazlullah was alive.

    "Maulana Fazlullah was the guest of Taliban in Nuristan, and we don't think he can be killed so easily," he said.

    The Afghan Interior Ministry said one police officer had also been killed in the Nuristan fighting, which continued Thursday. Officials said about 500 Pakistani Taliban were involved in the siege.

    The insurgents first attacked the district government building on Sunday. Provincial police chief Gen. Mohammad Qasim Jangulbagh said local residents joined the fight against the Taliban because they heard Fazlullah had issued a fatwa, or religious command, to kill those who supported the government.

    Nuristan is a rugged, mountainous province whose people have a reputation for fierce resistance to outsiders.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Habib Khan in Bajur, Pakistan, Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Amir Shah and Heidi Vogt in Kabul contributed to this report.

    Source: AP News
  10. MadScienceType Trumpenkrieg

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    [IMG]

    Heh, looka that thing. Michael Wittman wouldn't be caught dead in one...probably spinning in his grave over the fact that "Panzer" now means an ice cream truck with steel plates on it, and a bunch of other things too most likely.
    [IMG]
  11. fuz al-nufi Bar Regular

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    Blast kills Marine in Afghanistan

    By John Hill

    Tuesday, 1 June 2010

    A marine from 40 Commando Royal Marines has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said. He was killed on Sunday evening in an explosion while on foot patrol near Sangin in northern Helmand. His family have been told.

    Lt-Colonel James Carr-Smith, the spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: "It is with sadness I must inform you that a Marine from 40 Commando Royal Marines was killed in an explosion near Sangin in northern Helmand.

    "He was conducting a foot patrol in order to further develop the understanding of the local area when he was struck by an explosion. His bravery and selfless commitment will not be forgotten. He will be greatly missed and we will remember him."

    The announcement comes after Corporal Stephen Curley, 26, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, died in an explosion while also on foot patrol in Helmand on Wednesday. He died on the same day as Gunner Zak Cusack, 20, from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, who was killed in a firefight with the Taliban in Helmand Province.

    The number of British troops who have now died in operations in Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001 stands at 289.


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/blast-kills-marine-in-afghanistan-1987992.html
  12. Pasdaran Social Drinker

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    No let up with the good news.

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