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Sep 24th, 2008


U.S.-Pakistan Relations Fray Over Alleged Attacks


September 24, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The Pakistani army said Wednesday it had found the wreckage of a suspected U.S. spy plane near the Afghan border, but denied claims that it had been shot down.

The incident comes amid strained ties between Washington and Islamabad over a series of missile strikes from American drones at suspected militants targets on the Pakistan side of the border.

Three Pakistani intelligence officials earlier said troops and tribesmen had shot down the aircraft late Tuesday near Jalal Khel, a village in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region. …

Confirmation of Pakistani forces firing on U.S. troops or aircraft could trigger a crisis in relations between Islamabad and Washington, who are close but uncomfortable allies in the American-led war on terrorism. …

———

Attacks Kill 6 Police in Afghan Capital Kabul

Image: Damaged police post
Afghan police officers look for the belongings of their colleagues at the damaged police post after an explosion in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008. (Photo credit: Rafiq Maqbool / AP)


September 24, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan – A police official says a bomb blast in the capital has wounded Kabul’s chief criminal investigator.

Zemerai Bashary says Wednesday’s bomb blast appears to have targeted Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal, the head of criminal investigations for the Kabul police.

Bashary says Paktiawal was investigating the overnight killing of three officers at the checkpoint in Kabul’s western outskirts when a blast struck his team. Paktiawal was lightly wounded and three of his guards were killed. …

———

IRAQ UPDATE


Medics tend to an Iraqi man injured after a roadside bomb detonated on Sept. 23, 2008 in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad. Among several bombings reported across Iraq, the improvised explosive device (IED) injured eight people. (Photo credit: Stringer / AFP / Getty Images)

U.S. Troops Accidentally Kill Sunni Leader


September 23, 2008

BAGHDAD – American soldiers accidentally shot and killed the leader of a local U.S.-allied Sunni group Tuesday after coming under attack in a volatile area north of Baghdad, the military said.

The shooting comes a week before the Shiite-led Iraqi government begins to assume authority over the Sunni groups known as the Sons of Iraq, or Awakening Councils. The military has credited the Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq as a key factor in the sharp decline in violence over the past year.

The head of the group in Siniyah, Jassim al-Garrout, was killed after he rushed to the site of an ambush against U.S. forces in the area, which lies between the northern oil-hub of Beiji and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, according to witnesses and police.

One of al-Garrout’s comrades said the group would demand an apology from the Americans.

“The Awakening Councils have become targets of al-Qaida, the government and sometimes even the U.S. forces. We do not know our fate and we are feeling lost,” Farooq Sami said.

“We are undertaking the task of combating terrorists, yet we are left sometimes unpaid and without money. We have participated in maintaining peace and security in our area, yet we sometimes do not get our salaries.”

Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said Monday that the Iraqi government will begin next week paying the salaries of about 54,000 of the mostly Sunni fighters in the province surrounding Baghdad. …

Separately, an American soldier was shot to death Tuesday in an attack about 15 miles southeast of Baghdad, the military said.

At least 4,170 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

———

U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

As of Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, at least 4,170 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, 30,662 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department’s weekly tally.

Latest identification:


Army Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Taylor, 25, Charleston, S.C., died Sept. 20, 2008 in Baghdad of wounds suffered from small-arms fire during dismounted operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Polk, La.

———

Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008 as reported by Reuters.

SALMAN PAK – One U.S. soldier was killed by small-arms fire near Salman Pak, 20 miles southeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded three others in the district of Bab al-Sharji in central Baghdad, police said.

ISKANDARIYA – A roadside bomb killed a man and wounded his wife and son when it hit their car in Iskandariya, 25 miles south of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – A body was found with gunshot wounds in eastern Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, police said. Another man was killed by a stray bullet in western Mosul.

BAGHDAD – U.S. forces detained three wanted men and four additional suspects during operations targeting al Qaeda across the country on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded four people in northern Baghdad, police said.

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