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Jun 21st, 2009

2 GIs Die in Attack on U.S. Base in Afghanistan

June 21, 2009

KABUL — A rare rocket attack on the main U.S. base in Afghanistan early Sunday killed two U.S. troops and wounded six other Americans, including two civilians, officials said.

Bagram Air Base, which lies 25 miles northeast of Kabul, is surrounded by high mountains and long stretches of desert from which militants could fire rockets. But such attacks, particularly lethal ones, are relatively rare.

Two U.S. troops died and four Americans were wounded, including four military personnel and two civilians, said Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a U.S. military spokeswoman.

The top government official in Bagram, Kabir Ahmad, said several rockets were fired at the base early Sunday. A spokesman with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said that three rounds landed inside Bagram and one landed outside. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t the office’s top spokesman. …

In February 2007, a suicide bomb attack outside Bagram killed 23 people while then-Vice President Dick Cheney was at the base. …

The two deaths bring to at least 80 the number of U.S. forces killed in Afghanistan this year, a record pace. Last year 151 troops died in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional troops to the country this year to fight an increasingly violent Taliban insurgency. There are now about 56,000 U.S. troops in the country, a record number.

Full story


Related report on this site

Bagram Air Base Attacked … Again (May 19, 2010)



Truck Bomb Kills At Least 75 in Northern Iraq, 250 Wounded

Image: Hole left by blast
A blast outside a mosque in Taza, Iraq, on Saturday, June 20, 2009 left this crater and leveled several surrounding homes. (Photo credit: Marwan Ibrahim / AFP — Getty Images)

June 20, 2009

BAGHDAD — A truck bomb exploded near a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq following prayers, killing more than 75 people, police said, making it the deadliest blast this year. …

Worshippers were leaving the mosque in Taza, 10 miles south of Kirkuk, following noon prayers when the truck exploded, demolishing the mosque and several mud-brick houses across the street, according to police and witnesses. …

Three babies in one hospital bed

Ambulances rushed victims to the overwhelmed hospital in Kirkuk and some victims had to be taken to nearby cities. Three babies cried as they were placed on a single hospital bed to be treated.

Medics treat three children who were wounded by a truck bomb attack close to a Shiite mosque near Kirkuk, Iraq, on Saturday, June 20, 2009. (Photo credit: Emad Matti / AP)

Sabah Amin, a senior health official, said 75 people, including 35 children, had died and 254 others were wounded.

Witnesses said the truck was parked across the street from the mosque and they assumed the driver was praying, although Kirkuk’s police chief, Maj. Gen. Jamal Tahir, said investigators were looking into the possibility it was a suicide bombing.

“The truck was parked near our house; therefore most of the victims were found beneath the debris of the houses, mostly women and children,” said Ehsan Mushir Shukur, whose sister was seriously wounded and taken to the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah.

He said his wife was also wounded while his sister’s young son and daughter were killed.

Crying for lost son

Yellman Zain-Abideen, who was wounded by shrapnel in his hand and face, cried for his missing son who had been leaving the mosque with him when the blast occurred.

He blamed local authorities for not providing sufficient security in the mainly Turkomen area, which is surrounded by Sunni villages. …

Many of the town’s residents had fled to neighboring Iran under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated regime but returned following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The area is a stronghold of supporters of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite Dawa party as well as the powerful Shiite Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. …

The death toll in Saturday’s explosion near Kirkuk surpassed an April 24 double female suicide bombing near a Shiite shrine in Baghdad that killed 71 people.

A suicide car bomber also struck an Iraqi police patrol Saturday in Karmah, a former insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, killing the three officers, police said. …

Another bomb exploded Sunday evening in a cafe in a Shiite enclave in a mainly Sunni area of southern Baghdad, killing at least two civilians and wounding 13, police said.

According to an Associated Press count, at least 1,678 Iraqis — civilians and security personnel — have been killed since Jan. 1. Although the figure is lower than the 4,809 who died from attacks in the first six months of last year, there have been at least 19 bombings that killed more than a dozen people so far this year.

Full story


Related reports

Kirkuk bombing foreshadows continuing Iraqi instability

Major bombings in Iraq since January 1, 2009

June 20, 2009

Deadliest bombings in Iraq since Jan. 1, when a new U.S.-Iraqi security pact took effect:

  • June 20, 2009 — Truck bomb strikes Shiite mosque near northern city of Kirkuk, killing 72.
  • June 10, 2009 — Car bomb explodes in market near Shiite city of Nasiriyah, killing 30.
  • May 21, 2009 — Bomb in mainly Sunni area of Baghdad kills 15 people, including three Americans.
  • May 20, 2009 — Parked car bomb tears through restaurants in northwest Baghdad, killing 41.
  • May 6, 2009 — Parked car bomb explodes at a produce market in southern Baghdad, killing 15.
  • April 29, 2009 — Twin car bombing in Baghdad’s Shiite district of Sadr City kills 51.
  • April 24, 2009 — Back-to-back female suicide bombings kill 71 outside Shiite shrine in Baghdad.
  • April 23, 2009 — Suicide bomber hits Iraqis collecting humanitarian aid in Baghdad, killing 31.
  • April 23, 2009 — Suicide bombing in Muqdadiyah kills 53 people, including 44 Iranian pilgrims.
  • April 6, 2009 — Series of bombings in Baghdad kill 37 people.
  • March 26, 2009 — Car bomb tears through market in Shiite area in east Baghdad, killing 20.
  • March 23, 2009 — Suicide bomber strikes Kurdish funeral in Jalula, killing 27.
  • March 10, 2009 — Suicide bomber targets tribal leaders at market in Abu Ghraib, killing 33.
  • March 8, 2009 — Suicide bomber strikes police academy in Baghdad, killing at least 30.
  • March 5, 2009 — Car bomb tears through livestock market in Hillah, killing 13.
  • Feb. 13, 2009 — Female suicide bomber targets Shiite pilgrims in Musayyib, killing 40.
  • Feb. 11, 2009 — Twin car bombs explode at a bus terminal and market area in Baghdad, killing 16.
  • Jan. 4, 2009 — Female suicide bomber strikes Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing 38.
  • Jan. 2, 2009 — Suicide bomber hits tribal leader’s home in Youssifiyah, killing 23.


6/22/2009 Update

Iraq Sees Wave of Deadly Attacks

Image: School bus hit by bomb
This bus had been carrying high school students to final exams when it was blown up Monday, June 2009 in Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo credit: Hadi Mizban / AP)

June 22, 2009

BAGHDAD — Bombings killed at least 21 people in Baghdad and surrounding areas on Monday, including high school students on their way to final exams, as violence intensified before a planned withdrawal next week of U.S. troops from urban areas.

The bombings, nearly all in Shiite areas of the capital, came just two days after the year’s deadliest attack — a truck bombing that killed at least 75 people in northern Iraq.

Overall violence has declined drastically over the past two years, but the recent attacks have raised concerns about the Shiite-dominated government’s ability to provide security around the country without the immediate help of the U.S. troops remaining in Iraq.

Starting June 30, most of the 133,000 American troops left here will be housed in large bases outside the capital and other cities — unable to react unless called on for help. The withdrawal is part of an agreement under which all U.S. troops are to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

The reclusive Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on the Shiite-led government to take whatever steps necessary to protect Iraqis from attacks. But in a statement, the anti-American cleric blamed the violence on the continued presence of U.S. troops in the country and demanded a faster withdrawal. …

School bus hits roadside bomb

In that Shiite bastion [Sadr City], a roadside bomb exploded next to a bus carrying high school students to their final exams on Monday, killing at least three people and wounding 13, including three of the students, police said. The bomb peppered the bus with shrapnel and left the floor of the vehicle littered with blood-soaked textbooks. …

At least five people also were killed and 20 were wounded by a bomb planted near a car in the Karradah district of the Iraqi capital, on the east side of the Tigris River. The bomb exploded on a road leading to a checkpoint that controls access to a bridge into the Green Zone, which houses the Iraqi government and U.S. Embassy. …

Another roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in a commercial area of eastern Baghdad’s Ur district, killing three and wounding 25, according to police, although the U.S. military said just two were killed.

In the fourth attack, a suicide car bomber targeted the mayor’s offices in Abu Ghraib, a predominantly Sunni district west of Baghdad.

The explosion occurred when the car struck a civilian vehicle before reaching the government building, damaging a nearby U.S. vehicle that was providing security for a meeting, said Maj. David Shoupe, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Baghdad.

He said four civilians were killed and 10 people were wounded, including three U.S. soldiers, while a local police officer said seven civilians were killed and 13 wounded.

Mosul sees attacks

North of the capital, a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol, killing three Iraqi soldiers near Khanaqin, near the Iranian border, according to the security headquarters in Diyala province.

Gunmen also killed at least seven people in separate attacks in the northern city of Mosul, including a woman and four Iraqi security forces, according to separate police reports. …

In northern Iraq, rescue crews were searching for at least 12 people still missing in a massive explosion Saturday near the ethnically tense city of Kirkuk that flattened a Shiite mosque and dozens of mud-brick houses around it. …

Americans will remain ready to help, as they were in the aftermath of Saturday’s bombing, but many Iraqis fear their departure after two years of a steady urban presence will prove deadly.

Full story


Image: Supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi set burning barricades
Supporters of Iran’s defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi set burning barricades in the streets as they protest during a demonstration on Saturday, June 20, 2009. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Latest Iran election news

5 Responses to “Bagram Air Base Attacked”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraqis Demand Better Protection Says:

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