Posted tagged ‘Baghdad’

Sixteen Americans Dead as Helicopters Crash in Afghanistan

October 26, 2009

Helicopter crashes killed 14 Americans today in the deadliest day for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in more than four years.

From the Associated Press:

In the first crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight with insurgents, killing 10 Americans — seven troops and three civilians working for the government. Eleven American troops, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.

In a separate incident, two U.S. Marine helicopters — one UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra — collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand, killing four American troops and wounding two more, Marine spokesman Capt. Bill Pelletier said.

It was the heaviest single-day loss of life since June 28, 2005, when 16 U.S. troops on a special forces helicopter died when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents.

U.S. authorities have ruled out hostile fire in the collision but have not given a cause for the other fatal crash in the west. Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmedi claimed Taliban fighters shot down a helicopter in northwest Badghis province’s Darabam district. It was impossible to verify the claim and unclear if he was referring to the same incident.

From CNN:

Fourteen Americans died in two separate helicopter crashes in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said — 10 in one incident and four in the other.

It was the largest number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in a single day in at least four years, according to CNN records.

ISAF ruled out enemy fire in the crash that killed four Americans, and said enemy action was not thought to be the cause of the other.

In the deadlier crash, a helicopter went down in the country’s west.

“Seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians were killed,” an ISAF statement said. “Those injured include 14 Afghan service members, 11 U.S. service members and one U.S. civilian.”

Soldier Identified Who Killed Five in Iraq

May 12, 2009

Sergeant John M. Russell has been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the fatal shooting of five fellow soldiers at a combat stress clinic at a Baghdad army base.

From the New York Times:

The alleged shooter, Sgt. John M. Russell of the 54th Engineering Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany, was charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in Monday’s shooting, the official, Maj. Gen. David Perkins, told reporters.

The killings appear to be the single deadliest episode of soldier-on-soldier violence among American forces since the United States-led invasion six years ago.

Sergeant Russell was taken into custody by military police outside the clinic following the shooting at Camp Liberty, part of a sprawling army compound near the Baghdad International Airport where thousands of military personnel are stationed, General Perkins said.

US Soldier Kills Four Soldiers, Himself in Baghdad

May 11, 2009

Five U.S. soldiers were killed today  in a shooting at an American base in Baghdad, Iraq. The shooting reportedly was done by a US soldier who took his own life.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The suspect is now in custody and an investigation underway, a military statement said.

It said the incident occurred about 2 p.m. at Camp Liberty, part of a sprawling complex of bases adjoining the Baghdad International Airport that house tens of thousands of troops.

“Any time we lose one of our own, it affects us all,” said Col. John Robinson, spokesman for the Multi-National Corps in Iraq. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this terrible tragedy.”

There have been several instances in recent months in which Iraqi army soldiers have killed Americans on military bases, but no Iraqi troops are located at Camp Liberty.

There have also been sporadic instances of U.S. soldiers shooting fellow soldiers, usually in accidents, but this appears to be the bloodiest such case since the war began.

From CBS News:

The U.S. military said they have received a report saying a U.S. soldier shot and killed four other U.S. soldiers at a base in Baghdad, CBS News confirms.

CENTCOM says they are investigating and have no further comment, CBS News reported.

It is unclear if the shooter also killed himself.

From the Associated Press:

A brief U.S. statement said the shooting occurred about 2 p.m. at Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport but gave no further details on the attack.

The toll from the Monday shooting was the highest for U.S. personnel in a single attack since April 10, when a suicide truck driver killed five American soldiers with a blast near a police headquarters in Mosul. The U.S. death toll in April was 19, the highest in seven months, amid an upsurge of violence in Iraq.

Iraqi Journalist Throws Shoes at President Bush

December 14, 2008

President Bush made a farewell visit Sunday to Baghdad, Iraq, where he met with Iraqi leaders and was targeted by an angry Iraqi man, who jumped up and threw shoes at Bush during a news conference. I’m sure others would have loved to have thrown more than just their shoes.

From CNN:

Among Muslims, throwing shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult.

The man was dragged out screaming after throwing the shoes. Bush ducked, and the shoes, thrown one at a time, sailed past his head during the news conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in his palace in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

As the man continued to scream from another room, Bush said: “That was a size 10 shoe he threw at me, you may want to know.”

Bush had been lauding the conclusion of the security pact with Iraq as journalists looked on.

Bush landed at Baghdad International Airport on Sunday and traveled by helicopter to meet with President Jalal Talabani and his two vice presidents at Talabani’s palace outside the Green Zone.

It marked the first time he has been outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad without being on a military base.

The visit was Bush’s fourth since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Afterward, Talabani praised his U.S. counterpart as a “great friend for the Iraqi people” and the man “who helped us to liberate our country and to reach this day, which we have democracy, human rights, and prosperity gradually in our country.”

Blackwater Guards Charged in Iraqi Deaths

December 5, 2008

According to sources, Five security guards from Blackwater Worldwide have been indicted on charges related to a 2007 shooting in which 17 Iraqis were killed in a Baghdad square.

From CNN:

The sources requested anonymity because the indictment remains under court seal. It is expected to be made public by Justice Department officials as early as Monday.

The Justice Department had no comment on the development, and defense attorneys for the men could not be reached for reaction.

The State Department, which employed Blackwater to protect U.S. diplomats and other employees, also had no comment.

Blackwater said it wouldn’t comment until there’s an official announcement.

Iraqi authorities accused Blackwater guards of killing 17 civilians and wounding nearly 30 in the September 2007 shootings in Nusoor Square in western Baghdad.

Blackwater said its guards were protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy when they came under attack from armed insurgents. The guards returned fire, Blackwater said.

US Troops in Iraq Until 2015?

August 28, 2008

According to reports, the United States asked Iraq for permission to maintain a troop presence there to 2015, but US and Iraqi negotiators agreed to limit their authorization only through 2011.

From Reuters:

“It was a U.S. proposal for the date which is 2015, and an Iraqi one which is 2010, then we agreed to make it 2011. Iraq has the right, if necessary, to extend the presence of these troops,” Talabani said in an interview with al-Hurra television, a transcript of which was posted on his party’s website on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that, while overall negotiations continued, the two sides had accepted the end of 2011 as an end date for the presence of the approximately 145,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

U.S. officials stress that no final agreement has been made. A final deal will need to be approved by the Iraqi parliament.

U.S. officials in Baghdad were not immediately available for comment.