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Roadside Bombs

January 17, 2011 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Roadside bombs killed at least 17 Afghan civilians in a 24-hour span, including nine people ? a child among them ? whose vehicle was torn apart by a powerful blast Sunday as they were on their way to a wedding in northern Afghanistan. Civilians are dying in record numbers as the war in Afghanistan grinds into its 10th year, and crude but powerful homemade bombs are the greatest hazard facing them. Insurgents plant the devices with the aim of killing Western troops, but more often it is noncombatants who are left dead or maimed.
May 4, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Five American soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan on Saturday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, officials said. The powerful explosion took place about 2 p.m. when an American armored vehicle hit the device in the Maiwand district of southern Kandahar province as it was heading back to its base, said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province. John Manley, a spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition in Kabul, confirmed that all five were Americans.  The attack came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai conceded that his government has received funding from the CIA for over a decade as part of its regular payments from the United States.
June 13, 1987 | From Reuters
Two civilians were wounded in southern Lebanon on Friday by a roadside bomb apparently intended for Israeli troops or their local militia allies, police said. They said the blast occurred at the village of Taibe in the eastern sector of Israel's self-declared border "security zone." Militiamen of the pro-Israeli South Lebanon Army fired heavy machine guns in the area after the bomb exploded, they said.
February 28, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash
KABUL, Afghanistan - Seven Afghan border police were killed Thursday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan, officials said. Two civilians also were killed. The incident occurred about 4 p.m. while the team of border police officers was conducting a patrol in Dangam, a district in eastern Kunar province, said Wasifullah Wasifi, the spokesman for the provincial governor. A third civilian, a woman, was wounded, he said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the incident, but Taliban insurgents routinely plant roadside bombs.
January 8, 2005 | Mark Mazzetti and James Gerstenzang, Times Staff Writers
Bombs used with deadly effect against U.S. troops in Iraq have recently become more powerful, the latest escalation in the insurgency, Pentagon officials said Friday. Army Brig. Gen. David Rodriguez said insurgents had greatly increased the destructive power of roadside bombs by packing more explosives into the munitions, which the military calls improvised explosive devices.
November 2, 2007 | Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel, Times Staff Writers
U.S. Defense officials said Thursday that Iraqi insurgents have sharply curtailed the use of their most powerful roadside bombs, weapons American officials repeatedly have charged are being smuggled into the war zone from Iran. But Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said it was too soon to tell whether the decline in the use of the munitions resulted from an Iranian pledge to stem the flow of weaponry between the two countries. Tehran has denied that it is providing munitions to Iraqi insurgents.
February 25, 2005 | David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer
The chaplain and the medic noticed it first: a pile of freshly upturned soil at the side of the highway. The two men were part of a combat engineer patrol searching for roadside bombs, the leading killer of U.S. troops in Iraq. Riding inside a "Buffalo," an armor-plated vehicle equipped with a mechanical boom, they stopped to investigate.
January 4, 2004 | Laura King, Times Staff Writer
A mortar attack on a sprawling U.S. Army base in central Iraq and a roadside bomb on a dangerous thoroughfare outside the capital killed three American soldiers, the military said Saturday. All three deaths occurred Friday -- the same day another U.S. soldier died when an American observation helicopter was downed by insurgents west of Baghdad -- but were not immediately disclosed by the Army.
November 4, 2007 | Christian Berthelsen, Times Staff Writer
The U.S. military said Saturday that a female soldier died Thursday in a roadside bomb attack on her patrol south of Baghdad, the 90th American servicewoman killed since the invasion. Servicewomen are not assigned to offensive combat missions in Iraq, but they often participate in raids, patrols and other active duty in a variety of roles, such as flying helicopters or dealing with Iraqi women during U.S. operations.
May 1, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Twice a week, a caravan of trucks lumbers out of this volatile northwest Pakistan city in the dead of night and makes its way toward Afghanistan, loaded with one of the most coveted substances in a Taliban bombmaker's arsenal: ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Every time the illicit caravan makes its trip, it moves unhindered past a gantlet of Pakistani police checkposts along the Pak-Afghan Highway. A string of bribes paid out to police, politicians and bureaucrats ensures that the smuggled explosive agent reaches its destination, middlemen on the Afghan side of the border who sell it to insurgents, says the co-owner of a Pakistani trucking firm that dispatches the caravans.
July 29, 2012 | By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times
In 2009, Vils Galarza's parents resisted when he told them that he wanted to join the Army after high school in Salinas. They wanted him to go to college, and he already had acceptance letters in hand. If he had to join the military, they told him, couldn't he pick a trade that would provide him some modicum of safety - working as a truck driver, perhaps, or a mechanic? Galarza told them that not only would he enlist, but he wanted to be an infantryman - to experience the vaunted tradition of having his boots on the ground.
January 10, 2012 | By Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times
Author Janet Malcolm once acidly wrote that any reporter who didn't agree that journalism was a "morally indefensible" act of betrayal was "too stupid or too full of himself" to notice what was going on. Michael Hastings doesn't agree. He sees journalism, particularly when writing about media-greedy public figures, as being "like the seduction of a prostitute. " In other words, publicity hounds who try to co-opt honest reporters get what they deserve. That helps explain the mystery of why U.S. ArmyGen.
January 6, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Camp Pendleton -- U.S. combat troops have departed from Iraq, but one last — and highly controversial — chapter of the long war there is being played out at Camp Pendleton. After years of delay and legal wrangling, the court-martial of the last of eight Marines charged in the shooting deaths of 24 Iraqis in the village of Haditha in 2005 is under way — with Marines with combat experience sitting as jurors. Opening statements are expected to begin Friday. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, now 31, was on his first combat deployment when a roadside bomb killed one Marine and injured two others from his squad.
November 20, 2011 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
Two days after Army Staff Sgt. James M. Christen's death in Afghanistan this summer, his family and friends created a memorial page on Facebook. They shared photos and memories of Christen, 29, from the Placer County town of Loomis, northeast of Sacramento, as well of words of encouragement to his wife, Lauren, to whom he was married for eight years. "I will forever be proud of my husband for all [he] did and will miss him every second of everyday," his wife wrote on the website.
February 8, 2011 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
When Pfc. Colton Rusk was shot in Afghanistan by a Taliban sniper, a Marine dog named Eli immediately ran to him, guarding the downed Marine against further attack. Even Marines who rushed to Rusk's side were initially kept at bay by the snarling Labrador, who had been Rusk's inseparable companion through training and then deployment to a dangerous place called the Sangin Valley. Rusk, 20, a machine gunner and dog handler from the Camp Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, died from his wounds that brutal day in early December.
June 4, 2010 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
From a rocky knoll 600 feet above the lush Arghandab Valley, the war in Afghanistan looks deceptively peaceful. At dawn Friday, Afghan girls stooped to milk cows in mud-walled compounds. Farmers trudged across furrowed fields, carrying scythes for cutting wheat. Boys flew kites of tattered plastic from rooftops. Donkeys brayed. Peering through the morning haze from his perch atop Observation Post Kuhat, Army Spc. Victor Smyrnow paid scant attention to the bucolic scene below.
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