Friday, March 28, 2008

Iraq: New Clashes in the South

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi police say clashes between Shiite militants and government security forces have resumed in at least two cities south of Baghdad.

The fighting in Nasiriyah and Mahmoudiya on Friday comes as the situation is calm in Baghdad. Residents are holed up at home after a weekend curfew was imposed.

Police say four people have been killed and 14 wounded in clashes in Nasiriyah.

Anger has been growing since the Iraqi government launched a crackdown against Shiite militia violence in the southern oil port of Basra earlier this week.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's followers say security forces are abusing a cease-fire by his Mahdi Army militia to unfairly target them in raids.

The government says it is acting against criminal gangs.

I think its also telling about just what portion of the JAM is under Sadr and what is not. We were told that those not obeying the ceasefire were not. but then Sadr is moving to protect those very units. so it begs the question is any of JAM under the control of Sadr or is he just a figurehead?


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