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Politics And Military

* Resurfacing Shock and Awe, why is this different?  Ali Behrooz

* Mr President, Barack Obama,  Ali Behrooz

* Iran’s Conservatives Are Deceiving Themselves  Tariq Alhomayed

* Just When it Ends in Basra, it Begins in Mosul!  Huda al Husseini

* Putin promises Iran continuity in relations: RIA  News Report

* New U.S. carrier in Gulf a 'reminder' to Iran: Gates  News Report

* Iran displays 1800 km-range missile  News Report

* U.S., Iraqi Forces Continue to Battle in Sadr City  News Report

* Iran Top Threat To Iraq, U.S. Says  News Report

* Sadr not U.S. enemy if he sticks to politics: Gates  News Report

* British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes  News Report

* Pakistan Mulls Talking with Terrorists  News Report

* Shia leader tries to contain militia  News Report

* Bush to maintain Iraq troop numbers  News Report

* McCain doesn't rule out preemptive war  News Report

* Winds of Change  Pablo Ouziel

* Obama Adviser Calls for Troops To Stay in Iraq Through 2010  News Report

* Iran helped end Iraq fighting: Iraq party adviser  News Report

* McCain's "war on terror" remix  News Report

* Saudi Arabia's justice minister departs for Tehran  News Report

* Deployment of Foreign Troops an Insult to Regional States  News Report

* Gun-shy America is losing the best chance to stop Iran  News Report

* Khatami rallies Iran reformists  News Report

* Iran says will soon hold talks with U.S. on Iraq  News Report

* Iran says has built new long-range missile  News Report

* U.S. military in Iraq says to release 9 Iranians  News Report

* U.S. sees decline in Iran-linked bombs found in Iraq  News Report

* Russia and China fall in line on Iran  News Report

* Iran letter sparks new fight between Clinton, Obama  News Report

* Bombing Iran will ensure world peace  News Report

* King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism  Robert Fisk

* Ahmadinejad to Visit S. Arabia mid Nov.  News Report

* Iranian Guard 'ready to defend revolution'  News Report

* Iran to give crushing response to possible attacks: minister  News Report

* Bush: Missile shield is meant to deter Iran  News Report

* Iran Accuses US of Manufacturing Genetic Weapons  News Report

* Blair: Terror threat like fascism  Tony Blair

* US arrogant attitudes pave way for 'World War III': Cleric  News Report

* Russia’s Putin hunts diplomatic solution in Iran  News Report

* Clinton says she would negotiate with Iran if elected president  News Report

* Britain 'on board' for US strikes on Iran  News Report

* Iran, sanctions and the rumours of war  News Report

* No Iran strike plans, says Blair  Tony Blair

* Gates: Diplomatic efforts to counter Iranian nuclear program are working  News Report

* McCain Jokes About Bombing Iran  Liz Sidoti

* Tehran expects update on cases of two Iranians murdered in France: MP  News Report

* Iran is not a safe haven for terrorists  News Report

* Iran at threat?  News Report

* Iran trying to recruit Israeli spies  News Report

* Iran: Signals on 5 Diplomats  News Report


U.S., Iraqi Forces Continue to Battle in Sadr City
[ News Report]  [2008-04-12 18:12:08]
[Source: Washington Post - 12/04/08]


Curfew Lifted; 11 Die in Clashes

By Sholnn Freeman
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, April 12, 2008; 2:10 PM

BAGHDAD, April 12 -- Iraqi and U.S. military forces on Saturday pushed deeper into the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, an area largely controlled by Shiite militiamen loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

A curfew imposed on Sadr City more than week ago was lifted, and residents appeared on the streets as shops reopened despite the large presence of U.S. and Iraqi security forces.

Leaders of Sadr's Mahdi Army militia reported that U.S. and Iraqi forces had split the area into at least two sections and were placing concrete barriers at a major intersection. American and Iraqi snipers patrolled from the rooftops of nearby buildings.

The Mahdi Army leaders also said Iraqi and American security forces had amassed outside a home where a memorial service was being held for cleric Riyadh al-Nouri, a senior Sadr aide assassinated in the holy city Najaf on Friday.

"The siege is still on," said Abu Haider, a Mahdi Army leader in Sadr City.

Abu Haider called the cancellation of the curfew a propaganda ploy and said government forces had opened just one entrance point for traffic into Sadr City, home to an estimated 2 million people.

"You can imagine the traffic jam," he said.

Hundreds of people have died in fighting between Sadr's followers and American and Iraqi forces since late March, when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched a major offensive against the militia and other groups in the southern port city of Basra.

Sadr aides have said they detected a political motive in the Basra offensive and the continuing operations against the Mahdi Army. Sadr's supporters, who are vying for power against Maliki's party and other Shiite movements, expect to do well in key provincial and local elections set for later this year.

The U.S. military said 11 fighters were killed in operations in Sadr City in fighting on Friday, as American and Iraqi forces battled snipers and fighters firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. A drone-fired missile killed three men planting roadside bombs, the military said.

The U.S. military said that two armored vehicles were damaged in the Sadr City fighting but that no U.S. or Iraqi troops were killed or seriously injured.

Abu Haider said American helicopters hovered above Sadr City on Friday night and that civilians were injured in the fighting, which damaged homes and shops.

Maj. Mark Cheadle, a U.S. military spokesman, reported that the fighting was less intense Saturday and that American and Iraqi forces were setting up security stations to be manned by Iraqis.

"They can't stop that," Cheadle said, referring to the militiamen. "It's just a matter of how painful they want to make it."

Special correspondent K. I. Ibrahim and other Washington Post staff contributed to this report.





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