Muqtada threatens Open Warfare; Islamic State in Iraq launches One-Month Campaign; Help! They told me on Television Iraq Was Calm Now

Meanwhile, a lot of open warfare is being threatened in Iraq.

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is said to have threatened open warfare with the al-Maliki government if it does not cleanse “militias” [i.e. the Badr Corps] from its security forces and does not cease attacking Sadrist areas.

The Islamic State in Iraq declared a month-long campaign to kill US troops. April is already a relatively high-casualty month for the US military in Iraq.

Another mass grave found in Iraq, this time near Shiite Diwaniya. But AFP suggests that it was a mafia hit– they were killed along a smuggling route to Saudi Arabia. Did one smuggling gang horn in on another’s territory? Billions of dollars a year of gasoline, kerosene, antiquities, and drugs are being smuggled in Iraq every year, and the money often supports guerrillas. In Colombia they have narco-terrorism. In Iraq, it is hydrocarbon terrorism.

Little Jordan, with 500,000 Iraqi refugees and a population of only 5.2 million, is petrified that Iraq’s instability will spill over on it.

Reuters reports political violence in Iraq so far this weekend:

‘ date item.

* BAGHDAD – Three rockets hit the Sadr hospital in Sadr City late on Saturday, according to Ali Bustan, head of the health directorate in the eastern section of Baghdad. It was unclear if there were any casualties or who fired the rockets. The U.S. military said it was not to blame. Bustan also said the bodies of three women had been brought in along with 40 wounded people following fresh clashes.

* DIWANIYA – 16 decapitated and decomposed bodies were found in the desert near Diwaniya, 180 km (112 miles) south of Baghdad, a senior military official in Diwaniya said. The bodies and heads were in separate plastic bags.

* MOSUL – One civilian was killed and 5 others were wounded when an IED exploded in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

* MOSUL – Two bodies were found, one in southeastern Mosul and the other in a town south of the city, a senior military official in Mosul said.

NASSIRIYA – One policeman was killed and three wounded in clashes with gunmen near Nassiriya, 375 km (235 miles) southwest of Baghdad, hospital and police officials said.

MOSUL AND BAJI – U.S. forces detained 22 suspects in the northern cities of Mosul and Baji in security operations targeting al Qaeda militants, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – Gunmen shot and seriously wounded an interior ministry official in eastern Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Iraqi army forces arrested 44 al Qaeda militants and confiscated weapons in different areas of eastern Mosul, a spokesman for Mosul operations command said.

BASRA – Government forces said they captured the district of Hayaniya in Basra, long a stronghold of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army, achieving an objective that had eluded them during a crackdown last month. Basra is 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad.

BAGHDAD – Twelve people were killed and 71 others wounded on Friday and Saturday in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, police said. Hospitals said the total wounded was more than 130.

MOSUL – A roadside bomb killed two people and wounded 12 others in eastern Mosul, police said.

KIRKUK – A parked car bomb killed one person and wounded three others in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

NEAR KIRKUK – A roadside bomb struck a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding another in the southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

BAGHDAD – A U.S. helicopter gunship fired a missile, killing two gunmen in eastern Baghdad on Saturday, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed one U.S. soldier when it struck his vehicle on Friday just north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in statement.

SALAHUDDIN PROVINCE – A car bomb blast killed one U.S. soldier when he was conducting a patrol on Friday in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded two people on Friday in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – One Iraqi soldier was killed and four others wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol in Yarmouk district, in western Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Two bodies were found in different districts of Baghdad on Friday, police said.

BAGHDAD – A mortar bomb killed one person on Friday in al-Nidhal street, central Baghdad, police said.

MUSSAYAB – One body was found with gunshot wounds in Mussayab, 60 km (40 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

(compiled by Aws Qusay; editing by Noah Barkin)’

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