Najaf under Curfew; As Sadr Brother-in-Law Killed; 13 Killed in Baghdad Clashes

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that the Shiite holy city of Najaf is under a strict curfew after a drive by shooting that killed Riyad al-Nuri, the head of the Sadr office in that city. Nuri was Muqtada al-Sadr’s brother-in-law, married to one of al-Sadr’s sisters. One of Nuri’s sisters is married to Murtada al-Sadr, the younger brother of Muqtada.

Muqtada called on the Iraqi government to conduct an investigation into the death.

Sadrist spokesperson Salah al-Ubaydi called on Sadrists to show restraint.

Al-Zaman says that some have implicated al-Nuri in the murder of Abdul Majid Khoie on April 10, 2003.

Amit Paley at WaPo has more.

McClatchy positions the story with regard to Muqtada al-Sadr’s assertion that the US was behind al-Nuri’s death. The US denied the charge. McClatchy observes, “The timing of the killing — not even two weeks after more than 120 people died and at least 300 were wounded in fighting between Sadr’s militiamen and government forces in the port city of Basra — raises the specter of a wider rebellion that could spread to Sadr’s strongholds in Baghdad.”

American forces in Iraq clashed with the Mahdi Army in Baghdad on Friday evening, leaving 13 dead.

McClatchy reports civil war violence on Friday:

‘ Baghdad

Iraqi Army found a mass grave containing 25 bodies in Mahmoudiyah, to the south of Baghdad late Thursday. The bodies were in an advanced state of decomposition and investigations are ongoing in an effort to identify them.

1 Katyusha rocket hit the Palestine Meridian Hotel on the Abu Nawas side, in central Baghdad at 3.15 pm Friday. It landed on the second floor causing the death of 3 civilians and the injury of 7.

1 Katyusha rocket fell on the Green Zone at around 3.15 pm Friday. No casualties reported.

A roadside bomb exploded targeting a police patrol in Shaab, northeast Baghdad at around 2 pm Friday, killing 1 policeman and injuring 3.

A roadside bomb exploded targeting a joint US/Iraqi patrol in Baladiyat, north east Baghdad at 3 pm today killing 3 civilians. Clashes broke out with the gunmen after the IED went off. No casualties were reported.

A mortar round fell on a bread bakery in Talbiyah, Square 83 killing 2 civilians and injuring 5.

3 unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police. 1 in Baladiyat; 1 in Shaab and 1 in Hurriyah.

Anbar

A car bomb driven by a suicide bomber targeted al-Hamudhiyah checkpoint, east Ramadi which is manned by Sahwa (CLC) members. The explosion took place at 5.30 pm Friday and caused the death of 4 Sahwa members and injuring 3 civilians.

Salahuddin

A car bomb driven by a suicide bomber targeted a Sahwa checkpoint, 20 km to the north of Baiji on the main route of Baghdad/Mosul at 5.30 pm Friday. 1 Sahwa member was killed and 8 were wounded.

Diyala

A roadside bomb exploded targeting an Iraqi Army patrol in Abu Khamis, 10 km to the south of Baquba at 12.15 this afternoon injuring 2 army servicemen.

A roadside bomb exploded as a civilian car was passing in al-Muradiyah, 20 km to the east of Baquba at 1 pm Friday. In the car was a family of 7. 1 child was killed; the mother, father and 4 other siblings were severely injured.

Najaf

Seyid Riyadh al-Noori, brother in law to Seyid Muqtada a-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist trend and the Mahdi Army was assassinated by gunmen in Adala neighbourhood, Najaf city at 2.20 pm Thursday as he was returning from Friday prayers. Seyid Riyadh was Head of the Sadr office in Najaf city, and a close friend and associate of al-Sadr.

Kirkuk

A police patrol found the body of a policeman in al-Orouba neighbourhood Friday morning. The policeman was 30 years old; he was shot to death.’

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