Armed Militias of SCIRI, Da`wa Patrol Samawah
AFP via az-Zaman: Security is being provided to the southern Shiite city of Samawah, pop. 350,000, by the paramilitary forces of the Da`wah Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The Dutch and Japanese military contingents appear to be garrisoned outside the city. Samawah has been largely quiet, though it was the site of a rocket propelled grenade attack last Thursday. The Badr Corps leader there, Abdul Hussein Muhammad, boasted that no place in Iraq had security as good as his forces provided in Samawah. The editor of the al-Da`wa Party magazine in the city, however, disagrees, saying that they have just been lucky and the quiet is unlikely to continue.
The Shiite militias of the religious parties have substituted for the collapsed Iraqi army and the inefficient police in a number of southern cities, including Basra, as the NYT today reports.