Explosions In Najaf Situation

Explosions in Najaf: Situation Unsettled

Reuters is reporting four loud explosions in Najaf early Saturday morning.

Heavy fighting continued in both the south and the north of the city until Friday afternoon.

Reports Friday that the Mahdi Militia had turned the keys to the shrine of Ali over to aides of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani were from all accounts premature. A Sadr aide came on al-Jazeerah to deny it had happened yet. Others are denying that the police have entered the shrine. Actually a few gunmen appear to have departed or at least stored their weapons and gone inside out of sight.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is saying he would only allow his people to take over the shrine if all the gunmen left first. (Otherwise Muqtada would have cleverly drawn him into sheltering the Mahdi Army!)

Heavy fighting had continued Friday, with US air strikes and tanks firing. In a 24 hour period ending Friday, over 70 Iraqis were killed in Najaf and a similar number wounded.

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