3,000 Sadrists Protest US Raid
32 Killed in Funeral Bombing
Some 3,000 Iraqis came out Monday in Baghdad to protest US military action against the Mahdi Army at Kadhimiya, the site of revered shrine to the 7th Imam or descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.
Mahdi Army fighters and even units are defying Muqtada al-Sadr’s command to lie low, and are again killing Sunnis at night and engaging in firefights with the US.
The bombing of a Shiite funeral in Khalis killed 32 and wounded 60.
Some 70 other Iraqis were killed in other political violence on Monday, as detailed by Reuters. Among the attacks:
‘ RAMADI – A tanker laden with chlorine gas exploded near a restaurant west of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, killing up to six people and wounding 10, police and hospital sources said. . .
BAGHDAD – At least two people were killed and 15 wounded when a bus bomb exploded in a tunnel targeting a police checkpoint, police said. The explosion badly damaged the tunnel, which is on a main artery in western Baghdad. . .
SUWAYRA – The bodies of six people were retrieved from two rivers in Suwayra, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. . .
BAGHDAD – Eight gunmen were killed in a U.S.-Iraqi operation in Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military said, in what some witnesses described as a clash with the Mehdi Army militia loyal to Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The U.S. military said in a statement one Iraqi soldier was killed in the incident in the Shi’ite Kadhimiya district. . .
Bodies of 10 truck drivers kidnapped from Baiji were discovered on Monday.
There was a 91% increase in terrorism in Iraq between 2005 and 2006.
WaPo is reporting that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki got rid of mainly Sunni military officers who were good at going after the Mahdi Army. The way the story is told seems to me a little one-sided and I’d like to hear al-Maliki’s side of it before deciding.
Egypt is proposing a 3-month cease fire in Iraq as an outcome of the Sharm El Sheikh conference to be held later this week.
The representative in Iran of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Majed Qammas, said Monday that “the participation of Iranian officials in the Sharm el-Sheikh conference will benefit the Iraqi nation and the entire Middle East.”