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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Iraq: On Ground Updates - Sunday, April 13, 2008

* Iraq: On Ground Updates *
Sunday
, April 13, 2008
... .
Asharq Alawsat website brings us this report today and it starts off like this... The situation in the city of Al-Najaf has intensified following Friday's assassination of the brother-in-law of Muqtada al-Sadr by unidentified gunmen and while the authorities imposed a curfew in the city for fear of acts of violence, Al-Sadr called on the government "to carry out a fair investigation" of the assassination of Riyad al-Nuri, the director of his office, after the Friday prayers. On its part, the Iraqi Government condemned the assassination and Al-Sadr Trend Spokesman Salah al-Ubaydi said "Muqtada al-Sadr asked the government to carry out a fair investigation and reveal the parties behind the incident." Unidentified gunmen assassinated Riyad al-Nuri, the director of Al-Sadr's office and his brother-in-law, near his house in Al-Najaf, only two days after Al-Sadr's arrival in the city after having left the Iranian city of Qom "secretly" on the orders of the Iranian authorities...
Read the full report at link below...

Iran Ordered Muqtada al-Sadr to Return to Al-Najaf - Iraqi Sources

* AFP.Google.com has this report... Iraqi forces will battle militiamen in Sadr City relentlessly until the sprawling Shiite district of east Baghdad has been cleared of gunmen, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh vowed on Sunday... "We will continue until we secure Sadr City. We will not come out, we will not give up until the people of Sadr City have a normal life," Dabbagh told AFP... "(The security forces) will do what they have to do to secure the area. I can't tell you how many days or how many months but they will not come out until they have secured Sadr City."... Raging battles between US and Iraqi forces and Mahdi Army militiamen loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have killed around 80 people in the impoverished township since Sunday last week, and the army has warned the streets are littered with booby-traps laid by gunmen...
Read the rest at link below...
No stopping till Sadr City secure, says Iraq
>>> Also from AFP today...
Iraq sacks 1,300 troops over Shiite crackdown
...
* PR-Insid.com reports it this way... Iraq's government moved Sunday to restore discipline within the ranks of the security forces, sacking more than 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted during recent fighting against Shiite militias in Basra... At the same time, Iraq's Cabinet ratcheted up the pressure on anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr by approving draft legislation barring political parties with militias from participating in upcoming provincial elections... Al-Sadr, who heads the country's biggest militia, the Mahdi Army, has been under intense pressure from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also a Shiite, to disband the Mahdi Army or face political isolation...
Read the rest below...
Iraqi government dismisses 1,300 soldiers and policemen after Basra fiasco
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* Reuters.com reports...
Fighting between Shi'ite militiamen and security forces in Sadr City eased on Sunday after a week of intense clashes, with hospitals in the Baghdad slum saying they had received no dead or wounded overnight... Over a hundred people have been killed in Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's east Baghdad stronghold since fighting began between his masked Mehdi Army militia and U.S. and Iraqi troops in the streets of the slum one week ago... Twenty U.S. soldiers have died across Iraq since last Sunday, the deadliest week for U.S. troops this year and one of the bloodiest since September 2007...

Read this report in full at link below...
Baghdad slum calmer after intense battles
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Coalition Forces Capture Iraqi Criminal
Suspected of being Trained in Iran
Sunday
, April 13, 2008
...
Coalition forces detained an Iraqi citizen suspected of being an Iranian-trained intelligence operative, along with three other Iraqi criminals Sunday during operations near Balad.

The targeted individual allegedly collected intelligence on Coalition forces and airbases and delivered it to Iranian intelligence agents.

Intelligence led ground forces to the target area where they captured the wanted individual and the other suspected criminals without incident.

“Coalition forces will continue to seek out and bring to justice suspected criminals such as this individual who ignore the rule of law and threaten the security of Iraq,” said Cmdr. Scott Rye, MNF-I spokesman.

From press release #A080413b - MNF-I Press Desk, Baghdad, Iraq
U.S. Air Force file photo by Staff Sgt. Jason T. Bailey
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Good Work!
AubreyJ.........

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