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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

33 Iraqis Killed, Including 6 Executed by Death Squads, 5 Mahdi Fighters Killed by US Forces, According to March 25, 2008 News Reports

The Iraq News Agency (INA) reported that an initial count of the dead in Basra reached 22 people, as a result of clashes between Mahdi Army militiamen and Iraqi forces in the city of Basra.

Unknown body found in Mosul

Ninewa - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 26 /03 /2008  Time 12:02:24
Mosul, Mar 24, (VOI) -

Police patrols found an unidentified body, while an explosive charge went off targeting a military ambulance in two separate incidents in Mosul, the official spokesman for the Ninewa operations command said on Monday.

"Police patrols found an unknown body in al-Muthanna neighborhood in eastern Mosul," Brig. Khaled Abdul Sattar Saadon told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

"The body bore signs of gunshot wounds to the head and chest," he added.
"The body was sent to the morgue," he noted, adding no more details.
Meanwhile, the brigadier said an explosive device was detonated targeting a military ambulance belonging to the 2nd division of the Iraqi army near al-Haramat region in western Mosul, causing some material damage to the ambulance.
"The explosion caused no casualties," he said.

"Unidentified gunmen blew up a house of a policeman's father in Somer neighborhood, southeastern Mosul, using bombs," a police source said.
"They booby-trapped it and remotely detonated it, causing severe material damage to the house but without casualties," the source, who requested anonymity, told VOI.
Mosul, the capital of Ninewa, is 405 km north of Baghdad.


Five unknown corpses found in Baghdad

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 26 /03 /2008  Time 12:02:24
Baghdad, Mar 25, (VOI) -

Five unidentified bodies were found in the Iraqi capital Baghdad by police patrols on Tuesday, police said.

"Police patrols found five unidentified bodies in different parts of Baghdad, most of them were found in the eastern side of al-Rasafa" an Iraqi Interior Ministry source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq (VOI).

"Four bodies were found in al-Rasafa side; two in al-Suleikh neighborhood and one in each al-Nahda neighborhood and the Palestine street, while the fifth body was found in al-Sidiya neighborhood in western Baghdad," the source noted.
"All the bodies showed signs of having been shot, mostly in the head," the source said.


18 people killed, 100 wounded in Basra as clashes continue

Basra - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 26 /03 /2008  Time 12:02:24 
Basra, Mar 25, (VOI)  

Medical sources in Basra city said on Tuesday that the hospitals there received more than 18 corpses, three of them were for police elements, since a wide-range security plan was imposed in the city yesterday. The city's hospitals also received more than 100 cases of wounded civilians.

"Since Monday at midnight until Tuesday afternoon, Basra province's hospitals received more than 15 civilian bodies, while 100 other civilians were admitted for treatment of their wounds," a source from Basra health management told Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity.

U.S. army says killed 5 gunmen in Basra

Basra - Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 26 /03 /2008  Time 12:02:24
Basra, Mar 25, (VOI)

Five gunmen were killed and a number of others wounded while planting explosive devices in Basra on Tuesday, the U.S. army said in a statement. 

"Coalition forces killed five suspected improvised explosive device emplacers and wounded several others after ten individuals were spotted conducting suspicious activity in the Al-Hayaniyah District, Basra at approximately 11: 45 p.m. March 24," according to the U.S. army statement received by Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI).

"After verifying the individuals were burying what appeared to be an IED, Coalition forces directed aerial fire against the enemy force. There were no Coalition force casualties or damage reported."

A few hours after launching a security plan, the city of Basra witnessed since the midnight of Monday fierce battles between security forces and gunmen in most areas and suburbs of the province, brining life to a standstill and forcing residents to stay indoors.

Eyewitnesses from the neighboring areas of al-Jumhuriya and al-Aaliya, central Basra, told VOI on Tuesday that the violent clashes in Basra were continuing from 12:00 a.m. until the present time, adding security forces were using tanks and artillery while the gunmen were using mortars and RPG-7 rockets.
Another eyewitness from the same area said more troops were seen coming from the province of Muthanna and entering Basra.

In Tamimiya, central Basra, known to be the most important stronghold of gunmen in Basra, eyewitnesses said a large force, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, besieged the area, where it managed to wield power after violent confrontations.
In al-Jamiyat area, 8 km western Basra, another local resident said clashes were going on since the midnight of Monday with different kinds of weapons used, adding fighter planes were heard pounding some targets.

"The streets are totally empty of pedestrians. All government departments and facilities closed down and the people were confined to their homes," he said.
An eyewitness from al-Maaqal, 10 km north of Basra, said "clashes in the area left two gunmen killed in al-Kaziza district, noting "their bodies were still littering main street there."

He said three people from the al-Kaziza fuel station were wounded and a child from the area was severely wounded from a stray bullet. "The child will most probably die due to failure to have him rushed to a hospital," said the witness.

The oil-rich port city of Basra lies 590 km south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.


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