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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.

210 Iraqis Killed in Basra, 109 in Sadr City, 85 in Dhi Qar, 1434 Injured in the Ongoing US-Led Forces Offensive on Mahdi Army Militia

210 gunmen killed, 600 wounded in military campaign in Basra
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) –

Some 210 gunmen were killed, 600 others wounded and 155 captured since the beginning of Operation Saulat al-Forsan (Knights' Assault) in the province of Basra last week, the Iraqi interior ministry said on Monday. 

"The Iraqi security agencies killed 210 gunmen, including 42 dangerous criminals, while 600 others were wounded and 155 captured since the commencement of a military campaign in Basra," Maj. General Abdul-Kareem Khalaf, the ministry's National Command Center chief, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

Basra, Iraq's second largest city and oil hub, 590 km south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, had witnessed immense security unrest a few hours after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced a plan to impose order in the province.

Fierce battles occurred between security forces and armed groups believed to belong to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militias.

"Security agencies seized a large amount of weapons including developed explosive charges, and dismantled three car bombs and 80 improvised explosive devices (IEDs)," said Khalaf.


109 people killed, 634 others wounded in Sadr city
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) –

109 people were killed and 634 others were wounded in the armed confrontations and bombarding operations that took place in Sadr city over the last few days, said the official spokesperson for the Baghdad Health directorate – Rusafa (eastern part of Baghdad).

"This is only in Sadr city, and according to the statistics from the two local hospitals Imam Ali and al-Sadr," Qassim Mohammed told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

The curfew that was imposed on Baghdad for days was totally lifted on all the city's neighborhoods on Monday 6 am, but Baghdad Operations Command decided to keep a partial curfew on the Baghdadi neighborhoods of Al-Sho'la, al-Kadhimiya, and Sadr city, by allowing only pedestrians to move through these three Sadrists stronghold areas.

285 gunmen killed, wounded in Dhi-Qar - governor
Thi-Qar - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Thi-Qar, Mar 31, (VOI) -

Dhi-Qar province governor on Monday said 85 gunmen were killed, 200 wounded, and 100 arrested in the violent clashes between government troops and armed groups that the southern province has witnessed for five days straight.

Speaking at a press conference in Nassiriya, Thi-Qar province Governor Aziz Alwan said, "What happened in Nassiriya was blatant excess committed by armed groups to take control of banks and rob people of their properties."

Nassiriya, along with several southern cities, has seen heavy fighting between security forces and gunmen following the fierce clashes between government forces and militants believed to be militiamen of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Fighting erupted in Basra and other southern provinces just after the announcement of a a major security operation dubbed as “Saulat al-Fursan” (The Knights' Assault) by the US-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

The governor noted the violent actions were carried out by "outlawed armed groups seeking to undermine people's security." He identified the gunmen as "coming from Najaf, Missan, and Diwaniya provinces."

The governor pointed out that "85 gunmen were killed, 200 others wounded, while 100 militants were arrested", but acknowledged these figures do not represent the final toll as casualties from certain areas have not yet been reported.

Earlier, a Dhi-Qar police source told VOI the casualties from clashes between security forces and gunmen was 7 deaths and 44 injuries among security forces, while 28 civilians were killed and 60 others wounded.

The governor hinted at a plan to disarm the gunmen based on "orders issued by central government officials."

Nassiriya, the capital city of Dhi-Qar province, lies 390 km south Baghdad.


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