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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.

4 US Soldiers, 21 Iraqis Killed in War Attacks, Including 8 Civilians by US Fire, 8 by Death Squads, According to March 31, 2008 News Reports


23 civilians killed, injured in U.S. bombardment on Sadr City
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) -

More than 23 civilians were killed or injured in a shelling conducted by U.S. helicopters on neighborhoods in central Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, the director of al-Sadr's office said on Monday.
"Choppers believed to be American pounded a number of neighborhoods in central Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, killing eight civilians and wounding 15," Sheikh Salman al-Feregi told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"Ambulances did not respond to the residents' calls to save the wounded because of the continuation of the ban on vehicles for the fifth day running, as well as the siege imposed on the city by U.S.-Iraqi forces," al-Feregi explained.
Baghdad Operations Command 'Fardh al-Qanoon' (Law Imposing) announced on Sunday that the curfew imposed on Baghdad will be lifted on Monday at 6 am, excluding the three Sadrist stronghold neighborhoods of al-Sho'la, al-Kadhimiya, and Sadr city.
"Sadrists complied with Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's orders to end all armed forms, however U.S. and Iraqi forces are still targeting civilians in Sadr City," he continued.
On Sunday, Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr gave instructions to his supporters to cease fire in Basra, and all other provinces.


3 U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad, Anbar
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) –

A U.S. soldier was killed in a blast that targeted his vehicle in al-Anbar province, upping to three the number of U.S. soldiers announced dead in one day (Sunday), the U.S. army in Iraq said on Monday.

"Multi-National Force – West Marine was killed March 30 as the result of wounds received in action when his vehicle was attacked by an enemy force with an improvised explosive device in al Anbar Province March 29," according to a U.S. army statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).
The soldier is the first U.S. Marine killed in the western Iraq province of al-Anbar since February 22, 2008.
Another U.S. army statement read that a soldier died of wounds he sustained on Sunday when an improvised explosive device went off near his vehicle in northern Baghdad.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Pentagon announced the death of a 20-year-old soldier of the name Joshua Bolina on Sunday of wounds he sustained on Thursday when his vehicle hit an IED in the Iraqi capital.
The three deaths bring to 4010 the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the beginning of military operations in March 2003.


U.S. serviceman killed in Baghdad
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) -

One U.S. soldier was killed on Monday in a bomb explosion near his vehicle patrol in northeastern Baghdad, the U.S. army said on Monday.

"A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by an improvised-explosive device at approximately 4 p.m. in northeast Baghdad on March 31," the army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

The death brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the beginning of military operations in March 2003 to 4011.


3 unknown bodies found in Baghdad
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) –

Three unidentified bodies were found in the Iraqi capital Baghdad by police patrols on Monday, police said.
"Police patrols found three unidentified bodies in different parts of Baghdad," an Iraqi Interior Ministry source, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

"Two bodies were found in al-Rasafa; one in each al-Shaab neighborhood and Jisr Diala region, while the third body was found in al-Bayaa neighborhood in western Baghdad," the source noted.
"All the bodies showed signs of having been shot, mostly in the head," the source said.


Civilian killed, two corpses found in Mosul

Ninewa - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Mosul, Mar 31, (VOI) -

A civilian was killed by unknown gunmen on Monday, while police patrols found the bodies of two civilians in separate areas in Mosul, a police source said.
Unknown gunmen opened fire on a civilian in al-Nour neighborhood in eastern Mosul, killing him on the spot and fled to an unknown place," the source, who preferred to remain anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

Meanwhile, the same source said that "police patrols found two bodies in eastern Mosul; one in al-Nour neighborhood, and the other was found in al-Senaa neighborhood."
Mosul, the capital of Ninewa province, is 405 km north of Baghdad.


5 bodies found in Wassit
Wassit - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Kut, Mar 31, (VOI) -

Police patrols found on Monday five unidentified bodies floating in the Tigris River in al-Suwaira town in northern Wassit, a police source said.
"Police fished out the corpses and sent them to the morgue," the source, who preferred anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"The bullet-riddled bodies bore signs of torture and their hands were tied behind their backs," he noted.
Kut, the capital of Wassit, lies 180 km southeast of Baghdad.


3 gunmen killed, 4 wounded, 254 captured in Baghdad
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Baghdad, Mar 31, (VOI) –

Security agencies killed three "terrorists", wounded four and arrested 254 others during the past 24 hours in different areas of the Iraqi capital, the Baghdad operations command said on Monday.
"Three terrorists were killed and four others wounded in al-Madaen, southern Baghdad, within Operation Fardh al-Qanoon (law imposing)," the command said in a release received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

"Nineteen wanted men were captured in the areas of al-Kadhemiya, al-Mansour, al-Rashid, al-Rasafa and al-Adhamiya, while 20 others were captured in Sadr City, eastern Baghdad."
"In al-Mahmoudiya district, southern Baghdad, security forces arrested 25 wanted men and 190 suspected gunmen."

The released noted that security forces also managed to "defuse one improvised explosive device in the al-Rashid-Sharq intersection, a second in Baghdad al-Jadida (New Baghdad) and a third in al-Kadhemiya, in addition to seizing a weapons cache in al-Mahmoudiya."
"One security soldier was killed and 14 others wounded during the course of the security operations," the release read.


IED kills civilian, wounds 3 in Diala
Diala - Voices of Iraq
Monday , 31 /03 /2008  Time 10:05:40
Diala, Mar 31, (VOI) –

One civilian was killed and three others wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a truck in the province of Diala on Monday, police said.

"A roadside IED went off on the main road in Baladruz district, (45 km) southeast of Ba'aqouba, near truck, killing the driver and three civilians inside," a police source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI) on customary condition of anonymity.

Ba'aqouba, the capital of Diala province, lies 57 km north of Baghdad.



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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