Updated at 9:20 p.m. EDT, Mar. 28, 2008
At least 163 Iraqis
were killed and 214 were wounded in the latest reports of violence. These
figures included updated numbers from the Mahdi Army battles taking place since
Tuesday. Fighting appears to be subsiding in Baghdad, but the Mahdi Army has expanded
its control in Basra. One
American soldier was died after an IED attack south of Baghdad today.
Meanwhile U.S. forces were dragged
deeper into the fighting across Iraq. British troops have remained uninvolved,
even in Basra where they are stationed. Also, the situation for civilians in Basra
and Sadr City is becoming desperate
as food and water supplies dwindle.
An Iranian cleric has called
for peace talks and compromises from both sides of the conflict, but the prime
minister says he will battle
the followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr until the end. The prime minister
claims that the crackdown is against criminal gangs in Basra, but the Sadrists
say that the crackdown is merely an attempt to marginalize their political group
before October elections. Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari says that the government
is determined to defeat
the Sadrists. Witnesses have reported that other rival gangs in Basra are not
being targeted by the crackdown.
In Baghdad, authorities are reporting
an official total of 39 dead and 389 wounded since Tuesday in the Sadr City clashes.
That increased the casualty figures by nine
dead and 89 wounded. Fighting appears to have mostly subsided there, but Iraqi
police are saying that U.S. air strikes killed
as many as 12 people and wounded 60 others today as well. Yesterday, the city
saw large but peaceful demonstrations, as U.S. troops killed
42 gunmen in street fighting. Clashes continue
in at least Bayaa and Washash however. Baghdad remains
under a weekend curfew.
dumped bodies were discovered across Baghdad. A U.S. air strike killed
three people and wounded six in Kadhimiya. A separate air strike in
Sadr City left four people
dead and three others wounded. According to police, as many as five
people were killed in another U.S. helicopter air strike; U.S. forces said
it was four gunmen. Rocket attacks on the Green Zone left two
dead and four wounded. Mortars injured
a woman in Qadisiyah. In Karrada, mortars landed near a suspension
bridge and injured three
policemen were kidnapped in al-Amin. In al-Alam, a police patrol was stopped,
but the men were released
after handing over their weapons and vehicle to the gunmen. Also, Vice President
al-Hashemi's offices were struck by a missile; one
person was killed and six were wounded, but al-Hashemi wasn't there.
The figures in Basra are now up to 120 dead, bringing the death
tally up by 20 people. The Mahdi Army has expanded their domination of the
city, according to witnesses. Meanwhile, al-Maliki is now offering
cash to gunmen who stand down and turn over their weapons.
the mayor of the Ghmash district
was killed during clashes between police and Mahdi militiamen. One of al-Sadr's
offices was set ablaze.
Mortars fell on Iraqi army headquarters, but no
casualties were reported. Nineteen suspects were captured
by police and residents.
Mortar fire killed
two people and wounded 23 others in Garma.
police officers were killed and two gunmen were wounded in Kut.
In Nasariya, nine people
were killed and 27 wounded in separate clashes. The casualty figures since
Tuesday add at least another
21 dead and 25 wounded to the tally, which now stands at 30 dead and 52 injured.
Three gunmen were killed
and seven captured in Husseiniyah.
were killed and two more people were wounded during clashes in al-Qurna
between the Bani Malek clan, which is connected to al-Maliki, and gunmen.
Iraqi forces captured 26
suspects in Hilla. The U.S. consulate was attacked with Katyusha rockets,
casualties were as yet reported.
people were arrested in Karbala for involvement in murders.
a woman in Mosul, and left her infant baby unharmed next to her.
people were killed and 15 others were wounded in Mahmudiya during clashes
involiving the Mahdi Army.
In Numaniya, an army
colonel was killed during clashes.
policemen were killed and nine were wounded during clashes in Hamza.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis