Updated at 12:35 a.m. EDT, April 5, 2008
At least 47 Iraqis
were killed and 78 more were wounded in the latest violence. A U.S.
airman was killed in an IED attack as well. Seven likely Arab nationals
were also killed in Tikrit. In Baghdad, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues
his attacks against Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's followers, threatening a
cease fire imposed after clashes left hundreds dead and al-Maliki's government
Prime Minister al-Maliki continues to verbally
attack the cleric's followers, threatening a fragile truce between his government
and political rival Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Last week, al-Maliki implemented
a "security crackdown" in Basra that appeared to be an operation actually aimed
against the Mahdi Army alone. This resulted in clashes throughout the southern
provinces and ended in an embarrassing failure for the al-Maliki government. This
week he singled
out Mahdi strongholds other cities--where U.S. forces would be able to lend
significant support--for similar crackdowns.
The Mahdi Army had been observing
a 7-month long unilateral truce at the time of the battles. Analysts believe the
operation was meant to demolish the cleric's political base before October elections.
Also, the Iraqi authorities dropped
leaflets on Basra, calling for citizens to support them against militia groups.
Meanwhile, al-Sadr has called
on Iraqis to descend on the holy city of Najaf for a peaceful million-strong
march against the U.S. occupation. The Iraqi government has pledged not to interfere
unless it becomes violent.
In Basra, a U.S. airstrike left as many
as three dead and six
others wounded, according to police. U.S. forces claim they only killed two
gunmen, but pictures of
a woman's body have surfaced. Near the city in al-Maqal, Iraqi security
the head of the Thaar al-Allah Shi'ite religious party.
two dumped bodies
were recovered. A car bomb killed
three people and wounded ten more in the Harthiya district. One
Iraqi soldier was killed and three more were wounded in Yarmouk when
their patrol was blasted by a roadside bomb. In Qahtan Square, two
people were wounded during a roadside bomb blast. A traffic
policeman was wounded during a bomb blast in western Baghdad. Four
street sweepers were wounded when they came across an IED on Sinaa Street.
U.S. troops killed
a man planting a bomb and wounded
another who was helping him; they also killed
a woman who was used as a human shield. Two
Iraqi soldiers were killed and seven were wounded during operations that netted
11 suspects. Also, a bomb blasted a U.S. patrol in Bayaa, but no
casualties were as yet reported.
policemen were killed during a roadside bombing near the al-Askariya shrine
in Samarra. East of the city, U.S. forces killed
In Mosul, a suicide
bomber attacked a checkpoint, killing
about five people, including a woman and five-year-old child, and injuring
as many as 19 others. Eight
were injured during a roadside bombing. U.S. forces captured
U.S. forces came under attack while conducting an arrest
operation in Hilla. An airstrike was called in after the operation turned
into a clash. Six people were
killed, including four policemen, and 15
others were wounded. The dead and wounded may
all have been Iraqi security forces and not enemy combatants.
a roadside bomb blasted an Awakening Council (Sahwa) patrol, killing
one member and injuring two others.
A high-value al-Qaeda leader was
captured in Salman
U.S. forces killed
six suspects and detained nine more across Iraq.
U.S. forces killed
11 suspects. Seven of them were carrying Arab
A weapons stockpile was discovered
Eight wanted men were detained
near Kirkuk. On the highway to Baghdad, gunmen killed
a civilian. A police
officer was killed in the city.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis