Updated at 8:37 p.m. EDT, Apr. 8, 2008
As U.S. officials briefed
Congress on Iraq withdrawal plans, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr warned
that his Mahdi army will end their unilaterally imposed ceasefire and called
off a peaceful demonstration scheduled for tomorrow, citing fears of more
attacks. Meanwhile, General Petreus has advised
postponing the U.S. drawdown in troops. At least 52 Iraqis were also killed,
and another 190 Iraqis were wounded in the latest violence. Two American
soldiers were also killed.
American soldier was killed in Baghdad late yesterday. Another
GI was killed during an IED attack today in northeast Baghdad.
Moqtada al-Sadr threatened
to end a seven-month-long ceasefire if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki does not
stop targeting his followers. Recently, the al-Maliki government, under the guise
of a security crackdown, failed to drive the Mahdi army out of Basra. Instead,
violence erupted throughout southern Iraq and in Baghdad because al-Sadr's followers
believed they were being unfairly targeted due to upcoming elections.
the Mahdi army was under a unilaterally imposed ceasefire at the time, al-Sadr
has allowed his followers to defend themselves against attacks. This ceasefire
has dramatically reduced the amount of violence, but if it ends, the results could
be catastrophic as violence returns to levels unseen since last summer.
may be justified in calling off his million-strong march due to security concerns.
Iraqi forces are reportedly
preventing followers from entering Baghdad. The cleric believes they may be further
targeted for violence by Iraqi troops during the peaceful demonstration.
In Baghdad, about 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops are besieging
the poverty stricken suburb of Sadr City, which is a Mahdi army stronghold.
According to the latest reports, at least 13
people were killed and 140 more were wounded during today's clashes and about
another 12 were killed in
a Hellfire missile attack. Fifteen civilians were wounded
there and in other neighborhoods, and many have fled the area. A mortar attack
in Sadr City left two dead
and five wounded. In Zayouna, nine
people were wounded during a roadside bombing. A bomb in Adhamiya wounded
two people. Seven more were
wounded in random clashes. Three
dumped bodies were found. Also, the Green Zone suffered
more rocket and mortar attacks.
people were killed and 10 others were wounded near Balad Ruz, when
a roadside bomb blasted their minibus.
In Tuz Khormato, 16
people were wounded during a roadside bombing.
An Awakening Council
(Sahwa) member and his three
sons were gunned down in Baquba.
An IED in al-Rubaiaa
one person and wounded two others.
Clashes broke out in al-Hadar.
wife was killed.
In Mosul, an explosion left one
suspects were killed last week in Basra.
Iraqi security arrested
70 suspects across Iraq.
An Islamic State In Iraq leader was detained.
Iraqi forces clashed
with smugglers in Ras al-Bisha. Two Arab nationals were arrested.
Tikrit, a mortar fell on a home, killing
a woman and injuring three family members.
by Margaret Griffis