Updated at 9:00 p.m. EDT, Mar. 26, 2008
As clashes continue today
in southern Iraq and Baghdad, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has given
the Mahdi Army three days to surrender and turn over their weapons. Overall, 76
Iraqis were killed and 367 more were wounded throughout Iraq. One British
and two American soldiers were also killed in separate incidents.
American soldier was killed this afternoon during a small arms
attack in eastern Baghdad. Another U.S.
soldier died during a separate small arms attack. Elsewhere today, a British
soldier was gunned down.
Fighting between the Mahdi Army and Iraqi
security forces backed
by U.S. air support left
dozens dead and hundreds injured, mostly in Basra and Baghdad. Prime Minister
al-Maliki has ordered the militia to surrender; however, the eruption is violence
is due to a new security campaign in Basra. There is sentiment in the Mahdi Army
that the government is unfairly targeting them and other followers of Shi'ite
cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Last August, al-Sadr ordered his followers to
observe a cease-fire, which left them vulnerable to attacks from rival groups,
particularly those in government. If the cease-fire dissolves it could mean a
long-term increase in violence targeting both U.S. troops and Iraqis. A draw-down
in American troops in Iraq could also be at risk. The truce is still in effect
so far, and al-Maliki has asked
Meanwhile, a chief rival group, the Badr Organization, has
involvement in the fighting and blamed oil smugglers for stoking the situation.
In Basra, another
nine people were reported killed and 112 were wounded in the fighting, bringing
the two-day total to 40 dead and 200 injured. Four
policemen were killed during a rocket attack. Also, seven
detainees were injured when a mortar hit their jail.
in the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City as well, but no casualty figures were
released until today. At least 14
were killed there and another 140 were wounded over the last two days. This
poor section of the capital is named for al-Sadr's father, but was formerly known
as Saddam City. An IED wounded
two civilians at the al-Fallah intersection.
itself, three dumped
bodies were recovered. Shelling killed five
people and wounded 21 others in the Karrada district. In Risala,
four people were killed and
12 more were wounded during mortar attacks. A mortar attack at Beirut intersection
left four wounded.
Three people were wounded
during an IED attack in Saidiya. Three
U.S. citizens were injured during a mortar attack on the Green Zone;
at least one Iraqi civilian
was killed and six other was wounded as well. Mortars fell elsewhere
as well, but casualties
were not reported in those incidents.
Battles involving the Mahdi Army
left two dead and four
injured in Shabb and one
in Kadhimiya. Mahdi militiamen opened fire and
injured five people in al-Kifah and another
six on Sadoun Street. Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces killed
two suspects and arrested 64 others during routine operations.
from Babel province, U.S. forces left sixty casualties after an air strike.
Battles between the Mahdi Army and security forces in Kut left
18 dead and at
least a dozen wounded. A journalist's home was set ablaze
but no casualties were reported. Also, a Katyusha rocket fell on a home, killing
three and injuring five members of the same family.
U.S. forces killed
five Iraqi civilians, including a judge, and wounded
10 others during an air strike in Tikrit. The injured were
all women and children. One of the dead was a 10-year-old girl. In a separate
incident, a body
bearing torture marks was brought in to the morgue; an Awakening Council (Sahwa)
has been implicated in the death.
Iraqi soldiers were killed by unknown gunmen in Amara.
al-Qaeda suspects were detained
number of casualties occurred during mortar attacks in Najaf. Several
IED and mortar attacks left no
policemen were wounded during an armed attack.
gunmen were killed and three more were arrested after clashes in Diwaniya.
Also, an Iraqi soldier was killed.
Seven policemen were injured.
bomber wounded nine Sahwa members at a checkpoint near al-Awjah village.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis