Updated at 12:21 a.m. EDT, Mar. 28, 2008
Although the fighting
continues in Basra, followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad instead
took to the streets in mostly peaceful protests. The cleric himself has asked
for peace talks, but the prime minister is refusing. At least 225 Iraqis were
killed or found dead and 538 more were wounded in various incidents across
Iraq. Also, the FBI is in possession of three
new bodies belonging to kidnapped American contractors, and an American
soldier was killed this afternoon by an IED explosion in Baghdad.
Ten of thousands of al-Sadr followers protested
peacefully in Baghdad. They are demanding an end to the U.S.-backed
Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was once championed
by al-Sadr, and to his crackdown against the Mahdi Army. The prime minister has
said that he will see the
crackdown through to the end, even though the Sadrists are asking for peace talks.
The demonstrations were held in predominantly Shi'ite neighborhoods, in particular
the Sadr City suburb, which was named for al-Sadr's father. Some analysts
believe the crackdown is actually meant to politically cripple the cleric. The
Mahdi Army was observing a unilateral cease-fire at the time of the crackdown.
Meanwhile, the casualty totals from the Mahdi Army clashes in Baghdad
has risen to 30 people dead and 200 more wounded, upping yesterday's figures by
16 dead and 60 wounded.
Many of the wounded are women and children caught in the crossfire. Four
soldiers were wounded during an armed attack in Sadr City. U.S. forces
two suspects who were launching indirect attacks, and another 24
suspects were killed in and around Baghdad. Also, a spokesperson for the Baghdad
Security Plan was kidnapped
from his home in the al-Amin neighborhood.
In more violence, three
people were killed and 15 more were wounded during a mortar attack on a bus
terminal in Karaj Alawy. Two
people were wounded by mortar fire in Batawin. Mortars falling on a
prison left one dead and four
injured. In Ur, one
person was killed and two were injured during mortar shelling. A car bomb
near a Red Crescent office left no
casualties. No casualties
were reported as a Dawa Party office in Shabb was set on fire. Three
people were injured during separate shelling in Karada. Also, five
dumped bodies were recovered.
As many as 29
people were killed and another 39 more were wounded during an air attack by
U.S. forces in Hilla. Some unconfirmed reports have placed
the number of dead at sixty. In street clashes as many as 30
have been wounded, including women and children.
In Basra, the
casualty figures were upped by 60
dead and 300 injured to a total of 100 people killed and 500 others wounded
over the last three days. Reports out the city today mention
heavy mortar fire and more armed attacks. Last night, a roadside bomb killed
three bodyguards working for the city's police chief. Also, some of the police
casualties are being treated
The totals so far in Kut have been 49 people killed
and 75 more injured, adding 31
dead and 63 wounded since yesterday's preliminary reports.
Iraqi soldiers were killed in Daquq when gunmen attacked their checkpoint.
Gunmen attacked an army patrol in near Nasariya in al-Rifai, killing
two Iraqi soldiers.
In Kirkuk, a car bomb killed
two Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers and wounded six others, including two civilians.
These may have been
in two separate events.
A roadside bomb killed
four policemen and wounded four more in Mahaweel.
bodies were found near Balad Ruz.
police have found a mass grave containing 37
bodies. The age of the grave was not given, but it could date from the Saddam
era. Mass graves from that period and quite a few recent ones dot the Diyala province.
Also, a main oil pipeline outside Basra was bombed.
Clashes with the Mahdi Army left three
policemen dead in Hamza. Another
officer was wounded along with two Iraqi soldiers.
one gunmen was killed and a
policeman was wounded in an operation that netted eight suspects.
48 in Karbala.
A roadside bomb in al-Kafl left three
policemen dead and another four wounded.
A bomb in Fallujah
In Amara, a Badr party office was attacked with rocket propelled
grenades. A resident
of a neighboring structure was injured. Two
people were killed and seven wounded in the crossfire during clashes at the
In Samarra, al-Qaeda connected gunmen killed
a father and son, who were members of the Sons of Iraq organization. A woman
and a child were also injured.
Iraqi soldiers were wounded during clashes in Talbiyah. A father
and son were killed in a drive-by shooting.
A mortar in Baiji
killed a woman and injured
five civilians including a woman. A roadside bomb killed
an Iraqi soldier.
A roadside bomb in Khanaquin injured
The district office in Khan Bani Saad was attacked
but no casualties
Power plants throughout southern and central Iraq were attacked
and left inoperative.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis