Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The War Continues Apace

I guess we're going to find out just how strong the Mahdi army is:

The WP fronts the latest from Iraq, where U.S. soldiers continue to get more involved in intense battles inside Baghdad's Sadr City. At least 28 Iraqis were killed yesterday in a four-hour battle that was one of the deadliest since the latest conflict flared up after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched an offensive against Shiite militias last month. The WP says American troops "are now engaged in the kind of urban battle … reminiscent of the first years of war." The U.S. military said the 28 dead were militants, but residents of Sadr City said the real death toll was at least 50, including many civilians (an Associated Press photograph shows a 2-year-old victim, and the LAT says a brother-in-law of one of its Iraqi journalists was also killed). Meanwhile, there are increasing fears that followers of cleric Muqtada Sadr will simply declare "an all-out war to defend themselves."
And the result thus far for American soldiers?
According to BBC television, AFP is reporting that Mahdi Army militiamen killed 2 US troops in northern Baghdad on Wednesday morning. US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates admitted on Tuesday that the reduction in US troop casualties in recent months had ended in the past few weeks, because of the fighting in Sadr City in the capital. Over 40 US troops have been killed in April.

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