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Fighting flares in Najaf as troops take Sadr's office

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Quetzal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:44 AM
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Fighting flares in Najaf as troops take Sadr's office
Fighting flares in Najaf as troops take Sadr's office

NAJAF, Iraq: US troops fought insurgents loyal to wanted Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr inside this holy city Wednesday after fierce overnight fighting killed 17 people, coalition and Iraqi sources said. A US soldier was also killed near the southern holy city of Karbala when Shiite militiamen attacked a checkpoint, the US military said.

Two US patrols came under attack from Sadr's so-called Mehdi Army in Najaf, a spokesman for the cleric said, after coalition forces moved against Sadr's offices in two other southern towns.

Mehdi militiamen, armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, were seen moving in trucks between their command center near the Imam Ali shrine to the west of the city, where they clashed with two US patrols.

One patrol turned back to its base outside the city after being attacked at a cemetery only 1 kilometer west of the shrine, according to militiamen. Nobody was wounded in either skirmish.

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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 06:11 AM
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1. Link to NY Times article (I didn't want to post a new thread)

U.S. Troops Start Major Attacks on Shiite Insurgents in 2 Cities

Published: May 6, 2004

KARBALA, Iraq, Thursday, May 6 -- The American military has begun its first major assault against Shiite insurgents, striking at their enclaves here and in Diwaniya in an effort to regain control in southern Iraq.

The coordinated attacks began hours after powerful Shiite politicians and religious leaders met in Baghdad on Tuesday to urge a rebellious young cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, to withdraw his militia from here and from Najaf, both important religious sites for Shiites. Mr. Sadr's followers have taken up positions in mosques in the cities, stockpiling weapons and daring the Americans to come after them.

The operation began at 11 p.m. on Tuesday and took place in two waves. The first assault began late Tuesday here and in Diwaniya, and ended at dawn on Wednesday.

The second unfolded just after midnight Thursday in this city, when more than 450 soldiers in armored vehicles rumbled into a neighborhood amusement park where Mr. Sadr's militiamen, known as the Mahdi Army, were storing heavy weapons near a ferris wheel and bumper car ride.

more at:
I think this is the same fighting as mentioned above (the two towns in para. 2).
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