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October 20, 2006

Al-Sadrists Seize Control of Southern Iraqi City -- Briefly

I was ready to throw in the towel on Iraq. Until I read the "briefly" part.

he Shiite militia run by the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr briefly seized control of the southern Iraqi city of Amarah on Friday in one of the boldest acts of defiance yet by the country's powerful, unofficial armies.

The militiamen later withdrew from the streets after Iraqi soldiers and mediators arrived, lifting their siege of police headquarters under a temporary truce negotiated with an al-Sadr envoy. It was not clear whether the cleric knew about his militia's planned takeover in advance.

British military spokesman Maj. Charlie Burbridge said 600 Iraqi army soldiers had retaken control of the city, but not before the 25 gunmen and police were killed in violence that began Thursday night. The Iraqi army dispatched two companies to Amarah, a city of 750,000, from Basra, the south's largest city.

It's a wonderment to me we can't just kill al Sadr. There would be political fallout, of course. But is that worse than the current situation?


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posted by Ace at 02:57 PM

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