Heavy Fighting Rocks Iraq's Basra City

Agence France-Presse reports: "Heavy fighting erupted in a bastion of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's militia in Basra on Thursday, witnesses said, as military operations against gunmen in the southern city entered a third day."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032708J.shtml



Thousands in Baghdad Protest Basra Assault

James Glanz and Graham Bowley for The New York Times report, "In direct confrontation with the American-backed government in Iraq, thousands of supporters of the powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia took to the streets of Baghdad on Thursday to protest the Iraqi Army's assault on the southern port city of Basra, as intense fighting continued there for a third day."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032708R.shtml



Stalled Assault on Basra Exposes the Iraqi Government's Shaky Authority

Patrick Cockburn, reporting for The Independent, writes: "Instead of being a show of strength, the government's stalled assault is demonstrating its shaky authority over much of Baghdad and southern Iraq. As the situation spins out of Mr. Maliki's control, saboteurs blew up one of the two main oil export pipelines near Basra, cutting by a third crude exports from the oilfields around the city."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/032808B.shtml



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