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/ 30 April 2008

More than 900 killed in Iraq’s Sadr City clashes

More than 900 people have been killed in clashes between militiamen and security forces in Baghdad’s Sadr City, which broke out last month, a senior Iraqi official told reporters on Wednesday. ”There were 925 martyrs in Sadr City and 2 605 others have been wounded”, said Tehseen Sheikhly, a spokesperson for the government’s Baghdad security plan.

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/ 30 March 2008

US says special forces fight in Basra

The United States confirmed on Sunday that US special forces units were operating alongside Iraqi government troops in Basra, where the government is battling militants loyal to Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The Iraqi special forces team killed four suspected militants in a house and two on a roof before calling in an air strike.

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/ 27 March 2008

Iraq PM gives Basra gunmen 72 hours to disarm

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, on Wednesday gave Shi’ite militia and other gunmen a 72-hour deadline to surrender their weapons as his forces engaged in fierce street battles in the southern city of Basra for the second day running. The violence in Basra and Baghdad has killed more than 70 people, according to Iraqi officials and news agency reports.

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/ 25 March 2008

Iraq’s al-Sadr threatens ‘civil revolt’

Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage sit-ins and threatened a countrywide ”civil revolt” if attacks by United States and Iraqi security forces continue against his followers. ”We call upon all Iraqis to stage sit-ins all over Iraq as a first step,” Sadr said in a statement read out by senior aide Hazem al-Araji.

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/ 25 March 2008

Fierce fighting erupts in Iraq’s Basra city

Iraqi security forces fought raging battles with gunmen from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Shi’ite militia in Basra on Tuesday amid a crackdown on armed groups in the southern city. British military officials said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Basra to personally oversee the major security force sweep in Iraq’s second largest city.

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/ 23 March 2008

More than 50 die in Iraq bloodshed

A wave of attacks across Iraq on Sunday killed 51 people, while insurgents fired a barrage of mortars at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, sending United States embassy staff scurrying into bunkers. The deadliest attack was in the city of Mosul where a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden truck into an Iraqi army base.

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/ 1 February 2008

Dozens killed in Baghdad bomb attacks

A female suicide bomber killed 45 people when she blew herself up at a popular pet market in central Baghdad on Friday, police said, in the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital in six months. Another 82 were wounded in the blast at the crowded Ghazil market, one of Baghdad’s most popular gathering places, which has been bombed at least three times in the past year.

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/ 21 January 2008

US says Iran still training Iraqi militias

The United States military said on Sunday there had been a dramatic drop in the number of Iranian weapons being used in Iraq but no let-up in Tehran’s training and financing of Iraqi militias. Washington has accused Tehran of supplying Shi’ite militias in Iraq with sophisticated weapons, including armour-piercing bombs.

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/ 30 December 2007

Bin Laden warns Iraqis not to fight al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden warned Sunni Muslims in Iraq not to take up arms against the terror network and promised the "liberation of Palestine" in a new online message. In the 56-minute tape released late on Saturday, the Western world’s most wanted man also accused the United States of seeking to control the region through the Iraqi government.

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/ 29 December 2007

A year on, Saddam hanging seen as false start for Iraq

Bringing Saddam Hussein to book for the crimes of his regime was supposed to symbolise the restoration of the rule of law after decades of tyranny in Iraq, but instead his hanging a year ago on Sunday drew accusations of victors’ justice. Footage captured on a cellphone of his executioners taunting him before putting him to death sparked criticism.

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/ 14 November 2007

Loud explosion rocks central Baghdad

A loud explosion rocked central Baghdad on Wednesday, shaking buildings inside the heavily fortified Green Zone compound that houses the United States embassy and Iraqi government ministries, witnesses said. Some witnesses said a car bomb had exploded near a police station not far from the Green Zone.

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/ 4 November 2007

Kurdish rebels free abducted Turkish soldiers

Eight Turkish soldiers, kidnapped last month in an ambush by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, were released in northern Iraq, a PKK official said on Sunday. The release of the soldiers came a day after the Iraqi government vowed to hunt down Kurdish guerrilla leaders responsible for cross-border raids into Turkey.

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/ 3 November 2007

Iraq conference looks at tensions on Turkey border

Turkey stepped up pressure on the United States to help curb attacks by Kurdish rebels from northern Iraq as a conference on Saturday of Iraq’s neighbours and major powers sought to lower cross-border tensions. The ”neighbours’ conference”, hosted by Turkey, was meant to focus on security inside Iraq but instead it is overshadowed by tensions between Turkey and Iraq.

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/ 25 October 2007

Turkey’s patience running out

President Abdullah Gul warned Kurdish rebels on Thursday that Turkey’s patience is running out after Turkish forces said they repelled a guerrilla attack near the Iraqi border. Ankara has massed up to 100 000 troops along the mountainous border before a possible cross-border operation.

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/ 23 October 2007

Turkey eyes diplomatic end to Kurdish crisis

Turkey reassured Iraq on Tuesday that it wants a diplomatic solution to the problem of Kurdish rebel rear-bases but rejected a conditional ceasefire offer made by the guerrillas. ”Politics, dialogue, diplomacy, culture and economy are the measures to deal with this crisis,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told a news conference in Baghdad.

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/ 21 October 2007

US forces kill 49 in Baghdad Shi’ite stronghold

United States forces killed 49 ”criminals” in fierce fighting with militants in Baghdad’s Shi’ite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday during a raid targeting an Iranian-linked insurgent. Medics at four hospitals confirmed 17 dead, including a boy and a girl, but US military spokesperson Major Winfield Danielson said there were no civilian casualties and no reports of American losses.

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/ 12 October 2007

Iraq bomb hidden in toy cart hits children

A bomb hidden in a cart of toys killed two children and wounded 17 others in a playground in northern Iraq on Friday, the first day of a national holiday to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The attack came the day after United States forces killed nine children and six women in an air strike north-west of Baghdad.