Locals Help Iraqi Police Battle Al Sadr's Mahdi Army

The locals are getting tired of the violence in the region and the thuggery of the Al Sadr’s lackeys.

A boy, wounded in a bomb attack, lies in a hospital in Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad June 18, 2007. At least three were killed and 15 others were wounded in a car bomb attack in a market in Falluja, police said. (REUTERS/Mohanned Faisal)

The locals are getting fed up with Al Sadr’s Mahdi Army and joined police in fighting the militia today in Nasiriya.
ADN Kronos reported:

Baghdad, 18 June (AKI) – Some 36 people are reported killed in ongoing clashes between British soldiers conducting house to house searches in the Iraqi cities of Amara and Majar al-Kabir, and members of the Shiite al-Mahdi army, loyal to the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Iraqi special forces backed by the British military are involved in a sweep against Shiite militants believed to be smuggling in weapons from Iran. Local media quoted medical staff at Amara hospital saying 36 bodies had been brought in.

A Mahdi Army official said 17 of its members had been killed and 45 wounded. A British military spokesman said there were no troop casualties.

Also on Monday, two people were killed in clashes between Iraqi police and Mehdi Army fighters in the southern town of Nasiriya. Local tribesman sided with Iraqi police to try to oust the militiamen from their town, Iraqi officials claimed.

The Associated Press also reported on the fighting in Nasiriyah:

Elsewhere Monday, eight people were killed in clashes that erupted between Iraqi police and Mahdi Army fighters in Nasiriyah, about 70 miles south of Amarah, police said. More than 60 people were injured, most of them police, they said.

The fighting began after some police patrols were attacked there Sunday night, a police officer and an official in the town’s health department said, both on condition of anonymity out of security concerns.

Some local tribesman had joined the fight, siding with Iraqi police in trying to oust the militiamen from their town, the officials said.

The battle included at least 11 mortar strikes on Nasiriyah police headquarters, the officials said.

Clashes continued through Monday, and authorities imposed an indefinite curfew on the city, police said. By early afternoon, the fighting had spilled over into the Souk al-Sheikh area south of Nasiriyah, and into al-Rifaie, north of the city, police said.

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