Another 5 US soldiers killed in separate attacks Monday in Baghdad – eight deaths in two days
Three were killed, 31 injured in rocket attacks on Baghdad’s Green Zone Sunday night amid fierce clashes between US forces and Shiite gunmen in the capital’s Sadr City in which at least 20 people were killed and 52 wounded. Wednesday, a mass demonstration has been called by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to press for an end to the US “occupation.”
Iraqi leaders called Sunday on all political groups to disband their militias ahead of provincial elections in October. Sadr says says will do so if ordered by the clerics.
It is now disclosed that more than 700 people died in the crackdown led by prime minister Nouri al-Maliki against Shiite militias in Basra. The fighting died down a week ago when Sadr called his fighters off the streets.
In northern Iraq, Iraqi security forces freed 42 university students who had been kidnapped by gunmen near Mosul.
The assailants ambushed two buses ferrying the Iraqi students to Mosul from their homes in Shurka, 70 km south of the city. One of the buses escaped under gunfire although three students were injured.
US and Iraqi troops are waging a major offensive against al Qaeda in Mosul, the jhadists’ last urban stronghold in Iraq.