Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Maliki orders security forces to crush foes

An Iraqi soldier at a checkpoint in Baghdad today

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki told his security forces on Tuesday to show no mercy toward insurgents in a security crackdown in Baghdad.

Making a rare foray into Baghdad's violent streets, Maliki called for an end to sectarian divisions that threaten to tip the country into full-scale civil war. A suicide bomber and two car bombs killed at least 17 people in the capital on Tuesday.

Iraqiya state television showed Maliki, a Shi'ite Islamist leader, talking to an Iraqi soldier near an armored vehicle in central Baghdad. The soldier pointed to an area from where he said insurgents had been firing at security forces.

"Don't just fire back, crush the place where the fire came from," Maliki replied. "Don't treat them with leniency. This is an armored vehicle here, use it."

Read the rest at the Washington Post