Saturday, May 26, 2007

U.S airstrikes on Sadr City kill 5 as raid sparks battle with Mahdi militia

Above: Iraqis gather next to a bullet-ridden wall in Sadr City following today's air strike. Sadr has called on Iraqis to display the Irqi flag as a symbol of resistance to the U.S. occupation.

BAGHDAD, May 26 — American, British and Iraqi forces battled fighters from the Mahdi Army militia in Baghdad and the southern port city of Basra today, a day after the militia’s leader, the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, came out of hiding and reiterated his calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

The fighting in Baghdad was triggered by a pre-dawn raid by American and Iraqi forces on a suspected Mahdi Army hideout in Sadr City, the sprawling working-class neighborhood that has been a wellspring of support for Mr. Sadr and his militia, officials said...

American forces called in an air strike on nine cars that were seen positioning themselves to ambush the American raiding forces, the statement said, and five suspected militants were killed in the attack.

Read the rest at the NY Times