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Apr 04,2008
Maliki plans more Basra-like offensives
by UPI

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promises more offensives like last week's Basra battle even after reports that hundreds of Iraqi forces deserted the fight.

More than 1,000 soldiers and policemen were reported to have refused to fight or abandoned their posts during the inconclusive Basra assault, a senior Iraqi official told The New York Times.

Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders, casting doubt on the U.S.-trained security forces.

Maliki mentioned as possible targets for offensives Baghdad neighborhoods associated with Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr's Mehdi Army militia, the Los Angeles Times said. Mentioned were Sadr City, Shula and Amiriya among other neighborhoods.

The six-day Basra standoff ended when Sadr told his followers to put down their weapons.

"Basra was a prisoner," Maliki said. "Now it's liberated and its people are in joy."

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

777 times read

Related news
WSJ editorial sees Maliki success by UPI posted on May 14,2008

Iraqi conflict turns political by UPI posted on Apr 08,2008

Maliki orders troops to stop random raids by UPI posted on Apr 01,2008

Militants in Basra told to lay down arms by UPI posted on Mar 26,2008

British officer denies snub in Basra by UPI posted on Apr 11,2008

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