Baghdad Security Remains Elusive

Another spasm of fighting broke out in Baghdad over the past two days, in and around the sprawling slum known as Sadr City. The fighting comes as U.S. and Iraqi forces launch a new effort to restore security to the Iraqi capital.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

More fighting broke out in Baghdad over the past two days, in and around the sprawling slum known as Sadr City. The fighting comes as U.S. and Iraqi forces launch a new effort to restore security to the Iraqi capital.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Baghdad.

COREY FLINTOFF reporting:

Some of the heaviest fighting took place around Al-Hamsa(ph) Square, as U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a stronghold of the Shiite Mahdi Army, fighters loyal to the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Aides to al-Sadr say U.S. aircraft attacked buildings in the central part of Sadr City.

The city's police chief says air strikes destroyed at least three houses and some nearby cars. In addition to those killed, he says, the attack wounded at least a dozen people, including five women and children. He said the fighting stopped after Mahdi Army fighters received orders on their mobile phones to stand down.

The U.S. military says the raid was aimed at catching militants who were believed to be running torture cells. They said one U.S. soldier was wounded.

The U.S. military has moved a 3,700 member striker brigade into Baghdad in an effort to reclaim the streets from factional militias and death squads. Military officials also announced that three more American soldiers were killed yesterday by a roadside bomb, but there were no further details.

Police in the northern city of Tikrit say a suicide bomber killed ten people there when he blew himself up in the midst of a crowd of mourners at a funeral.

Corey Flintoff, NPR News, Baghdad.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.