Thursday, August 05, 2004

The New York Times > Rebel Cleric Calls for Uprising as Clashes Erupt in Najaf

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Rebel Cleric Calls for Uprising as Clashes Erupt in Najaf:
"The truce has been unraveling for days. It first frayed on Sunday, when the police arrested Methal al-Hasnawi, a representative of Mr. Sadr, in Karbala, near Najaf. On Monday, marines and Mahdi insurgents battled near a maternity hospital in Najaf, and several rebels died.

On Tuesday, American troops approached Mr. Sadr's house in Najaf, according to Dr. Salama al-Khafaji, a spokeswoman for a government-appointed council that mediates between Mr. Sadr and American authorities. Fighting intensified Wednesday night, when troops again approached Mr. Sadr's house, Dr. Khafaji said.

'The Americans escalated the whole situation by coming back with their armored vehicles and trespassing,' Dr. Khafaji said.

But the American military blamed Mr. Sadr for the breakdown in the truce. Marines were sent to Najaf's main police station at 3 a.m., after Mr. Sadr's forces attacked the station with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to a statement from Central Command, which oversees American troops in Iraq. The Iraqi police and national guard troops defended the station, and the marines did not fire shots or take any casualties, according to the statement."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/05/international/middleeast/05CND-IRAQ.html
con·cept: The New York Times > Rebel Cleric Calls for Uprising as Clashes Erupt in Najaf