situation report

Mar 24, 2008 | 16:42 GMT

1 min read

Iraq: Medhi Army Starts 'Civil Disobedience'

Members of Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army on March 24 moved into Baghdad's southern al-Ilaam, Shurta, Bayaa and Amil districts and western Washas district, ordering shop owners to close, Reuters reported, citing witnesses. Militia members used burning tires to close down roads in one neighborhood. Witnesses said the Mehdi Army had declared the beginning of a civil disobedience campaign, and an al-Sadr official said the militia is protesting "U.S. raids and the arrests of innocent people." The campaign does not mean the Mehdi Army cease-fire is over, said al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc leader Nassar al-Rubaie, adding that only al-Sadr can end the truce. Sheikh Mahmoud al-Sabihawi of Sadr's Amil district office said the campaign will continue until the arrests stop.

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