Updated at 7:30 p.m. EDT, Apr. 1, 2008
Despite what appeared to international eyes as a massive political loss for Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister called his failed Basra security operation a success. Also, U.K. Defense Minister Des Brown warned that the drawdown of British troops might be delayed, even as U.S. Democrats were at a loss on how to end the American involvement.. Overall, 40 Iraqis were killed and 25 more were wounded as violence returned to background levels. One American soldier died Saturday in Germany of wounds received during a March 23rd IED attack in Baghdad. Also, casualty figures for March were the highest in months for Iraq.
Although Prime Minister al-Maliki called the Basra security operation a success, very little has changed in Basra, security-wise, besides that Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr proved that he remains in political control, and that Iraqi troops, even back by Coalition air forces, are no match for Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Also, al-Maliki ordered local authorities to provide Basra with better services, and demanded that no arrests be made without prior warrants. Meanwhile, Iraqi troops entered nearby port cities to forcibly changed security personnel.
In Shurqat, five people were killed and three more were wounded during an incident involving Awakening Council (Sahwa) members. They were transferring explosives found during a raid when the explosives accidentally blew up. Elsewhere, gunmen killed six Sahwa members at their checkpoint. Also, a suicide bomber killed another Sahwa member at a separate checkpoint.
In Baghdad, four people were wounded during a roadside bombing in Karrada. In Zaafaraniyah, a mortar attack left three injured. One Iraqi army officer and a soldier were killed and nine more were wounded during security operations that netted 54 suspects. Meanwhile, beggars have returned to the streets. Two dumped bodies were discovered.
Six Sahwa members were killed during an attack near Samarra.
Police killed a gunman in Mahaweel.
In Mosul, a mortar attack left one person dead. Gunmen wounded two policmen. During the ensuing chase, policemen killed two of the gunmen and detained three others. A female lawyer and an Iraqi soldier were killed in separate attacks. Also, the bodies of two students were found.
Seven suspects were arrested in Makhmour.
In Tuz Khormato, four suspects were captured.
Fallujah police defused a roadside bomb.
Two suspects were detained near Hilla.
Iraqi security forces killed nine suspects and arrested over 300 others across Iraq during the 24 hours.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis