Earlier this evening, Najaf police units, led by a Badr Organization commander, descended on Moqtada’s office in Najaf, located on the main street approaching the Imam Ali Shrine. In the clash, Moqtada’s office, only four meters from the shrine, was burned to the ground, according to Abu Hazzim, who worked in the Najaf office and fled for his life to Sadr City. He says 23 people have been killed, most of them Moqtada’s supporters. Iraqi Army and police have been involved in the fighting. Many of the police and army units in the south are packed by Badr militiamen with more loyalty to the party than to the state. As I write, clashes continue.
All those hints of Iranian involvement can finally be explained.
Someone has killed Steven Vincent, author of “In the Red Zone,” in Basra two days after he wrote a New York Times op-ed criticizing the Basra police: BAGHDAD, Iraq – An American freelance journalist was found dead in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday. Police said Steven Vincent had been …
BAGHDADâ€”With six weeks to go until the Aug. 15 deadline for turning in their Constitution homework, Shi’ites and Sunnis have finally agreed that there will be some Sunnis on the Constitutional Committee beavering away on the draft of the country’s charter. This is a significant step, and don’t let naysayers tell you otherwise. Most significant, perhaps, is the willingness of a hardline Shi’ite cleric, Humam al-Hammoudi of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, to tamp down anti-Ba’athist sentiment among the Shi’ites and Kurds on the committee and, in essence, let bygones be bygones.
I wish I could give you a good reason for that, but I don’t. After Marla’s death, I just didn’t feel like blogging for a while…. And now Iraq’s a busy place.