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The Iraqi government says it has seized full control of Basra and Nasiriya after bloody clashes between the police and armed men from a messianic cult, that left nearly 50 people dead and another 100 wounded.
Iraqi authorities said at least 36 people were reported killed in Basra, Iraq's second largest city, and up to 10 in Nasiriya, where witnesses said US-led fighter jets and helicopter gunships targeted a police station seized by the cult's supporters.