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Just reported from Alwasatonline reporter in Basra, Mahdi Army managed to arrest 17 American soldiers, and seizes 7 hummer military vehicles, because of these developments the Iraqi government offered to negotiates with MA but Muqtada Al-Sadr refused any negotiations, also 250 Iraqi soldiers gave themselves up to Mahdi Army.
Key bridge, connecting Basra city to Al-Kurnah is destroyed by Mahdi Army.
informationclearinghouse | Mahdi Army arrested 17 American soldiers
There is also reports about American warplanes involvement in the fights, and the Green Zone was bombed again at 8 O’clock p.
The Christian Science Monitor | Across Iraq, battles erupt with Mahdi Army
Baghdad - The Mahdi Army's seven-month-long cease-fire appears to have come undone.
Rockets fired from the capital's Shiite district of Sadr City slammed into the Green Zone Tuesday, the second time in three days, and firefights erupted around Baghdad pitting government and US forces against the militia allied to the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
At the same time, the oil-export city of Basra became a battleground Tuesday as Iraqi forces, backed by US air power, launched a major crackdown on the Mahdi Army elements. British and US forces were guarding the border with Iran to intercept incoming weapons or fighters, according to a senior security official in Basra.
Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Mortar shells blast into "Green Zone," bomb targets US patrol in eastern Baghdad as US, regime forces launch open offensive against Jaysh al-Mahdi militia Tuesday.
In a dispatch posted on its Arabic website at 8pm Tuesday night Beijing time (3pm in Baghdad), the Xinhua News Agency reported that three mortar shells had blasted into the top-security area around the Republican Palace in central Baghdad – the area dubbed the "Green Zone" by the Americans on Tuesday.
The Associated Press | Iraqi Troops, Militias Clash in Basra
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi forces clashed with Shiite militiamen Tuesday in the southern oil port of Basra and rockets rained down on the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad as followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr expanded a nationwide backlash against government crackdowns.
Iraq's prime minister on Wednesday gave gunmen in the southern oil port of Basra a three-day deadline to surrender their weapons and renounce violence as clashes between Shiite militia fighters and Iraqi security forces erupted for a second day.
A resumption of intense fighting by al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia could kill more U.S. soldiers and threaten - at least in the short run - the security gains Washington has hailed as a sign that Iraq is on the road to recovery.
The burgeoning crisis - part of an intense power struggle among Shiite political factions - also will test the skill and resolve of Iraq's Shiite-led government in dealing with Shiite militias, with whom the national leadership had maintained close ties.
The Sadrists are angry over recent raids and detentions, saying U.S. and Iraqi forces have taken advantage of the cease-fire to crack down on the movement.
They also have accused rival Shiite parties, which control Iraqi security forces, of engineering the arrests to prevent them from mounting an effective election campaign. The showdown with al-Sadr has been brewing for months but has accelerated since parliament agreed in February to hold provincial elections by the fall.
The fighting, sparked by a crackdown on militant and criminal activity, prompted the radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr to threaten a "civil revolt" across the nation.
Battles raged in Basra from early morning in areas controlled by his Mehdi Army militia as troops and police launched a major crackdown on armed groups.
However, Sadr warned he would launch protests and a nationwide strike if the attacks were not stopped.
"We demand that religious and political leaders intervene to stop the attacks on poor people," he said in a statement.
Fighting also erupted in Baghdad when Mehdi militiamen attacked offices of the rival Sadr militia.
I would have to agree with the nay-sayers here. There's no way 250+ US troops surrendered.
Verse 9.11 of the holy Quran:
"For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle.
The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah while
some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced: for the wrath
of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah and there was peace."