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At least 55 killed and 300 injured as battles spread from Basra to Baghdad
Fighting erupts between Shiite fighters loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad and Basra.
BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister on Wednesday gave gunmen in the southern oil port of Basra three days to surrender their weapons and renounce violence as clashes between security forces and Shiite militia fighters erupted for a second day.
BAGHDAD, March 25 -- Fierce gun battles erupted between Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias in Basra, Baghdad and other cities Tuesday as the government, backed by U.S. and British reconnaissance planes, launched an offensive aimed at breaking the power of politically backed gunmen.
The "final battle for Basra" began with deafening blasts at 4.58am as units of the Iraqi army moved into al-Tamiyah, a district under the control of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army.