Iraqi Troops Seize Sadr Stronghold

Fighting in Baghad kills 12, wounds 130
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 19, 2008 9:11 AM CDT
Residents carry a coffin during a funeral procession in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, April 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – In a major new clash, Iraqi troops backed by American and British firepower today captured a stronghold of fighters loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Basra, said Iraqi officials. In a show of force, American planes and British artillery attacked a deserted area outside the Sadr-controlled section of Hayaniya before Iraqi troops moved into the neighborhood and seized the center, Reuters reports.

A Sadr spokesman pointed to “tragic” humanitarian conditions in Hayaniya. “They have surrounded the district and are preventing the wounded from going to hospitals,” he said. Another Sadr rep said fighters were not resisting because of the cleric’s August  ceasefire order. Meanwhile, clashes in Baghdad’s Sadr City last night killed 12 and wounded some 130, police say.