Several die in fresh Iraq clashes

Dozens are hurt in overnight violence between government forces and Shia fighters.

    Al-Hashemi said that the main Sunni bloc should consider ending its boycott of the cabinet [AFP]
    The fighting comes a day after at least nine people were killed in three suicide bomb attacks and a car bomb blast in the northern city of Mosul.
     
    'Stop bloodshed'

     

    The Sadr City fighting comes after Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia religious leader, said on Friday that fighting between his al-Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi security forces should end.

    He called for "my brothers in the army, police and Jaish al-Mahdi (al-Mahdi Army) to stop the bloodshed".

    Sadr had warned on April 19 that an all-out war between government forces and the al-Mahdi Army could break out unless attacks on his fighters were stopped.

    The violence in Sadr City is the latest in a crackdown against Shia fighters by forces from the Shia-led Iraqi government.

    Hundreds of people are thought to have died in the operation by government forces since it was launched in the southern city of Basra and Sadr City in late March.

    Sunni call

    Also on Saturday, Iraq's Sunni vice president said that the return of his political bloc to the Shia-led cabinet was a priority.

    Tariq al-Hashemi, who is a member of the National Accordance Front, said the government needs to reconcile quickly to "save Iraq".

    The National Accordance Front has boycotted the Iraqi government for nearly nine months.

    Al-Hashemi has in the past accused Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's Shia prime minister, of sectarian favoritism

    Al-Maliki has denied the accusation, saying that al-Hashemi has sought to undermine key legislation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?