Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Muqtada's office in Najaf is on fire.

Right now there are bloody clashes in Najaf between the supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr and the residents of the city.
The clashes started after Al-Sadr men tried to reopen their office which has been closed for months but the locals attacked the office, set fire in it and clashed with Sadr's men.
The police forces intervened and the casualties till now are 7 killed and tens wounded.
I have received news saying that a curfew has been imposed in the city.

It's worth mentioning here that the governor prohibited demonstrations arranged by people from outside the city "who wants to demonstrate can go and do that in his own city" said the governor in a statement yesterday.

I was told in a phone call from a friend who lives there that gunfire can be heard right now in najaf.

As a reaction, a number of Sadrists suspended their membership in the National Assembly and warned from "serious consequences" accusing the governor and his party (the SCIRI) of being responsible for the tension in the city.


Al-Hurra just reported that the Najaf police force is exchanging gunfire with the followers of Muqtada Al-Sadr.
The militia men are now hiding and returning fire from the shrine of Imam Ali.

At the same time, the Badr organization (military wing of the SCIRI) denied connection with the conflict.


There are news about clashes extending to reach parts of Baghdad and apparently followers of Muqtada have attacked some offices tht belong to the Badr organization of the SCIRI while the news are confirming that the first clashes originated between the Sadrists and civilian residents.

On the other hand, the ministers of transport and health (both Sadrists) have suspended their membership in the government.

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