Iraqi PM condemns U.S. raids, 26 Iraqis die

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned a U.S. raid Saturday in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City slum left 26 Iraqis dead.

Iraqi PM condemns U.S. raids, 26 Iraqis die
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned a U.S. raid Saturday in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City slum left 26 Iraqis dead.

Residents said eight civilians were killed in their homes, angrily accusing American troops of firing wildly during the pre-dawn assault.

Sadr City is the Iraqi capital's largest Shiite neighborhood — home to some 2.5 million people — making U.S. raids there potentially embarrassing for al-Maliki's Shiite-led government. The district is also the stronghold of the Mahdi Army.

"The Iraqi government totally rejects U.S. military operations ... conducted without prior approval from the Iraqi military command," al-Maliki said in a statement concerning the Sadr City raid. "Anyone who breaches the military command orders will face investigation."

Al-Maliki last year banned military operations in Sadr City without his approval after complaints from his Shiite political allies. The ban frustrated U.S. commanders.

Al-Maliki later agreed that no area of the capital was off-limits, after President Bush ordered reinforcements to Iraq as part of the Baghdad security operation.

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Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2007, 10:04
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