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Iraq: US & Iraqi Troops Storm al-Moustafa Mosque

At current, it is being reported that possibly more than 20 have been killed after US and Iraqi troops opened fire at the al-Moustafa mosque in Baghdad.

The US and Iraqi military sources are not saying much yet about the incident, but from piecing together a few television reports and limited info from the web, it appears that US and Iraqi troops went to the Sadr City Shi'ite mosque to arrest the imam. Members of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army resisted and opened fire. When the firing stopped, about 20 were dead. The US and Iraqi forces have yet to announce any casualties.

Muqtada al-Sadr's people are claiming that the attack was unprovoked and are putting out numerous releases to that effect already. al-Sadr's Najaf home was nearly struck by a mortar a few hours before the Baghdad incident.

The arrest of an Imam is significant, and likely the most important detail not yet reported is why the Imam was under arrest.

It is worthy of note that in September of 2005, an Imam of that mosque was shot and killed by gunmen.

UPDATE:
Security Watchtower points out a new DoD release that clarifies that no mosque was raided and that the operation was conducted by Iraqi troops, killed 16, captured 15, freed a hostage and destroyed explosives caches.

Perhaps Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari would like to take back his open condemnation of the 'attacks' on Iraqis?

2 Comments

Ever since al-Sadr's posters began to appear in the square where Hussein's statue had been, al-Sadr has been a destabilizing force. In late Febraury, he procliamed that he rejected the new Iraqi constitution.

...and, as has been noted in this space numerous times, al-Sadr pledged his allegiance to Iran...while in Damascus.