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Gen. Abizaid Sees Parallels Between Mahdi Army and Hizballah

In a Multi-National Force - Iraq report, General John Abizaid makes a very apt comparison between the militia situation in Iraq and Lebanon (more precisely between al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and Hizballah) that is worth noting.

"The sectarian violence that's taking place in the Baghdad area and up north towards Diyala province is probably the gravest threat to stability that there is in the country right now," Abizaid said.

Officials in Baghdad said there is a tit-for-tat response going on in Baghdad and its environs now, with several revenge killings taking place each day.

Abizaid said the government must demobilize militias.

"If you don't do this, you end up with a situation like you have in Lebanon, where the militia becomes a state within a state," Abizaid said. "It makes the state impotent to be able to deal with security challenges."