Sadr urges restraint as 21 more killed
NAJAF: Shia radical leader Moqtada Sadr made a rare public appearance on Monday to call for restraint amid tit-for-tat sectarian killings between Iraq’s Shia majority and the Sunni Arab former elite.
“Any action targeting unarmed civilians is forbidden under any circumstances,” Sadr told reporters in Najaf, the first held by the young cleric since fierce fighting between his outlawed Mehdi Army militia and US troops in the central shrine city last year.
Meanwhile, twenty-one people including 13 Iraqi soldiers and two journalists were killed in two car bombings and an attack on an army camp in Iraq on Monday.
Police said the bodies of 12 Iraqi men, all of whom had been shot dead, had been found dumped in northeastern Baghdad.
“We reject these terror operations, whether they are carried out by the occupiers or others,” Sadr said. “All Sunnis cannot be held responsible for the terrorist deeds of the occupiers and Nawaseb,” he said.
A car bomb blast killed nine Iraqi soldiers and wounded five others in Baghdad late on Monday, police said. The bomb blast struck an Iraqi army patrol in Baghdad’s southern Dora district.
A suicide car bomber killed five people and injured 30 at a customs checkpoint at the Rabia town near Iraq’s border with Syria. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and four injured in a mortar attack on an army camp at Khan Bani Saad, 20 Kms south of Baquba. Three Iraqis including two journalists working for Kuwaiti tv have been killed. Al Qaeda wing claimed responsibility for the Baquba attack. agencies