Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

And who is to know how the chips will fall...

Papers are reporting over 165 Iraqis dead and more than 600 wounded in the last 24 hours, with huge numbers of civilian wounded flooding local hospitals throughout the effected areas. Moqtada al-Sadr was reportedly wounded in a U.S. bombardment of the city of Najaf, according to a spokesman, sustaining three shrapnel wounds. He is reported in stable condition, though his whereabouts are not publically known.

In Amara, hundreds of Iraqi National Guardsmen rallied in protest, saying that they will join al-Sadr's Mahdi Army until the Americans leave Najaf. Approximately 5,000 al-Sadr sympathizers took to the streets in Basra, demanding U.S. troops withdraw from Najaf and condemning Allawi for working with the Americans. In Baghdad, there are plans for a large sit-down protest in front of the Green Zone. There is also talk of thousands of Shi'ites converging on Najaf, and even of a desire by leaders in Southern Iraq to break off from the Alllawi government.

The gutsiest bit of reporting came from Rory McCarthy at the Guardian, who is reporting from the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, at the heart of the battle. Ironically, Rory McCarthy is extremely lucky... he could be James Brandon of the Sunday Telegraph. Mr. Brandon has been kidnapped and apparently will be executed in 24 hours unless the U.S. leave Najaf.

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