3 Iraqis Die, 15 Hurt, In Sadr City Raid

3 Iraqis Die, 15 Hurt, In Sadr City Raid
November 22nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: 3 Iraqis Die, 15 Hurt, In Sadr City Raid

3 Iraqis Die, 15 Hurt, In Sadr City Raid
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
November 22, 2006
By Associated Press
BAGHDAD U.S. and Iraqi forces backed by helicopters swept into Baghdad's Sadr City Shiite slum in a dark-of-night raid Tuesday that netted seven militiamen, including one believed to know the whereabouts of an American soldier kidnapped nearly a month ago.
Police said three Iraqis, including a boy, were killed and 15 wounded. No soldiers were hurt, the military said.
The raid came just weeks after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, had taken on the role of protector of the sprawling Sadr City district by ordering the U.S. military to lift a blockade of the slum.
American forces had sealed the district for several days looking for kidnapped U.S. soldier Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, 41, a reservist from Ann Arbor, Mich.
He was visiting his Iraqi wife in Baghdad on Oct. 23 when he was handcuffed and abducted by suspected rogue gunmen from the Mahdi Army, a militia loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
The 3 a.m. assault in the east Baghdad grid of streets lined with tumbledown concrete block structures and vacant lots was the third in four days by U.S. and Iraqi forces.
The U.S. command said Iraqi forces came under fire during the raid, and U.S. aircraft returned fire.
Al-Maliki looked the other way during most recent joint U.S.-Iraqi raids, an about-face his aides said was prompted by anger over the U.S. soldier's abduction and a mass kidnapping carried out this month by suspected Mahdi Army gunmen.
After Tuesday's raid, Shiite legislator Saleh Al-Ukailli cradled the body of the dead child outside the hospital morgue and angrily condemned Iraq's government for allowing such attacks.
"I am suspending my membership in parliament since it remains silent about crimes such as this against the Iraqi people," al-Ukailli said.
"I will not return to parliament until the occupation troops leave the country."
Al-Ukailli is one of 30 legislators in Iraq's 275-seat parliament who follow al-Sadr, whose main offices are in Sadr City.
Also Tuesday, Iraq and Syria, which severed diplomatic relations 24 years ago, restored links.
Both Iraq and the U.S. have challenged Syria over its role in supporting Iraq's Sunni-Arab insurgency.

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