03-27-2008, 12:49 PM
Just what the USA Amin did not need. - Is the ceasesfire over?Reply
Fresh clashes grip southern Iraq
Heavy fighting has continued for a third day between Shia militias and the Iraqi security forces in southern Iraq.
There are reports of extensive exchanges of fire between the Iraqi army and militiamen in Basra and in the town of Hilla, just south of Baghdad.
More than 70 people have died and hundreds have been injured in days of violence sparked by an Iraqi crackdown on Shia militias in Basra.
There have also been violent clashes in Kut and the capital, Baghdad.
On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki gave Shia militants in Basra 72 hours to lay down their arms or face "severe penalties".
The leader of the Mehdi Army, Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, has spoken of the possibility of negotiations to end the violence.
In Basra, police chief Adbul Jalil Khalaf said he survived an assassination attempt overnight, in which three of his bodyguards were killed.
Residents in the city have said that they are beginning to run out of food and water.
One told the BBC that the Iraqi army broke into shops, took food and water, then set fire to shops and cars on the street.
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