Monday, May 10, 2004


..."The wild card is the reports of [American] torture and humiliation," says Amatzia Baram, an Iraq expert at the US Institute of Peace in Washington. "Until that came out, [Sadr] was definitely on the decline. Now he is championing the case of the prisoners."

...Sadr countered with his own firebrand sermon at his home mosque in Kufa, where he rallied his thousands-strong Mahdi army with anti-US vitriol. "What sort of freedom and democracy can we expect from you when you take such joy in torturing Iraqi prisoners?" Sadr asked....

Sadr supporters opened new fronts against British forces over the weekend, to try to take over parts of Basra and Amarah. Sunday in Amarah, British troops reportedly responded to mortar strikes with helicopters. Those attacks came a day after a Sadr chief said
jihad was required to avenge tortured detainees....

--Christian Science Monitor

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