Middle East

June 19, 2008

New Iraqi operation against militants produces scant resistance

Iraqi security forces met little resistance Thursday on Day 1 of the government's crackdown in the southern city of Amarah as they sought to disarm gunmen loyal to the militant Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr. Iraqi defense officials said there were no casualties or gun battles as military and national police units easily spread through northern Amarah, a mostly Shiite oil and agricultural city that borders Iran and for decades has served as a smuggling hub.

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