Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wire: Baghdad's Green Zone Shelled

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2009 -- Newswires reported that suspected militants shelled Baghdad's protected Green Zone on Saturday in the first such bombardment in more than three months.

A police official says the rounds were fired from eastern Baghdad late Saturday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, AP reported.

AP noted that the attack came during a light sandstorm, which the militants used as cover since patrol helicopters cannot fly in such weather conditions.

In other Iraq news, AP reported the following:

West of Baghdad, Iraqi forces launched raids into an industrial zone in Fallujah where authorities fear Sunni insurgents could be seeking to regain footholds in areas they once controlled.

But the offensive into the district of factories and workshops found no clear evidence that al-Qaida in Iraq or its allies had re-established a major presence in Fallujah, said the city's police chief, Col. Mahmoud al-Issawi.

He said police and military units found only small stockpiles of buried weapons and explosives. No arrests were made during the all-day sweep.

Security forces, however, have sharply stepped up their guard against the possible return of extremist factions to areas that have been relatively calm.
Attacks across Iraq remain sharply down compared with past years, but bloodshed has edged up in recent weeks. Citing recent suicide bombings and a rising lawlessness claiming scores of lives, AP reported that there are signs of violence returning to Iraq.

(Report from commercial news sources.)

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