Militiamen with the Mahdi Army, the followers of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, mostly vanished from the streets of Basra on Monday, a day after he ordered them to lay down their arms and also insisted that the Iraqi government grant a general amnesty for his followers and made other demands.
Participants in a contentious Baghdad security operation this month have told U.S. investigators that during the operation at least one guard continued firing on civilians while colleagues urgently called for a cease-fire.
Iraq’s Ministry of Interior has concluded that employees of a private American security firm fired an unprovoked barrage in the shooting last Sunday in which at least eight Iraqis were killed and is proposing a radical reshaping of the way American diplomats and contractors here are protected.
Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki on Sunday extended his tongue-lashing of foreign politicians who have questioned his government, saying that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Carl Levin needed to “start making sense again” after the senators, both Democrats, called for his ouster.