Stuff happening in Baghdad. Zeyad at Healing Iraq said:
I've been stuck at my aunt's house in Adhamiya since Sunday night. If you had followed the news, you would have learned by now that Adhamiya, which is the largest Sunni district in Baghdad, is witnessing fierce clashes since Sunday night, mostly between armed groups in police uniform, who had attempted to enter the area, and Adhamiya residents.
The district has been sealed off and no one can leave or enter the area. Electric power has been cut off for the last 48 hours, and the fighting severely damaged our street generator this morning.
I'm on dial up now so I have to sign off. I probably won't be able to post again until tomorrow night. Hopefully the situation would have calmed down by then; it's extremely tense at the moment.
Now the newspapers say:
The Washington Post article above says:
From the beginning, it was unclear who was attacking and who was defending. Adhamiyah residents, who spoke in telephone interviews on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said gunfire erupted early Monday morning, an hour or two after midnight. U.S. military authorities said that unknown gunmen started shooting at an Iraqi army patrol and that an estimated 50 insurgents later attacked a checkpoint manned by U.S. and Iraqi troops. ...
For the next several hours, residents said, streets empty of everyone but fighters echoed with patter from AK-47 assault rifles, the deeper thump-thump-thump of RPK machine guns and the occasional explosion of a rocket-propelled grenade or mortar shell. The fighting flowed up Omar bin Abdulaziz Street, a broad road that is lined by produce stalls and markets and is home to one of Baghdad's most famous bookstores.
There's a special report at the Pajamas Media site including a map of where the clashes took place. That account may be a little a bit more prosaic than the Reuters account bannered "civil war". Apparently a police station was attacked by insurgents in a Sunni area and the Interior Ministry sent reinforcements which were then viewed with suspicion by the inhabitants. Another clash which may have been unrelated to the first took place in the vicinty of a nearby mosque. The fighting has died down now. Messages I've received from an acquaintance in Iraq suggest that fear of militias thrives in the air of unrelieved tension as people wait for the political deadlock to break. My own personal impression from the messages is that people are waiting for America to act decisively simply because they don't think the Iraqis can break the deadlock themselves, and can't understand what is causing this apparent paralysis. I really couldn't bring myself to explain either just what factors were causing the delay, having seen very little definite information about what exactly might be done to break the deadlock.