Iraqi Lawmakers to Meet as Violence Escalates

Baghdad under curfew as militants in Basra hold their ground
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2008 9:45 PM CDT
Iraqi Lawmakers to Meet as Violence Escalates
Mahdi Army fighters stand in Basra, Iraq, Thursday, March 27, 2008.    (AP Photo)

Iraqi lawmakers will hold an emergency session in Baghdad tomorrow to try to find a way to resolve the escalating violence in Basra and the capital, Reuters reports. Baghdad, its Green Zone rocked by steady rocket and mortar fire, is now under a three-day curfew, and the State Department ordered US personnel to stay indoors. Militias in Basra, meanwhile, stood their ground for a third straight day against Iraq's security forces. 

It's not clear how much effect tomorrow's legislative meeting will have, but Reuters notes that it will include Sunni and Shiite members of parliament, along with lawmakers loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed "no retreat" today in his bid to rid Basra of militias. Sadr called for a political solution and no more "shedding of Iraqi blood" but stopped short of calling off attacks on the Green Zone. (More Basra stories.)

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