More than 10,000 Iraqis – the vast majority in Baghdad – have been killed in the past four months alone, a figure that would send shockwaves through the international community were it in any other part of the world. ~The Independent
The story also tells of reports that recent Iraqi army-Shia militia fighting in Diwaniyah ended up resulting in the army being driven out:
The intense fighting in Diwaniyah will be of particular concern to British forces stationed in the Shia-dominated south of Iraq. Reports suggested that militiamen had driven government forces out of the city and had set up checkpoints in the suburbs. If the Mehdi Army has pushed the government out of the Shia-dominated city it will be a major snub to Mr Maliki, who has promised to rid Iraq of militias.
It is minimally encouraging that the army is actually standing up and fighting the militias; it is rather less encouraging, if the report is accurate, that Sadr’s militia is beating the Iraqi army in the field. The latest is that the government has made arrangements with the Madhi Army to withdraw from the town, but this obviously leaves this part of the militia intact.