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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Counterinsurgency 

Mystery group wage war on Sadr's militia

FOR the past month they have been the rude young pretenders, a rag-tag slum army ruffling the quiet dignity of Iraq’s holiest city.

For every day that the United States army fails to act on its threat to crush them, the Shiite militiamen of the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have grown in confidence in their stronghold in Najaf.

Now, however, a shadowy resistance movement within might be about to succeed where the 2,500 US marines outside the city have failed.

In a deadly expression of feelings that until now were kept quiet, a group representing local residents is said to have killed at least five militiamen in the last four days.
It's good to see the people taking matters into their own hands. Of course, if it's any kind of organized group, it may have to be dealt with later. But it sounds like it's simply an anti-extremist movement. If so... hey, they can't hurt. Maybe their example can lead other Iraqis to resist the handful of thugs in their midst.
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