Iraq's government clamped a state of emergency on Baghdad and ordered
everyone off the streets Friday after U.S. and Iraqi forces battled insurgents
armed with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and rifles near the heavily
fortified Green Zone.
The military also announced the deaths of five more U.S. troops in a particularly
violent week for American forces that included the discovery of the brutalized
bodies of two soldiers. Twelve U.S. service members have died or were found
dead this week.
The fighting in the heart of Baghdad came despite a crackdown launched 10 days
ago that put tens of thousands of U.S.-backed Iraqi troops on the streets as
the new prime minister sought to restore a modicum of safety for the capital's
more than 5 million people.
Iraqi and U.S. military forces clashed with heavily armed attackers throughout
the morning Friday within earshot of the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. and
British embassies and Iraqi government headquarters.
Four Iraqi soldiers and three policemen were wounded before the area was sealed
and searched house-to-house for insurgents, police Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq
said. U.S. and Iraqi forces also engaged in firefights with insurgents in a
dangerous area of south Baghdad.
Defense Ministry official Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohamed Jassim initially said
all Baghdad residents must be off the streets from 2 p.m. until 6 a.m. today,
but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki later declared the ban would end just three
hours after it began.The state of emergency is to continue for an indefinite
period and includes a broader arrest powers for Iraqi forces, Iraqi officials
Read from Looking Glass News
"7-star" hotel set for Baghdad's Green Zone
Sgrena was shot in the Green Zone, by a tank as they drove away from it!
American mercenaries guarding Baghdad’s Green Zone
in the Green Zone
U.S.-Protected Greenzone, Iraq's Leader Hands Out Cash