Baghdad enclave mayor wounded

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Al-Daraji is a soft-spoken sheik whose office has been a regular stop for U.S. military officers in Sadr City. Early this month, U.S. and Iraqi forces moved into Sadr City and have been trying to establish two garrisons there. Throughout Baghdad, U.S. forces plan to operate out of 100 neighborhood garrisons in the next month as part of the new offensive to secure the city, the American commander in charge of Baghdad said Thursday. Nearly 80 such garrisons are already operating. The increase in outposts is part of the plan to put U.S. troops back on the streets, living among Iraqis and making their presence felt, he said. Thousands of additional U.S. troops are expected to enter the Baghdad area by May to bolster forces here. “So far, the indicators are they’ll do real well,” the American commander, Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., said of the garrisons. “But we do expect them to be challenged.” The expansion of the garrisons is essentially a repudiation of the military policy of the last two years, in which U.S. troops spent more time on bases and much less time patrolling or interacting with Iraqis. BAGHDAD, Iraq – Gunmen ambushed a convoy on Thursday that was carrying the mayor of the sprawling Shiite area known as Sadr City, seriously wounding him and complicating U.S. efforts to rein in a powerful Shiite militia there. The attack killed Lt. Col. Muhammad Motashar, the director of the Sadr City police station. The mayor, Rahim al-Daraji, has led negotiations with the Americans over what to do about the militia, the Mahdi Army, which has rebelled twice against the Iraqi government and the U.S. military. Al-Daraji has lobbied the Americans to finance reconstruction projects that would bring jobs to his impoverished neighborhood, an approach U.S. commanders say could help disarm the largely unemployed men in the Mahdi Army. last_img

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