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Iraqi Prime Minister Vows to Launch More Crackdowns on Militants


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he plans to launch more crackdowns against militants like the recent one in Basra.

Mr. Maliki told reporters in Baghdad Thursday future security operations could be expected in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. As he put it, "we do not negotiate with outlaws."

Basra was the scene of recent clashes between Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite militias loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. More than 400 people were killed in the violence, and hundreds more wounded.

Sadr Thursday called for a million-strong march against what he called U.S. "occupation." In a statement released Thursday in Najaf, he said the demonstration would take place on April 9, the fifth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

Sunday, Sadr called his fighters off the street and a tense calm has mostly held since then.

The U.S. military says coalition forces have killed four terrorists and detained six suspects in the north and central regions of the country, during operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq Thursday and Wednesday.




Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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