Hundreds of supporters of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrated Saturday, in front of government buildings in the relatively quiet southern cities of Basra, Amarah and Kut. They were demanding an end to electricity and gasoline shortages.
In Baghdad, at least three mortar shells exploded near the heavily protected Green Zone, causing no casualties, but scattering journalists who were arriving for a security briefing.
South of Baghdad, the U.S. military says a U.S. Marine was killed Saturday, while on patrol in Babil province.
And in a separate development, the Iraqi Defense Ministry confirmed a news report that an Iraqi woman trained by Saddam Hussein loyalists in Syria intended to kill the defense minister. The woman collapsed in the minister's office before carrying out her mission.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.