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Baghdad curfew extended indefinitely

world Updated: Mar 30, 2008 13:01 IST

AFP
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Baghdad was locked down for the third straight day on Sunday after a weekend curfew was extended for an indefinite period to contain brutal clashes between Shiite gunmen and security forces.

The curfew was originally to be lifted at 5:00 am (0200 GMT) on Sunday but was extended for an indefinite period.

The military command in the Iraqi capital had imposed the curfew covering pedestrians and vehicles from late Thursday after fierce clashes broke out between Shiite fighters and Iraqi and US troops, mainly in the sprawling impoverished district of Sadr City in eastern Baghdad.

The fighting erupted after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki launched an assault on Shiite fighters in the southern city of Basra on Tuesday.

At least 75 people have been killed and nearly 500 wounded in the firefights over the past five days in Sadr City while nationwide the death toll has reached almost 260.