The powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his militiamen on Sunday to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq’s army and police should join him in defeating “your archenemy.” The U.S. military announced the weekend deaths of 10 American soldiers, including six killed on Sunday.
Security remained so tenuous in the capital on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the U.S. capture of Baghdad that Iraq’s military declared a 24-hour ban on all vehicles in the city from 5 a.m. Monday. The government quickly reinstated Monday as a holiday, just a day after it had decreed that April 9 no longer would be a day off.
Among the 10 U.S. deaths announced Sunday were three soldiers killed by a roadside bomb while patrolling south of Baghdad; one killed in an attack south of the capital; and two who died of combat wounds sustained north of the capital, in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces. On Saturday, the military said, four U.S. soldiers were killed in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala.