Iraq Cleric Vows Fight to Death Vs. U.S.
A radical Shiite cleric vowed to fight to the death as his loyalists battled U.S. troops for a fifth straight day Monday, and bombings in Sunni regions outside Baghdad — including a failed attempt to assassinate a deputy governor — killed at least 10 Iraqis. The fighting with Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia began to have economic fallout. Iraq’s southern oil company stopped pumping oil to the southern city of Basra — where militiamen were controlling main streets — because of threats to infrastructure, an official with the company said. About 1.8 million barrels per day, or 90 percent of Iraq’s exports, move through Basra. Iraq’s other outlet from the north to Turkey has been out of operation since early June, so a stoppage from Basra threatens to completely shut down the flow of Iraq’s main money earner. Full Story