Major clashes broke out in Basra, Iraq’s second city, March 21—apparently between Fadhila and Mahdi Army forces, two Shi’ite factions. The fighting comes only days after the withdrawal of British troops from the city, citing recent “progress” in security there. More violence is also reported from the Kurdish north, supposedly a relative haven froom Iraq’s chaotic warfare. A suicide truck bomb attack on the Mosul headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), killed three and injured 20. The attack comes as Kurds celebrate the Persian new year festival of Nowruz. (Madrid11, March 22)
As we have noted, Fadhila and the PUK have also recently been in armed conflict with each other.