At least 12 Iraqis, occupation soldier killed in Karbala clashes as city council member shot dead in Basra

Published May 5th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Attackers killed a city council member in Iraq's southern city of Basra, a party official said Wednesday. City council member Radi Abdul-Zahra al-Hilaifi was shot and killed by unidentified attackers Tuesday night while driving in Basra, The AP cited the party official as saying.  


Al-Hilaifi was the head of a small, local Islamic party that opposed Saddam Hussein. Al-Hilaifi fled Iraq in 1991 after Saddam crushed an uprising by Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq and returned to Iraq after the US invasion. 


Meanwhile, twelve people were killed in clashes between occupation troops and Shiite fighters overnight in the southern cities of Diwaniyah and Karbala, occupation and Iraqi sources said. 


Nine Iraqi fighters were killed in clashes in Diwaniya, Ali Kharsan, spokesman for cleric Moqtada Sadr, said from the Shiite city of Najaf.  


Violence also ripped the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, where Polish troops conducted night patrols and exchanged fire with Sadr's followers. At least three people were killed, including an occupation soldier.  


The soldier, whose nationality was not immediately given, was killed in a battle in which occupation forces took over several buildings occupied by the Mehdi Army, an occupation statement said.  


Polish forces form the command element in Karbala, 110 kilometers south of Baghdad. They started distributing pamphlets late Tuesday warning they would conduct nightly patrols in order to disarm the Medhi Army.  


In addition to the occupation soldier killed in Karbala, Police Captain Mohammed Salem and Dr. Ali al-Ardawi, director of Karabala's emergency hospital, said two other people were killed and one wounded in the battles. (

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