Maysan Governing Council Members Go on Strike

The deteriorating security situation in southern Iraq has been dealt another blow, as provincial governing council members have suspended their membership. The following is the USG Open Source Center translation.

'Al-Zaman: Maysan Advisory Council Protests British Forces' Raids
Report by Basim al-Shaykh Ali: "Maysan Advisory Council Suspends Work in Protest Over British Forces' Raids"


Wednesday, June 14, 2006 T16:42:56Z

Yesterday (11 June), Maysan Advisory Council members suspended their membership in protest over the raids carried out by British forces two days ago, during which a number of people were either killed or injured. The British Army confirmed that British troops have been subjected to a series of attacks, while Iraqi police said that five people were injured and five others were killed in clashes between Al-Mahdi Army and British forces in Al-Amarah. However Martyr Al-Sadr Bureau in Maysan denied the clashes.

In a news conference attended by Al-Zaman yesterday, Abd-al-Husayn Daghir, deputy chairman of Maysan Advisory Council, said that British forces raided Hay al-Mu'alimin and Al-Risalah Districts in central Al-Amarah. Innocent people, including a child, an old man, and two women, who were sleeping on the roof of their houses due to electricity outages, were killed. Also, three people, including two children, were seriously injured during the raid. He said that a house was damaged in the operation that started at 2 AM and ended at 8 AM.

Maysan Advisory Council members announced the suspension of their membership until the central government takes the necessary steps in this regard. In addition, they demanded the suspension of relations between all state institutions with British forces, and the punishment of public servants who violate this motion in the governorate.

Maysan Governor Adil Muhawdar expressed his resentment over the raids, and said: "By doing so, British forces declare themselves as occupation forces rather than multinational forces as per the UN Security Council resolution." Muhawdar called on Prime Minister Al-Maliki to form a committee headed by Maysan Appellate Court chairman to prepare a detailed report about what happened and urged the governmental agencies to stage a one-day strike in protest at the raids.

The commander of the Iraqi Army and deputy Maysan police chief said: "Although the Iraqi Army and police force in Al-Amarah along with Maysan Advisory Council are acting as coordinators, they were not advised in advance about these military operations, which came as a complete surprise." They indicated that "British forces should not raid a house or a city without pre-coordination with the Iraqi Army and police force."

AFP cited Police Officer Ali Aziz as saying: "Five people were killed and 15 others were injured in clashes between insurgents from Al-Mahdi Army and British forces." However, in a telephone call with Al-Zaman, Shaykh Abbas al-Zaydi, official in charge of Martyr Al-Sadr Bureau in Al-Amarah, denied these reports and said: "These reports are not true. Al-Mahdi Army members have not been involved in any clashes."

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Easton, spokesman for the British forces, confirmed the clashes with insurgents, but he refused to reveal their identity or the number of victims. AFP cited Easton as saying: "Our forces were involved in several clashes in various places." He indicated that light weapons and anti-tank weapons were used in the clashes, which erupted at 3 AM and continued until yesterday morning."

Easton confirmed that a number of insurgents were killed, a British soldier was injured, and a British armored vehicle drowned after falling into a river in the clashes. He added that the picture is still unclear whether the attack was an accidental one launched by an individual, who was supported by his colleagues later on, or was a pre-planned ambush by an insurgent group that was waiting to attack the British patrol as it passed by.

(Description of Source: Baghdad Al-Zaman in Arabic -- Baghdad-based independent Iraqi daily providing coverage of Iraqi, Arab, and international issues, headed by Iraqi journalist Sa'd al-Bazzaz; Internet version available at: '


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