April 8, 2008

BAGHDAD (AFP)–At least 52 rockets or mortar bombs hit the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad in the past week, Brigadier General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi army in the capital, said Tuesday.

Atta said another 90 mortar bombs or rockets struck various other places in Baghdad over the same period.

The Green Zone, seat of the Iraqi government and the U.S. embassy, has come under sustained attacks in recent weeks, causing the deaths of four Americans, including two soldiers, and two of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi’s Iraqi guards.

The U.S. military says the mortar and rocket attacks are by Shiite militants from eastern Baghdad’s Sadr City, bastion of the Mahdi Army militia of anti- American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

His Shiite fighters are currently engaged in fierce clashes with Iraqi and U.S. forces in Sadr City. Dozens of people have been killed in the firefights.

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