Sadr under attack

The Scotman:

"FOR the past month they have been the rude young pretenders, a rag-tag slum army ruffling the quiet dignity of Iraq?s holiest city.

"For every day that the United States army fails to act on its threat to crush them, the Shiite militiamen of the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have grown in confidence in their stronghold in Najaf.

"Now, however, a shadowy resistance movement within might be about to succeed where the 2,500 US marines outside the city have failed.

"In a deadly expression of feelings that until now were kept quiet, a group representing local residents is said to have killed at least five militiamen in the last four days.

"The murders are the first sign of organised Iraqi opposition to Sadr?s presence and come amid simmering discontent at the havoc their lawless presence has wreaked."

There are no Marines outside of Najaf. The troops there are Army units. The most likely source of the anti Sadr killers is the Saddam Fetayeen or M-14 alums who do not want any Shia taking charge.

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