The daily bloodletting in Iraq continues. More than two dozen people were killed on Monday and several times that injured in car bombs and other incidents in Baghdad. In Basra, in the south, a British soldier died in a roadside bombing – the 100th killed in action since the US-led invasion in 2003.
Baghdad and Washington have pledged to tackle the ongoing violence through a major security crackdown – the first stages of which were due to get underway already.
At an Iraqi army-run checkpoint on the main route into the volatile Sadr City area of Baghdad Chief Warrant Officer Hameed Hassan says his troops are prepared for the new security plan. “We hope it will meet the demands of our beloved people,” he adds.
Members of the Iraqi government are urging Washington to send more troops to the capital as soon as possible to try to restore order, as announced by President George W Bush last month.
On the street, there is support for the programme from those who are fed up with the round-the-clock killings.
But it is a different story in Washington where Democrat-controlled Congress is not convinced the deployment of yet more American troops to Iraq is the best way to resolve the crisis.