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Monday, February 26, 2007

The Shiite extremist groups in southern Iraq

The Iraqi forces, backed by the US Army, launched an offensive on 28/1/07 near Najaf against a Shiite extremist group named Jund Al-Sama’.

It was the first time that a Shiite extremist group had appeared in southern Iraq - an area largely dominated by the Dawa party, the Sadrists and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

Jund Al-Sama’ is not the only Shiite extremist group active in southern Iraq. There are other groups which work in secret. All work under the Al-Mahdawiya Movement, which is waiting for the Imam Al-Mahdi Al-Muntazar or the Awaited Imam to appear.

Some of these groups are active in Basra, Nassiriyah, Kut, Najaf, Karbala and Maysan, some others in Shiite-populated districts of Baghdad and a part of Diyala province.

Although these groups are Shiite, they include members of other sects, such as Sunni, or Ismaili or Zaidi.

Reports from southern Iraq suggest these groups call on to destroy all public institutions, kill all leaders and clerics to pave the way for the Imam Al-Muntazar.

Besides Jund Al-Sama’, these groups include:

- Ruhullah group, which is active in Nassiriyah and Maysan. Its members are sacked from the Sadrist movement.

- Al-Marsumi group, active in Diyala;

- Ahmad Bin Al-Hasan group, active in Najaf and Karbala

- Jund Al-Islam, active in Basra and Kut

- Al-Hadiya group, active in Kut and Maysan
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