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WORLD
May 30, 2004 | Edmund Sanders, Times Staff Writer
As they struggled to hold together a fragile cease-fire agreement amid sporadic fighting Saturday, American officials were -- once again -- preparing to carry out a peace deal that calls for significant concessions to an adversary they once vowed to crush. Crucial details of a tentative agreement in the Iraqi city of Najaf were still being hammered out. But as the U.S.
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WORLD
January 9, 2011 | By Ned Parker, Saad Fakhrildeen and Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times
His beard now flecked with gray, Muqtada Sadr studied the thousands of faithful who pushed and jostled one another Saturday, craning their necks for a glimpse of the mysterious cleric they hadn't seen in person in nearly four years. In his first appearance in this holy city since returning to Iraq three days before, the firebrand Shiite Muslim preacher faced a defining moment: how to harness his followers, whose wild energy he had ridden until his organization spiraled out of control during Iraq's civil war. If his old speeches had been warlike, urging rebellion against the Americans, his tone Saturday was measured and controlled, acknowledging the harshness of Iraq's war in the streets and the suffering of all Iraqis.
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WORLD
August 22, 2004 | Edmund Sanders, Times Staff Writer
To his buddies, 2nd Lt. Mike Goins looked indestructible atop his Abrams tank as he maneuvered through Najaf's besieged cemetery. His command of the 69-ton machine in the maze-like graveyard led a superior to dub the 6-foot-3-inch soldier his "killer tanker." "He loved that tank and believed he was invincible in it," said Capt. Kevin Badger, commander of the "Mad Dogs" company of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment. "He believed his training and his equipment could defeat the enemy."
WORLD
December 24, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen and Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times
The 14-year-old boy, Ali, had refused to give up his stationery to the teenage bullies, witnesses said, so the youths waited for him after school. They gripped pencils, protractors and rocks. Instead of just beating him up, they allegedly proceeded to kill him as dozens of classmates watched. The slaying last month in the Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf has sent shockwaves through the devout community, as residents agonize over how the younger generation has been affected by both popular culture and the bloodshed that has defined Iraq since 2003.
WORLD
December 24, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen and Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times
The 14-year-old boy, Ali, had refused to give up his stationery to the teenage bullies, witnesses said, so the youths waited for him after school. They gripped pencils, protractors and rocks. Instead of just beating him up, they allegedly proceeded to kill him as dozens of classmates watched. The slaying last month in the Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf has sent shockwaves through the devout community, as residents agonize over how the younger generation has been affected by both popular culture and the bloodshed that has defined Iraq since 2003.
WORLD
December 14, 2010 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
In the sacred Shiite city of Najaf, where women hide themselves behind dark robes and head scarves, 15-year-old Ban wears the wrong kind of black. She likes dark, ripped gloves, silver butterfly shirts and white dice on a chain. She paints her nails black and brushes on matching eye shadow. Ban is an emo, belonging to a subculture that may have gone mainstream in the rest of the world, but sure hasn't here. She pronounces it "emu. " Either way, it means she's a goth with a fondness for sparkle.
NEWS
April 1, 2003
As U.S. ground troops and warplanes pounded Republican Guard positions south of Baghdad, allied officers said Iraq was sending reinforcements from the north. British troops broke resistance in a Basra suburb, and U.S. Marines seized a huge cache of weapons southwest of Nasiriyah. Along the Euphrates River, nearly 50 Iraqis were killed in a fight for a key bridge. Near Najaf, U.S. troops, fearing another suicide bombing, killed seven women and children in a car when it failed to stop at a checkpoint.
WORLD
April 9, 2009 | Saad Fakhrildeen and Ned Parker
All of the past is alive in Najaf's winding alleys, and none of it is forgotten by Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Hakim, who grins frequently and seems to delight in contradiction, as if his own suffering made him accept the paradoxes around him. In this Shiite Muslim holy city, Saddam Hussein stripped away clerics' rights and harassed, imprisoned and killed them. Hakim, a scion of one of the country's most prominent religious families, managed to survive prison and wars. After the U.S.
WORLD
October 21, 2006 | Louise Roug, Times Staff Writer
As hundreds of masked, black-clad men descended on a normally quiet southern city Friday and gunfire echoed outside, Ahmed and Roqayah Jasim locked the doors of their modest home. They prayed for themselves and their three young children. Then they heard a knock on the door. Ahmed, a 33-year-old teacher, reluctantly opened it. A fighter no older than 20 stood holding a sniper rifle. "He didn't threaten me," Ahmed said later, still stunned.
OPINION
January 9, 2005 | Mark LeVine, Mark LeVine, who teaches Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine, is the author of the forthcoming "Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil" and co-editor of "Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation."
In Iraq, a nonviolent cleric with the potential to reach the country's angry youth is a rarity. Early last spring, I traveled between Baghdad, Fallouja and Najaf in search of a Generation-X incarnation of Mohandas Gandhi or the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
WORLD
December 14, 2010 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
In the sacred Shiite city of Najaf, where women hide themselves behind dark robes and head scarves, 15-year-old Ban wears the wrong kind of black. She likes dark, ripped gloves, silver butterfly shirts and white dice on a chain. She paints her nails black and brushes on matching eye shadow. Ban is an emo, belonging to a subculture that may have gone mainstream in the rest of the world, but sure hasn't here. She pronounces it "emu. " Either way, it means she's a goth with a fondness for sparkle.
WORLD
October 20, 2010 | By Liz Sly, Los Angeles Times
A roadside bomb targeted the convoy of the U.N.'s special envoy to Iraq on Tuesday in the usually placid southern Shiite city of Najaf after his meeting with the country's top Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. U.N. special representative Ad Melkert was unhurt in the attack, which struck an Iraqi police vehicle escorting him to the airport, U.N. spokeswoman Randa Jamal said. But the blast killed an Iraqi policeman and injured three other people, none of them United Nations employees, according to U.N. and Iraqi officials.
WORLD
March 7, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen and Ned Parker
A car bomb ripped through a parking lot used by pilgrims in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Saturday, killing three people in an attack that was almost certainly intended to ignite sectarian passions the day before Iraqis go to the polls. Two Iranians and an Iraqi were killed in the explosion about 300 yards from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack near an Iranian tour bus also wounded 54 people, 19 of them Iranians, police said. The parliamentary elections Sunday find Iraqis choosing between secular and religious politicians, and hoping to close the door on a return to the sectarian war that crippled the country from 2005 to '07. In televised comments, the reclusive Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, who is thought to be in Iran, urged his supporters to vote.
WORLD
March 5, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen
A car bomb exploded in the Shiite holy city of Najaf early Saturday, killing three people and wounding 54 others on the eve of Iraq's national elections, police said. The car detonated in a parking lot used by religious pilgrims, about 900 feet from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack was almost certainly aimed at igniting sectarian passions among the country's Shiite majority population 24 hours before voting commences. The attack killed two Iranians and one Iraqi and left 19 Iranians among the wounded in the lot, where an Iranian tour bus had parked, police said.
WORLD
April 9, 2009 | Saad Fakhrildeen and Ned Parker
All of the past is alive in Najaf's winding alleys, and none of it is forgotten by Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Hakim, who grins frequently and seems to delight in contradiction, as if his own suffering made him accept the paradoxes around him. In this Shiite Muslim holy city, Saddam Hussein stripped away clerics' rights and harassed, imprisoned and killed them. Hakim, a scion of one of the country's most prominent religious families, managed to survive prison and wars. After the U.S.
WORLD
July 13, 2008 | Saad Fakhrildeen, Special to The Times
The government may be in Baghdad and the oil reserves in Basra, but the smaller city of Najaf, halfway between Iraq's two centers of power, has a treasure that could be the envy of them both. "Our oil here is tourism," said Abdul Hussein Abtan, the deputy provincial governor in Najaf. Najaf and its neighbor Karbala hold some of Islam's holiest monuments. If they could, Shiite Muslims from around the Middle East would flock to the city to pray at the shrine of Imam Ali, the cousin and companion of the prophet Muhammad and his rightful successor according to the Shiite branch of Islam.
WORLD
March 5, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen
A car bomb exploded in the Shiite holy city of Najaf early Saturday, killing three people and wounding 54 others on the eve of Iraq's national elections, police said. The car detonated in a parking lot used by religious pilgrims, about 900 feet from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack was almost certainly aimed at igniting sectarian passions among the country's Shiite majority population 24 hours before voting commences. The attack killed two Iranians and one Iraqi and left 19 Iranians among the wounded in the lot, where an Iranian tour bus had parked, police said.
WORLD
July 13, 2008 | Saad Fakhrildeen, Special to The Times
The government may be in Baghdad and the oil reserves in Basra, but the smaller city of Najaf, halfway between Iraq's two centers of power, has a treasure that could be the envy of them both. "Our oil here is tourism," said Abdul Hussein Abtan, the deputy provincial governor in Najaf. Najaf and its neighbor Karbala hold some of Islam's holiest monuments. If they could, Shiite Muslims from around the Middle East would flock to the city to pray at the shrine of Imam Ali, the cousin and companion of the prophet Muhammad and his rightful successor according to the Shiite branch of Islam.
WORLD
April 20, 2008 | Ned Parker, Raheem Salman and Saad Fakhrildeen, Times Staff Writers
Clerics and politicians speak in hushed tones about the names drawn up for assassination. Guards stand outside their compounds clutching assault rifles, and handguns rest on desks. No one can be trusted. All sides fear that dark times are coming to Najaf, the spiritual capital of Iraq's Shiite Muslims.
WORLD
March 12, 2008 | Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writer
A roadside bomb ripped into a bus carrying mourners home to the southern city of Basra after attending a funeral in Najaf on Tuesday, killing 16 of them and injuring 13 to 22, police said. The bombing, part of a wave of violence that killed at least 36 people in Iraq, highlighted the precariousness of recent security gains. The U.S. military has acknowledged a slight increase in bloodshed recently, but says it is too soon to call it a trend.
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