Scroll to the end of the article to read about the inflated media reports of the lack-luster crowds of Sadrite protesters.
On murder-suicide bombings:
The mass casualty suicide attacks, which have incited the Shia population to support sectarian violence in the past, have been absent from Baghdad since an attack at a Shia market on March 29th. Al Qaeda has conducted several attacks in the provinces, most notably a chlorine gas suicide strike in Ramadi and conventional suicide bombings in Kirkuk and Khalis. The Ramadi attack, the eighth chlorine attack in Anbar province, was another attempt to break the Anbar Salvation Council, a grouping of Sunni tribes and former insurgent groups opposed to al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq. The Khalis strike was intended to stir up sectarian violence in the mixed Sunni-Shia province of Diyala, while the Kirkuk strike was an effort to pit Kurds against Arabs in the contested and oil rich northern city.
On jihadis and insurgents:
The Baghdad Security Plan has resulted in the death or capture of three senior al Qaeda operatives over the past week.
Multinational Forces Iraq deployed a Stryker Battalion to Baqubah, the provincial capital, and since has been conducting a series of targeted raids, clearing operations, search and destroy missions and some permanent presence missions in the Diyala River Valley north of the city. The latest operation resulted in 30 terrorists killed and another 28 captured. The raids also uncovered an al Qaeda in Iraq training facility and 25 weapons caches.
Western Iraq Mission:
In Mosul, over 179 insurgents were captured and eight killed during operations over the past week. Violence in Niwena province has increased since U.S. and Iraqi forces shifted towards Baghdad. In Anbar, Iraqi and Coalition forces are pushing outward from the larger cities and towns into the rural farmlands that snake along the Euphrates River Valley.
Shi'a Militia Busting:
Operations are ongoing in Diwaniyah, where elements of Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army fled after the announcement of the Baghdad Security plan. The split in Sadr's Mahdi Army has left a large segment of that group looking to reconcile with the Iraqi government. The extremist elements of the militia have reestablished themselves in Diwaniyah, and security in the city is said to have been deteriorating ever since. The Iraqi government and the Coalition are pursuing the Mahdi Army holdovers remaining in Diwaniyah. Thirty-nine Mahdi fighters have been captured since the operation began on April 6, and several have been reported killed.
CMAR II says "Check it out".