Back on January 28, 2007 there occurred one of the biggest battles of the post-invasion phase of the Iraq War. Hundreds of civilians were reported killed and hundreds more civilians reported captured after significant ground and air activities in the area.
I was reading the still messy and not-well-organized wiki page on The Battle of Najaf and found an interesting update:
10 Iraqi cult members sentenced to death
Middle East Times/September 2, 2007
Najaf, Iraq — Ten members of an Iraqi doomsday cult were sentenced to death Sunday, and 394 jailed for their roles in a January rebellion against Iraqi and US troops that left hundreds dead, police said.
“The criminal court passed judgement on 458 accused,” Najaf police chief Brigadier General Abdel Karim Mustapha said.
“It sentenced 10 leaders of the Soldiers of Heaven to death, and decided to release 54 of them,” he said. “The rest were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 15 years to life.”
In January, the militant sect, dubbing itself the Jund Al Samaa or “Soldiers of Heaven,” clashed with US and Iraqi forces outside the holy city of Najaf, three days ahead of the Shiite Ashura festival.
The fighting left 263 sect followers dead, including their messianic leader Dhia Abdel Zahra Kadhim Al Krimawi, also known as Abu Kamar, who believed himself to be a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.
The Iraqi security forces reportedly lost three soldiers and three policemen.
After the battle, police rounded up hundreds of sect members and put them on trial.
“With today’s sentencing, the curtain has fallen on the Soldiers of Heaven group,” Mustapha said.
Abu Kamar has also claimed to be a descendant of the Imam Mehdi, an 8th-century imam who vanished as a boy and, who, Shiites believe, will return to bring justice to the world.
At the time of the attack, Najaf deputy governor Abdel Hussein Attan said that the well-structured group planned to attack senior Shiite clerics and seize control of religious sites in Najaf, in a sign the Mehdi was about to reappear.
According to wikipedia (currently) the Middle East Times parent company is owned by the Unification Church. Can anyone confirm, add to or refute the accuracy of this MET report?
See also: Scanlyze tag Najaf
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy