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Still A Quagmire

Remember when the Mahdi Army effectively took over the southern Iraqi city of Amara only for them to make a deal with the Iraq Army to allow them to patrol the town again. How is that status quo holding up? Not so good:

Shiite militiamen loyal to a fiery anti-American Shiite cleric re-emerged in the troubled southern city of Amarah on Monday.

In Amarah, gunmen dragged police Lt. Sarmad Majid al-Shatti from his home before dawn, then dumped his bullet-riddled body at a farm on the city's outskirts, said Ali Chaloub of Sadr General Hospital. Another policeman, Lt. Alaa al-Kabi was shot to death outside his home, Chaloub said.

At about the same time, provincial policemen Hamid Majeed and Hassan Abdullah were kidnapped from their homes, and their bodies were later found dumped outside the city, Chaloub said.

Despite an increased police and army presence on the streets, many Baghdad Sunnis said they would rather stay home than risk falling victim to car bombs or Shiite death squads.