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British troops on patrol in Al-Basrah (file photo) (AFP)
May 31, 2006 -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamil al-Maliki has imposed a month-long state of emergency in the southern city of Al-Basrah in response to continuing violence there.
Al-Maliki declared that he would crack down with an "iron fist" on gangs threatening the city's security, and said he would order his officials to come up with an urgent plan to restore security.
During the day, Al-Maliki met a large number of military officials, tribal and religious leaders, and residents of the Al-Basrah region.
Security in Al-Basrah has been deteriorating as rival Shi'ite factions vie for power in the oil-rich region.
(AFP, AP, Reuters)