Iraqi gov't announces military op's start in Shi'ite armed group stronghold

The Iraqi government announced Thursday that military operations have started against Shi'ite armed groups in the southern city of Amarah and surrounding areas. A statement said provincial police commander Col. Mahdi al-Asaadi had imposed an indefinite curfew on parts of the city, but government offices, schools and colleges wouldn't be affected. Thursday's announcement followed the expiration of a deadline for fighters in Amarah to surrender their arms or face arrest. The statement said Iraqi security forces had already found large weapons caches and munitions before the operation started.