Six dead in Baghdad clashes, Iraqi PM asks Arab states for support

Six people died in clashes in Baghdad's embattled Sadr City on Monday, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urged other Arab countries to reopen their embassies in the capital as a show of support for his government. A police commander said the dead in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City included three policemen and three civilians. Four other civilians were injured in the violence, according to the officer who asked not to be named since he was not authorized to release the information. The clashes between Shiite militiamen and government troops came after followers of hardline cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday raised the stakes in the showdown with al-Maliki's government, refusing to disband their Mahdi Army militia. Al-Maliki, also a Shiite, has demanded that al-Sadr disband the Mahdi Army, the country's biggest Shiite militia, or his followers will not be allowed to run in provincial elections this fall.