Clashes between security forces and Shiite fighters in Baghdad’s Sadr City killed two people and injured 18 on Wednesday. In the southern port city of Basra, the British military launched an offensive after militiamen attacked an Iraqi army patrol in the Haiyaniah district.

Basra has seen some of the country’s fiercest fighting since a government offensive against militia fighters there began on March 25.Today’s violence comes after yesterday’s multiple bombings in the northern and central parts of the country, which killed at least 60 people and undermined the US’s assertion that the Sunni insurgency is waning.