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Lethal tribal clash north of Basra City

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At approximately 00:10 on 12 March, according to the Basra Provincial Council Security Committee Chairman Jabbar al-Saadi and other sources, an armed tribal clash involving members of Al Hamadina and Al-Battut tribes was reported in the Garmat Ali area, located north of Basra City. Images of the clash depicted heavy small arms fire and the use of light and medium weapons, while other sources cited the use of rocket propelled grenades. As a result, three individuals were killed, with unverified sources adding that seven others were wounded. Two of the victims were reportedly civilians passing through the affected area at the time of the clash.

Security forces responded to the incident and arrested one individual in connection with the incident. The area of Garmat Ali remains a historic hotspot for tribal violence and enduring disputes often form the crux of ongoing conflicts which are reignited by trivial transgressions. Since the beginning of 2019, five incidents classified as a major tribal clash have been reported in areas north of Basra City. However, in terms of total fatalities, this incident forms the most lethal tribal clash reported in Basra Province since 6 April 2018. The inadvertent shooting of two civilians reinforces the potential exposure to such lethal events, with national employees remaining at a higher risk.

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