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Al-Sadr Tells Followers To Attack US “Occupiers”

From his fans at the Associated Press:

Supporters of a radical anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr arrive to the holy city of Kufa, Iraq, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, Sunday, April 8, 2007. al-Sadr called on his supporters to come to the holy cities of Kufa and Najaf to mark the fourth year of the US-led invasion on Monday.

al-Sadr calls for attacks on U.S. troops

By SAAD ABDUL KADIR, Associated Press Writer

The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged the Iraqi army and police to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate on pushing American forces out of the country, according to a statement issued Sunday.

The statement, stamped with al-Sadr’s official seal, was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday — a day before a large demonstration there, called for by al-Sadr, to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

“You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don’t walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy,” the statement said. Its authenticity could not be verified.

In the statement, al-Sadr — who commands an enormous following among Iraq’s majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government — also encouraged his followers to attack only American forces, not fellow Iraqis.

“God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them — not against the sons of Iraq,” the statement said, in an apparent reference to clashes between al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army fighters and Iraqi troops in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad. “You have to protect and build Iraq.”

The U.S. military on Sunday announced the deaths of four American soldiers, killed a day earlier in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. The province has seen a spike in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces since the start of a plan two months ago to pacify the capital. Officials believe militants have streamed out of Baghdad to invigorate the insurgency in areas just outside the city…

Why is al-Sadr still alive?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, April 8th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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