Iraqi PM Allawi (file photo)
5 July 2004 - Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi yesterday called on all militias in the country to lay down their weapons.
Allawi told ABC Television that this included the militia of radical Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Al-Sadr's militia launched an uprising against U.S. forces this spring in the Shi'a areas of south and central Iraq. Al-Sadr's forces continue to defy U.S. troops in the country.
Allawi suggested that al-Sadr could play a political role in rebuilding the country if his militia were to disarm.