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Al-Sistani Brokers Disarmament Deal For Holy City --> 27 August 2004 -- A deal has been reached to end three weeks of unrest in the Iraqi holy city of Al-Najaf when Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, reached an agreement with radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

A five-point plan calls for foreign troops to leave the city and for the Iraqi government to compensate for damage. Fighters loyal to al-Sadr are to leave the sacred Iman Ali Shrine by 0800 today and lay down their arms.

The Iraqi government has accepted the deal. Earlier yesterday, unidentified attackers fired mortars on a group of al-Sistani supporters marching from the city of Al-Kufah to Al-Najaf, killing 25 people. Iraqi health officials announced that a total of 74 people have been killed and 376 wounded in recent violence.