30 August 2004 -- Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called today on his followers across the country to end fighting against U.S. and Iraqi forces.
An aide to al-Sadr, Sheikh Na'im al-Qa'bi, said the cleric also called for U.S. and Iraqi forces to withdraw from the center of Iraqi cities.
Al-Qa'bi also said al-Sadr plans to join the political process. He said that "within the next two days, the al-Sadr movement will explain its political vision."
Meanwhile, reports say that oil exports from southern Iraq have completely stopped following a series of sabotage attacks.
Also today, Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said he has been holding talks with Iraqi insurgent groups in a bid to persuade them to accept a government amnesty offer.
(AFP/AP)For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".