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U.S. Military Welcomes Al-Sadr Militia Freeze Order


(RFE/RL) September 1, 2007 -- The U.S. military today welcomed a declaration by Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr that he will freeze the activities of his militia for up to six months.

In a statement, the military said al-Sadr's decision could reduce criminal activity and help reunite Iraqis separated by ethnic and sectarian violence.


The statement also said that if implemented, al-Sadr's order could allow coalition and Iraqi forces to intensify their efforts against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.


Al-Sadr this week ordered his Al-Mahdi Army to suspend armed action after scores of people were killed during gunbattles involving the militia at a Shi'ite pilgrimage in the holy city of Karbala.


(Reuters)

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