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Al-Sadr Sends Part Of His Army From Al-Najaf

16 June 2004 -- Reports say radical Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has told all members of his Al-Mahdi Army who are not from the holy city of Al-Najaf to leave the city.

A statement, issued in Al-Najaf, says he asked the fighters to return to their regions.

In other developments, saboteurs reportedly attacked two key southern oil pipelines for a second day today cutting off all crude oil exports from the Gulf.

Officials say the latest attack in Al-Basrah occurred just after midnight. Samir Jassim, a senior official of the state-run Southern Oil Company said it will take a least one week to repair before exports with normal levels could be resumed.

Two other explosions occurred yesterday along pipelines in the Faw peninsula, near Al-Basrah. Saboteurs also blasted a northern oil pipeline last night in the oil fields near the town of Dibis, some 45 kilometers west of Kirkuk.

In the western Iraqi town of Al-Ramadi several Iraqis were killed by a roadside bomb.

(international agencies)