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Al-Sadr Injured In Al-Najaf Fighting

Muqtada al-Sadr (file photo) 13 August 2004 -- A spokesman for Muqtada al-Sadr today said the Iraqi radical Shi'ite cleric has been injured during fighting with U.S. forces in the holy Shi'ite city of Al-Najaf.

The spokesman, Ahmad al-Shaibani, said al-Sadr has three non-life-threatening injuries. He gave no details about the wounds or when they occurred, or about the cleric's present location.

The announcement comes one day after the U.S. military started an assault on Al-Najaf in an attempt to defeat al-Sadr's militia members, who have been fighting U.S. forces in the city for the last eight days.

On 13 August, U.S. Marines raided al-Sadr's empty house in Al-Najaf and sealed off approaches to the Imam Ali Shrine, where some al-Sadr fighters have taken refuge.

Al-Sadr has repeatedly urged his followers to continue the resistance even if he is captured or killed.


For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".