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Temporary Truce Reached In Al-Najaf

Al-Sadr was reportedly injured in fighting on Friday (file photo) 14 August 2004 -- A temporary truce has apparently taken hold in the Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Al-Najaf, which is reported calm today after more than a week of heavy fighting.

However, Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Imam Al-Mehdi Army has been battling U.S. and allied Iraqi security forces, has declared his intention to continue resistance.

Speaking to his fighters at Al-Najaf's Imam Ali shrine, al-Sadr called on the U.S.-backed interim Iraqi government to resign. Aides to Al-Sadr said the cleric was lightly injured in fighting.

Aides to the cleric and officials of the interim Iraqi government were earlier reported seeking to negotiate a ceasefire in Al-Najaf.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell denounced al-Sadr and his fighters as outlaws and said U.S. forces were "squeezing" Al-Najaf in a bid to restore order in the city.