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Al-Sadr's Fighters Handing In Weapons

Fighting in Al-Sadr city has been intense (file photo) 11 October 2004 -- News agencies report militiamen in a mostly Shi'a area of Baghdad have begun turning in weapons as part of a deal to end fighting there.

Reports say small numbers of fighters are turning up at police stations to receive money for heavy and medium-sized weapons.

Followers of the radical Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agreed over the weekend to the exchange. The arms transfer is supposed to last five days.

In return the government has promised to release some detained al-Sadr followers. It has also suspended raids in the area.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military has said two U.S. soldiers were killed and five wounded in a rocket attack in southern Baghdad.