RealNews

Premier of Iraq Calls for End to Insurgency

Hopes for peace in Najaf improve, but five U.S. soldiers are killed in an attack in Baghdad. Iraq’s new interim prime minister, in his first policy address to the nation, urged insurgents Friday to halt attacks on U.S. forces, saying it would be a “disaster” for the country if foreign troops departed prematurely. Even as Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was making his appeal, five U.S. soldiers were killed in a fiery attack on their vehicle near Sadr City, a Baghdad slum that is a stronghold of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr. At another volatile venue, however, there was word that a long-running confrontation between Sadr’s forces and U.S. troops might be cooling down. The governor of the sacred Shiite city of Najaf — which together with its sister city, Kufa, has been the scene of clashes for more than two months — announced that the two sides had agreed to a truce. Iraqi police assumed full responsibility for security in the two cities Friday evening as part of the agreement, Gov. Adnan Zurufi said. Full Story

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