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Sadr Tells Iraqis to Sustain Resistance

Moqtada Sadr, the rebellious Shiite Muslim cleric, insisted Friday that the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq had not ended with the recent handover of limited political powers to an interim government, and called on his followers to continue resisting the large presence of foreign troops in the country. “I want to draw your attention to the fact there was no transferring of authority,” said Jabir Khafaji, a top Sadr lieutenant, reading from a letter from the cleric during Friday prayers at a mosque in the southern city of Kufa where Sadr commonly preaches. “What has changed is the name only.” Khafaji also demanded that the new Iraqi government defer to the Shiite religious leadership based in the neighboring holy city of Najaf. He asserted that the Mahdi Army, Sadr’s black-clad militia group that was recently decimated in two months of battle with U.S. forces, was “the army of Iraq.”Full Story

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