RealNews

U.S., Shiites Meet After Deadly Clashes

U.S. military officials and representatives of rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr held talks Sunday aimed at reducing violence in the restive Baghdad slum of Sadr City, a day after clashes there killed 10 people, officials said. British forces in the southern city of Basra, also the site of recent fighting, held similar talks with al-Sadr officials there. Both areas had erupted in violence after U.S. forces and al-Sadr’s militants began fighting in the holy city of Najaf three weeks ago, and the talks Sunday appeared to be an effort by both sides to expand on the peace deal that ended the Najaf crisis Friday. An agreement, at least in Sadr City, remained elusive, however, with al-Sadr’s aides demanding a U.S. pullout from the neighborhood, a condition U.S. officials rejected. Meanwhile, guerrillas launched an attack on the country’s oil infrastructure in the south, blowing up several oil export pipelines and cutting already curtailed exports to about 500,000 barrels a day, an oil official said. Full Story

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