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Iraq PM Cracks Down in Shiite Militiamen (Sadr City assault) [View All]

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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-11-07 11:07 AM
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Iraq PM Cracks Down in Shiite Militiamen (Sadr City assault)
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Iraq PM Cracks Down in Shiite Militiamen
The Associated Press
By STEVEN R. HURST and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA

Iraq's prime minister has told Shiite militiamen to surrender their weapons or face an all-out assault, part of a commitment President Bush outlined on Wednesday to bring violence under control with a more aggressive Iraqi Army and 21,500 additional American troops.

Senior Iraqi officials said Wednesday that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, under pressure from the U.S., has agreed to crack down on the fighters even though they are loyal to his most powerful political ally, the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Previously, al-Maliki had resisted the move.

Bush laid out his new plan to quell violence in and around the Iraqi capital in a televised address to the nation Wednesday night. In earlier operations, the president said, 'political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence.

'This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter those neighborhoods,' Bush said. 'Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.'

Before Bush spoke, a senior Shiite legislator and close al-Maliki adviser said the prime minister had warned that no militias would be spared in the crackdown.

'The government has told the Sadrists: 'If we want to build a state we have no other choice but to attack armed groups,'' said the legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the prime minister.

(more)

http://www.topix.net/content/ap/36006468770698937657187...



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