Sunday, March 30, 2008

Al-Sadr Asks For Truce, Tells Mahdi Army to Stand Down

Looks like Mookie's had enough.

The Iraqi Government is either hurting Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army badly, or al-Sadr wants to conserve forces for a later confrontation. Al-Sadr has ordered his gunmen off the streets.

From the Associated Press:
BAGHDAD (AP) - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Sunday that he was pulling his fighters off the streets nationwide and called on the government to stop raids against his followers and free them from prison.

The Iraqi government quickly welcomed al-Sadr's apparent move to resolve a widening conflict with his movement, sparked Tuesday by operations against his backers in the oil-rich southern city of Basra.

Al-Sadr's nine-point statement was issued by his headquarters in the holy city of Najaf and broadcast through loudspeakers on Shiite mosques. It said the first point was: "taking gunmen off the streets in Basra and elsewhere."