Aides for Iraqi Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr a radical Shiite leader who is believed
to have been a motivating factor in terrorist attacks throughout the war torn nation, are now in negotiations with the Iraqi leaders and are willing
to end the fighting after major U.S. military attacks in the city of Najaf. The result has lead to reports that Sadr himself was wounded in the clash.
Among the demands from al-Sadr's aides are American withdrawal from the holy city and amnesty for all his fighters, in exchange for his fighters to
disarm and end the fighting..
Guardian Full Article
NAJAF, Iraq (AP) - U.S. forces suspended a major offensive against militants in Najaf on Friday, and aides to Muqtada al-Sadr told Iraqi negotiators
that radical Shiite cleric was prepared to disarm his followers in exchange for a list of demands including an American withdrawal from the holy city
and amnesty for all his fighters.
The negotiations to end nine days of clashes in Najaf came as al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia appeared to stop most attacks in the city.
Before the pause in the fighting, aides to the cleric said al-Sadr was slightly injured early Friday, suffering shrapnel wounds to the face, chest and
shoulder as he met with followers near the revered Imam Ali Shrine, where many of the militants were hiding. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he
could not confirm that al-Sadr was wounded.
U.S. troops and Iraqi officials want to ensure that any new truce would eliminate the flaws of the previous agreements, including one that ended a
two-month uprising in early June. Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia repeatedly violated that cease-fire, shooting at police and burying caches of weapons
in Najaf's vast cemetery and using the time to regroup, according to U.S. officials and witnesses.
In Washington, Powell said he hoped the insurgent leader would respond.
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Can we ever negotiate with terrorists?
Are those fighting with al-Sadr terrorists or freedom fighters?
It seems to me that the best option is to bomb this thug and his band of fighters into oblivion. They have only added to the problems in Iraq, for
both the U.S. Military and more important the Iraqi people.
al-Sadr and his twisted view of Islam is much the same as the more well known terrorist group Al-Qaeda. If this man has his way Iraq would be a place
much like Afghanistan before the attacks of 9/11/01 and the resulting military action that changed that nation.. Sadr would have an Iraq that lives
under the strictest laws of Islam. And a world that would bring death to all infidels.
Iraq, Al-Sadr Aides Negotiate Najaf Truce
British reporter freed at al-Sadr's urging
Aljazeera.Net - Profile: Muqtada al-Sadr
[edit on 13-8-2004 by UM_Gazz]