Iraqi cleric Sadr extends ceasefire

Powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr extended his Mehdi Army ceasefire by around six months on Friday, according to a statement read out on his behalf in a mosque in Baghdad.

Iraqi cleric Sadr extends ceasefire
Hazim al-Araji, a senior leader in Sadr's movement, read out the decision at Kadhimiya mosque in northern Baghdad, a Reuters witness said.

Sadr's decision had been sent in sealed envelopes to imams of mosques affiliated with the cleric. The imams had been ordered to read the decision at midday Muslim prayers.

Many Mehdi Army members and Sadrist political leaders had wanted the truce scrapped, saying it was being exploited by Iraqi and U.S. forces to arrest Sadrists, especially in southern Iraq, where rival Shi'ite factions are vying for dominance.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Şubat 2008, 17:12