US arrests al-Sadr's spokesman

US-occupation forces in the Iraqi city of Karbala have arrested a senior aide and spokesman for the Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

    Al-Sadr's office: Arrest seeks to undermine leader's resistance

    Ahmad Rida al-Hasani – who is also an official in the city's municipal council - was taken into custody following an overnight raid, officials in al-Sadr's office said on Tuesday.
       
    Occupation forces have refused to say why al-Hasani was seized from his home, but al-Sadr's office said it is all part of US attempts to put pressure on the leader of a minority Shia uprising.

    Al-Sadr ordered his Mahdi Army militia to resist occupying troops two months ago.

    But this month he agreed a ceasefire in Najaf and Karbala under pressure from other Shia religious leaders displeased with fighting in and around religious shrines. 
       
    Arrest or talks?

    The US-led administration in Iraq says al-Sadr must surrender to an Iraqi arrest warrant in connection with the murder of a rival cleric in Najaf last year.

    Iraqi Shia leaders say they will hold talks to find a solution to the issue.

    Meanwhile, a bomb exploded early on Tuesday at the same Baghdad airport intersection at which four occupation contractors died last week.

    However, Iraqi policeman Wadi al-Mini said he knew of no casualties and that a second bomb found near the road had  been defused.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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