Al-Mahdi Army digs in, hopes for deal

In an exclusive interview with Aljazeera, a Muqtada al-Sadr spokesman has said the al-Mahdi Army is prepared for any attack against Najaf, but is also ready to accept any peace intitiative.

    Al-Sadr's supporters are facing a large-scale offensive on Najaf

    Ahmad al-Shibani stressed that any peace move initiated by the interim government - which he branded as a proxy agent of the US occupation of Iraq - would be welcomed by al-Sadr.

    "We want to stop the bloodshed, maintain the honour and integrity of the Iraqi people, and bring this crisis to an end," he told Aljazeera.

    His comments came a few hours after the Iraqi Ministry of Interior stated that US occupation forces supported by Iraqi national guardsmen would ''soon'' begin a large-scale offensive on Najaf.

    In further signs that an attack on Najaf was imminent, Iraqi police forces in the city forced journalists to immediately leave the area. Najaf sources told Aljazeera some journalists refused to leave and were hiding in the besieged city.

    While US forces have stressed that they will respect the sanctity of the holy shrine of Imam Ali, Aljazeera is reporting that a single shell breached the outer sanctum of the shrine, hitting an outer wall and killing one al-Mahdi army fighter.

     

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.