Iraqi troops leave al-Sadr office

Interim government forces have pulled back from an office of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf after surrounding it for six hours.

    The city of Najaf has been the site of fierce clashes recently

    Members of the Iraqi national guard pulled back from an al-Sadr office in Najaf after appearing to be readying for an assault on Monday.

    The move came after an apparent intervention from s

    enior Shia Muslim cleric Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani.

    The office had no armed guards or fighters, an al-Sadr spokesman told Aljazeera, describing the encirclement as a provocation.

    A spokesman for the al-Sadr office in Nasiriya told Aljazeera earlier that a meeting was under way at al-Sistani's office with the Najaf governor, representatives of the Shia Supreme Council and al-Sadr himself.

    "The meeting is a closed session," spokesman Aws al-Khafaji said.

    The Imam Ali shrine in Najaf was the site of a recent tense three-week deadlock between al-Sadr supporters and Shia Muslims inside the complex and Iraqi and US forces surrounding it. Clashes left many dead.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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