Al-Sadr demands date for US pullout

Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has called on his community's senior religious leaders to insist on a timeline for a US troop withdrawal.

    Worshippers at Friday prayers listen to al-Sadr's message

    "This is a message from Sayid Muqtada. I call on all religious and political powers that pushed towards the elections and took part in them to issue an official statement calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Iraq," Sayid Hashim Abu Raghif told worshippers gathered for Friday prayers in the Shia city of Kufa.

     

    Al-Sadr, who earlier belittled last week's vote, said he would no longer refrain from commenting on political developments in Iraq after keeping quiet for months, according to a statement Abu Raghif read from al-Sadr to thousands of worshippers.

     

    West's pawn

     

    "I stood aside for the elections and did not stand against them as I did not want to show disobedience toward the Marjaiya [senior Shia clergy]. I did not join these elections so that I wouldn't be one of the West's pawns.

     

    Muqtada al-Sadr commands the
    loyalty of tens of thousands

    "The West is so proud that they have held the elections but I would ask: Who is responsible for the blood that day?" he asked.

     

    Al-Sadr was referring to the death of at least 36 Iraqi civilians and a security officer in attacks mounted as elections were held.

     

    A majority of Shia, who make up about 55% of the population, voted in an affirmation of the political process championed by their most senior religious figure, Iranian-born Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani.

     

    Al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army militia battled US troops for seven months last year before laying their arms down in October.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Musta'ribeen, Israel's agents who pose as Palestinians

    Who are the Israeli agents posing as Palestinians?

    Musta'ribeen are an elite Israeli undercover unit that disguises themselves as Arabs or Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    100 years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.