Security forces free most people abducted during a raid on a Baghdad ministry.
Al-Sadr, the young cleric whose Jaish al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army) militia dominates Sadr City, told chanting supporters in a Friday sermon that the most prominent religious figure from the Sunni group must issue an edict demanding an end to the killing of Shia Muslims.
The group demanded that the government “specify the nature of its relations with the occupation forces”, and once again demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of US-led troops from Iraq.
It said the Shia bastion of Sadr City, the impoverished district where many al-Sadr followers are based, faces fierce attacks from those opposed to the US presence in Iraq, as well as repeated US raids.
Spate of attacks
“The gunmen came in civilian cars and pick-up trucks and started shooting at the building”
Hakim al-Zamili, deputy health minister
The attackers fired mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns into the compound. The ministry is run by followers of al-Sadr.