BAGHDAD, (AP) – Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered most of his followers to disarm but says he will maintain an elite fighting unit to resist the Americans in Iraq.
Shiite cleric Mudhafar al-Moussawi read al-Sadr’s latest instructions to worshippers after Friday prayers in Baghdad’s former militia stronghold of Sadr City.
He says “weapons are to be exclusively in the hands of one group, the resistance group,” while another group called Momahidoun is to focus on social, religious and community work.
The statement is in line with details revealed earlier this week. It appears to be an extension of plans al-Sadr announced in June aimed at asserting more control over the militia.