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Iraqi Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr Reorganizes Militia - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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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.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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