BAGHDAD (AFP) – Shiite radical leader Moqtada Sadr held talks in Baghdad on Tuesday on what was only his second visit to the Iraqi capital since the US-led invasion of 2003, aides said.
Sadr, who returned to Iraq in January after four years in voluntary exile in Iran, visited the Shiite shrine district of Kadhimiyah in the north of the capital and his stronghold of Sadr City in the east, the aides said.
Sadr, who lives in the central shrine city of Najaf, also held talks with Baghdad-based members of his party’s politburo, they added.
The firebrand cleric led repeated uprisings against US-led troops in central and southern Iraq before ordering a halt to the activities of his Mehdi Army militia in 2008.
His movement won 39 of the 325 seats in parliament in a general election in March last year and has six ministers in the national unity government.
Sadr’s backing was considered a key factor in Prime Minister Nuri Maliki’s successful fight to retain his job in a protracted battle for the premiership last year.