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Iraq's Sadr meets supporters in Baghdad - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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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.

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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