Friday, February 22, 2008

Al-Sadr mulling extending cease-fire

Still, there is no concept within his frame of reference for a permanent peace under any government except one constituted according to Islamic law.

"Iraqi mosques to read al-Sadr statement," by Qassum Abdul-Zahra for Associated Press (thanks to Jihad Watch News Editor Marisol Seibold): BAGHDAD - Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr will have a statement read in mosques at Friday prayer services addressing whether his Mahdi Army will extend a six-month cease-fire that's helped reduce violence throughout Iraq, a Shiite lawmaker said.

The Iraqi legislator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information, told The Associated Press on Thursday that "tomorrow there will be a statement from Sayed Muqtada to be read during Friday prayers."

"No one can predict what decision will be taken," he said. "Whether it will be an extension of the freeze or not."

Al-Sadr's decision to take his militia off the streets last August has been widely credited with slashing improving security throughout Iraq, along with a boost in American troop levels and Sunni fighters turning against their former allies from al-Qaida in Iraq.

Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, a spokesman for al-Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, said Wednesday that if the cleric failed to issue a statement by Saturday saying the cease-fire was extended, "then that means the freeze is over."

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