Al Jazeera English
SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2008
17:03 MECCA TIME, 14:03 GMT
Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia leader, has ordered his fighters to withdraw from the streets of several provinces, six days after Iraqi forces mounted a crackdown against Shia armed groups.
“We want the Iraqi people to stop this bloodshed and maintain Iraq’s independence and stability,” al-Sadr said in a statement released on Sunday.
“For that we have decided to withdraw [al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army] from the streets of Basra and all other provinces.”
At least 270 people have reportedly died since an Iraqi military crackdown in Basra sparked fighting across the country.
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