Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday urged his Mahdi Army militiamen to refrain from harming or killing fellow Iraqis on the pretext of self-defense.
In what appeared to be a call on Iraqi forces to stop cooperating with the U.S. military, al-Sadr said Iraq’s army and police must not kill Iraqis in the joint U.S.-Iraqi security campaign launched more than eight ago.
It was not clear what prompted al-Sadr’s short statement, which was issued a day after the U.S. military said it had killed 49 suspected militants during a dawn operation in Baghdad’s Shiite Sadr City enclave, a Mahdi Aramy stronghold, to capture an Iranian-linked militia chief. The wanted individual was not captured. [complete article]