Iraqi interim government accepts Najaf peace deal
Thousands of Iraqis thronged Najaf's Imam Ali shrine Friday after Iraq's top Shiite cleric won agreement from Muqtada al Sadr and the government to end the fighting between his soldiers and U.S.-Iraqi forces.
Al-Sadr accepted the proposal in a face-to-face meeting Thursday night with the 75-year-old Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani. Hours afterward, Iraq's interim government also agreed to the deal.
Early Friday, thousands of people marched through the streets and thronged the Imam Ali shrine, one of Shia Islam's holiest, which has served as a base for al-Sadr's followers and been at the center of much of the three-week crisis.
According to The AP, American troops looked on as people passed by in streets leading to the shrine compound. Army 1st Lt. Chris Kent said the agreement "appears to be a final resolution. That's what it looks like right now." (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)