The Corner

Sadr Continues Ceasing

AP:

Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced Friday that he has extended a cease-fire order to his Shiite Mahdi Army by another six months, giving Iraq a chance to continue its fragile recovery from brutal sectarian violence.

His message was delivered by Shiite clerics during prayer services in mosques dominated by followers of the black-turbaned cleric.

“According to an order by Sayyid Muqtada, activities of the Mahdi Army will be suspended … for another six month period,’’ al-Sadr’s aide Hazim al-Aaraji said, using an honorific for al-Sadr during his sermon at the Kazimiyah mosque in Baghdad.

Al-Sadr’s decision to halt the activities of his powerful militia for up to six months last August was one of three critical steps widely credited with bringing the Iraqi death toll down more than 60 percent in recent months.

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