Al-Sadr Threatens 'Open War'

Radical cleric urges Baghdad to take 'road of peace'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2008 4:48 PM CDT
Iraqi boys walk pasta burned car in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, April 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – Moqtada al-Sadr today threatened today to “declare a war” against Iraq unless it curbs attacks on his Mahdi Army, CNN reports. “I’m giving the last warning to the Iraqi government,” he said. “If the government does not stop the militias infiltrated with them, then we will declare an open war.” Al-Sadr had declared a ceasefire in August.

Nouri al-Maliki meanwhile was continuing his campaign against Sadr’s forces, ordering the Mahdi Army to clear out of its Basra headquarters. Sadr told his forces to comply, a spokesman said. The US has been helping the Iraqi forces, but insists that Maliki is calling the shots. Fighting also continued in the southern city of Nasiriya and Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood.