Iraqi Shiite Leaders Call Truce

Sides that clashed in Karbala seek to curb bloodshed
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2007 3:02 PM CDT
An armed Iraqi man attends a funeral in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq, in this Friday, July 27, 2007, file photo. Shiite sheiks are showing interest in joining forces with government-backed forces against...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two Shiite leaders made peace in Iraq today in hope of ending their bitter feud and curbing bloodshed, Reuters reports. Moqtada Al-Sadr and Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, leaders of parliament's main Shiite blocs, agreed to form committees and solve problems together around the country. Fighting between the factions has intensified this year in areas ignored by US forces.

At least 52 were killed when the sides clashed in Karbala in August; Sadr reacted by shutting down his Mehdi army, reportedly to weed out corruption. Both factions are hopeful the treaty will work: “This deal could be seen as the first step towards preventing clashes and fighting between the two groups,” one Shiite official said.