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Friday, August 06, 2004

More than 1,200 militiamen surrender in Najaf

August 6, 2004
More than 1,200 militiamen loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr surrendered following fierce clashes with US and Iraqi forces in Najaf, the police general directorate said.

"Over 1,200 criminals have surrendered to Iraqi forces," it said in a statement, adding that the holy city of Najaf had been "secured." It said most of the captured militiamen were criminals who were released from Iraqi prisons by ousted president Saddam Hussein before last year's US-led invasion.

The statement accused Sadr's Mehdi Army of wanting to "destablise the country," and vowed "this operation will continue until this illegal and cruel violence has been quelled." ... FR Reprint.

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