- Title: IRAQ: US FORCES PATROL OUTSIDE CITY OF NAJAF
- Date: 18th April 2004
- Summary: (U3) NAJAF, IRAQ (APRIL 18, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS OF U.S. TROOPS IN POSITIONS AROUND NAJAF 0.09 2. SLV WOMEN WALKING PAST TANK WAVING GREEN FLAGS THAT SYMBOLISE SHI'ITE MUSLIMS 0.20 3. VARIOUS OF U.S. TROOPS IN TANKS 0.46 4. SLV VEILED WOMEN WALKING PAST TANK 0.54 5. SLV IRAQI POLICEMAN 1.00 6. VARIOUS OF U.S. SOLDIER HOLDING WEAPON 1.11 7. WIDE OF TANKS 1.17 8. CLOSE UP U.S. SOLDIER 1.23 9. VARIOUS OF U.S. SOLDIERS IN MILITARY VEHICLE 1.30 10. VARIOUS OF U.S. TANK DRIVING PAST 1.59 11. WIDE OF US TANKS DRIVING DOWN ROAD PAST PEDESTRIANS 2.08 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 3rd May 2004 13:00
- Location: NAJAF, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA38PMJ73I4P03LKRC6NEXKB1YP
- Story Text: U.S. forces wait outside Najaf with no sign of a
breakthrough in efforts to avert a bloody confrontation
with rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in an Iraqi city holy to
the world's Shi'ite Muslims.
Tension remained high in Najaf on Sunday (April 18),
where 2,500 U.S. troops are poised nearby with orders to
kill or capture rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
U.S. troops continued patrolling the outskirts of Najaf
while residents walked past waving green flags, a symbol of
A spokesman for the fiery cleric said on Saturday
(April 17) that negotiations were at a dead end. A U.S.
spokesman denied any direct talks had taken place, although
he said Iraq's U.S.-led administration was keen to avoid
bloodshed in Najaf.
Caught in the face-off between U.S. troops and Sadr's
Mehdi Army militia, Najaf residents complained their lives
and livelihoods were at risk with shops closed and streets
around the city's shrines crowded with gunmen instead of
Sadr's supporters say Iraq's top Shi'ite clerics back
the uprising they staged this month against the U.S.-led
Sadr's spokesman, Qays al-Khazali said that Shi'ites
know that any assault from the Americans on the holy city
of Najaf will be the zero hour for the revolution in Iraq.
But representatives of Najaf's four grand ayatollahs
have distanced themselves from the junior cleric's actions.
A spokesman for Grand Ayatollah Ishaq al-Fayadh said
Moqtada did not consult the religious authority when he
started this crisis or when he created the Mehdi Army.
U.S. officials say Sadr, wanted in connection with the
murder of a moderate Shi'ite cleric a year ago, must face
justice in an Iraqi court and disarm his ragtag militia.
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