- Title: IRAQ: SHI'ITE CLERIC ANNOUNCES CEASEFIRE BY MEHDI ARMY, FRIDAY PRAYERS, LATEST
- Date: 25th June 2004
- Summary: (U4)BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JUNE 25, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. GV/CU: EXTERIOR OF IMAM MOUSA AL-KADHIM SHRINE (2 SHOTS) 0.09 2. MV/CU: WORSHIPPERS GATHERING FOR PRAYER CHANTING FOR YOUNG RADICAL SHI'ITE CLERIC MOQTADA AL-SADR (2 SHOTS) 0.19 3. MV/GV: WORSHIPPERS CHANTING "NO, NO TO TERRORISM" (2 SHOTS) 0.33 4. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SHEIKH RA'ID AL-KADHIMI, SAYING: "For the sake of public interest and considering the sensitive situation the oppressed Iraqi people are under, it was decided to halt military operations within Sadr City starting form Thursday, June 24 until the issuance of another decision that abolishes this. This decision is bending for all the heroic members of the Mehdi Army." 1.25 5. GV/MV/CU: PEOPLE PRAYING (5 SHOTS) 1.51 6. GV/MV: WORSHIPPERS DEMONSTRATING AFTER PRAYER; DEMONSTRATORS CARRYING PICTURES OF MOQTADA AL-SADR AND HIS FATHER (6 SHOTS) 2.19 7. GV: EXTERIOR OF ABU HANIFA MOSQUE BAGHDAD'S MAIN SUNNI MOSQUE 2.24 8. GV: WORSHIPPERS LISTENING TO PREACHER (3 SHOTS) 2.38 9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SHEIKH AHMED TAHA AL-SAMARA'I, SAYING: "I say and repeat that events that took place yesterday and which sometimes happen are but Jewish-American plots, behaviours and conspiracies, which were designed and worked out and implemented by hands other than those of their designers. The hands are ignorant, and regrettably they are performed by people from us who are motivated by strange motives some with intentions and some without intention performing objectives of the occupiers while thinking that he is doing well." 3.04 10. GV/MV: PEOPLE PRAYING (4 SHOTS) 3.20 (U4) FALLUJA, IRAQ (JUNE 25, 2004) (REUTERS) 11. GV/CU: EXTERIOR OF AL-FURGAN MOSQUE IN FALLUJA (2 SHOTS) 3.28 12. GV/CU: SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SHEIKH ABDULLAH AL-JANABI, SAYING: "Falluja has gave hope to all oppressed people." (3 SHOTS) 3.47 13. MV: PEOPLE PRAYING (2 SHOTS) 3.58 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 10th July 2004 13:00
- Location: BAGHDAD AND FALLUJA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVA2843I4ZWMJ26WCPTBG797S5WK
- Story Text: Shi'ite Friday prayer leader announced a unilateral
ceasefire by radical Shi'ite militia while a Sunni cleric
blamed Thursday's strings of attacks on Iraqis.
Friday prayer leader Sheikh Ra'd al-Kadhimi said on
Thursday (June 25) that the Mehdi Army, a militia loyal to
radical young Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr declared a
unilateral ceasefire covering a Baghdad slum where the
cleric's Shi'ite militia has been battling better-armed
"For the sake of public interest and considering the
sensitive situation the oppressed Iraqi people are under,
it was decided to halt military operations within Sadr
City," said Sheikh Rai'd al-Kadhimi reading a statement by
the Mehdi Army.
The slum,a home to about two million formerly known as
Saddam City, was renamed after the war in honour of Sadr's
uncle and father -- considered national martyrs for
resisting Saddam Hussein.
Under the announced truce, Sadr's militia will not
fire on U.S. convoys that patrol Sadr city, but reserve the
right of "self defence" if U.S. forces storm their premises.
The truce could open the way for cooperation between
Sadr, who has been taking a less radical political line,
and the interim government due to take power from the
occupying forces in a few days.
Sadr agreed last month to withdraw his forces from the
holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala in central Iraq under
pressure from other Shi'ite leaders.
U.S.-led forces have killed hundreds of civilians and
Mehdi Army fighters in its campaign to crush Sadr's revolt
in central and southern Iraq, Shi'ite politicians said.
After the prayer the worshippers took to the street
calling for death punishment for former Iraqi president
Meanwhile, a Sunni cleric said Thursday's bloody
attacks on five Iraqi cities were designed by Americans and
carried out by Iraqi people.
"I say and repeat that events that took place yesterday
and which sometimes happen are but Jewish-American plots,
behaviours and conspiracies, which were designed and worked
out and implemented by hands other than those of their
designers," Sheikh Ahmed Taha al-Samara'I told a
congregation of worshippers who packed Baghdad's Sunni
main mosque of Abu Hanifa
"The hands are ignorant, and regrettably they are
performed by people from us who are motivated by strange
motives some with intentions and some without intention
performing objectives of the occupiers while thinking that
he is doing well," he added.
Meantime, a Muslim cleric in Falluja said that Falluja
has gave hope to oppressed people by its resistance to
"Falluja has gave hope to all oppressed people," Sheikh
Abdullah al-Janabi in his Friday sermon.
About 100 people were killed and several hundred
wounded in Iraq on Thursday when insurgents launched bloody
assaults in five cities to disrupt next week's formal
handover to Iraqi rule.
Three U.S. soldiers were among those killed in bold
assaults on Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and the mainly
Sunni Muslim cities of Baquba, Falluja and Ramadi
A group led by Zarqawi, who Washington says has links
to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks in a
statement on an Islamist Web site.
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