Al-Sadr Offers Peace; Iraq Welcomes Move

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Iraqi government has welcomed an order by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to pull his fighters off the streets.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Iraqi state TV in an interview that the decision is "positive and responsive."

Sunday's offer was contained in a nine-point statement issued by his headquarters in Najaf.

Al-Sadr also called on the government to stop what he calls haphazard raids and release security detainees who haven't been charged.

Violent clashes have broken out over a government crackdown in the southern city of Basra.


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