VIolence Erups with U.S. Commander Due to Brief Congress

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The heavy street fighting in Baghdad probably isn't the backdrop that General David Petraeus was hoping for as he updates members of Congress on the progress in Iraq.

The top U.S. military commander in the region is slated to appear Tuesday on Capitol Hill to talk about the situation on the ground and the prospect of further troop reductions. He'll be joined by Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

Violence has ramped up in Baghdad in recent days, with hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi troops rooting out a Shiite militia in the Sadr City district. The Iraqi government has increased the pressure on anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who faces an ultimatum to either disband his militia or give up politics.

Al-Sadr has called for a mass rally in Baghdad on Wednesday. A White House spokesman calls the timing "interesting," as it coincides with the second day of testimony at the Capitol.

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