Iraqi prime minister issues "last call for peace" in Najaf - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/26/04 - NAJAF, Iraq

Iraqi prime minister issues "last call for peace" in Najaf

Iraq's interim prime minister is making a "last call for peace" for the city of Najaf.

He's issuing a 24-hour cease-fire in the city where militants loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr remain in control of a key religious shrine. The cease-fire coincides with the arrival of the country's leading Shiite cleric.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani led a convoy of thousands of peace marchers there. He's calling for Najaf and nearby Kufa to be declared weapons-free zones and for all forces to withdraw.

However, the fighting continues. Explosions can be heard across the city and U.S. warplanes bombed suspected militant positions.

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