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Apr 09,2007
Shiite leader calls U.S. 'great evil'
by UPI

BAGHDAD - Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Sunday called the United States the "great evil" and accused U.S. forces of dividing Iraq by increasing violence.

The leader of the Mahdi Army militia urged his followers to stop fighting with Iraqi security forces in southern Iraq, where fighting broke out last week, The Washington Post reported.

The verbal broadside against the United States came as the U.S. military announced 10 U.S. soldiers had been killed over the weekend -- six of them in attacks near Baghdad Sunday. At least 69 Iraqis were killed or found dead across Iraq, the Post reported.

Sadr, who has long called for the United States to leave Iraq, stopped short of telling his followers to rise up against U.S. troops, the newspaper said, but he ordered his fighters to "demonstrate" to "end the occupation."

"My brothers in the Mahdi Army, and my brothers in the security services: enough fighting and rivalry, because that is only a success for our, and your, enemy," Sadr said in a statement. "Infighting between brothers is not right, nor is it right to follow the dirty American sedition, or to defend ... the occupier."

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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