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Cleric vows attacks if US troops stay in Iraq

Last Updated: Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 23:37

Baghdad: A powerful anti-American Shiite
cleric in Iraq with thousands of loyal followers says US
forces who stay past the December 31 withdrawal deadline are
fair game to attack.

Muqtada al-Sadr made the statement on his website Tuesday
after Iraqi government officials recently said they were
opening talks with Washington to discuss keeping a number of
American forces in the country.

Iraqi officials, worried about a potential backlash if US
troops remain, have reiterated that any potential American
military force would be kept to train Iraqi troops.

But al-Sadr`s statement indicates that thousands of
Iraqis strongly oppose any American troops staying in the
country, regardless of their role.


First Published: Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 23:37
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