Iraqi cleric threatens action if US forces remain
The Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr battled United States forces for years.
Baghdad: A powerful anti-American Shi’ite cleric has threatened to reactivate his feared militia in Iraq if US soldiers extend their stay.
The statement by Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army battled US forces for years, was read out by a senior aide to hundreds of thousands of his followers in Baghdad on Saturday.
The statement came on the eighth anniversary of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein`s fall, following a US-led invasion.
Al-Sadr froze his militia in 2007, dramatically reducing violence in the country.
US troops are scheduled to complete their withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011.