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Thursday, August 12, 2004

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US moves to crush Shia uprising

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US moves to crush Shia uprising: "US moves to crush Shia uprising
US-led forces have surrounded the centre of Najaf in an effort to defeat a week-long uprising by Shia militants.
There was heavy fighting as US and Iraqi troops sealed off the city's Imam Ali Shrine where followers of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr are now barricaded.
The troops, backed by helicopters and tanks, have kept out of the holy site.
Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi denounced the 'complete criminality' of the militants and again called for them to lay down their weapons.
In a statement read out to a news conference by a senior official, Mr Allawi said: 'Our brave troops have never targeted the sacred holy shrine, but the militia have made the site a target by occupying it.' "

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