Sporadic clashes in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood killed at least five people on Sunday. As the fighting raged, a group of 40 lawmakers gathered in the war-torn neighborhood to announce they are willing to work with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and urged the US and Iraqi military to pull out of the area.
VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA: Sporadic clashes continued on Sunday in Baghdad. Police said that five people died and 14 were wounded in a clash between militiamen and Iraqi and US forces in the southern suburb of [“ma-LEEF”]. The US military denied that its forces had been engaged there. Associated Press television news footage from the scene showed a minibus riddled with bullets, and a pool of blood in another minibus that was reportedly carrying children. Also on Sunday, a delegation of about 40 lawmakers from various Sunni, Kurd, Turkomen, and Shiite parliamentary parties visited Sadr City and urged the government to end the military campaign there.
MOSTAFA AL-HITI, DIALOGUE FRONT PARTY MEMBER (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): We appeal to the government to lift the siege imposed on the city. And we also call upon the military troops to pull out of government offices and buildings. We are ready to work with the Sadr bloc to bring any wanted people to justice, as we believe that the weapons are only in hands of government.
NKWETA: As the delegation met, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was meeting with the Sunni Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi, to discuss reintegrating Sunni political parties into a Shiite-dominated government.
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