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Too bad you couldn't have put this in your post as the pull quote.
Despite the strident rhetoric, however, there were signs that al-Sadr was trying to calm his militia to avoid all-out war with the Americans. Al-Sadr is also under pressure from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, also a Shiite, to disband the Mahdi Army or face a ban from politics.
Sadrist officials told The Associated Press they had received orders from their headquarters in Najaf to avoid confrontations with Iraqi and U.S. forces unless the Americans try to move deep into Sadr City, which has been under siege for two weeks.
The officials said the Sadrist leadership was concerned that the ongoing clashes were turning into a war of attrition that was weakening the movement and undermining support within its Shiite power base.
__________________ Questions are a burden
and answers a prison
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