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Fiji Time: 7:16 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Al-Sadr proposes 'peace code'

Ap
Monday, December 26, 2011

BAGHDAD - Iraq's anti-US Shi'ite cleric has launched an initiative calling for peaceful coexistence among all Iraqis after the withdrawal of US troops from the country.

Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militiamen were blamed for sectarian killings during the worst years of Iraq's violence, is seeking to assert his political weight in post-US troops Iraq.

The initiative comes as a government crisis has strained ties between two main Muslim sects, Sunnis and Shi'ites to the breaking point.

The Shi'ite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki is engaged in a showdown with the top Sunni political leader in the country.

His government has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi for what al-Hashemi says are trumped-up charges that he ran hit squads against government officials.

Al-Sadr's proposal comes just two days after a terrifying wave of Baghdad bombings killed 69 people and wounded nearly 200.