Iraq’s Sadr plans new show of force

SpaceWar.com reports: “In a new power play, Iraq’s Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr called for traditional Friday prayers to take place on a vast square inside the Green Zone where his followers have occupied parliament for seven days.

A similar call from Sadr in mid-July drew hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshippers to Sadr City, a Baghdad district named after his assassinated father, amid tensions between his political bloc and a rival Shiite faction that is backed by Iran.

The latest mass-prayer call by Sadr, a longtime political and religious force in the war-scarred country, follows his demand for early elections — a possibility that the rival bloc says it is conditionally open to, despite the last national polls only taking place less than 10 months ago.

Months of post-election negotiations between Sadr’s bloc — the largest in parliament — and other factions failed to lead to agreement on a new government, prime minister and president…”

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