In protest at a meeting between the Iraqi and US leaders, the radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr has withdrawn his faction from the Iraqi government. He described the meeting between George W Bush and Nuri al-Maliki as a “provocation to the Iraqi people.”
Maliki is politically dependent on Sadr’s faction, which helped elect him to his post. Meanwhile, some 2,000 people marched through Sadr City in Baghdad on Tuesday to mark the seventh anniversary of the assassination Sadr’s father, Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr. Civilians, Shi’ite clerics and members of the Mehdi Army – Sadr’s militia – took part in the procession. Last week Sadr City was turned into a bloodbath as bombs and mortars killed more than 200 people.