So...within hours, we will know precisely just how much much influence he retains over the fighting force.We want the Iraqi people to stop this bloodshed and maintain Iraq's independence and stability," al-Sadr said in a statement released on Sunday.
"For that we have decided to withdraw [al-Sadr's Mahdi Army] from the streets of Basra and all other provinces."
At least 270 people have reportedly died since an Iraqi military crackdown in Basra sparked fighting across the country.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
BREAKING: Sadr orders fighters to stand down, but can he deliver?
Earlier today, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his militia to stand down, and the Iraqi government hailed it as a breakthrough.