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Anti-American cleric flees Iraq for Iran
Tue Feb 13, 8:21 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has fled Iraq for Iran ahead of a security crackdown in Baghdad and President Bush's announced influx of 21,500 U.S. troops, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.
Al-Sadr left his Baghdad stronghold some weeks ago, the official said. Al-Sadr is believed to be in Tehran, where he has family. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. monitoring activities, said fractures in al-Sadr's political and militia operations may be part of the reason for his departure. The move is probably not permanent, the official said.