Friday, January 21, 2011

Sadrists demand better security

'Hakim al-Zamili, a lawmaker in al-Sadr's political movement, said the fiery cleric's supporters were unlikely to wait for the government to fix the security crisis while devout Shiites continued to be killed.

His remarks were a veiled threat to reassemble the Mahdi Army, al-Sadr's feared militant wing, which spurred sectarian violence in neighborhood raids on Sunni homes and rampant killings in major Iraqi cities for years.

"We have reached a stage where we will not stand for any more attacks," al-Zamili said in an interview Friday. "We have the power and the ability to protect our holy shrines, our mosques and our people. We have a strong arm in the parliament, and we will demand better security."

Al-Zamili maintained al-Sadr's offer to register the Mahdi Army with Iraqi forces and help plug security gaps, but said the government continues to rebuff it. "The government does not really trust us," he said.'

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