Middle EastWorld

Shia cleric freezes all armed factions in Iraq except one province

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr today announced the freezing of all his armed factions across Iraq, except the northern province of Saladin.

Saleh Mohamed Al-Iraqi, a leader of the Sadr’s movement, said the influential cleric also “banned the use of weapons in all provinces except Saladin and Samarra city.”

It was not yet clear why Saladin province was not included in the ban.

The move comes amid rising tensions in Iraq over the failure of Shia political groups to agree on the formation of a new government since last year’s parliamentary elections in which Al-Sadr’s bloc won the most seats.

READ: Iraq cleric Sadr calls off protests after worst Baghdad violence in years

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