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Iraq's Prime Minister Freezes Raids Against Militias

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The Iraqi Prime Minister may have taken another step backward today. He's declared a nationwide freeze on anymore raids against suspected Shiite militiamen. Just yesterday the Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr was demanding that the government stop arresting his followers and Sadr hinted at retaliation. The Prime Minister then called off further arrests at a moment when he's trying to persuade militias to surrender. His statement says he wants to give a chance to those who repented and want to lay down their arms.

(Soundbite of music) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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