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U.S. Warplanes Attack Sadr City

October 4, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.S. warplanes attacked a sprawling Baghdad slum late Monday, and skirmishes were continuing between American troops and rebels in the area, a spokesman for the insurgents said.

The U.S. military had no information on the reported fighting in Sadr City.

U.S. forces have staged almost daily attacks in Sadr City, both from the air and on the ground, in an effort to root out militiamen loyal to radical Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Abu Thar al-Kinani, the spokesman for the al-Mahdi Army in Sadr City, said the attack was a ``liquidation operation″ and an effort to keep al-Sadr’s movement from taking part in January’s general elections.

The cleric has seesawed about whether he will enter the political arena. The interim Iraqi government says he is welcome to run in elections but must first disarm and disband his followers.

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