BAGHDAD (AP) — A powerful anti-American Shiite cleric has threatened to reactivate his feared militia in Iraq if U.S. soldiers extend their stay.
The statement by Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army battled U.S. forces for years, was read out by a senior aide to hundreds of thousands of his followers in Baghdad on Saturday.
The statement came on the eighth anniversary of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's fall, following a U.S.-led invasion.
Al-Sadr froze his militia in 2007, dramatically reducing violence in the country.
U.S. troops are scheduled to complete their withdrawal from Iraq at the end of 2011.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.