(AP) - Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has delivered a fiery speech in Najaf, demanding that coalition forces leave Iraq. At a press conference in his father's home in the holy Shiite Muslim city, Al-Sadr criticized the American-led occupation and called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
He called on the Iraqi government, religious movements and political factions to work hard to "kick out the occupier'' and demanded "the immediate withdrawal of the occupation forces.''
Al-Sadr also accused the United States of trying to foment a sectarian conflict, and he demanded the coalition release all detainees.
"The occupier is trying to make up a sectarian war between the Sunnis and Shiites,'' al-Sadr said. "It is not acceptable to direct the allegations of ugly acts committed by the occupier against the Shiites, to the Sunnis, we also condemn and denounce all the terrorist acts.''