World

Muqtada al-Sadr returns to Iraq after four years in Iran

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) – Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is calling the U.S., Israel, and Great Britain “common enemies” against Iraq.

In his first speech in Iraq since four years of self-imposed exile in Iran, he urged his Shiite followers to resist what he called ‘the occupiers’ by all means.

The radical cleric told the crowd of thousands to “reject America” and urged his followers to “target only the occupier with all means of resistance.”

He said Iraqis should not kill Iraqis.

Al-Sadr heads Iraq’s most feared militia, whose gunmen have battled American troops and Iraqi forces.

He also heads an organized political movement and is an influential figure in Iraqi politics.

The 37-year-old cleric’s support was crucial in giving Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki a second term.