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Al-Sadr: Baghdad Security Plan Is Doomed
(AP) The leader of Iraq's biggest Shiite militia complained Sunday that bombs "continue to explode" in Baghdad and that U.S.-led security crackdown is doomed to fail, issuing a statement the same day a suicide attacker struck outside a college campus, killing at least 41 people.
Many Shiites believe that bombings have continued because the Shiite-led government bowed to American pressure and persuaded the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to take his Mahdi Army fighters off the streets.
Al-Sadr's statement, read to his followers in Sadr City, is likely to add pressure on U.S. and Iraqi forces to show results in the nearly two-week-old crackdown.
"I'm certain, just like all oppressed Iraqis are certain, that no security plan will work and no good will come of any occupier," al-Sadr said in the statement. "Here we are, watching booby trapped cars exploding to harvest thousands of innocent lives from our beloved people in the middle of a security plan that is controlled by an occupier who does as he pleases."
U.S. and Iraqi leaders have urged the public to be patient, warning that it will take months before the security operation shows results. President Bush has ordered 21,500 more U.S. troops to Baghdad and surrounding areas, although the last units are not due until May.
Al-Sadr urged Iraq's mostly Shiite security forces to "make your own Iraqi plans independent of the Americans."