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Leading Iraqi Sunni clerics broker peace deal between insurgents, US forces
www.chinaview.cn 2005-03-02 19:48:01

    RAMADI, Iraq, March 2 (Xinhuanet) -- An influential Iraqi Sunni religious body brokered a peace deal between the US forces and insurgents in one of the country's most volatile areas, a source from the Sunni body said on Wednesday.

    "The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) held clandestine negotiations with the leaders of the Iraqi resistance on a possibleceasefire in the Anbar province," a source in the AMS told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    "We all agreed that the situation in Ramadi would be calmed by replacing Iraqi security forces selected from people of Anbar instead of the US troops,Ħħ the source said.

    "Another agreement was to prevent the US troops from conducting search campaigns in the cities and to leave such missions to the Iraqi forces," he added.

    It has been reported recently that the US diplomats in Baghdad were holding peace talks with representatives allegedly close to the insurgent groups.

    The AMS has rejected to take part in the country's first post-Saddam elections and submitted harsh conditions for joining the political process.

    Assisted by Iraqi troops, US marines were stepping up military operations around Ramadi and other cities along the Euphrates Riverthat runs across the vast desert province.

    While the forces claimed that they had seized large weapon caches and captured dozens of suspects, they came under bolder attacks from the insurgents.

    Witnesses said a US base east of Ramadi was attacked Tuesday night by 20 Katyusha rockets, and flames of fire and smoke was seenover the base. Enditem

    

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