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Iraqi Delegation Takes Peace Proposal to Najaf - 2004-08-17


A delegation of Iraqi political and religious leaders has arrived in the embattled Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, to try to end nearly two weeks of fighting.

Leaders at a national political conference in Baghdad dispatched the eight-man delegation. The conference, which convened Sunday to choose an interim assembly, has been dominated by the crisis in Najaf.

Sheikh Hussein al-Sadr, a relative of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, is leading the delegation. He said the delegates will not negotiate, but will present a peace plan offering the cleric's fighters amnesty in exchange for their disarming, vacating holy sites, and joining the political process.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, at least seven people were killed and more than 40 others wounded in a mortar attack on a busy street.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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