A delegation of Iraqi political and religious leaders is expected to arrive in Najaf Tuesday, in a last-ditch appeal for peace with a radical Shi'ite cleric battling U.S. troops there.
Iraqi leaders meeting in Baghdad to choose an interim national assembly agreed today (Monday) to send the delegation to Najaf. It will deliver a letter to Moqtada al-Sadr, urging him to abandon the shrine where he is holed up and convert his militia to a political organization.
Moqtada al-Sadr has said he will fight to the death. But an aide to the cleric said Monday he would receive the delegation and welcomes any mediation that will lead to peace.
The delegation was scheduled to leave for Najaf late Monday, but was delayed by fierce fighting that continued between al-Sadr militiamen and U.S. forces.
Information for this report is provided by AP.