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US General Urges Radical Iraqi Shi'ite Cleric to Halt Attacks


A top U.S. general in Iraq has urged radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to do more to halt attacks by his militiamen on security forces.

Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin told reporters in Baghdad Wednesday that he hopes Sadr chooses the road of peace.

Fierce battles between Sadr's Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi government forces have killed more than 300 people in the predominately Shi'ite Sadr City area in the past month.

In other violence, police said two coordinated bombings killed four people in the northern city of Mosul Wednesday. They said a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in the first attack. A car bomb exploded elsewhere in the city a short while later.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says a coalition soldier was killed in a gunbattle in Baghdad Wednesday. The military did not immediately release his nationality.

The U.S. military also said troops killed 15 militants overnight in clashes in Sadr City.

Officials say the fighting also killed at least seven civilians, including two women, and wounded about 20.

A separate U.S. statement says Iraqi and coalition forces destroyed multiple weapons caches and detained six suspected criminals near Khan Bani Sa'ad north of Baghdad.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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