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Radical Iraqi Cleric Quits Politics

  • VOA News

A giant portrait of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is displayed in Baghdad's Sadr City district, Feb. 16, 2014.
​Iraqi radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has announced his retirement from politics.

In a handwritten note posted on his website Sunday, Sadr announced his "non-intervention in all political affairs." He said "there is no bloc that represents us from now on."

Sadr and his militia group, the Mehdi Army, gained prominence after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Sadr said he was closing down all his offices, except for some charities.

It was not immediately clear what prompted Sadr's abrupt withdrawal from politics.