Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Iraq's prime minister pledges militia crackdown

BAGHDAD, Iraq Under continuing pressure from the US, the prime minister of Iraq is again pledging to crack down on renegade militias.

The private armies are blamed in the country's escalating sectarian violence.

At a nationally broadcast news conference today, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said his government will "strike hard" against any group that challenges state authority.

That poses a delicate challenge for him since he owes his job to Shiite parties that control the most powerful militias.

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