BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraq’s U.S. administrator Paul Bremer said Monday radical Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was an outlaw threatening Iraq’s security.
“We have a difficult security situation. We have a group under Moqtada al-Sadr that has basically placed itself outside the legal authorities, the coalition and Iraqi officials,” said Bremer, head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.
“Effectively he is attempting to establish his authority in the place of the legitimate authority. We will not tolerate this,” he said.
“We will reassert the law and order which the Iraqi people expect,” Bremer told reporters as he met Iraqi government ministers to discuss how to deal with Sadr.
He was speaking a day after running battles between Sadr’s militia and U.S.-led forces in Baghdad and near the holy shrine city of Najaf killed nine foreign troops and at least 21 Iraqis.