Iraqi insurgent leader urges against talks

A key Iraqi militant leader called on insurgents Sunday to stay away from talks aimed at persuading them to abandon their weapons and join the political process. Abu Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, head of the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of terror groups whose members include al-Qaida in Iraq, called on Sunnis to close ranks and resist being drawn into government-led reconciliation talks. The statement, the authenticity of which could not be independently verified, was read by the council's spokesman, Abu Ammar al-Dulaimi. "We call on all the honest and faithful brigades who have chosen Jihad to stick to their stances and be patient," it said.