Radical cleric al-Sadr announces another six-month cease-fire

Anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced Friday that he has extended a cease-fire order to his Shiite Mahdi Army by another six months, giving Iraq a chance to continue its fragile recovery from brutal sectarian violence. His message was sent to by Shiite clerics during prayer services in mosques dominated by followers of the black-turbaned cleric. "According to an order by Sayyid Muqtada, activities of the Mahdi Army will be suspended ... for another six month period," al-Sadr's aide Hazim al-Aaraji said, using an honorific during his sermon at the Kazimiyah mosque in Baghdad.