US military hopes for diplomatic solution in Baghdad's Sadr City

The US military expressed hope Sunday for a diplomatic solution to seven weeks of fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City as a fragile cease-fire settled over the Shi'ite slum, which houses nearly half the capital's six million people. On the first day of a cease-fire brokered by Shi'ite lawmakers and representatives of Muqtada al-Sadr's political movement, who are thought to have influence over the extremists, authorities reported no violence as gunmen withdrew from the streets and some shops reopened. Al-Sadr followers distributed food in the neighborhood, residents said. "We're doing limited operations in Sadr City as this implementation process takes place," said US military spokesman Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll. He warned a deal had not yet been brokered and that the Iraqi government and Shi'ite representatives were still talking.