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  Peace deal agreed in Iraqi city
Updated 26 August 2004, 21.45
Ayatollah Sistani
A peace deal has been reached to end weeks of fighting in the Iraqi city of Najaf after the country's top Shia cleric talked to rebel fighters.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani met with preacher Moqtada Sadr, who has been leading the rebel fighters. They have been battling against US-led troops.

It was agreed the fighters would leave the shrine that has become their base.

The deal came hours after at least 74 people died in a bombing at a mosque in a place called Kufa, near Najaf.

The cleric's supporters followed him to Najaf
The cleric's supporters followed him to Najaf

A further 315 people were injured. It's not clear who carried out the attack.

Mr Sadr and his supporters have been challenging the rule of the temporary Iraqi government.

The finer points of the deal have yet to be agreed, but a spokesman for Ayatollah Sistani said talks were "three quarters towards the end of the crisis".

Thousands of supporters followed the cleric to Najaf.

More InfoBORDER=0
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Dozens die in Iraq mosque bombing
Rebels still control Najaf shrine
US warplanes bombard Iraqi city
Fighting as US push into Baghdad

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