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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sunnis, Shias Put Differences Aside for Peace

KALSU, Iraq – The government of Musayyib hosted a celebration of security and economic growth at the city’s police station, Oct. 8.

In a move that could prove to be the turning point in sectarian violence in North Babil, leaders from the predominately Shia city of Musayyib came together with sheiks and representatives of the largely Sunni region of Jurf As Sukhr to share their optimism for the growth and development of the entire area.

With Sunni extremists influence such as the Jaish Al Islami and al-Qaida from the north and west, and Shia militias such as the Jaish Al Mahdi rising from the south, the region surrounding Musayyib and Jurf has been a sectarian battleground for years.

With the security celebration in Musayyib, the sectarian tensions seem to be finally coming to an end.

The chairman of the Musayyib Town Council, Thamir Thaban, and Sheik Fadel Yousif, a representative of the newly formed Jurf As Sukhr government, gave speeches praising the drop in violence and pledged to continue their work together to bring a lasting peace to the region.

Thaban is a member of the Office of Mahdi Sadr, the political wing of the Jaish Al Mahdi, while Fadel was once a leader of the Jaish Al Islami.

With these two former enemies coming together, they have created a bond and a possible model for all of Iraq to follow to finally bring an end to the sectarian violence which has plagued the fledgling government.

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