Anti-American cleric's group to rejoin Iraqi parliament

Followers of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on Sunday that they're ending a two-month-old boycott of Iraq's parliament.

Followers of theShia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said on Sunday that they are ending a two-month-old boycott of Iraq's parliament.

The boycott was first announced in late November to protest the close relationship between the Iraqi governmentand the United States, marked by a summit between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President George W. Bush.

The political faction loyal to theanti-American clericholds 30 seats in parliament and six cabinet ministries.

Under a compromise to lurethem back, Iraqi politicianswill review al-Sadr's demand for a U.S. pullout.

The group'ssupport has been crucial foral-Malikito regain influence in the legislature.
But at the same time, the U.S. is relying on al-Maliki's government to neutralize al-Sadr's powerful militia, which is accused of operating Baghdad death squads and carrying out attacks on Sunnis.
The current American militarybuildup is aimed in large part at helping the prime minister to crack down onsectarian violence.

Meanwhile,the U.S. saidsix more of its troops were killed in Iraq on Saturday.That brings Saturday's death tollto 25, making it one of the deadliest days for U.S.troops in Iraq.
Among the dead were five U.S. soldiers who were killed trying to repel an attack bygunmenwho had fired at the provincial headquarters in the Shia holy city of Karbala.