(Reuters)Some 10,000 Iraqi police and soldiers, backed by tanks, pushed deep into Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Baghdad bastion on Tuesday, stamping the government's authority on an area until now outside its control.


The army said they met no resistance as they moved into Sadr City in the early hours, securing three quarters of the sprawling slum where hundreds have been killed in weeks of fighting between U.S. and Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militants loyal to Sadr.

A truce 10 days ago between Shi'ite factions largely ended the fighting in one of Baghdad's poorest districts and paved the way for Tuesday's operation.

The truce agreement called on gunmen loyal to Sadr to lay down their arms and on the government to restore control over Sadr City.

Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police and columns of military vehicles moved into the suburb in the early hours, past burned-out wrecks of buildings and along rubble-strewn streets.

"We are taking control of three quarters of (Sadr) city. What is left is the final quarter," said a spokesman for Iraqi security forces in Baghdad.

(with wire sources)

RAW STORY has more details here.

This video is from CNN.com, broadcast May 20, 2008.

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