Welcome To Najaf

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The battle for Najaf continues, and the city's important Shiite clerics are thus far keeping their distance from U.S. troops. But The Washington Post's Rick Atkinson provides this description of how Najaf's citizens received the 101st Airborne:

Hundreds of curious civilians, many of them smiling and waving, lined the narrow, dusty streets while soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division pressed to within a half-mile of the gilded dome of the tomb of Ali …

Shortly before 2 p.m., Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne, drove in an armed convoy up a rocky escarpment into Najaf, urged on by clapping Iraqis who gestured impatiently for the Americans to press deeper into the city center….

Shiapundit has been providing an absorbing perspective on the fighting around Najaf's and Kerbala's sacred sites.

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