Militia: Attacks on U.S. Halted

Leaders of a militia loyal to an anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric said Saturday that they would not launch attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in the city of Karbala (search) until the end of a religious festival this weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are in Karbala and other Shiite cities to mark al-Arbaeen, the end of the mourning period for a 7th-century martyred Shiite saint. Ceremonies are to be held until Sunday night.

The militia of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (searchhas clashed daily with Polish and Bulgarian troops in the city, 65 miles south of Baghdad (search). At least 10 Iraqis and two Iranian pilgrims have been killed.

"We decided to halt the military activities until the end of al-Arbaeen," said Khudeir al-Ansari, head of al-Sadr's office in Karbala.

No fighting was heard in the city on Saturday.