Iraqi group says reaches ceasefire with al Qaeda

DUBAI Wed Jun 6, 2007 2:45pm EDT

An Iraqi soldier checks the trunk of a vehicle at a checkpoint in Baghdad, June 5, 2007. REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz

An Iraqi soldier checks the trunk of a vehicle at a checkpoint in Baghdad, June 5, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Ceerwan Aziz

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DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iraqi militant group said on Wednesday it has reached a ceasefire deal with Iraq's wing of al Qaeda to end clashes between the two Sunni insurgent groups waging a violent campaign against U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

"A deal has been reached between the Islamic Army in Iraq and al Qaeda in Iraq that stipulates an immediate end to all military operation between the two sides in all sectors including capture operation," the Islamis Army in Iraq said in a statement on a Web site used by militants including al Qaeda.

The two groups have exchanged accusations over killings and the Islamic Army in Iraq had accused al Qaeda of seeking to dominate through its self-styled Islamic State in Iraq.

It said the two sides have agreed to form a "judicial committee to look into pending issues between the two sides".

Earlier this month Qaeda fighters fought fierce battles and rival Sunni Arab insurgents in a Baghdad district. It was the first time growing tensions between al Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups in western Anbar province, the main bastion of Sunni insurgents, have exploded into open warfare on the streets of Baghdad.

The Islamic Army of Iraq has repeatedly said it was a Sunni Muslim group fighting "occupation forces" and vehemently denies a perception that it is dominated by former army officers and supporters of the Baath party of executed former President Saddam Hussein.

Al Qaeda, which relies on local and foreign fighters, is seen by the United States as the main reason of instability in Iraq.

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