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Once-Exiled Shiite Cleric Demands U.S. Departure from Iraq

Thousands of Shiite Muslims in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf greet the arrival of Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr al-Hakim. Hakim spent the last two decades living in exile in Iran. The cleric is demanding the pullout of U.S. military forces and says the Iraqi people should be able to establish their own government. NPR's Jackie Northam reports.

Copyright 2003 NPR

Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, geopolitics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.