Uniting To Resist?

Intense fighting broke out last week between U.S. troops, backed by Iraqi forces, and fighters loyal to the radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. But while al-Sadr's Mahdi militia represents a serious threat to Iraq's stability, an equally vexing challenge to Iraqi order is taking shape in the Sunni Muslim--dominated area northwest of Baghdad, where Sunni terrorists, Baathists and nationalists are thriving.

These resistance groups have so far cooperated only erratically, when it suits their needs. But insurgent sources tell TIME that elements in the resistance, especially jihadis who have ties to al-Qaeda, are pushing to unite the area's disparate militants...

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