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Cleric is defiant.

A radical cleric who led uprisings in Iraq insists "resistance is legitimate" in a BBC BBC
 in full British Broadcasting Corp.

Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927.
 interview screened tonight.

Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi army This page describes the Shia Mahdi Army of contemporary Iraq; for the Sunni Mahdi Army of Nineteenth Century Sudan, see Muhammad Ahmad.

The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia or Jaish al Mahdi (Arabic
 fought the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  in Najaf, urges Iraqis not to be provoked by the coalition "occupation".

But al-Sadr tells Newsnight: "Resistance is legitimate at all levels be it religious, intellectual and so on.

"The first person who would acknowledge this is the so-called American President Bush who said `if my country is occupied, I will fight'."

The interview comes after three British soldiers were killed in a roadside attack at Al Amarah over the weekend.

They came from the 1st Battalion, Staffordshire Regiment, based in Wiltshire and were patrol commander Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer, from Warwickshire, Privates Phillip Hewett, and Leon Spicer, both from Staffordshire.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 18, 2005
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