Moqtada Sadr supporters
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Iraq Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr urges Iraqis to unite

8 January 2011 Last updated at 13:17 GMT

Anti-US Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has told an enthusiastic crowd of followers in Iraq to give the country's new government a chance.

The radical cleric was making his first speech since returning to his stronghold in Najaf after nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Iran.

Last month his movement secured a deal to join the new government with seven ministries and 39 seats in parliament.

As the BBC's Jim Muir reports he urged resistance against "occupiers of Iraq" and led chants against the US.