(BAGHDAD) -- The radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iran following a short visit to Iraq this month, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The 37-year-old Shiite cleric's trip to Iraq marked al-Sadr's first homecoming after years of self-imposed exile. He left Iraq in 2007 to boost the Shiite Islam cause abroad, but has remained an indelible force in Iraqi politics. His adherents currently lead eight ministries in the Iraqi government, which Sadr has endorsed on the condition that it works towards the expulsion of American troops.
Al-Sadr's militia was responsible for some of the heaviest fighting in the Iraqi Civil War, and fought with U.S. troops on two occasions following the 2003 invasion.
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