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Iraqi, U.S. Forces Surround Najaf Shrine

U.S. troops and Iraqi forces storm into the center of Najaf in what Marine commanders are calling a final push to crush a rebellion by supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The cleric and hundreds of his followers are believed to be inside the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. Hear NPR's Melissa Block and NPR's Ivan Watson.

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As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.
Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.