NAJAF, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi forces battled militants in Najaf on Tuesday, and Iraqi National Guardsmen surrounded the holy city's Imam Ali Shrine (search), where insurgents loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have been holed up for weeks."
Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan said the guardsmen will use loudspeakers to urge al-Sadr's followers to evacuate the shrine and surrender.
"If they don't ? listen to reason, then certainly there will be a very simple operation, a very simple raid," Shalaan told al-Arabiya television.
"The decisive hours are near," he said.