Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his militiamen off the streets. He also called on the government to stop its raids against his followers.
Some fighting has continued even after the cease-fire declaration. But that statement from the Shiite Muslim leader raised the possibility of ending much of the violence of the past week.
The fighting between militia groups and Iraqi government forces in Basra sparked violence in other southern cities and in Baghdad, and has left hundreds of people dead.
Renee Montagne talks with NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in Baghdad about the latest news from Iraq.