Shi’ite fighters appeared still to be in control of a holy shrine in Najaf on Friday after Iraq’s interim government said it had overcome a bloody uprising by seizing the Imam Ali mosque without a shot being fired.

Witnesses in the southern city said Mehdi Army militiamen loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr controlled the narrow alleyways leading to the mosque. Police were nowhere to be seen.

Iraqi police in Najaf told CNN they did not control the site, the country’s holiest Shi’ite shrine, the broadcaster reported.

Amid the extraordinary confusion over a two-week rebellion that has killed hundreds and driven world oil prices to record highs, the U.S. military also said it could not confirm the government had taken control of the shrine peacefully.~ Reuters