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An Iraqi general, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose details of the plan, said a mainly Kurdish force would be sent into the Sadr City slum in northeast Baghdad, which serves as headquarters of the Mahdi Army.

The general said Kurds, who are Sunni but not Arab, were being used against the Shi’ite militia because soldiers from other Iraqi units were likely to refuse to fight fellow Shi’ites. An estimated 80 percent of Iraq’s army is Shi’ite.

Under the new security plan, the general said, U.S. and Iraqi troops will sweep Baghdad neighborhoods in an effort to dislodge the Mahdi Army, as well as Sunni extremists — including al Qaeda in Iraq and two of its allied groups, the Ansar al-Sunnah Army and the Omar Brigade.

Iraqi and U.S. officials said Iraqi commanders will be put in charge of each of nine city districts. Each commander will operate independently of Iraqi military headquarters.

Mr. al-Maliki has named Lt. Gen. Aboud Gambar, an Iraqi general who was taken prisoner of war by U.S. forces during the 1991 Gulf War, as the overall commander.

Gen. Gambar, a Shi’ite, will have two assistants, one from the police and one from the army, Iraqi military officers said on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information. Gen. Gambar will report directly to Mr. al-Maliki.

The latest drive to pacify Baghdad is at least the fourth since the war began. All have had only limited success, with insurgents and militants swiftly returning to neighborhoods after U.S. and Iraqi military forces departed.

In the most recent of these operations, Iraq’s army fielded fewer troops than promised. That made it impossible to maintain control of areas that U.S. forces had cleared of gunmen.

Police yesterday reported that at least 92 persons had died violently or been found dead across the country.

In a single deadly attack, Sunni gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims home from the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Muslim holy places in Saudi Arabia, said police and Akeel al-Khazaali, the governor of the southern province of Karbala. At least 11 persons were killed and 14 wounded.