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Nancy Waterman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:05 PM
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Shiites Rise up in Anger

Thousands of Iraqi Shiites shouted anti-US slogans in the heart of the nation's capital even as the coalition forces sought to paint a rosy picture about their reconstruction efforts. The Shiites, the country's majority population, punched their fists in the air and chanted "Down, Down USA" outside the presidential palace, home to the US overseer here Paul Bremer.

The protestors, about 3,000, yelled "We are soldiers of Sadr," a reference to the prominent cleric Moqtada Sadr who fired off a vitriolic denunciation Friday of the US-led occupation and the new transitory 25-member Governing Council under its wing.

The street demonstration came only hours after the senior US military commander in Iraq, Ricardo Sanchez, called the rebuilding effort "way ahead of schedule" and "truly amazing and heartwarming."

The protests ignited after Sadr's followers claimed US soldiers and armoured vehicles surrounded the cleric's home for several hours in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 180 kilometres (110 miles) south of Baghdad, as helicopters hovered overhead.

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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:08 PM
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