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Iraqi Shi'ite Faction Warns U.S. of 'Uprising'

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 08:42 AM
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Iraqi Shi'ite Faction Warns U.S. of 'Uprising'

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - A group of Shi'ite Muslims in Iraq (news - web sites) threatened violence if U.S. troops did not quit the holy city of Najaf, where rumors they had harassed a radical cleric sparked an angry protest by more than 10,000 people on Sunday.

The U.S. commander in the city, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, faced down the demonstrators. He flatly denied talk that his men had surrounded the cleric's house on Saturday and he deployed troops, arms at the ready, to get them to disperse.

Leading supporters of the fiercely anti-U.S. preacher, Moqtada al-Sadr, were dissatisfied, however, and warned of an "uprising" in Najaf if the Americans failed to pull out within three days. The U.S. commander said he was concerned about the threat but played down the size of Sadr's following in Najaf.

"If they don't leave, they will face a popular uprising," said Sayed Razak al-Moussawi, one of Sadr's aides, after the protesters presented the soldiers with a list of demands following a demonstration lasting more than two hours.


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