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Thousands of Sadrists Demonstrate in Kirkuk

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Aidoneus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:45 PM
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Thousands of Sadrists Demonstrate in Kirkuk
Thousands of Sadrists Demonstrate in Kirkuk

AFP reports that nearly 2000 members of the Army of the Mahdi, the militia headed by young Shiite radical Muqtada al-Sadr, demonstrated in Kirkuk on Saturday. The demonstration coincided with a general strike by the city's approximately 300,000 Turkmen residents. Even the police stayed home.

Ibrahim Khayyat at al-Hayat provides further details. Muqtada's representative in Kirkuk, Abdul Fattah al-Musawi, said, "The goal of putting 18 companies, or 1750 men (and 180 women), on parade, was to reinforce the unity of Muslim Iraqis with non-Muslim Iraqis. "Kirkuk," he said, "is for all its inhabitants, not just for a particular group."

The parade lasted for about two hours. The Shiites of Kirkuk and of the surrounding area joined in, raising the Iraqi flag (the Kurds have their own provincial flag), and pictures of Muqtada and of his father, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr (who was assassinated by Saddam in 1999).

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