Bloody confrontations in al-Najaf transferred to Baghdad, Basra
Iraq, Politics, 4/5/2004
Supporters of the Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sader said that American forces broke into the office of al-Sader in al-Sader city in Baghdad. Sheikh Abdul Hadi al-Darraji, the representative of the office in Baghdad, said that two persons were killed at least and other 7 wounded in the confrontations which took place during the breaking in operation.
Al-Darraji warned against the consequence of the behaviors of the occupation soldiers in Iraq which he said threatening of the eruption of an armed revolution. He denounced in a statement to al-Jazeera TV the position of the Iraqi governing council which deplored the killing of four Americans in al-Falouja last Wednesday while kept silent over the killing of Iraqi civilians.
This development came after the American administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer threatened to punish the supporters of Muqtada al-Sader over the bloody acts of violence which took place in al-Najaf city yesterday.
He threatened that the occupation forces will not be easy on the demonstrators about whom he said they "violated the norms," noting that the Iraqis have the freedom of expression but in a " responsible way."
The current President of the Interim Governing Council in Iraq, Masoud Barazani, deplored al-Sader's supporters resorting to force during their demonstrations against the occupation in al-Najaf.
He said that it is the right of the Iraqis to express themselves by peaceful means "but resorting to violence is a matter rejected by all the Iraqis." Meantime, at least 20 Iraqis were killed and other 150 wounded in confrontations erupted between thousands of demonstrators supporting al-Sader and the Spanish forces in al-Najaf city. Four soldiers from Salvador were killed and other nine wounded in an attack by demonstrators against their military base in al-Najaf.
The confrontations erupted when some 15,000 demonstrators some of them are from al-Mahdi army- a banned militia formed by al-Sader- took part in a peaceful demonstration towards a Spanish military barrack near al-Kofa.
Witnesses said that the demonstrators threw stones at military cars which tried to enter the Spanish camp and added that the Iraqi police and the occupation forces in the base retaliated by fire backed by the military helicopters.
The demonstrations took the streets in protest of detaining Mustafa al-Yaqoubi, one of the senior aides for al-Sader detained by the Spanish forces in al-Najaf on Friday. The demonstrations also came in protest of closing al-Hozah paper, mouthpiece of al-Sader one week ago.
The confrontations extended from al-Najaf to the capital Baghdad and other cities. News reports said that fire exchange took place in al-Sadoun street and al-Fardous square in the heart of Baghdad and this resulted in wounding several people. Moreover, al-Sader supporters controlled all police centers in al-Kofa, near al-Najaf while Muqtada al-Sader observed was one of its mosques.
In al-Nasereyah city, the Italian forces opened fire at demonstrators supporting al-Sader in an attempt to disperse them and threw mortars at the headquarters of the Italian forces in the city and this resulted in destroying two armed vehicles.
In al-Basra, one person was killed at least and other scores were wounded in confrontations between the occupied British forces and supporters for al-Sader who were demonstrating.
In another development which might have links to al-Najaf incidents, one booby trapped car went off in the downtown of Karkouk city to the north of Iraq and this resulted in killing three persons and wounding other two. The explosion took place when one American armored vehicle was running in the area.
On the other hand, the American occupation forces in Iraq announced the killing of two marines in two separate attacks launched by the Iraqi resistance in al-Anbar province to the west of Baghdad on Saturday evening. By the killing of the two soldiers number of troops killed in the American forces in Iraq increased to 600, according to a statistics by the US defense department issued on Sunday at its website.
In the course of the procedures to hand over the authority for the Iraqis by the occupation forces on June 30, Bremer announced appointing the minister of trade in the provisional government, Ali Abdul Ameer Allawi, as a defense minister so as to be the first defense minister after the collapse of the former Iraqi regime. In the same decree issues by Bremer, lt. Muhammad al-Shahwani, was appointed a director for intelligence.
Two Americans killed; Bush will not be scared, nor withdraw; al-Sader: we are the Iraqi wing for Hamas and Hizbullah
Three new Americans were wounded in al-Falouja, Powell: we will not run from Iraq
Al-Baja Jee warns the Shiite over hegemony in Iraq member of the Iraqi governing council
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