There has been a massive anti-US protest in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on the second anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s overthrow. The rally was called by the radical Shit’ite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr. Chanting “No to America” and “No to the occupiers”, thousands poured into Firdus Square where Saddam Hussein’s statue was torn down by US soldiers.
It was a largely peaceful demonstration aimed at urging US troops to pull-out and speedier trials for Saddam and his aides. But it has been another day of bloody violence elsewhere. Insurgents killed 15 Iraqi soldiers travelling in a convoy near Latifiya in a lawless area known as the “triangle of death.”
It followed the assassination overnight of a senior aide to Moqtada al-Sadr. His colleagues say he was gunned down as he made his way into Baghdad to take part in today’s demonstration. Meanwhile, authorities are examining the bodies of five people found dead who are believed to have been Iraqi National Guards.