Iraqis rally against U.S. troops presence 2009-04-09 16:24:37   Print

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

    BAGHDAD, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Iraqis rallied in central Baghdad on Thursday to protest the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq six years after the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime.

    Thousands of Iraqis gathered at the Firdus Square where the statue of Saddam Hussein brought down in April 9, 2003.

    The rally was originally called upon by fire brand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led two uprisings against U.S. troops in Iraq since the invasion.

    Iraqi security forces guarded the demonstrators, blocking the traffic of all the roads that lead to the square, while hundreds of Sadr followers are still pouring to the area.

    The demonstrators raised posters of Sadr and banners demanding the U.S. troops to leave Iraq, chanting slogans saying "NO, No, America" and "No, No, Israel."

    "Demonstrations are part of our rights to peacefully express our rejection to occupation," Abdul Zahra Ali told Xinhua.

    "We will continue protesting the occupation from time to time until the remove of the occupation," Ali vowed.

    Amer Baqir, 40, another demonstrator said that he has a hope that the new U.S. president Barack Obama will fulfill his promise and pullout his troops, but said "our demonstrations are to remind him that we insist on removing occupation."

    The demonstration comes as a wave of bombings hit the Iraqi capital, claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians and shaping a set back to the efforts of the Iraqi government that aimed at stabilizing the war-torn country.

Editor: Fang Yang
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