Iraqis would welcome as liberators the United States0bs1d1an 06 Apr 2004 21:45 GMT
"Iraqis would welcome as liberators the United States."
Apparentely those silly Iraqis are unable to tell the diference between life under Saddam Hussein and life under the "Coalition of the Willing". Since the occupation began, hundreds of protesters attempting to exercise their freedom of speech have been gunned down, people have been taken from their homes in the middle of the night, any and all media criticism of the Coaliation is suppressed and journalists threatened, Shia religious leaders are targeted, and last but not least Iraqis are told what kind of government they are allowed to have (Ultra-Capitialist Governement) and also what kind of government they are notallowed to have (Islamic Governement). Sounds like freedom to me! What in the world could they be complaining about?
Iraqis killed in US Apache air strike
Occupation forces have sealed off the city of Falluja
At least five people have been killed and several others injured after two US Apache helicopters launched an air strike targeting an al-Sadr bureau in al-Shula area of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
According to Aljazeera's correspondent, a number of adjacent houses were damaged in the strike.
A US vehicle was also seen burning in the area, he added.
Followers of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had previously taken control of al-Shula area, the correspondent said.
Meanwhile, at least six Iraqis have been killed and several others wounded in clashes with US occupation forces in Falluja, west of Baghdad.
According to Aljazeera's correspondent, huge numbers of US soldiers have surrounded the city, preventing people from entering or leaving.
One Falluja resident reportedly told AFP that: "US forces bombed the Goland residential neighbourhood."
Several people were killed, others wounded and some houses hit, said Burhan Abid, adding he went on to the roof of his house when the fighting started and saw US aircraft overhead.
According to Abid the fighting erupted at 4:00am (00:00 GMT) and lasted for 90 minutes.
Aljazeera crew stopped
US occupation forces have prevented Aljazeera's media crew from entering Falluja city.
The US army patrols the streets
US forces have told Aljazeera the city will remain sealed off for a couple of days.
"Door-to-door operations may be launched in the city, in an attempt to capture those who killed US contractors last week," the correspondent added.
Jordan-Baghdad highway shut
The US-led occupation forces have also shut the highways from Baghdad to Jordan due to ongoing "military activities" in the area of Falluja and Ramadi.
"The highways from Baghdad to Jordan will be closed indefinitely due to military activities"
US consulate statement
The latest incident follows heavy clashes between occupation forces and Iraqis in Baghdad on Sunday, which, according to latest reports, left 50 people dead. "More than 50 people were killed and 100 others were injured", Amir al-Hussaini, director of al-Sadr's office in Rusafa, told Aljazeera.
Also on Monday, two explosions were heard in the holy city of Najaf.
At least 20 Iraqis were killed in
On Sunday, 20 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 injured in clashes between Spanish-led occupation troops and Shia demonstrators in Najaf.
Two occupation soldiers one from EL Salvador and the other from the US - also died in the clashes.
The demonstrators were protesting against the detention of one of the top aides of Muqtada al-Sadr.
In the northern city of Mosul, a roadside bomb attack on a US convoy on Sunday killed one American soldier and wounded another, a US military spokesman said on Monday.
Al-Sadr supporters have taken
In the British-controlled port city of Basra, followers of al-Sadr have taken over the governor's office.
Elsewhere, another US soldier and a Marine were killed in separate attacks by fighters in Iraq, the US army said on Monday. It said the Marine was killed in the tense area west of Baghdad on Monday. The soldier was killed by a car bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk on Sunday.
Dozens of armed Mahdi Army members stormed the governor's office in the southern city at dawn, raising a green flag on the roof of the building, an AP reporter said.
Mahdi Army members were seen deployed inside and on the rooftop of the governor's office, alongside policemen who had been inside the building when it was overtaken.
Four hours later there were no British troops in the area.
Eighth US soldier killed
An eighth US soldier had died from wounds sustained in fighting on Sunday with radical Shia protesters in the Baghdad's al-Sadr's city, the US army said on Monday.
In a statement, the army said its previous reports that a US soldier was also killed on Sunday in clashes with Shia protesters near Najaf were incorrect. It said a Salvadoran soldier was the only foreign soldier killed in the fighting near Najaf.
It has also emerged that eight Iraqis were killed and 10 others were injured late on Sunday during clashes between British forces and supporters of al-Sadr in the Iraqi southern Maysan province, Aljazeera's correspondent in Iraq reported.
Two British tanks were also destroyed as they came under RPG attack in al-Amel area in Amara city, the correspondent added.
Aljazeera + Agencies
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US seeks arrest of Muqtada al-Sadr
Al-Sadr enjoys strong support among many Iraqi Shia
US-led occupation forces want to arrest Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr in connection with the murder of a cleric and are battling a revolt by his followers.
US military spokesman Dan Senor said on Monday the arrest warrant had been issued several months ago for the assassination of Ayat Allah Abd al-Majid al-Khoei last year.
Asked when al-Sadr would be arrested, Senor said: "There will be no advance warning."
In subsequent clashes with al-Sadr's followers, at least five people were killed and several wounded on Monday night after US helicopter gunships bombarded al-Sadr's offices in Baghdad, where his supporters had barricaded themselves.
Two Apache helicopters attacked the offices in al-Shula district of the capital as US-led forces across Iraq confronted angry followers of the Shia leader, in addition to continuing operations against resistance fighters.
Clashes have also been taking place between occupation troops and Iraqi militiamen in the city's al-Azamiya district, which has been surrounded by US tanks with helicopters flying overhead.
One of al-Sadr's senior aides was detained on Saturday in relation to the al-Khoei assassination - provoking protests from his supporters that led to clashes with occupation troops.
Another aide insisted al-Sadr would never be captured.
"He will not be arrested; we will not allow his arrest, not by the Americans, not by the British and not by anyone else," Hazim al-Araji, director of al-Sadr's office in Kadhimiya, a Shia district of the capital, told AFP.
Al-Sadr commands strong support among his followers, especially the urban poor in Baghdad, who rally to his anti-occupation rhetoric and promises that Shia, once oppressed by Saddam Hussein, will come to dominate Iraq.
Al-Khoei was hacked to death at a Najaf mosque in April 2003 by a mob which also killed one of his aides. Senior leaders at the time blamed the killings on a group linked to al-Sadr. Al-Sadr's group has denied the charge.
After months of ignoring al-Sadr, whose influence was thought to be waning, US officials recently accused him of inciting violence, and shut down his newspaper in Baghdad last week.
Occupation forces then detained al-Sadr's aide Mustafa Yacubi at his Najaf home on Saturday. His detention stoked anti-American demonstrations across Iraq, many of which turned violent.
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Defiant al-Sadr vows uprising will continue
Al-Sadr supporters remain firm on their demands
The revolt by supporters of Iraqi leader Muqtada al-Sadr will continue until occupying troops are withdrawn from populated areas and prisoners are released.
"The uprising will continue and we will not negotiate unless they fulfil our demands, which are a withdrawal from populated areas and the release of prisoners," al-Sadr aide Qays al-Ghazali said on Tuesday.
He also read a statement from the Shia cleric denouncing President George Bush and the US-led occupation.
"This insurrection shows that the Iraqi people are not satisfied with the occupation and they will not accept oppression," the statement said.
Al-Sadr said he called on countries with forces in Iraq to withdraw their soldiers.
"I direct my words to the great evil, Bush, and I ask who is against democracy? Is it the one who is advocating peaceful resistance or the one who is bombing the nation and shedding blood?" he said.
The statement said al-Sadr had decided to end a sit-in at the main mosque in Kufa, near Najaf, because he feared that the mosque would be raided and defiled by occupation troops.
So far 66 Iraqis and seven US soldiers have been killed in fighting between followers of al-Sadr and occupation forces across the country.
Of this, 39 Iraqis died and 126 were wounded in al-Sadr City, a Baghdad suburb, in the past two days, a spokesman for al-Thawra hospital said on Tuesday.
Fierce clashes re-erupted in this stronghold of al-Sadr followers after US helicopters and tanks bombed the densely populated neighbourhood, according to Aljazeera's correspondent Aktham Sulayman.
US forces occupied all police stations in al-Sadr City. Tanks and armoured Humvees stood guard in front of the stations across the impoverished district which is home to more than two million people. Heavily armed soldiers were posted on the rooftops.
"I direct my words to the great evil, Bush, and I ask who is against democracy? Is it the one who is advocating peaceful resistance or the one who is bombing the nation and shedding blood?"
Fighting between occupation soldiers and members of al-Sadr's militia, al-Mahdi Army, erupted on Sunday when Spanish forces killed at least 20 demonstrators in the city of Najaf who were demanding the release of al-Sadr aide, Mustafa Yaqubi.
Three US soldiers were killed in separate incidents on Monday and Tuesday around Baghdad and four US marines died in al-Anbar province west of the capital, said the military on Tuesday.
The soldiers died in the mainly Shia district of al-Kadhimiya.
In the southern town of Nasiriya, 15 Iraqi civilians and occupation troops, including one Ukranian soldier were killed in clashes.
Twelve Italian troops were injured, though none seriously.
Militiamen were still controlling the streets in the area, near the local headquarters of the occupation authorities.
Also in the southern town of Amara, 12 Iraqis have died during clashes with British occupation soldiers, according to medical sources there.
In Karbala, also in the south, al-Sadr's supporters seized control over a district, including a police station, reported Aljazeera's correspondent.
An aide to Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, a member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, said Iraq's leading Shia cleric Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani, supported the appeal.
Al-Sistani, an Iranian-born cleric, has ordered Iraq's Shia not to take up arms against the occupation. He has not spoken directly on the violence involving al-Sadr's supporters, but he is expected to make a statement in the next few days.
"The Hawza is unanimous on this," said the aide, referring to the main centre of Shia instruction in the southern city of Najaf.
Al-Sadr has refused to meet a tribal delegation and representatives of Bahr al-Ulum at the main mosque of Kufa, near the holy city of Najaf.
Al-Sadr has denied involvement in the death of Sayyid Abd al-Majid al-Khoei, seen as a pro-Western cleric.
Hamid al-Bayati, spokesman for the Shia Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), criticised the announcement of the arrest warrant against al-Sadr.
Following Sunday's Najaf killings, al-Sadr's office issued a statement calling on supporters to end protests and instead take up arms against occupation forces.
However, al-Sadr is relatively junior in the Shia hierarchy.
He is the son of Grand Ayat Allah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, a prominent Iraqi Shia leader who was killed in 1999 along with two of his other sons.
Aljazeera + Agencies
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FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND!
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES LIVING WITHIN THE U.S.A,
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR THE HIJAB-WEARING WOMEN OF TURKEY, FRANCE, AND GERMANY!
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE!
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR AFGHANISTAN!
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR IRAQ!
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists,
Then they came for the Jews,
Then they came for the trade unionists,
Then they came for the Catholics,
Then they came for me,
-German Pastor Martin Niemoeller's statement after he was released from Theresienstadt, a Nazi concentration
Prior to and during World War II, Hitlers Genocidal Nazi Party used variations on the triangle to identify citizens