Saturday, April 09, 2005

Happy Anniversary?

Iraqi demonstrators stage a mock reenactment of Abu Ghraib Prison abuses during a rally in Baghdad, Saturday. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Tens of thousands of followers of a radical Shia cleric marched through Baghdad Saturday, demanding the end of the U.S.-led occupation on the second anniversary of Saddam Hussein's ouster.

In the largest anti-American demonstration since the invasion began, the supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr streamed into Firdos Square, where the statue of Saddam was toppled two years ago.

Waving Iraqi flags and chanting slogans against the occupation, they placed three effigies representing Saddam, U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on a pedestal, then knocked them down.

"I do not accept having occupation forces in my country," protester Ali Feleih Hassan, 35, told the Associated Press.

"No one accepts this. I want them out. They have been here for two years, and now they have to set a timetable for their withdrawal."

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