Kommentar

De mest graverende hendelsene fant sted i byen Kufa. De viser at Moqtadah al-Sadr styrer konfrontasjonene. Han konsulterer med andre shia-partier, og fikk også besøk av opprørere fra Fallujah.

Washington Post har en reporter i Kufa:

Der sitter leder av Mahdi-militsen og sier han ikke lenger kan styre folks vrede. 20 demonstranter ble drept, og de kommer nå til å bli utropt til martyrer. Hele blodritualet vil bli fulgt:

«The Sayyid Moqtada Sadr did not call for resistance directly, but the demands of the Iraqi people are not being met,» said Abu Haider Ghalib Garawi, a Sadr official introduced as a leader of the Mahdi Army.

«But there’s no more patience. We can’t guarantee the behavior of the wise people and the ordinary people.»

Garawi spoke under the swaying lanterns of the 2_kommentar Kufa mosque, where militiamen cradling AK-47s squatted on thin woven mats and a plainclothes policeman strode about smiling, an American-issued Glock 9mm pistol on his hip. Much of Kufa’s American-trained police force joined the side of the Sadr forces when the firefight started in late morning. By 2 p.m., the police checkpoint at the edge of town was manned by militiamen. White-shirted traffic police re2_kommentared on duty but said the Mahdi Army was in charge.

A half-hour later, the checkpoint was abandoned and the Sadr followers — most of them unarmed — boarded buses to return to Baghdad, where most had traveled from the previous night. «Moqtada has ordered us to withdraw,» said one, carrying an AK-47.

Konsultasjoner

Immediately after the Kufa firefight, Sadr representatives arrived to consult with officials from the Badr Organization, the militia of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and a delegation from the Dawa party, the two most prominent Shiite parties represented on the U.S.-appointed Governing Council.

But armed men from Fallujah and Baqubah — centers of resistance in the Sunni heartland west and north of Baghdad — also appeared at the mosque, offering their support.


Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Shiite Uprising

Occupation Forces Battle Cleric’s Followers As Widespread Demonstrations Erupt in Iraq
By Karl Vick and Saad Sarhan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 5, 2004