News / Middle East

Iraq's Sunnis Protest by the Thousands

Protesters chant slogans against Iraq's Shiite-led government during a demonstration in Fallujah, Jan. 4, 2013.
Protesters chant slogans against Iraq's Shiite-led government during a demonstration in Fallujah, Jan. 4, 2013.
VOA News
Thousands of Iraqi Sunnis again took to the streets on Friday, demanding an end to what they see as second-class treatment.
 
At mass demonstrations in Fallujah, Tikrit, Ramadi and Mosul, protesters called on the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to release fellow Sunnis being held as prisoners.
 
Sunni protesters also gathered in Baghdad, where they received a show of support from radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who prayed with Sunnis at the city's Abdul Qadir al-Gailani mosque before visiting Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church, the scene of a deadly 2010 attack blamed on extremists.
 
"We sympathize with demonstrators and with their demands," said the cleric, who backed Maliki following Iraq's 2010 elections, but has since joined Sunnis and Kurds in calling for his resignation. "Their demands are right and we have only one comment on de-Baathification: we don't want the Baath party to rule again."
 
Sunni worshipers outside the mosque shouted praise and pro-Iraqi slogans as al-Sadr departed.
 
The cleric recently warned that Iraq is not immune to influence of Arab Spring events that have brought change to other parts of the region.
 
Latif Mostafa Amin, a Kurdish member of Iraqi parliament, said Maliki's refusal to alter what he called discriminatory policies could cause Iraq to fall apart. Maliki, who has made some concessions since the protests began, agreeing to free some female prisoners, also warned earlier this week that massive anti-government rallies would not be tolerated indefinitely.
 
"I say to those who follow these agendas: Don't believe it's difficult for government to take measures against you or to re-open the road and put an end to this matter," he said. "But you have to understand that you have to rush to end this issue, and I'm warning you that continuing this is a breach to the constitution."
 
At least 20 Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims were killed Thursday on their way home from a religious procession in the country's south.
 
Police said the attack at a busy bus station in the town of Musayyib hit the pilgrims as they were returning from Iraq's shrine city of Karbala, where they performed mourning rituals for a revered figure in Shi'ite Islam. Dozens were wounded in the bombing.
 
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
The blast comes just days after a wave of bombings across the country killed 23 people. Insurgents blew up several houses in Musayyib on Monday, killing seven people. Bombings also killed people in Baghdad, Hillah and Kirkuk.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid