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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid