"Down with America" - Shia Muslims

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 31 20:19:45 MDT 2003

'Down with America' chants crowd as Shia Muslims mourn dead
By Damien McElroy in Najaf
   (Filed: 31/08/2003)

Packed into buses, pick-up trucks, taxis and cars, an estimated 500,000
mourners descended on the holy city of Najaf yesterday for the burial of
Iraq's leading Shia cleric who was among at least 80 people killed by a car
bomb on Friday.

>From dawn, a ceaseless stream of traffic clogged the roads around the
sprawling cemetery of mud brick tombs. Devastated followers of Ayatollah
Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim walked the final mile to the sacred shrine of Imam
Ali where the huge blast claimed the life of the key American ally.

The crowds beat their chests in sorrow and denounced the American-led
occupation of Iraq. Chants of "down with America" filled the air as two
white lorries carried away the charred remains of the cars used in the
attack. Some carried coffins wrapped in black shrouds bearing verses from
the Koran.


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