Middle East News
Iraq's al-Sadr calls for million-man march; 12 killed in violence
Apr 3, 2008, 7:45 GMT
Baghdad - At least 12 people were killed and 23 injured in violence in Iraq Thursday, including five policemen in a US gunship shelling, while the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for a million-man march marking the anniversary of US occupation of the country.
Al-Sadr called on all Iraqis to take part in a million-man march on April 9 starting from the Shiite holy city of Najaf to mark the fifth anniversary of the US-led occupation of the country, according to a statement issued by al-Sadr's office in the city.
The call was made to Iraq's 'Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and Arabs.'
'It is time you expressed your rejection of the unjust occupiers and raise your voices against them,' the statement said.
Al-Sadr, believed to be currently in Iran, urged people to raise Iraqi flags in the march to confirm national unity and to call for independence.
In Hilla, south of Baghdad, security officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that night guards opened fire by mistake on a US patrol in the early hours on Thursday in Jamiyah district in the city centre.
Later, a US gunship shelled the scene of the shooting, killing five policemen and injuring 11, including two women in their homes, the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
The US military has not yet issued a statement about the incident in Hilla.
In the northern city of Mosul, seven people were killed and 12 injured, in a suicide bombing overnight, the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency reported.
A suicide bomber driving a car bomb blew it up near a checkpoint in west Mosul, General Khaled Abdel-Sattar, the spokesman for the operation command in Nineveh province, told VOI.
A woman and a child are among the dead and five children and three soldiers among the wounded.