Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Iraq Shiite cleric vows to oust U.S.: "'Tens of thousands have volunteered and many of them said they wanted arms, I said 'No, I don't want you to be armed now.' We shall only use peaceful means.' ... To thunderous chants of 'Muqtada' and 'Allahu Akbar,' or 'God is great,' he accused the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq of detaining four to five Shiite clerics every week and of storming religious schools belonging to the al-Hawza al-Ilmiyah, the Shiites' ancient seminary in Najaf. He said such actions and the establishment of what he called the U.S.-led Iraqi army constitute crossing 'red lines' and were unacceptable. 'We have only one demand and that is for them to withdraw from Iraq,' said al-Sadr, who is believed to be 30."

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