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1000s Protest Arrest Of Iraqi Shiite Leader’s Son

From an outraged BBC:

Iraq Shias protest against arrest

24 February 2007

Thousands of Shia Muslims have protested in the Iraqi city of Najaf about the detention of the son of a powerful Shia politician by US forces.

Crowds chanted slogans of support for Ammar al-Hakim, the son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

He was briefly held on Friday on the Iraq-Iran border when the US military said his convoy behaved suspiciously.

US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad has apologised for the incident.

US military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Garver said Mr al-Hakim’s convoy was stopped as it re-entered Iraq near the Mehran border crossing with Iran, 130km (70 miles) east of Baghdad.

Lt Carver said that the vehicles were stopped because they “met specific criteria for further investigation in an area where smuggling activity has taken place in the past”.

The US has repeatedly said that Iraq’s Shia militias are being armed with weapons smuggled in from Iran.

Lt Carver said Mr Hakim was arrested when people travelling in the convoy “did not co-operate with coalition forces and displayed suspicious activities”.

Mr Hakim, a cleric, and his two bodyguards were kept at a US military base for nearly 12 hours, Iraqi officials have said…

The US said Mr Hakim was treated “with dignity and respect throughout the incident”.

In the wake of the incident US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad issued a rapid apology saying that Washington did not mean any disrespect to Mr Hakim or his family

Last December, the Hakim residential compound in Baghdad was raided by US forces who arrested two Iranians said to be members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.  

It’s this kind of nonsense that kept the US from dealing with As Muqtada al-Sadr the way he should have been dealt with years ago.

But we shouldn’t worry about it now and we shouldn’t have worried about it then.

These people live to be outraged.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 24th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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