Baghdad Raid Kills 32, Sparks Protests
An overnight attack carried out by American and Iraqi forces against an alleged militant cell killed 32 people in Sadr City, U.S. military sources reported Wednesday. The raid targeted members of the Mahdi Army militia believed to be smuggling weapons and working in tandem with Iranian militants against U.S. forces, but other sources claimed that women and children numbered among the dead.
A military spokesman said there had been women and children in the area during the raid, but denied any had died.
Later, men and young boys were seen weeping over coffins outside a nearby hospital and hundreds of residents marched through Sadr City in protest against the raid.
It came on the eve of a major Shia religious festival in the capital which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.