Following religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s call, thousands of Iraqi Shiites held an anti-U.S. demonstration Monday, marking the fourth anniversary of the American occupation of Baghdad.


Large crowds of men, women and children, holding flags and anti-U.S. banners, gathered in Najaf and the nearby twin city of Kufa for the protest, which is also seen as a show of strength for the cleric who himself has been in self-exile for more than two months, an AFP correspondent said.

The rally will initially begin in Kufa and then head to Najaf’s Sadrain Square, the reporter said.

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Update: Click here to view the New York Times’ video coverage of the rally.

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