Iraqis protest against U.S. forces

BAGHDAD – Tens of thousands of Shiites – a sea of women in black abayas and men waving Iraqi flags – marched from Kufa to Najaf on Monday, demanding U.S. forces leave their country on the fourth anniversary of fall of Baghdad. Streets in the capital were silent and empty under a hastily imposed 24-hour driving ban.

Demonstrators ripped apart American flags and tromped across a Stars and Stripes rug flung on the road between the two holy cities for the huge march, ordered up by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as a show of strength not only to Washington but to Iraq’s establishment Shiite ayatollahs as well.

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