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|Iraqis converge for Anti-US rally in Najaf|
09/04/2007 Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis burned and trampled on US flags on Monday as they gathered in the holy city of Najaf for an anti-American rally. Large crowds of men, women and children holding Iraqi flags and anti-US banners massed in Najaf and the nearby twin city of Kufa to protest against US occupation of Iraq. The Iraqi demonstrators are marching from Kufa to Najaf's central Sadrain Square where top aides of Cleric Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr are expected to address the crowds.
Hundreds of banners saying "Down with Bush, Down with America" could be seen in the crowd as Iraqi police and army soldiers guarded key checkpoints in and around Najaf and Kufa.
On Sunday, Sayyed al-Sadr reiterated his call to unite against the US occupation and end clashes between his Mahdi Army fighters and security forces in the central city of Diwaniyah.
"He appeals to the Iraqi army and the Mahdi militia not to fall into America's trap by fighting in Diwaniyah," said a statement stamped and issued by Sadr's Najaf office on his behalf.
Calling for unity against US troops, Sadr urged local forces not to support the "occupier because it is your enemy". In the capital Baghdad security was tight.
A 24-hour vehicle curfew was in place and all Baghdad's key roads and bridges were deserted as people remained indoor for fear of attacks.
at 2:02 PM