Iraqi Shia protest US tank killing

Hundreds of angry Muslims protested in the Iraqi capital over the death of a Shia cleric crushed under a US tank.

    US army claims cleric's death was an unfortunate accident

    All the demonstrators, who rallied on Tuesday outside a central Baghdad hotel used by foreign correspondents, carried photos of Abd al-Razzaq al-Lami and of his flattened car.

    "Friday evening my brother stopped when he ran out of petrol. He was standing next to the vehicle waiting for someone to bring a can of petrol when an American tank arrived," said his brother Jasim al-Lami.

    "The tank crushed the car and him. He died immediately. The US soldiers in the tank did not even stop to see what happened. They just left him on the ground."

    Popular community figure

    Abd al-Razzaq ran al-Rahman mosque in Sadr City, a poor Baghdad district which is home to about two million Shia.

    "We decided to protest today to condemn what happened and to ask US forces to keep out", the victim's brother said. "What are tanks doing in the narrow streets in Sadr City?"

    "The tank crushed the car and him. He died immediately. The US soldiers in the tank did not even stop to see what happened. They just left him on the ground."

    Jasim al-Lami,
    brother of crushed victim

    Another cleric, Hasan al-Lami, said he was going to meet occupation administration officials to tell them what happened and to ask for the soldier who did this to be put on trial.

    "He was a very respected and influential man," he said of the late Shia scholar, "and everyone here is angry about what happened. Shia blood can not be shed cheaply, the Americans have to understand that."

    The US army said a tank had been involved in a traffic accident that resulted "in an accidental death" and an inquiry was underway.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive Thailand's censorship crackdown in this interactive game.