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

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.