Iranian pilgrim killed in Kufa chaos
Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
Holy Najaf, April 6 (IranMania) -- According to Iran's State News Agency (IRNA) an Iranian pilgrim got killed in Sunday chaotic conditions of Kufa due to the arrest of the head of the office of Iraqi prominent cleric Moqtada Sadr by Spanish forces.
The unrest between Sadr's followers and the occupier forces was meanwhile due to the ban on publication of Sadr's weekly publication by the civilian US administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer.
One of the officials of the Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs Organization, Hamid Farshadi, told IRNA on Monday night that Ms. Pour-Kouhi, from Deyr Township of the Bushehr Province, was unfortunately shot dead in Kufa`s Sunday unrest.
The official added, "The deceased Iranian pilgrim's body will be kept at Najaf's City Hospital before burial, either in Najaf, or being transferred to Iran, depending on her relatives' decision."
It is also said that two other Iranian pilgrims were wounded in Sunday chaotic conditions of various Iraqi cities, but IRNA could not get any more specifications about them in contacts with concerned Iranian and Iraqi officials and hospitals here.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi deplored the deaths or injuries among a large number of Iraqi nationals. Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department quoted Asefi as saying that the the occupying forces are responsible for continued ongoing unrest in Iraq and presence of the occupiers in Iraq has caused growing insecurity and chaos in the country.
Asefi called for speedy pullout of the occupying forces from Iraq and full transfer of power to the people. The campaign of violence by the Shiite radicals raised serious alarm for coalition troops who were initially welcomed by Iraq`s majority community after years of vicious rule by Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime.
Already burdened by a Sunni insurgency, a full revolt among the country's 15 million-plus Shi'as would be disastrous for the Iraqi ation and the occupiers alike. A coalition spokesman revealed Monday an arrest warrant was in force against Sadr for the murder of a rival cleric, Abdel Majid al-Khoei, last April, days after the fall of Saddam.
Aides of the anti-coalition cleric, who is currently barricaded in a mosque in the Shi'a shrine city of Kufa, vowed that he would never be captured. Apache helicopters fired on Sadr`s Mehdi Army militiamen during fierce battles in the western Baghdad district of Al-Showla Monday.
"There is only one God and America is the enemy of Allah," chanted the crowds in different Iraqi cities on Sunday and Monday. Hospital officials in Baghdad said that 22 Iraqis were killed and 85 wounded Sunday. The US military said it lost eight men in the violence as its forces were besieged by anywhere between 500 and 1,000 men.
The fighting was the worst to erupt in Baghdad since US troops entered the capital last April. The coalition's civil administrator, Paul Bremer, declared Sadr an outlaw and pledged that US forces would stop his power grab. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=23737&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs