7th anniversary of Iraq War: Iraqis march for national unity

2010-04-10 09:36 BJT

Iraq has marked the seventh anniversary of its occupation by US-led forces. Tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to call for national unity and protest the foreign occupation.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators voiced their anger at a rally in the holy city of Najaf on Friday.

Supporters of Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, waved national flags and chanted anti-American slogans.

Khaled Al-Mulla, Sunni Cleric, said, "I call upon Iraqi politicians to form a government as soon as possible and look after the people's interests instead of their own."

On April 9th, 2003, US-led forces seized Baghdad and toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.

But some protesters insist the day marked the beginning of a lengthy occupation, and not liberation.

Rabee Al-Ubaidy, Iraqi Demonstrator, said, "Today is not just the anniversary of the fall of the former regime. It is also the anniversary Iraq's occupation by numerous foreign countries."

Many Iraqis say corruption and terrorism have escalated over the past seven years.

The cost has been high on the American side, too. More than 4-thousand US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began.

The US still has almost a hundred thousand troops in Iraq. The Obama Administration has pledged a full withdrawal of troops by the end of 2011.

Recently, a new wave of violence has hit Baghdad. Al-Qaida-linked militants have carried out a string of bombings killing more than a hundred people.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: CCTV.com