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Hundreds Flood Streets of Baghdad To Mourn


March 12, 2007

This man lowers his head racked with grief over the death of a loved one. He is just one of hundreds of mourners who took to the streets of Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood for the funerals of more than 30 Shi'ite pilgrims killed in a suicide bombing Sunday.

The grieving marched alongside the caskets, proclaiming that Allah is the only God. This past week attacks have killed hundreds of Shi'ite pilgrims as they traveled to and from Karbala for religious ceremonies.

Some are blaming the U.S. lead Baghdad security sweeps, authorized by President Bush, for making the pilgrims easy prey.

That's because the Mahdi army, which used to protect the pilgrimage, has now been cleared out from around the capitol city, as part of that ongoing security operation.

Monday, Major General Caldwell announced two of the five additional U.S. brigades have arrived in Iraq to restore order.

"The third one is beginning to arrive in Kuwait at this time, but the building will continue through the spring time and it will be late May before all the forces are here in the Baghdad area" said Caldwell.

The additional forces will be deployed around Baghdad, targeting the car bomb factories, which the U.S. believes are responsible for countless deaths and injuries.


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