RealNews

Arrest of Iraqi Cleric Sparks Confrontations With Shiites

The man in the doorway of the mosque had a rifle, and when a U.S. convoy appeared down the street, he ducked inside. To an Iraqi policeman riding with the Americans, the movement seemed suspicious. So the officer, as witnesses and his own superior told it later, followed the armed man into the Ali Bayaa mosque to attempt an arrest. It was only a few yards, but the action set in motion an escalating series of confrontations — threats and arrests, mass protests, a grenade attack — that in the space of two weeks helped push the U.S. military to the cusp of a new conflict in Iraq, one involving a volatile section of the country’s Shiite Muslim majority. Full Story

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