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Iraqi Shia hold security pact march
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Saturday Oct 25th, 2008 9:25 AM
Saturday, October 25, 2008 : Protesters from charity linked to leading political party object to deal with US.

About 300 protesters chanted "No to America" as they marched through Basra [EPA]

About 300 Iraqis have staged a protest against a planned security deal which would allow US soldiers to stay in the country for at least three more years.

Members of the Sayyid al-Shuhuda charity, which is linked to the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, part of the ruling Shia alliance, staged the march in the southern city of Basra on Saturday

Demonstrators carried banners that read "No to the agreement of humiliation" while chanting "No to America".

Bassim Fayadh, head of the political bureau of the Sayyid al-Shuhuda, said: "Today the Iraqi people, and more specifically, the people of Basra, have took to the streets to express their utter rejection of any agreement, which infringes on Iraq's sovereignty.

"We pin hopes on the Iraqi government and the legislative authority to protect Iraq's unity through the negotiation of this agreement and approval on condition that it does not violate Iraq's sovereignty," he said.

Previous protests against the deal have been lead by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia leader who has rejected any agreement with US forces.

But the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council is apprently still deciding whether to support the so-called Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa), and its decision could be crucial in determining whether any deal passes the 275-member parliament.

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