NAJAF - Thousands of Iraqis headed to Najaf Sunday for a rally called for by an anti-American cleric to protest the presence of foreign soldiers in the country.
"The faithful should participate in a demonstration in Najaf on April 9, demanding that the occupiers withdraw form our lands," Shiite rebel leader Moqtada Sadr said in a statement released by his office. "They should carry or wear Iraqi flags."
The protest will mark the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Witnesses said thousands of people from Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood had boarded buses and minivans bound for the Muslim holy city of Najaf, the Alalam satellite TV network reported.
Iraqi flags were being flown from many homes, shops and vehicles in Sadr City, and police escorted convoys of pickup trucks carrying youths waving flags, Alalam said.
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