First Published: 2004-04-08

 
Iraqis head to Fallujah with supplies
 

Thousands of Sunni, Shiites backed by cars unite in march to bring food, medical supplies to besieged Fallujah.

 

Middle East Online

Solidarity

BAGHDAD - Thousands of Sunni and Shiite Muslims backed by cars full of food and medical supplies headed on foot Thursday toward the town of Fallujah which has been besieged by US forces.

The protesters answered a call by Muslim groups for a peaceful march to carry supplies to residents of the Sunni town where dozens of Iraqis have been killed since US marines launched an offensive Sunday to wipe out insurgents.

"Our families in Fallujah, remember that our dead go to heaven and theirs to hell," read a banner held by the marchers who had gathered early Thursday at the Um al-Qora mosque in west Baghdad where people donated food, drinks and medicine.

"No Sunnis, no Shiites, yes for Islamic unity. We are Sunni and Shiite brothers and will never sell our country," they chanted.

The marchers carried Iraqi flags as well as portraits of Sunni Palestinian Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the head of the Hamas movement killed last month by Israel, and Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose forces were fighting the US-led coalition.

"Allahu Akbar," or "God is greatest" sounded from the Um al-Qora mosque as people made the donations.

Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Ghafur al-Samarai, the mosque imam and a member of the Committee of Religious Clerics, said that "Baghdad residents decided to send initially 90 cars with food and medicines to Fallujah families."

"The Iraqi Red Crescent got a permission from the coalition, following negotiations over one day and one night to bring these supplies into the city," he said.

"We want to express solidarity with our brothers who are being bombed by warplanes and tanks. People donated these things, and women even sold their jewelry," he said.

"It is a form of jihad (religious war) which can also come in the form of demonstrations, donations and fighting. The people who are occupied have the right to fight occupation, whatever the means they use," he said.

He called on the US army to stop the operation in the city.

"This only brings hatred and enmity. Americans killed 20 more people than those who are actually carrying arms. They killed the elderly praying at the mosques, as well as women and children. This is indiscriminate killing."

He condemned the mutilation of the bodies of four Americans slain in Fallujah last week in an incident that sparked US outrage, but said US troops "are doing the same by mutilating the residential neighborhoods."

 

Baghdad refuses talks with Kurdistan about referendum results

Three Israelis killed at West Bank settlement

Seven arrested in Egypt for raising rainbow flag at concert

European ambassadors to US strongly back Iran nuclear pact

Dubai set to become first city with flying taxis

Saudi establishment spreading Shiite hate speech

Madrid hails Rabat’s collaboration in fighting terrorism

Regional tensions rise in Kurds’ independence vote

Iraq Kurds start voting in historic independence referendum

UAE announces plans for region’s first nuclear reactor

Erdogan threatens Iraqi Kurds with border closure, oil block

Putin to visit Erdogan this week for Syria, Iraq talks

Sudan vows to step up efforts to improve US ties

Turkey to launch intervention into Syria — and maybe into Iraq

Egyptian ‘world’s heaviest woman’ dies in Abu Dhabi

Palestinian unity government remains unlikely

Emirati man fights his employer to serve in country’s army

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza next week

Saudi advisory body to tackle female driving ban

Turkey denies closing Iraqi border in response to Kurdish vote

US air strikes kill 17 Islamic State militants in Libya

US-led strikes killed 84 civilians near Syria's Raqa

Yemen's Hadi says military solution 'most likely'

The high cost of Syria’s destruction

Palestinian negotiator awaits lung transplant in US

Kurds ready for contentious vote in Iraq

A Kurdish state: Reality or utopia?

Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Saudi Arabia marks national day with fireworks, concerts

Iran defies US, tests missile

Turkey warns of 'security' steps in response to Iraqi Kurd vote

Barzani delays Kurdish independence vote announcement

Syria's war off the radar at UN assembly

For many Iraqis, tradition trumps police

Darfur clashes kill 3 as Bashir urges reconciliation

Saudi cleric banned for saying women have ‘quarter’ brain

Veteran Syrian activist, daughter assassinated in Istanbul

Tunisia drops forced anal exams for homosexuality

Bomb used in Saudi-led strike on Yemen children US-made

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing