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Iraqis Rally Against Terrorism By: BBC News
BBC News | Monday, December 01, 2003

Among the demonstrators were relatives of some of those killed in recent bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere.

 There was a heavy Iraqi police presence as the protesters marched through the city centre, with American military helicopters hovering overhead.

In the latest attack, a US soldier was killed when rebels shelled a military base in the northern town of Mosul.

"Yes to Iraq, no to terrorism," chanted protesters, who gathered at Baghdad's al-Firdos square.

Baghdad rally

"Yes to Iraq, no to terrorism,"
chanted demonstrators

Baghdad rally
Heavily armed Iraqi police accompanied the rally

Three empty coffins adorned with Iraqi national flags were brought to the rally to honour civilian victims of attacks by militants.

"We demand peace," Ali Sahib, who lost his daughter in a recent suicide bombing, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

"We demand that all criminals, whether they are Saddam [Hussein] loyalists or al-Qaeda members, be chased and tried for their crimes against the Iraqi people," Mr Sahib added.

Iraqi police and US troops kept a close watch at the rally, searching a suspect vehicle at one point but finding no explosives.

'Bodyguard' held

A soldier from the US 101st Airborne Division was killed on Friday when mortar shells hit the division's base in Mosul on Friday morning.

An Iraqi worker was also slightly injured, a US military spokesperson said.

Troops immediately launched a search for the attackers.

In another development, the US military said its forces had captured a former Saddam bodyguard, identified as Brigadier General Khalid Arak Hatimy.

The US military said he was captured during a night raid in the town of Ramadi, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad.

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