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Thousands of followers of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr took to the streets on Saturday in a demonstration against a pact that would allow U.S. forces to stay in Iraq for three more years.
Marchers waved Iraqi flags and chanted “Yes, yes Iraq! No, no to the occupation!”
A white-turbaned cleric read out what he described as a letter from Sadr calling on parliament to vote down the pact.
“I reject and condemn the continuation of the presence of the occupation force, and its bases on our beloved land,” the letter said, calling the pact “shameful for Iraq.”