Alexa

Iraqis celebrate departure of American forces

Iraqis celebrate departure of American forces

Hundreds of Iraqis have celebrated the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. But in a sign of the sectarian divisions that have re-emerged, Shiite Muslims failed to join the event.
The celebration took place after Friday prayers near the main Sunni mosque in Baghdad, Abu Hanifa.
Men and children waved Iraqi flags and held banners praising the resistance. Women threw chocolate candy as a sign of joy.
The mosque preacher, Sheik Ahmed al-Taha, used his sermon to accuse the Americans of stirring what he called sectarian sedition among Iraqis and he called for unity.
Shiites who were also invited to join the prayer service and the celebration did not attend.
Tension has risen between Iraq's minority Sunnis and the Shiite-led government in recent weeks.