Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More Iraqis "standing up" to AQ

Hatred for AQ in Iraq isn't only confined to Sunnis in Ramadi, as posted below. Nationalist rebels and tribal leaders in Samarra staged protests, and made it abundantly clear to the terrorists that their brand of rebellion is not welcomed, nor will be tolerated in their Sunni areas.

Democratic Iraq... ain't it great?

The protesters, estimated by police to number 700 to 1,000 and organised by the Iraqi Islamic Party and Muslim Scholars Association, major forces in Sunni politics, accused al Qaeda of killing some 40 local men who were hauled off a bus near Samarra last week after leaving a police academy in Baghdad and killed.

The killing late last year of the head of one of the city's main tribal leaders had prompted an alliance against al Qaeda involving local nationalist insurgents, residents said, similar to movements seen in other Sunni strongholds.

"They should not target civilians," said one local militant who says he speaks for a nationalist insurgent group in Samarra and goes by the name of Abu Mohammed.

"Nationalist groups made it clear that either they observe that or we will have to force them to get out of our areas."


Samarra appears less tense but residents following the situation closely said on Tuesday that anger among people in the city is increasing against al Qaeda, whose Jordanian leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is said by Iraqi defence chiefs to have moved from around Ramadi to Diyala province, just east of Samarra.

They said it began when Qaeda members killed the popular sheikh Hikmat al-Mumtaz, head of the Albu Baz tribe in Samarra, who had spoken out against insurgent attacks on civilians, such as al Qaeda's suicide assaults on Shi'ite neighbourhoods.

His tribesmen force confessions from suspected killers and publicised their supposed links to al Qaeda around the city.

After last week's killing of the police recruits, one resident said: "They will not allow Qaeda members to operate in Samarra any more ... They want to put pressure on them to leave.

"If need be, they may start killing known al Qaeda members."

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