as to Iraqi victims they do not calculate!! That is a declaration of one US officer in Iraq!! When will UN take measures against US/UK who invaded Iraq and colonized it till today causing civil war, bloodshed, and Iraq split into cantons?!
Associated Press 20/8/2006
Snipers Kill 16 Pilgrims in Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Snipers fired on a major Shiite religious procession in Baghdad Sunday, killing at least 16 pilgrims and injuring 230, officials said. Four suspected gunmen were shot dead by police.
The attacks occurred from rooftops along several points of the procession toward the shrine of Imam Moussa Kadhim in north Baghdad. They occurred in three predominantly Sunni districts -- Fadhil, Haifa and Saligh -- Health Ministry spokesman Qassim Allawi told The Associated Press.
Security forces killed two snipers in Fadhil and two suspected insurgents who tried to mingle with the crowed in the mixed neighborhood of Zafraniyah, police said.
In one neighborhood, security forces and Shiite militias were seen exchanging gunfire with unseen assailants. Gunfire echoed in the streets as people ran for cover.
The government had deployed thousands of troops and banned private vehicles from the streets to prevent attacks during the two-day commemoration marking the death in 799 of Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar al-Kadhim, one of 12 Shiite saints.
Tens of thousands of Shiites participated in the religious procession Sunday, chanting Islamic slogans and wearing white shrouds to symbolize their willingness to die for Islam
"We heed your call, Oh Imam!" the pilgrims sang, beating their chest and flagellating themselves with steel chains in a traditional Shiite expression of grief.
A security cordon was thrown around golden-domed shrine where the imam is buried, and all pilgrims were frisked before entering. Troops posted on rooftops closely watched the devout who waved the green flag of Islam and banners of their tribes in vibrant colors.
Last year, the government said about 1,000 people died during the Imam Kadhim commemoration when rumors of suicide bombers triggered a mass stampede on a bridge across the Tigris River. It was the biggest single day death toll since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
Shiites were prevented from mustering huge crowds at religious ceremonies during Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime. But since Saddam's ouster in 2003, Shiite politicians and religious leaders have encouraged huge turnouts as a demonstration of the majority sect's power.
The ceremonies are taking place during a major U.S.-Iraqi security operation aimed at curbing Sunni-Shiite violence, which threatens the stability of the new government of national unity. Nearly 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi troop reinforcements are coming in to take control of this city of 6 million people neighborhood by neighborhood.