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April 9, 2005 3:00 AM

Thousands rally on second anniversary of Baghdad's fall

Thousands of followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand Shiite cleric who led an armed uprising against the U.S. forces last year, rallied in Firdaus Square on the second anniversary of the fall of Baghdad to call for a pullout of U.S. troops. The protest was centered on the square that provided one of the most dramatic images from the first weeks of the war: the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein. The al-Sadr cadres demonstrated their own mastery of images on Saturday, with street theater meant to conjure the abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers and contractors at Abu Ghraib, the prison west of the capital.

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