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Mahdi Army puts on show of force, calls for US withdrawal from Iraq

The AP reports from BAGHDAD — Militiamen and followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr led a massive rally on Thursday, marching in Baghdad in a show of force as Iraqi leaders weigh whether to keep U.S. troops in the country beyond the end of the year.

Ahmad al-Rubaye / AFP - Getty Images

Members of the Iraqi Sadr Movement's Mahdi Army march in Baghdad's predominantly Shiite suburb of Sadr City on May 26, during a parade demanding the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

At least tens of thousands waved Iraqi flags and shouted "No, no, America!" as the tight columns of the unarmed but ominous-looking members of the Mahdi Army, as al-Sadr's militia is known, marched through one of Baghdad's poorest neighborhoods. Continue reading.

Hadi Mizban / AP

Supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr march while holding a sign that reads, "No, no to Israel," in Arabic, in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, Iraq on May 26. Tens of thousands of followers of the Shiite anti-American cleric are rallying in Baghdad, demanding the U.S. military leave Iraq at the end of the year.