Protests Continue in Wake of Iraq Bombing

Protests and an increase of deadly attacks have plagued Iraq since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra earlier this week.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And when you listen to that interview, you get a sense of just how far apart Iraq's different sectarian and political groups are. Senior Iraqi official say that leading Shiite clerics, including the revered Grand Ayatollah Ali al- Sistani are trying to reign in militants. But while Shiite leaders have called publicly for calm, some of their militia forces have been on the street since the violent erupted on Wednesday.

Shiite militiamen have been attacking Sunni targets, and they've been setting up their own checkpoints in defiance of the government. And today a spokesman for the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadar said his followers plan to march to mosques in his Baghdad stronghold despite the curfew. And we've been hearing from our reporter in Baghdad, Jamie Tarabay, that in fact those militias are also preventing Sunnis from worshipping at some of those Mosques in areas that the Shiites control.

The spokesman for Sadar said that they planned to worship at the weekly midday prayers. As usual, the Shiites will be doing that, not the Sunnis in those areas.

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