Saturday, June 18, 2005

Healthy Sadirist

Ali at Free Iraqi brings us a story about the Iraqi Minister of Health being stoned and beaten on a recent visit to Najaf. That sounds awful, doesn't it? But wait: as you might expect, there's much more to the story. It turns out that the minister (as Ali puts it) "is one of the Sadirists that got appointed as a minister in the new government along with three others". This minister visited Najaf to investigate some corruption, and:

According to the minister himself, there was no reason at all and that he was on a visit to the health administration in Najaf to follow up an investigation about a corruption there. He refused to appear in front of the Iraqi parliament to clarify the details of this incident accusing "certain parties" that he refused to name of planning the aggression against him and his guards and other officials who accompanied him.This is also what I heard from my brother in law who's a friend of the director of the ministry of health's office who said that his friend (the director) was there and that he accused followers of Sistani and the SCIRI of committing this aggression without any reason.

However, sotal Iraq provides us with another story. According to sources in Najaf, the minister and his guards went to the shrine intending to enter it while they were carrying arms. They were stopped by the guards of the shrine who told them that they have to drop their arms to enter the shrine, which is the norm. The minister's guards refused and started swearing at the shrine guards and threatening them. Then the minister went on his way to the inside of the shrine while swearing at the shrine guards himself. The shrine guards told him that his behavior was unaccepted especially that he was in a holy place. He then said to them, "Muqtada will come soon and crush your heads". Najafis who were standing by and watching couldn't hold their anger after hearing what the minister said and started hitting him and his guards with stones, their shoes and whatever their hands reached. The minister barely escaped alive. (all this from sotal Iraq)

Read the whole thing here. And put Ali on your daily read list; his reports are infrequent but terrific!

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