Protest in Najaf
I found this article via the New York Times website. A massive rally was held Monday in the Iraqi city of Najaf to protest the American occupation. Reports of between 5,000 to 7,000 people participated in the protest by burning American flags, shouting "death to America" and wrapping themselves in Iraqi flags. The rally consisted mostly of Iraqis loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric and Iraqi nationalist. A smaller group of Sunnis also participated in the demonstastration, despite the accusations that Sadr's militia are killing Sunnis. The protest took place on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. Sadr's militia and other Iraqi forces still continued fighting in Diwaniya, despite his call for peace among the groups, leading some to believe he may have lost total control over his followers. Sadr's whereabouts is still unknown.
A challenge the reporter faced when covering this story is keeping track of exactly who is fighting who. The rally protested American occupation of the country, but the article was also about fighting between Iraqi military groups. Sadr is a Shiite whose militia may be responsible for killing Sunni Iraqis, but some Sunnis still support him. The one thing both groups agree on is they hate America. The author did a good job of clarifying a complicated situation, but sometimes the article felt like two separate stories.
I found this article on the Washington Post's website. This article said that more people participated in the protest that the NY Times article. Also this article focused more on the protest itself by using more quotes from the participants and gave more of a background on Sadr's influence. The article gave more of a visual descritption of the protest as well.
I found both articles to be interesting. The Post article kept the focus of the story more and gave the reader a better idea of the protest itself. The Times article gave a broader spectrum of what impact the rally had on other areas of Iraq.