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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 April, 2004, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Iraq protesters 'crossed a line'
Paul Bremer
Paul Bremer said attacks would "not be tolerated"
US and Iraqi authorities in Baghdad have condemned radical Shias involved in clashes with coalition forces in Najaf on Sunday, in which many died.

Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, said Iraqis had the right to freedom of expression, and must express their views "peacefully".

"This morning, a group of people in Najaf have crossed the line and they have moved to violence," he said.

"This will not be tolerated by the coalition. This will not be tolerated by the Iraqi people, and this will not be tolerated by the Iraqi security forces."

Massud Barzani, the rotating president of Iraq's interim Governing Council, said: "The Iraqis have the right to express their opinions in peaceful means, and this is democracy, but resorting to violence is rejected, all the Iraqi people reject that."

"Any act that leads to violence and losses among civilians and coalition (personnel) is an act that we sternly condemn, and we hope that everybody would resort to peaceful and democratic means," he said.


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