Supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr rallied Wednesday in Kadhimiya to protest the presence of US Vice President Dick Cheney in Iraq.
The Sadrist movement, followers of the young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said on Wednesday large demonstrations would be staged by the movement in three Shiite sacred cities protesting the visit paid by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney today to Iraq, a source from al-Sadr's office in Najaf said, according to Voices of Iraq.
"Sadr's followers will stage huge demonstrations today afternoon to marching from Kufa city, 10 km east of Najaf, to Thawrat al-Ishrin square in central Najaf where they will start a sit-in protesting Cheney's visit to the country," the source, who spoke under anonymity, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
He added "more demonstrations will be staged simultaneously in the holy cities of Karbala and Kadhimiya."
Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit.
The Sadr movement pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to work out a timetable for the U.S. troops' withdrawal from Iraq. Last month, Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered that his bloc six ministers should quit al-Maliki's cabinet.
The Sadrist movement has recently indicated that it is conducting a realignment and purge of its organization, according to Arabic-language media reports.