The deadliest confrontation took place outside the city of Najaf pitting supporters of firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr against Spanish-led troops. At least 24 people were killed, including the Salvadorans.
Other clashes took place in Baghdad and the southeastern city of Amara, where four people died in fighting with British soldiers.
In an ominous development that threatens to widen the rift between Iraq’s Shiite majority and the occupation forces, Sadr told his supporters yesterday to “terrorize” the enemy as demonstrations were now pointless.
“There is no use for demonstrations, as your enemy loves to terrify and suppress opinions, and despises people,” Sadr said in a statement distributed by his office in Kufa, south of Baghdad.
“Terrorize your enemy, as we cannot remain silent over its violations,” he said, although it was not clear whether Sadr was literally calling on his followers to resort to violence.