Four Arab men have been
arrested in the Iraqi city of Najaf in connection with Friday's bombing
at a Muslim shrine that killed at least 107 people and injured more
than 140. Iraqi authorities say the men have close ties with Osama
bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.
Iraqi police said Saturday the four were non-Iraqi Arabs who
were arrested shortly after the explosion. The blast was described
as similar to recent attacks at the United Nations headquarters
and the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.
U.S. officials have said that foreign terrorists aiming to destabilize
the country have been coming across Iraq's porous borders from
Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Thousands of people thronged the area in Najaf where Friday's
bomb exploded outside Iraq's most holy Shia Muslim shrine. Carrying
banners and chanting, the crowds denounced the bombing and vowed
to avenge the attack that now threatens the delicate balance of
religious and political power in the war-torn country.
Angry Shiites initially blamed the bomb on remnants of Saddam
Hussein's regime, but they also showed growing anger toward U.S.
forces for failing to provide security that could have prevented
such an attack.