Monday, December 15, 2008

Iraq rally for Bush shoe attacker

At a press conference in Baghdad, President Bush was attacked by a shoe-throwing man.

Thousands of Iraqis have demanded the release of a local TV reporter who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush at a Baghdad news conference. Crowds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City district, calling for "hero" Muntadar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody. Officials at the Iraqi-owned TV station, al-Baghdadiya, called for the release of their journalist, saying he was exercising freedom of expression. Iraqi officials have described the incident as shameful.

Bush ducked; the shoes sailed over his head harmlessly.

The Iraqi government has demanded an on-air apology from his employer. An Iraqi official was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the journalist was being interrogated to determine whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at President Bush. He was also being tested for alcohol and drugs, and his shoes were being held as evidence, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In another story I read that Bush said the shoes were a size 10.

The shoes missed as Mr Bush ducked, and Mr Zaidi was immediately wrestled to the ground by security guards and frogmarched from the room. "This is a farewell kiss, you dog," he yelled in Arabic as he threw his shoes. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

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