Iraqis demand release of shoe-hurling journalist

Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Monday to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush in anger at US policies, as support for the act and the journalist flowed in from across the Arab world. The protests came as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted Iraqi police, plus US-allied Sunni guards and civilians, in a series of attacks Monday that killed at least 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said. The journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, was being held by Iraqi security Monday and interrogated about whether anybody had paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference Sunday in Baghdad, said an Iraqi official. 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 because he was not authorized to talk to the media.