The Shia-Sunni animosity in the strife-torn Iraq is on the rise. For Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda man, considered number two in the dreaded organisation hierarchy, there are three enemies: ‘Crusaders’, Jews and rawafidh (literally rejectionists, a derogatory term for the Shia. In the recent violence, at least 11 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives. Thursday was the deadliest day in Iraq in months, as suicide bombers in Karbala, the most religious site for Shia Muslims and Ramadi killed at least 130 people. Teams of Iraqi policemen from Karbala and Babil raided suspected insurgent hide-outs west of Karbala on Friday, arresting two people who were said to have confessed to having some role in planning the Karbala suicide attacks, which killed at least 60 Shiite pilgrims at the Imam Hussein shrine. Shiites lashed out in anger the day after the Karbala attack, accusing Sunni Arab groups of encouraging violence and accusing the United States of impeding the ability of the Shiite-controlled security forces to track down insurgents. American officials have sought to rein in tactics used by the Shiite security forces. In Sadr City, the Shiite neighborhood in northeast Baghdad, more than 500 protesters waved flags and marched down wide trash-strewn boulevards yelling, “No, no to the Baathists,” referring to the former governing party under Saddam Hussein, and “No, no to terrorism.” Their chants also singled out a Sunni Arab political leader, Saleh Mutlak, and accused him of encouraging acts of terrorism. Mr. Mutlak, leader of the Iraqi National Trend party, rejected the accusations, and Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying that the demonstrators were falsely “throwing oil on the fire.” Marchers also expressed anger at the United States, chanting, “No, no to Khalilzad” – a reference to the American ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad – and chanted words of support for Interior Minister Bayan Jabr, a former Shiite militia leader whom Sunni Arab leaders have accused of carrying out a program of torture and assassination of Sunnis. A videotaped message attributed to the No. 2 leader in Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was released Friday, news agencies reported. The message reportedly described the Bush administration’s talk of troop reductions in Iraq as a “victory of Islam” and called on President Bush to “admit defeat” in Iraq. Administration officials have repeatedly said that troop drawdowns would occur as Iraqi forces became able to take the place of American service members.