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Iraq’s Al-Sistani survives assassination attempt

Prominent Shia cleric Ali Al-Sistani [Facebook]

Iraq’s senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah, Ali Al-Sistani, yesterday escaped an assassination attempt, security sources reported.

Khalil Abdul Ghafour, a provisional police officer, told the Anadolu Agency that “unidentified gunmen” opened fire on the house of the representative of the highest religious authority in Iraq’s southern province of Muthanna, Radi Al-Tai.

The gunmen, Khalil added, attacked the house of Al-Tai but he escaped, his nephew was seriously injured.

He did not provide details on whether Sistani was in Al-Tai’s home during the attack.

Read: Iraq and the fight against corruption

“The security authorities have started investigating the incident and are currently looking for the perpetrators,” Khalil noted.

Al-Sistani is the most prominent Shia religious cleric in Iraq.

The cleric recently expressed his solidarity with the mass protests in Iraq’s southern province of Basra over the high unemployment rate and lack of basic needs. Later, he called on the authorities to “urgently” form a new government “to fight corruption and respond to the demands of the demonstrators.”

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