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Iraq senior official pledges firm stance against 'sectarian calls'

Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji (C) speaks during a press conference in the multi-ethnic northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on October 22, 2017 [MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP via Getty Images]
Former Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji (C) speaks during a press conference in the multi-ethnic northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on October 22, 2017 [MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraq National Security Adviser, Qassem Al-Araji, yesterday said security forces will confront sectarian calls, threatening social peace with "firmness and force", Anadolu reported.

Al-Araji made the remarks during a meeting with members of the National Intelligence Coordination Committee to discuss the latest calls by a radical Shia group to demolish the shrine of a revered Sunni cleric in Baghdad.

"The safety valve in Najaf and the leaders of Iraqi society and clans are the impenetrable barriers in the face of any attempts to strike security and civil peace," he added.

On Friday, the Iraqi government deployed hundreds of security forces in the vicinity of the Abu Hanifa Al-Numan Mosque in the capital following calls to demolish the mosque.

The Shia group that made the threats, which has followers in Iraq, the Gulf states, and Britain, is known for opposing prominent Sunni imams and even other Shia groups.

READ: Iraqi Shia militias protest against removal of officers from intelligence service

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