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Iraq protesters set fire to office of Shia clerk 

Iraqi Shia clerk, Mahmoud Al-Sarkhi [Youtube]
Iraqi Shia clerk, Mahmoud Al-Sarkhi [Youtube]

Protesters yesterday set fire to an office of Shia clerk, Mahmoud Al-Sarkhi, in Iraq's southern city of Babil.

Anadolu Agency reported that riots had erupted in protest at Al-Sarkhi's recent calls for demolishing Shia shrines across the country. The protesters called on the security forces "to prosecute all those who abuse religious symbols."

The Babylon Police Command said in a statement that it had shut all the headquarters of the Sarkhi religious authority.

Al-Sarkhi is one of the prominent religious references, who has a wide supporter base in the southern Iraqi governorates. He rejects opinions by the first Shia authority in Iraq, led by Ali Al-Sistani.

Iraqi intelligence recently arrested someone for insulting religious symbols in a video and for calling for the demolition of all religious shrines.

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