Saturday, August 04, 2007

Another Sistani aide assassinated; Fourth in two months

Left: Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani is Iraq's most important Shi'ite religious figure, and a major power broker behind the scenes.

An associate of Iraq's revered Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has been shot dead overnight by terrorists in the holy city of Najaf.

Sheikh Fadhil Aqil, Ayatollah Sistani's associate, was killed in a drive-by shooting outside his home in the southern holy city of Najaf, local police chief Brigadier General Abdul Karim Mustafa said.

Gunmen directed a hail of gunfire at Aqil before speeding off into the night late on Thursday, he said.

The incident, which is under investigation, is the third of its kind in two months, the Iraqi officials announced.

Last month Sheikh Abdullah Falak, who used to handle legal issues for Ayatollah Sistani, was stabbed to death inside his office in Najaf.

Falak's assassination set off security concerns among Iraqis as the place where he was killed is only 50 meters away from Sistani's heavily-guarded residence.

Another aide, Kadhem al-Baderi, was shot dead by gunmen a few days ago outside the city of Najaf.

A third of Ayatollah Sistani's aides, Sheikh Rahim al-Hassnawi, was assassinated in front of his home in the town of al-Mishkhab, south of Najaf.

Ayatillah Sistani is the top ranking cleric in Shia Islam and a hugely honored figure among Iraq's majority population.

Read the rest at Press TV

Related Link:
Former aide to Sistani assassinated, third in two months

Related Link:
Sistani aide stabbed to death in guarded office in Najaf: Slaying seen as warning