Friday, September 21, 2007

Two more Sistani aides slain in southern Iraq; Total now at least 7 since July

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

Two aides of Iraq's most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have been shot dead in separate incidents in southern Iraq.

The ayatollah's office said one of the men, Amjad al-Janabi, had been attacked after leaving a mosque near Basra on Thursday evening.

The other Ahmad al-Barqawi was shot as he drove home to the city of Diwaniya

The killings mean at least five aides of Ayatollah Sistani have been killed since June.

There has been no word on who might be behind the attacks, but correspondents say it could be related to a power struggle among Shia groups in southern Iraq.

Read the rest at BBC News

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