Pro-U.S. Shiite cleric 'assassinated'
A prominent Shiite leader and supporter of the U.S. presence in Iraq was assassinated Thursday, CNN reported. Seyyed Abdelmajid al-Khoei was assassinated in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq, the report said. He was the son of late Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qasim al-Khoei, who was the highest Shiite religious authority in the world at the time of the first Gulf War. The elder al-Khoei had more followers than Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. Al-Khoei was gunned down while he was about to address a news conference. Arab news reports said he was attacked by a group of men armed with knives. Ghanem Jawad of the al-Khoei Institution in London told al-Jazeera TV station that followers of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime in Najaf were responsible. CNN said some reports said that he had only been wounded, while others said he was dead. Full Story