A car bomb killed at least 82 people, including Iraq’s leading Shiite politician, and wounded more than 200 outside one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines in the central Iraqi city of Najaf. Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, head of the Iran-backed Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI), was killed moments after he delivered his weekly sermon at the Tomb of Ali in the holy city, 180 kilometres (110 miles) south of Baghdad, party officials said in both Baghdad and Tehran. The bombing was the deadliest in the Middle East since October 23, 1983 when 241 US marines and 58 French soldiers deployed with a multinational force in Lebanon were killed in double truck bombings of their headquarters in Beirut. Hakim, a moderate who spent some 20 years in exile in Iran before his triumphant return in May, “met a martyr’s fate along with his bodyguards,” Mohsen al-Hakim, the son and political advisor of the ayatollah’s brother, Abdel Aziz, told AFP in Tehran. Full Story
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