RealNews

Shiite faction urges mass rally in Najaf against militiamen

One of Iraq’s main Shiite Muslim factions urged residents of Najaf to join a mass demonstration against the presence of radical militiamen around the central holy city’s main shrine. Sheikh Sadreddin al-Kubbanji of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) — an Iran-backed religious party — urged Iraqis from all walks of life to join “a quarter of a million people to defend their religion and their marjaiya (religious leaders) and to restore security in their town”. Kubbanji has repeatedly called for the Mehdi Army militia of radical leader Moqtada Sadr to leave the holy city, 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of Baghdad. On Tuesday, demonstrators who were mobilised to protest against the militia’s presence in the town were forced to disperse when Sadr’s fighters fired shots into the air. Full Story

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