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Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani

A. Sistani urges Iraqi govt. protect Sunni mosques

Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani condemns bombings on Sunni mosques in the province of Diyala.

Ayatollah Sistani said Friday he placed full responsibility for protection of mosques and preventing repetition of such attacks on the government security forces.

His message was read by the prominent cleric’s spokesman Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala’i during Friday Prayers sermon in Najaf and broadcast on state television.

At least seven mosques and dozens of shops in the town of Muqdadiya (NE Baghdad)were firebombed on Tuesday, a day after 23 people were killed there in two blasts.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi visited Muqdadiya on Thursday to meet with security and municipal officials.

Iraqi officials declared victory over the Takfiri militants in Diyala nearly a year ago after security forces and allied fighters drove them out of towns and villages there.

The country is currently in a battle to dislodge Daesh (ISIS) from areas in the north and west that they seized in 2014.

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