June 22, 2014

Answering Cleric's Call, Iraqi Shiites Take Up Arms

C.J. Chivers, New York Times

The Associated Press

Large sections of Baghdad and southern Iraq’s Shiite heartland have been swept up in a mass popular mobilization, energized by the fatwa of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urging able-bodied Iraqis to take up arms against Sunni extremists. Shiite and mixed neighborhoods now brim with militias, who march under arms, staff checkpoints and hold rallies to sign up more young men. Fighting raged in northern and western Iraq on Saturday, with the Sunni insurgents making some gains near a strategic border crossing with Syria.

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TAGGED: Iraq, Shiites, Ali Al-Sistani

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