Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Sistani condemns Nimr execution as "unjust agression"

by Reuters
Sunday, 3 January 2016 08:33 GMT

BAGHDAD, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Sunday condemned the execution of Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia, calling it an "unjust agression".

"We have received with much sorrow and regret the news of the martyrdom of a number of our brother believers in the region whose pure blood was shed in an unjust aggression," the cleric, said in a letter addressed to the population of the eastern Saudi region of Qatif where Nimr used to preach.

The opinion of Sistani, based in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf south of Baghdad, carries weight with millions of Shi'ites in Iraq and elsewhere. (Reporting Stephen Kalin and by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alison Williams)

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