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Clashes in Karbala: Ayat Modarresi calls for extinction
By: Samir Al-Haidari/ almodarresi/ Hamoud Kufi
HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: Followers of Muqtada As-Sadr on Sunday night clashed with those loyal to Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al-Hussayni As-Seestani in the holy city of Karbala which houses the holy shrines of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (as) and his brother Abbas bin Ali (as).
According to hospital officials the clashes, in which both sides were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, claimed one Iraqi and wounded around two-dozen others, while some eyewitnesses told about seven dead bodies and residents said 10 people were left dead.
The atmosphere in the city was tense.
Sources said the Karbala clash appeared to be an attempt to seize power by cleric Muqtada As-Sadr. It began when his mob tried to take over the shrines of Al-Imam al-Hussein (as) and Al-Abbas bin Ali (as) aimed at putting the hand on possessions of the shrines.
Iraqi police Tuesday surrounded al-Sadr's office in the al-Mukayam mosque. Dozens of members of al-Sadr's militia, the “al-Mahdi Army,” were barricaded inside. Residents said police were rounding up al-Sadr's forces, arresting and beating some of them.
US and Polish troops set up checkpoints about a half-mile from major religious shrines and were carefully checking people for weapons.
In Najaf, where As-Sadr lives, aide Hassan Al-Garawi claimed the cleric's forces had taken control of Karbala and denied that Ayatullah Seestani's forces had resisted them.
US soldiers set up extra checkpoints in Sadr City on Tuesday in an attempt to prevent Muqtada's mob from heading to Karbala, around 70 miles to the south.
Meanwhile, Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Al-Modarresi has issued a statement following the painful incident in which he while quoting an ayah of holy Quran “And if two sects from the believers fought then reconcile you between them” appealed to the religious scholars and the city people to work for extinction of the clash fire, removal of sedition, bringing security and peace. He urged them not let any chance to the enemies that awaits us the calamities.
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