Iraqi army, Shiite leader supporters clash in Karbala

Photo: Iraqi army, Shiite leader supporters clash in Karbala  / Politics

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

A clash took place in Iraq's Karbala province between the army and supporters of Shiite leader Ayatollah Mahmud al-Hasani al-Sarkhi, Turkish Anadolu agency reported on July 3.

Some 30 supporters of al-Sarkhi were killed in the fighting. Iraqi security forces also detained over 100 of al-Sarkhi's supporters.

Earlier, al-Sarkhi opposed the Ayatollah al Uzma Ali Hussein Sistani's fatwa on jihad, which urged the Shiites to fight against the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, a.k.a ISIS).

The clash took place following the attempts of the military to arrest al-Sarkhi in an education center, where he teaches.

Reportedly, the military tried to detain al-Sarkhi, however, he and his supporters resisted. As a result, the military started shelling the education center with mortars and heavy guns.

Al-Sarkhi was not injured in the clash and was taken to a safe place.

Iraqi air forces also carried out air strikes on al-Sarkhi's education centers in Iraqi city of Al Diwaniyah, inflicting serious damages to the buildings.

The ISIL militants took control over the Iraqi town of Tal Afar on June 16 and the city's military airport also came under their on June 22.

Earlier it was reported that the Sunni groups in Iraq are preparing to fight against the militants of the ISIL.

In particular, a group known as the 1920 Revolution Brigades is arming against the ISIL. The 1920 Revolution Brigades actively fought against Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2007.

Reportedly, the activists of the Iraqi Islamic National Resistance, the Islamic Army of Iraq, and the Sunni Mujahideen Army are also preparing for fighting.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki turned down the proposal to create a transitional government with the Sunni insurgents who are not included in the ISIL.

Nearly one million people were forced to abandon their homes due to the ongoing fighting on the territories seized by the militants of ISIL.

Earlier, the ISIL announced about the creation of a caliphate in Iraq, which will be headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. ISIL also announced that it has renamed itself as "the Islamic State".

Edited by S.I.

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