October 11, 2019 / 9:51 AM / a month ago

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric slams government over protester deaths, demands investigation

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric on Friday blamed the Baghdad government for the killing of scores of protesters and gave it a two-week deadline to find out which “undisciplined elements” had used snipers to shoot them, in an apparent reference to Iran-backed militias accused of a role in the crackdown.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani “demands that the government investigate to find out which elements gave orders to shoot protesters, whatever their affiliation,” a representative of the cleric said during a sermon in the holy city of Kerbala.

Reporting by John Davison, Editing by Andrew Heavens

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