Iraq’s Shiite clerics condemn attacks on protesters

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s Shiite religious establishment has condemned attacks on peaceful protests after at least 250 people have been killed by security forces over the past month in anti-government protests.

Ahmed al-Safi, delivering a Friday sermon on behalf of the country’s top clerics, says that they condemn “attacks on peaceful protesters and all forms of unjustified violence,” and that those responsible should be held accountable.

He also says authorities should not allow “any person or group or biased entity, or any regional or international party” to impose its view on the Iraqi people.

The sermon was delivered in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, where masked men suspected of being linked to the security forces opened fire on protesters earlier this week, killing at least 18.

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