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Cleric issues edict forbidding US troops in Iraq

Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri
Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri
A leading Shiite Muslim cleric followed by some Iraqi militants has issued a public religious edict forbidding the presence of US troops in Iraq.

The fatwa issued Friday by Iran-based Grand Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri comes after Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq accused the United States of being behind recent attacks on their bases and weapons depots in Iraq.

Two US officials have confirmed that Israel was responsible for the bombing of an Iranian-backed militia's weapons depot on July 19.

Al-Haeri called for Iraqi armed forces to "resist and confront the enemy."
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