Family Confirms Assassination of Shiite Ayatollah in Iraq
The family of Ayatollah Seyed Hussein Bahr Al Aloom has confirmed that the renowned Iraqi Shiite leader was assassinated on Friday, reported the official Iranian news agency (IRNA).
In a communiqué issued from London, a copy of which was made available to IRNA, they said that the 75-year-old ayatollah had been killed in Iraq under "mysterious conditions" early Friday.
Iran's students news agency ISNA had already cited Beirut-based newspapers as saying that unknown people had entered Ayatollah Bahr Al Aloom's house in the southern holy city of Najaf and had assassinated him "in a brutal manner." The cleric, his family said, had been refusing to cooperate with the “Iraqi Baathist regime” and was an active campaigner for the release of jailed Shiite clerics in the country.
He was also a regular critic of the Iraqi regime for its mistreatment of Shiite clerics, the family said in another part of the communiqué.
According to IRNA, the assassination of Ayatollah Bahr Al Aloom brings to four the number of top Shiite clerics killed in Iraq over the past four years. The assassins have never been identified.
According to Amnesty International's reports from the 1970s and 1980s, the Iraqi government systematically deported tens of thousands of Shiite people to Iran, claiming they were of Persian descent – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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