Spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites survives assassination attempt
The spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority escaped an assassination attempt on Thursday.
Few details were available of the attempt on the life of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the cleric's car as he was leaving his office for his home, the Qatar-based television Al-Jazeera reported.
Sistani's office confirmed the assassination attempt.
Shiite politician Muaffak al-Rubei said, after a meeting with the cleric in the central city of Najaf, that he had escaped the attack unharmed.
"I just met Sayyed Sistani, he is safe and sound," said Rubei.
Sistani has been the driving force behind Shiite complaints against the USa plans to hand over power to a provisional government selected by provincial caucuses, a blueprint he fears will not reflect the community's demographic weight.
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