Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Iraqi Shiite Leader Calls for Fighting US 'Aggression'
A prominent Iraqi Shiite leader on Tuesday signed a fatwa (religious
decree), calling for expelling "infidel followers" who invaded Iraq.
"It is necessary for Muslims all over the world to come back to Allah and
ask him to help us in a fierce battle against infidel followers who invaded our
homeland," Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani said in the decree in the Shiite city of
Najaf in southern Iraq.
"It is imperative for the Iraqi people to be united, preserve public
order and Iraq's territorial integrity," said the statement.
Iraqi troops have been engaged in a fierce ground battle with the
invading US-led forces near Najaf, 160 km south of the capital Baghdad.
Defying international opposition, the United States and Britain launched
a war against Iraq last Thursday under the pretext of toppling Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq has denounced the US and British invaders as "criminals" and
"villains," while urging the international community to stop the aggression