Sadr warns al-Qaeda ringleader over Syria

Sadr warns al-Qaeda ringleader over Syria
Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:30:05

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has issued a stern warning to the ringleader of al-Qaeda against the terrorist group’s further intervention in Syria.

Sadr said Monday that Ayman al-Zawahiri needs to stay away from Syria’s affairs and allow Sunnis and Alawites to live peacefully in Syria as they always did. 

He condemned al-Qaeda’s killing of Muslims and said the group and its extremist ways have no place in Islamic nations.

Zawahiri recently said that the notorious Al-Nusra Front in Syria “is an independent branch of Al-Qaeda". The militant group has carried out a range of atrocities in the Arab country.

The remarks by the influential Iraqi cleric come a day after a spate of violent bomb attacks that killed scores of people across Iraq.

Sunday's blasts began with a parked car bomb which exploded in the city of Kut -- 60 kilometers southeast of Baghdad. Six people were killed and 15 others wounded in that attack.

The attack was followed by another car bomb outside the city which targeted construction workers, killing five and wounded 12 others, police officials said.

One of the deadliest attacks took place in the Shia-populated neighborhood of al-Ameen in southeastern Baghdad. Police said a bomber blew himself up inside a cafe, killing at least 11 people and wounding 25 others.

Other attacks were carried out in the cities of Hillah, Madian, Aziziyah, Mahmudiyah, Nasiriyah, Tuz Khurmatu, Najaf, and Basra on Sunday. Reports said that most of the car bombs hit Shia-majority areas.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings, but al-Qaeda-linked militant groups, which seek to destabilize the central government of Iraq, frequently carry out such coordinated attacks.

There has recently been an upsurge in violence across Iraq, and the authorities say Qatar and Saudi Arabia have had a hand in some of the deadly incidents.

The United Nations says a total of 1,045 people were killed and nearly 2,400 were injured in violent incidents in Iraq in the month of May.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that militant groups and the remnants of the former Ba’athist regime are responsible for the latest wave of violence.

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