Sunnis close Iraqi capital mosques in protest

¬†Iraqi Sunni religious leaders said Saturday they closed the sect’s mosques in Baghdad indefinitely to protest attacks targeting clerics and worshippers, highlighting the country’s deepening sectarian rift. The closures came as violence across the country killed 12 people Saturday. Sheik Mustafa al-Bayati, a member of a council of senior Sunni scholars that issue religious edicts, said the decision taken Thursday came into effect Saturday. He said mosques would reopen Sunday. Many mosques appeared to comply. In Baghdad’s Sunni northern district of Azamiya, a banner at the closed gate of the hallowed Abu Hanifa mosque read: “The mosque is closed until further notice because of the targeting of imams, preachers and worshippers.” The mosque closures were “prompted by the systematic targeting of and injustice against Sunni clerics, mosques and worshippers,” al-Bayati told The Associated Press. “Today, it is not forbidden […]

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