Sistani Representative Wounded in attack in Karbala
Shaykh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbala’i was wounded in the head and five guards were also wounded when assailants tossed hand grenades and fired machine guns at him as he left the shrine of Imam Husayn in the holy Shiite city of Karbala late on Wednesday. Al-Karbala’i is the representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Two weeks ago, fighting broke out between Karbala’i’s guards and the militia of a supporter of Muqtada al-Sadr, who wanted to take over the shrine. On the other hand, some Shiite leaders appear to have been targeted by Sunni Arab radicals. It is unclear who was behind Wednesday’s attack. Al-Karbala’i is being treated in the hospital. Sistani has complained that the ongoing violence in Iraq is made possible only by the lack of security in the country and the massive amount of arms in the hands of militias, and has called on the occupying authorities to disarm the militiamen.