The incident came after a Kurdish writer criticised Ali al Sistani, which the writer apologised for later on, calling it a “misunderstanding”.
Without Muqtada al Sadr, Iraq's kingmaker, no coalition government can be formed, experts say. And if it is formed, Sunni bloc’s Halbousi and Kurdish leader Barzani are likely to be in the new government.
With a little confidence in the country's political system, many ordinary Iraqis are likely to stay away from the ballot box while Shia-led parties like Muqtada al Sadr’s group are expected to dominate next month’s polls.
For outsiders, all Shia groups know just one master, Iran, a Shia-majority country. But recent escalations between the two Shia groups disprove that understanding.
The proxy wars are being fought by countries over land that doesn't belong to them and its the Iraqis who are paying with their lives.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani urged leaders to abandon partisan politics in choosing a new head of government and said he would have no involvement in efforts to replace Adil Abdul Mahdi.
Iraqi protesters are concerned whether Prime Minister Mahdi's replacement will be acceptable to the nation, while experts warn that any bold moves by Iran could lead to further bloodshed or worse.
Adil Abdul Mahdi says he will step down in response to a call for a change of leadership by the country's top cleric Ayatollah Ali al Sistani, even as more protesters are shot dead in southern Nasiriyah city.
Iraq's ruling elite fear the unity of the Iraqi people because it directly undermines their divisive rule.
UN proposes reform plan, backed by Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, to end violence that has killed more than 300.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been protesting, mostly in Baghdad and southern regions, since last month, demanding sweeping change to the political system established after the 2003 US-led invasion.
Iraq was rocked by demonstrations in early October, first denouncing corruption and unemployment before evolving into calls for an overhaul of the political system.
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