Thousands of Iraqis lined the streets of Najaf Saturday as a coffin
carrying the body Abdul Aziz al-Hakim wound its way through the city of
his birth to his final resting place.
Many tried to touch the flag-draped coffin of the powerful Shi'ite
leader as it slowly moved through the streets, while others wept and
held his picture.
The 59-year-old al-Hakim, who died of lung cancer in Tehran Wednesday, led the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) and was seen as a key figure in crafting Iraq's future.
Al-Hakim worked against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein while living in
exile in Iran for more than 20 years before the U.S. toppled Hussein in
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Najaf Saturday to
attend the funeral procession and offered his condolences to Iraqis
Later, Mottaki traveled to Baghdad, where he met with Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki and condemned recent terror attacks in Iraq, saying such
violence threatens the security of the entire region.
Iraqi police say two separate suicide car bombings in northern Iraq
Saturday killed at least 15 people and wounded at least 30 others.
Police say the first attack took place in the town of Shirqat. They say
a car bomber targeted a police station killing at least nine people and
wounding several others.
The second attack came about two hours later in the town of Sinjar near
Mosul where several people were killed when a car-bomb exploded.
The attacks are the latest in a rash of violence in Iraq, particularly
in the north, where security is not as tight as elsewhere.