Lebanon: Top Shi'ite religious leader hospitalized

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 2, 2010 19:25

BEIRUT— Lebanon's top Shi'ite cleric has been hospitalized after suffering complications from a liver problem, an official close to the influential sheik said Friday.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, 75, has been receiving treatment in a Beirut hospital for the past 12 days, but his condition deteriorated Friday after complications from a liver problem led to an internal hemorrhage, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Fadlallah's office issued a terse statement saying the cleric has been hospitalized and is being treated by a medical team.

The Iraqi-born Fadlallah is an influential Shiite cleric in the region, with followings in Lebanon and in his native Iraq. He is one of the founders of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party and serves as the spiritual guide for many key Shiite leaders in Iraq.

Fadlallah, a harsh critic of US policies in the Middle East, is known to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure.


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