Iraqi PM pays respects to Hizbullah top cleric

July 8, 2010 15:06

Iraq's prime minister is in Beirut to pay his respects for Lebanon's late top Shi'ite cleric.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was one of the founders of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party. He was also believed to be Hizbullah's religious guide until his death on Sunday following a long illness.A 100-member Iraqi delegation took part in his funeral south of Beirut on Tuesday that drew tens of thousands of mourners.

Maliki rarely travels outside Iraq. After landing in Beirut, he headed straight from the airport to the mosque where Fadallah was buried.

The 75-year-old cleric was one of Shi'ite Islam's highest and most revered religious authorities with a following that stretched beyond Lebanon's borders to Iraq, the Gulf and as far away as central Asia.

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