Bomb wounds Iraqi cleric who urged end to insurgency

BAGHDAD - A prominent Iraqi Sunni clericwho urged Islamist armed groups to end their insurgency wascritically wounded, and four of his bodyguards killed, when acar bomb hit his convoy in Baghdad on Sunday.

Mehdi al-Sumaidai, who once fought U.S. troops in Iraq andwas part of a Sunni body issuing religious edicts, had beennegotiating with insurgent groups who vowed to fight on afterthe withdrawal of American troops in December.

The attack came as al-Qaida's local wing, Islamic State ofIraq, has warned of a new campaign and security analysts sayfighters in Iraq are benefiting from funds and morale fromIslamists slipping into Syria to join the revolt againstPresident Basher Assad next door.

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