Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad Friday amid tight
security to mourn the death of Shi'ite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim.
Hakim's body arrived in Iraq for burial, two days after he died in neighboring Iran from lung cancer.
a ceremony at the Baghdad airport, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
said Hakim's loss comes at a "sensitive" time for Iraq. Parliamentary
elections there are set for January.
Hakim headed Iraq's largest
Shi'ite political party, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council. His death
comes just days after Prime Minister Maliki's Dawa party split from a
Shi'ite coalition that has dominated Iraq's government since 2005. On
Friday, Hakim's son, Ammar al-Hakim, called on parties that decided not
to join the coalition to reconsider their stance.
tight around Shi'ite mosques, shrines and political party offices in
Baghdad during the massive funeral procession, which is expected to end
with Hakim's burial in the southern holy city of Najaf.
the U.S. military in Iraq said two U.S. soldiers died from wounds
suffered in a roadside bomb attack in Baghdad early Friday.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.