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.
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 2003.
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Najaf Saturday to attend the
funeral procession and offered his condolences to Iraqis
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.
police say two separate suicide car bombings in northern Iraq Saturday
killed at least 15 people and wounded at least 30 others.
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.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.