The leader of Iraq's largest Shi'ite Muslim political party has endorsed the country's draft constitution, urging Shi'ites to approve it in next month's national referendum.

Abdel Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) told thousands of supporters at a rally in Baghdad Saturday that it is their religious duty to vote "yes."

His endorsement echoes a similar call Thursday from the top Shi'ite religious authority in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

In a separate development, a judge in the southern city of Basra ordered the arrest of two British soldiers who were freed Monday in a controversial British raid on a local prison. The charges against them include killing an Iraqi policeman. British officials say their troops are not under Iraqi jurisdiction.

In Baghdad, a suicide car bomb exploded near an Iraqi military checkpoint Saturday, killing two soldiers.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.