Baghdad Mourns Shiite Leader
New York Times / Steven Lee Meyers

BAGHDAD — The body of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, an influential religious and political leader in Iraq, arrived here from Iran on Friday and was paraded in a funeral procession conducted amid extraordinary security and under the shadow of violence.

The death of Mr. Hakim, a Shiite with close ties to Iran who supported the American invasion in 2003, came at “a sensitive and critical period,” Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said at a eulogy at the international airport here, “in a time we need the best of men who have experience and the best of men who have suffered and sacrificed.”

It was a measure of Mr. Hakim’s stature in a badly divided nation that most of the country’s senior leaders, Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, attended the ceremony at the airport, as did foreign diplomats.

Mr. ... >>>

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