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Body of Shiite leader arrives in Baghdad

world Updated: Aug 28, 2009 12:59 IST

The body of a revered Shiite leader has arrived in Baghdad amid tight security to begin the second half of a two-day funeral procession that will wind its way through Iraq's Shiite heartland.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and hundreds of other government and religious officials were on hand Friday morning at Baghdad International Airport to meet the casket carrying the body of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim.

Al-Hakim's body has been flown from Iran where he died Wednesday from lung cancer. He spent 20 years in exile there before the fall of Saddam Hussein. He was considered one Iraq's most influential power brokers.

The funeral procession will end with al-Hakim's burial in the southern holy city of Najaf.