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Spiritual leader Ayatollah Sistani calls on doctors to help fleeing Iraqis

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani , the spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia majority is calling on doctors from across Iraq to help civilians fleeing clashes in the latest fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2017 21:26 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Baghdad
Iraq,Tal Afar,Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
Members of the Iraqi forces carry a victim, who was injured in a suicide attack as people were escaping the Old City of Mosul, as they arrive at a make-shift hospital on June 23, 2017(AFP File Photo)

The spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shia majority is calling on doctors from across Iraq to help civilians fleeing clashes in the latest fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani says medical workers should travel to areas around the battle for Tal Afar to help “to treat the wounded and treat them as a humanitarian, national and religious duty.”

The call during the Friday sermon delivered by Sistani’s representative Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai, from the holy city of Karbala comes after the operation to retake Tal Afar began last week. Tal Afar sits west of Mosul, where victory was declared against IS in July. Thousands of civilians are estimated to have been killed in the nine-month fight.

Iraqi defense officials say about 10,000 civilians remain inside the city.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 21:25 IST