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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-24-05 05:43 PM
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Shiite Leader: Iraq Civil War Avoidable
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Shiite Leader: Iraq Civil War Avoidable
By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The leader of Iraq's largest Shiite political party expressed certainty Tuesday that a civil war will not break out in his country despite an increase in violence.

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who heads both the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the governing United Iraqi Alliance, also told The Associated Press in an interview that he favored the death penalty as a means of reducing the violence which has left more than 620 Iraqis dead since the Shiite-led government was announced on April 28.

Al-Hakim said insurgents have been trying to start a civil war between Iraq's Shiite majority and Sunni minority since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003.

"The awareness of the Iraqi people and the links between them will prevent such a war, God willing," he said in his heavily guarded Baghdad home overlooking the Tigris River.


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