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11 August 2004 -- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denounced ongoing U.S. military operations in the Iraqi city of Al-Najaf.
Khamenei told cultural attaches that Muslims will not "stand by" as "the United States is slaughtering the people of one of the holiest Islamic cities." The address was broadcast on state television today.
Al-Najaf is home to the mausoleum of Imam Ali, who is considered the successor to the Prophet Mohammed by Shi'ites, who are the majority in both Iraq and Iran.
U.S. forces have been involved in intense fighting against militiamen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Al-Najaf since 5 August.
For more on the situation in Iraq, go to RFE/RL's special page, "The New Iraq."