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Top Iraqi Officials Attend Chalabi Funeral In Baghdad


Top Iraqi officials attended a funeral for Ahmed Chalabi, a controversial champion of the U.S.-led invasion of his country.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, President Fuad Masum, parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi, and Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim were among the large crowd of mourners at the ceremony November 4 in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Chalabi, the head of parliament's finance committee, died of a heart attack the day before at age 71.

Living in exile as head of the Iraqi National Congress, which opposed Saddam Hussein, Chalabi became a White House favorite for information he provided which supported the U.S. justification for attacking Iraq in 2003.

But he lost favor after the invasion when his intelligence regarding Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Qaeda proved to be false.

He was also accused of providing information to U.S. foe Iran.

Chalabi held the rotating presidency of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council after the invasion and served as deputy prime minister, but he never reached the political heights to which he aspired.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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