Iraq: Shiite leader says 'awakening' groups should not replace gov't forces

The leader of the largest Shiite political party in Iraq told about 5,000 faithful who gathered for Eid al-Adha prayers that US-backed anti-al-Qaeda groups - mostly comprised of Sunnis - should be on the side of government forces and not try to replace them.


Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Islamic Iraq Council, told worshippers gathered near his office in southwest Baghdad that the so-called "awakening" groups, many of whom once fought against US forces but have since turned their guns on extremists, that the fighters must side with the government. (AP)