Senior Islamic official calls for autonomous Shiite region in Iraq
"Baghdad (dpa) - A senior official of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim on Wednesday called for the creation of an autonomous Shiite region to help quell the ethnic conflict in Iraq.
"We strongly believe in the efficiency and significance of founding the autonomous region," al-Hakim said ahead of the Shiite religious gathering to commemorate Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Muslim prophet Mohammed, in Karbala, some 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.
He added: "It (an autonomous region) will surely help in solving many security, political and social problems in Iraq, in addition to balancing the administration in the country."
Al-Hakim urged Shiites to seriously consider the idea, describing it as "vital and sensitive while planning the future of Iraq."....."