Iraqi spiritual leader warns of ‘great risks’ from protests

QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most senior Shiite cleric urged political leaders Friday to find a way out of the current cycle of anti-government protests and a subsequent security crackdown that has left more than 250 people dead, saying the country faces "great risks" if it continues. The protests continued to spread, with tens of thousands of people in the streets of Baghdad and across the largely Shiite south demanding sweeping political change. Demonstrators in the capital set up tents for a sit-in that extended to new streets and onto the banks of the Tigris River. In the latest violence, 32 people were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters in confrontations on Baghdad's famous Rasheed Street, its oldest avenue and cultural center known fo
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