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Iraq Interior Ministry issues arrest warrant for top Sunni

[JURIST] Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani [Wikipedia profile] announced on Al-Iraqiya state television [official website] Thursday that an arrest warrant has been issued for Harith al-Dhari [Aljazeera profile], the most prominent leader of Iraq's Sunni minority, and head of the powerful Association of Muslim Scholars [association website, in Arabic; GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. The Shiite-led Interior Ministry said that al-Dhari is wanted for incitement of terrorism and violence. Al-Dhari is a vocal critic of the majority Shiite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and recently rejected offers of reconciliation.

Sunni groups immediately spoke out against the arrest warrant, and although Al-Dhari is a hard-liner, it is possible that moderate Sunnis will retaliate by abandoning the government. Al-Dhari often travels throughout the Middle East, and was believed to be in Jordan when the warrant was issued. The Interior Ministry has said that it is considering asking for international assistance in apprehending him. AP has more.

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