Ali al-Sistani responds, after the demonstrations in Iraq led by young people the last few months have claimed 440 lives.
Iraq's storayatollah, Ali al-Sistani, condemns the killings and abductions of protesters and activists.
He appeals to the iraqi state to regain control over the many weapons that are in circulation, and as more time is used against the intention.
Sistani is the spiritual leader of the shia majority in Iraq. His voice has great importance in the country.
Sistani calls on during a religious ceremony in the holy city of Kerbala, the iraqi army to behave professionally and demonstrate loyalty to the iraqi state.
The armed forces "must be loyal to the nation and free of foreign interference," he says.
Iraq has been hit by large-scale demonstrations in over two months. Over 440 people killed in the troubles since 1. October, shows the Reuters statement.
Sistani mixes very rarely in iraqi politics, but he has, however, made it during the big crises in its recent history.
His words have great weight among Iraq's millions of shiites.
Demonstrations in cities across Iraq have been led by young people. They will have fought against corruption, poverty and the old political elite. They have contemporary demanded that Iran must stop interfering in iraqi matters.
Prime minister Abdel Abdul-Mahdi announced last month that he would resign after Sistani withdrew his support to the government back.
/ritzau/ReutersUpdated Date: 14 December 2019, 01:00