The incident came after a Kurdish writer criticised Ali al Sistani, which the writer apologised for later on, calling it a “misunderstanding”.

Iraqi authorities did not issue any immediate comment on the incident.
Iraqi authorities did not issue any immediate comment on the incident. (AA)

Protesters have torched the headquarters of the KDP in the Iraqi capital Baghdad after a Kurdish writer criticised Iraq’s leading Shia cleric Ali al Sistani in a Twitter post.

Hundreds of demonstrators stormed the party's headquarters on Sunday evening and set it ablaze, eyewitnesses said. The headquarters was empty at the time.

Iraqi media said a group affiliated with Shia militias was responsible for the attack, but did not name the group.

For its part, the KDP strongly condemned the Kurdish writer's tweet on Monday, considering it an insult to all religious authorities.

The Kurdish writer has since posted a follow up tweet apologising for al Sistani for what he termed as a “misunderstanding”, while also deleting his earlier tweet.

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'His personal opinion'

"It is no secret to anyone that the leadership of the KDP has the utmost respect and appreciation for all rational religious authorities and honourable clerics," KDP said in a statement.

They added that the party "constantly advises its members and cadres to respect all Islamic authorities and other religions."

The party also underlined that it believes in religious coexistence, adding that the writer had no relationship or affiliation with the party and that “his tweet represents his personal opinion.”

The Iraqi authorities did not issue any immediate comment on the incident.

Al Sistani, who is known for not meddling in the country’s political matters, is widely respected by Iraqis, especially in the country’s Shia majority provinces.

Source: AA