Iraqi Shiites carrying a poster of Ayatollah Ali Sistani. AFP photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--Iraq's grand Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani condemned bombings carried out earlier this week against Sunni mosques in Diyala Province, arguing that the Iraqi Security Forces have a responsibility to prevent such violence.
His representative promulgated Sistani's view and message on the recent violence in that province at the Friday sermon in the holy city of Najaf.
"We place full responsibility on the government security forces for repetition [of such attacks]," he said according to Reuters.
The latest sectarian violence to hit Diyala took place after a double suicide attack struck the town of Muqdadiyah.
The attacks were aimed at a cafe popular with Shiite militia members.
The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility.
Shortly afterwards Sunni mosques and businesses were attacked. Sistani discouraged such sectarian violence, believing that it will only benefit groups like ISIS.
Diyala Province, north of Baghdad and is inhabited by both Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
ISIS conquered parts of the province in June 2014 after the collapse of the Iraqi military. Shiite militiamen with Iranian backing managed to push the ISIS militants from several towns.