Iraq civil war leader rallies Shi'ite fighters against Islamic State

February 18, 2015 12:50 PM

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Abu Deraa sits at home in Baghdad's Sadr City, ringed by images of 7th century Shi'ite Muslim Imams Ali and Hussein. A hero to Shi'ite militiamen during Iraq's civil war, he no longer fights but still stirs the hearts of men now battling Islamic State.

Nearly a decade after Iraq's worst sectarian bloodletting, the country faces a new period of darkness: Sunni jihadists have captured swathes of territory in the north and west, and efforts to roll back those gains have exacerbated tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite communities.

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