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Funeral in Iraq for Shi'ite militant killed in Syria

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Hundreds of mourners gathered in the southern Iraqi province of Basra on Monday for the funeral of a Shi'ite militant killed in fighting in Syria while defending the famed Sayyida Zeinab shrine in Damascus. As mourners carried the coffin through the streets, others waved banners and fired into the air. Iraqi Shi'ite militants said in April that volunteers are crossing into Syria to fight, often alongside Assad's troops, or to protect the Sayyida Zeinab shrine on the outskirts of Damascus, a particularly holy place for Shi'ites. But militia leaders, who have mostly been inactive since U.S. troops left Iraq a year ago, have been reluctant to openly acknowledge fighting in Syria, possibly because influential Shi'ite clergy opposed Iraqis joining the battle. Some militants have said they were fighting in Syria in response to their religious leader, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but without any official s

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