SHI'ITE MUSLIM LEADER DIES

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The top Shi'ite Muslim religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Araki, died last night, prompting international mourning and potential conflict about succession. Araki, who was at least 100 years old -- and maybe as old as 106 -- died after spending three weeks in intensive care in a Tehran hospital. Araki was designated the marja ala -- or supreme leader -- of Shi'ite Muslims only last year, when two other supreme leaders died quickly after assuming the post. Despite few lines between church and state in Iran, Araki avoided involvement in government. His Shi'ite sect claims 10 percent of all followers of Islam in the world; the Sunni Muslims comprise the majority. Even as global mourning began, Iranian government officials launched a media campaign to get Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's spiritual leader, appointed as the next grand ayatollah.Post your opinion on theInternationalbulletin board.