Sadr visits Baghdad church, site of 2010 attack
BAGHDAD (AP) -- A prominent firebrand Shiite cleric in Iraq has paid a visit to a Baghdad church that was the scene of a deadly attack more than two years ago.
Muqtada al-Sadr said he visited the Our Lady of Salvation church to express sorrow at the attack and send a message of peace to Iraq's Christian community.
The Friday visit comes amid rising sectarian tensions nearly a decade after the U.S.-led invasion.
Al-Sadr grudgingly backed longtime rival Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's Shiite prime minister, following elections in 2010. But last year he joined Iraq's minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds in calling for al-Maliki to resign. This week he spoke up for Sunni protesters in the country's west.
Over 50 were killed in the 2010 attack on the church blamed on Sunni extremists.