Sadr says his followers not fighting in Syria

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Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Friday insisted that claims his supporters were involved in fighting in Syria were false, but said members of “splinter” groups could be involved in the violence. “All these claims are lies,” Sadr, a powerful Shiite cleric, said in a written response to a question from one of his followers over allegations that Sadrists are taking part in the violent suppression of the ongoing uprising against the Syrian regime. He added that any purported video evidence of involvement of one of his loyalists are “fabricated and not real”. “They do not belong to me,” Sadr said of fighters in Syria, adding that it was possible that members of “splinter” groups supported by external parties were involved the violence.