Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.

Translation of the original Arabic text below of the statement by the press office of His Eminence Grand Ayatullah Seestani in Najaf denying news of the assassination attempt..

In The Name of Allah The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Since yesterday evening the media has been disseminating news of an armed assassination attempt on the life of His Eminence Sayyid Seestani (long may he live).

The press section at the offices of His Eminence in Najaf hereby confirms that these reports are totally unfounded.

We also stress the need for Iraqis to exercise maximum vigilance and caution in all matters concerning the political and security situations during these sensitive times when all eyes are on the arrival of the international delegation that will determine whether a general election can be held to establish a transitional national council.

We hope the appropriate environment will prevail to enable the international team to complete their work accordingly - faraway from pressures and side effects. Thus facilitating the ideal path for Iraqis from all sectors and ethnic backgrounds to be truly represented in the impending council.

We ask Allah, The Omnipotent, to safeguard the proud Iraqi nation from all harm and misfortune - granting it independence, stability, glory and progress; He is All Hearing and Answers Prayers.

Seal of the Office of Ayatullah Seestani in Najaf
14 Thil-Hijja 1424
6 February 2004