One of Iraq’s most influential Shiite clerics dies at 85

BAGHDAD (AP) — Mohammed Saeed al-Hakim, one of Iraq’s most senior and influential Muslim Shiite clerics, has died, members of his family said. He was 85.  A relative, Mohsen al-Hakim, told The Associated Press that al-Hakim died at the Al Hayat hospital in the southern holy city of Najaf on Friday where he was taken after suffering a sudden heart attack. His office announced that he died of a sudden medical condition it did not specify.  Al-Hakim holds the highest theological title in Shiite Islam – Ayatollah al-Uzma, which means Grand or Supreme Ayatollah. He was seen as the top contender to succeed Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.