Sudanese Salafi group endorses Islamic State's new caliphate

CAIRO Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:49pm EDT

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CAIRO (Reuters) - A Sudanese Salafi group in a statement on Thursday endorsed the Islamic State militant group that declared a caliphate after it swept through northern Iraq last month.

"Our Brothers in the Islamic State ... announcing an inclusive caliphate is a good job," said Sudan's Al-Attasam belKetab wa al-Sunna, which broke from Sudan's Muslim Brotherhood in 1991 to establish a stricter Islamist movement.

"We announce our support to this blessed step," added the Salafi group, which had called for a boycott of 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections because they were based on a secular constitution.

Sudan has been led for 25 years by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who came to power by a coup orchestrated by senior Muslim Brotherhood members. They later abandoned him and called for more reforms and freedoms.

More than half a million Iraqis have been displaced across the country since June 10, when the north's biggest city, Mosul, fell to Sunni insurgents who have harried Iraq's majority Shi'ite, Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities that have co-existed for hundreds of years.

(Reporting by Ali Abdelaty, editing by G Crosse)

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