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Lebanese Shi'ite council condemns Saudi execution of prominent cleric

A protester holds up a picture of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr during a rally at the coastal town of Qatif, against Sheikh Nimr's arrest July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer/files

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s Supreme Islamic Shi’ite Council condemned the execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, saying it was a “grave mistake”.

“The execution of Sheikh Nimr was an execution of reason, moderation and dialogue,” the council’s Vice President Sheikh Abdel Amir Qabalan said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 other people. Most of those executed were convicted of leading or carrying out a series of al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia after 2003, but they also included some members of the Shi’ite minority convicted of attacks on police during protests from 2011-13.

Reporting by John Davison, editing by Larry King

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