Senior Shi'ite cleric urges Iraqis to take up arms

A representative of Iraq's most senior Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has urged people to take up arms and defend their country.

The call came as ISIS Islamist fighters vowed to march to Baghdad after seizing control of a number of towns and cities across Iraq.

Read: Islamist fighters capture new towns in eastern Iraq

Sheikh Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai was delivering the sermon at Friday prayers in the city of Kerbala.

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Islamic State leader calls for jihad in audio message

The leader of the Islamic State, formerly Isis, has released the first audiotape calling for jihad since the group renamed. The group is currently battling Iraqi forces across large parts of the country.