A pan-Arab newspaper quotes Saudi Arabia's most senior Muslim cleric as saying it is OK for 10-year-old girls to marry.

The London-based Al-Hayat newspaper also quotes Sheik Abdul-Aziz bin Baz, the country's grand mufti, as saying that those who believe women should not marry before the age of 25 are following a "bad path."

His comments during a lecture Monday come as Saudi human rights groups are fighting to put an end to marriages involving the very young. The groups are pressing the government to define the minimum age for marriage.

On Sunday, the government-run National Human Rights Commission condemned marriages of minor girls, saying such marriages are an "inhumane violation."