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Hundreds of young Iraqis flock to volunteer centers after top cleric's call to take up arms

Hundreds of young Iraqi men are flocking to volunteer centers across Baghdad to join the fight against Islamic militants who advanced across the country's north this week.

They were responding Saturday to a call by Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric for Iraqis to defend their country against the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which seized Iraq's second largest city Mosul and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit in a lightning advance.

The call was made by a representative of the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. His call, while resonating with Iraq's Shiite majority, could aggravate the Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide, which nearly tore the country apart in 2006 and 2007.