TEHRAN (AFP) - Sunni Muslim computer hackers have attacked hundreds of Shiite websites including Shia Islam's most popular site linked to the community's leader in Iraq, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Friday.
"Hackers from 'group-xp', linked to Wahhabis, have attacked 300 Shiite Internet sites including Al-Beit, the biggest Shiite website in the world," the semi-official agency reported.
The website is linked to the Al-Beit foundation of Ayatollah Ali Hussein al-Sistani, head of the Shiite community in Iraq, the agency said, adding that it was the "largest Wahhabi hacker attack" in recent years.
Visitors to the targeted sites see a banner bearing the slogan "group-xp" in red with a message in Arabic denouncing Shiite beliefs and officials. The sites are currently being rebuilt.
The agency said "group-xp" is based in the United Arab Emirates and is linked to Wahhabi Muslims who follow a strict form of Sunni Islam.
Shiite Muslims are the majority in Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan and also make up a large proportion of Lebanon's population.
Wahhabis are the largest religious group in Saudi Arabia.
Key Iranian Shiite religious figure Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi condemned the attacks.
"Fanatical Wahhabis do not want the voice of Shiite officials to reach the world," Fars quoted him as saying.