(Reuters) - Iraq's most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said on Friday that all sides agreed on the need to form a "proper" government in Baghdad and repeated his call on compatriots to fight Islamic State insurgents.

Speaking through an aide after Friday prayer sermons in the sacred Shi'ite Muslim city of Kerbala, Sistani expressed concern over the plight of about 18,000 Shi'ites in the town of Amerli who are surrounded by Islamic State militants.


(Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)