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Tomb Attack Stokes Sectarian Conflicts

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  • Tomb Attack Stokes Sectarian Conflicts

    Tomb Attack Stokes Sectarian Conflicts
    By Cihan News Agency, Samarra
    Published: Thursday, February 23, 2006

    The bomb attack on the Al-Askariya tomb and a neighboring complex in the Iraqi city of Samara, which Shiites regard as holy, generated a new wave of conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.

    The bomb attack almost demolished the “golden dome” of the shrine that also contains the tombs of the tenth Shiite imam Ali al-Hadi and his son Hasan al-Askari; serious harm that was followed by separate announcements of a seven-day mourning by Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq and Ayatollah Ali Khamanei in Iran.

    Ayatollah Sistani appealed for “appropriate protests” about the bomb attacks, and also asked for caution in traveling to Samara; however, the Shiite protests turned into a series of attacks against Sunnis.

    The attacks left six Sunnis dead, three of whom were imams, in Bagdat (Baghdad).

    At least 60 mosques were damaged in the nation-wide attacks.

    Shiites used automatic guns and launched missiles to demolish mosques, said Iraqi Islamic Party officials.

    Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari also condemned the attack, announcing a three-day mourning period.

    The attacks target the entire Muslim world, said al-Jaafari, and asked the Iraqi people to remain united for the sake of the Islamic world and the national brotherhood among Iraqis.

    Muvaffak al-Rubai, Iraqi National Security Adviser, appealed for calm and held al-Qaeda responsible for the attacks.

    “Plans to force the Iraqi people into a civil war are bound to fail,” said al-Rubai.

    Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr also denounced the assaults, and held the insurgent responsible for all that have happened.

    Al-Sadr added the “Iraqis have run out of patience” with attacks against the tombs of the Prophet Mohammed’s descendants following recent publications of cartoons satirizing the Prophet.

    Abdelaziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, held Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to Baghdad, responsible for the attacks because the ambassador said the US administration will not support the Shiite-led security forces.

    The Shiites believe that Hasan al-Askari is the father of the 12th imam Mahdi, who is believed be resurrected on the day of judgment

  • #2
    Ahmedinajad Accuses US-Israel of Tomb Attack

    Ahmedinajad Accuses US-Israel of Tomb Attack
    By Anadolu News Agency (aa), Tehran
    Published: Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad accused the United States and Israel of yesterday’s bomb attack on the Askariya tomb, where the graves of two of the 12 Shiite imams are located in Iraq’s Samarra city.

    In his speech broadcast on state television, Ahmedinajad, addressing the people in the southwest during a tour of the country, said this attack is the work of defeated Zionist occupiers.

    The Iranian president claims Zionists occupiers bombarded the tomb because they are against God and justice.


    • #3
      Scores die amid Iraqi shrine fury

      Scores die amid Iraqi shrine fury

      More than 100 people have been killed in Iraq in apparent revenge attacks after the bombing of a key Shia shrine.
      Scores of bullet-riddled bodies have been found in Baghdad, while in the bloodiest attack 47 factory workers were killed near the capital.

      President Jalal Talabani called an emergency summit of Iraq's political leaders to discuss the violence.

      Sunni Arab politicians boycotted the meeting and pulled out of coalition talks in protest at reprisal attacks.

      "We are suspending our participation in negotiations on the government with the Shia Alliance," said Tareq al-Hashimi, a top official from the Iraqi Accord Front, Iraq's main Sunni Arab alliance.

      Dozens of Sunni mosques have been targeted and several burnt to the ground since bombers blew up the golden dome of the revered al-Askari shrine in Samarra on Wednesday morning, reports say.

      In a rare public rebuke, the main Sunni religious authority - the Association of Muslim Scholars - accused Iraq's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, of fomenting the violence.

      Ayatollah Sistani has urged Shias not to attack Sunni mosques, but a spokesman for the cleric said anger may be hard to contain.

      "You wouldn't expect an abrupt or sudden calm, because there are some people whose reaction you can't control," London-based Fadel Bahar al-Eloum told the BBC.

      In other developments:

      US President George W Bush calls the bombing of the shrine an "evil act" and appeals for an end to reprisal attacks

      Tens of thousands of Lebanese Shia Muslims rally in Beirut in protest at the shrine attack

      The Iraqi government cancels all police and army leave and extends the curfew in Baghdad.


      • #4
        'No-one safe'

        'No-one safe'

        As violence showed no sign of abating, Iraq's leaders have increasingly warned of the dangers of a civil war.

        After meeting Shias, Kurds and leaders of a smaller Sunni group, President Talabani said in a televised broadcast if all-out war came "no-one would be safe", Reuters news agency reported.

        The attack on the al-Askari shrine - which will be seen as a direct assault on the identity and rights of an entire community - takes the danger of a civil conflict to a new level, the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says.

        A civil war would destroy the chances of the elected Shia-led government which is still being formed following December's election, and could lead to the break-up of the country, he says.


        • #5
          Mounting toll

          Mounting toll

          In the heaviest single loss of life, the 47 factory workers were killed at a roadblock in Nahrawan, on the outskirts of Baghdad.

          The victims, aged between 20 and 50, had been travelling home from work in a convoy of buses when they were forced out of their vehicles and shot dead.

          It is not clear whether the murders are linked to the attack on the shrine or whether they are part of the general insurgency.

          Elsewhere, the bodies of a prominent al-Arabiya TV reporter and two of her crew, who had gone to cover the attack on the shrine, were discovered on Thursday morning.

          Correspondent Atwar Bahjat's body was among the three found about 15km (10 miles) north of Samarra.

          At least 12 people died in a bomb attack on an Iraqi army patrol in the town of Baquba, while one person died in a gun attack on a Sunni mosque in the city.

          In a separate attack, four US soldiers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb near Hawijah, 240 km (150 miles) north of Baghdad, the US army said on Thursday.



          • #6
            Most sad - the destruction of the shrine, intrinsically is a loss, as well as what it will do to affairs in that country (and in that the bombers suceeded in their mission)...and yeah the Iranian Pres is at it again...somewhat predictable at this point...
            Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
            Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)


            • #7
              This is a tragedy, however I don't think Sectarianism would be the proper word to use in this case.

              Iraq was never accepted by the Kurds, and the Shia loyalty to it has always been questionable.

              The Turks had three provences in modern Iraq instead of only one for a reason.

              I do not think Iraq will survive, the only thing keeping it together is the Bush administration, and it takes more then just a few speeches to defuse centuries of hate and resentment.


              • #8
       mean the only one who was keeping it together was Sadaam Hussein...initially with a great deal of U.S. backing due to misplaced/misunderstood fear of Iranian expansionism Westward...but yeah - otherwise i do agree with what you said.

                If i was an Iraqi politician I would be using the (tried and true) line - "Ask yourself if you are better of now then you were 4 years ago" sad...
                Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
                Adolf Hitler (22 August 1939)


                • #9
                  Backing Saddam Hussien was a very big mistake by the West, he was a monster and my sympathy does go out to the Kurds who suffered through a genocide of their own as a result.

                  I don't get what Bush is trying to prove by using the US Marines to keep the country together.

                  Is he trying to prove his pride is greater then any other world leaders?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gondorian
                    Backing Saddam Hussien was a very big mistake by the West, he was a monster and my sympathy does go out to the Kurds who suffered through a genocide of their own as a result.

                    I don't get what Bush is trying to prove by using the US Marines to keep the country together.

                    Is he trying to prove his pride is greater then any other world leaders?
                    Yes Halepçe Genocide was done to Kurds by Saddam.But it was only one of the genocides kurds suffered from.There have been many of them so far.
                    [COLOR="Red"]A TANGO BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN[/COLOR]