Thursday, February 23, 2006
Winds of Civil War for Iraq: Samarra's Shiia Mosque's bombing causing a political rupture between Shiia and Sunni arabs.
"Many ignorant people will be pushed to do the same to the Sunni sacred places," said Brig. Gen. Mudhir Moula, a high-ranking official in the Iraqi Defense Ministry. "This may be the start of the civil war." Read whole story here.
"Gunmen shot dead 47 civilians and left their bodies in a ditch near Baghdad today as militia battles and sectarian reprisals followed the bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine. Sunni Arabs suspended their participation in talks on a new government.
At least 47 other bodies were found scattered across Iraq, many of them shot execution-style and dumped in Shiite-dominated parts of Baghdad.
The hardline Sunni Clerical Association of Muslim Scholars said 168 Sunni mosques had been attacked, 10 imams killed and 15 abducted since the shrine attack. The Interior Ministry said it could only confirm figures for Baghdad, where 90 mosques were attacked in Baghdad, one cleric was killed, and one abducted.
Officials said at least 110 people had been killed across the country in violence believed triggered by the mosque attack.
Three journalists working for Al-Arabiya television were found dead in Samarra, the site of Wednesday's Askariya mosque attack. Al-Arabiya is viewed in Iraq as favoring the United States." Read whole story here.
"Iraq’s main Sunni political group on Thursday boycotted a meeting called by President Jalal Talabani to calm sectarian tensions in the wake of the bomb attack on one of Iraq’s most famous Shia shrines.
The Iraqi Accordance Front, the grouping of the three main Sunni Arab parties, said it was pulling out of the talks because the government had failed to protect Sunni mosques in the violence sparked by the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra." Read whole story here.