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Iraq Sunnis blame Shi'ites, U.S. for violence

Iraq's main Sunni Muslim religious organisation has accused the Shi'ite-led government and U.S. forces of involvement in attacks by Shi'ite militiamen.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 17:07 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Iraq's main Sunni Muslim religious organisation, accusing the Shi'ite-led government and U.S. forces of involvement in attacks by Shi'ite militiamen, called on Wednesday on the community to protect its mosques.

"Our brothers in all areas must protect their mosques as the government has failed to do so," Abdul Salamal-Qubaisi, spokesman for the Muslim Clerics Association, said.

Since a bomb blamed on al Qaedademolished the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest sites in Shi'ite Islam, sectarian violence has killed more than 400 people by government reckoning, pitching Iraq toward civil war.

Qubaisiangrily listed alleged attacks on Sunnis across Iraq and accused Shi'itepolice of attacking the Baghdad home of the group's head, Harith al-Dari on Saturday, wounding some of Dari's nieces.

Qubaisishowed a group of children with bandages on their legs and arms and lying on beds. He said they had been wounded in the attack.

He said Shi'itepolice had showed up at Dari's house to arrest him and that when the guards opposed them a shootout erupted.

He also said reports of Shi'itefamilies fleeing homes in the violent Baghdad Sunni suburb of Abu Ghraib were exaggerated.

The Samarrabombing, although bloodless, has stalled efforts by Iraq's divided political leaders to forge a government of national unity that Washington sees as the best hope to stabilise the country and allow it to bring home U.S. troops.

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 17:07 IST