Countries condemn attack on Samarra holy shrine
By: Mohamed Ali
WASHINGTON: United Nations, United States, Britain,
Canada, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Hamas party and Jordan
have condemned Wednesday’s blast that heavily damaged one of the
holiest sites of the Islamic World in Samarra, Iraq.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan called it a "brutal
attack" -- and says it shows the terrorists behind the assault are
"the enemies of all faiths and of all humanity."
"On behalf of the American people, the president extends our deepest
condolences to the people of Iraq for this brutal attack on one of
Iraq's holiest sites," McClellan said.
"The bombing was a brutal, anti-Islamic and inhuman act. Such
terrorist acts run counter to religious and divine values and stirred
up hatred among Muslims," Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid- Reza
Asefi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.
Asefi said that Iran was confident that such acts could "not harm the
strong will of Muslim Iraqi people and their national unity and
solidarity and unity of Islamic nations as well."
Later, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced one week of
national mourning to mark the incident.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the aim
of those who were staging terrorist attacks was to launch a sectarian
and ethnic conflict.
Addressing a joint press conference with US Secretary of State, Saudi
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said: with regard to terror act
that happened in Iraq, we are against terrorismin general and against
terror activities that target holy sites.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned the bombing as an attempt
to cause religious strife and derail democracy in the country.
In a statement released by his office, Blair said: "I condemn utterly
today's attack on the Askari shrine in Samarra, one of the holiest
"The perpetrators of this attack had one motive and one alone -- they
want to cause strife and violence between Sunni and Shia, to derail
democracy currently taking hold in Iraq," Blair said.
"People must not fall into the trap being set for them. It is vital
that all groups in Iraq show restraint in the face of this blatant
provocation," he added.
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