Blast at Shiite Shrine Sets Off Sectarian Fury in Iraq

(Times-UK) Robert F. Worth - A powerful bomb at the Askariya Shrine in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, shattered the golden dome at one of Iraq's most revered Shiite shrines on Wednesday, setting off a day of sectarian fury in which mobs formed across Iraq to chant for revenge. Shiite militia members flooded the streets of Baghdad, firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at Sunni mosques. (New York Times) By the end of the day more than 90 mosques lay damaged or destroyed, as Iraq's political and religious leadership struggled to avert a full-blown civil war. The attack in Samarra has succeeded in igniting Shia rage where thousands of deaths have failed. The 9th-century shrine is the burial site of two imams related to the Prophet Muhammad and is one of Iraq's four holiest sites. Mouwafak al-Rubaie, Iraq's National Security Adviser, blamed terror cells of al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sunnah.

2006-02-23 00:00:00

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