The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sectarian violence on the rise in Iraq

There are a lot of worried people in Washington in the wake of yesterday's attack on a Shiite shrine. While it might not be indicative of a full-blown civil war, it puts already-overworked American troops in a dangerous position.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani warned that widespread rebellion could engulf his war-torn country, as sectarian bloodshed over the past two days have claimed the lives of more than 130 people.

Most of those killed are believed to be Sunnis who were gunned down in a wave of retaliation attacks after the bombing Wednesday of a revered Shiite shrine that has left dozens of mosques damaged or in ruins, prompting fears of civil war, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The upsurge in sectarian killings came after suspected al-Qaeda linked militants attacked the 1,000-year-old Imam Ali al-Hadi mausoleum, known as the Golden Mosque, one of the country’s main Shiite shrines, in Samarra, north of Baghdad, sparking militia battles and sectarian reprisals.

A spokesman for the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars blamed the violence on the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and other Shiite religious leaders who called for demonstrations against the shrine attack, reports the Associated Press.