Sunni and Shiite clerics agree to halt violence in Baghdad
Updated: 2006-02-26 10:57
Sunni and Shiite clerics on
Saturday reached an agreement to halt sectarian violence, while condemning
Wednesday's bombing of a holy Shiite mosque and subsequent attacks against Sunni
mosques and Sunnis.
Four members of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a key Sunni body, and
four members from a Shiite faction called Sadr Current, which is loyal to the
radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, singed the agreement at the Sunni mosque of Abu
Hanifa in the northern Baghdad district of Adhamiyah.
"We condemn the criminal act which targeted the tombs of the two revered
Imams Ali al-Hadi and Hassan al-Askary in Samarra," Shiekh Abdul Salam
al-Kubaisi, spokesman of the Sunni association told a news conference after the
meeting, referring to Wednesday's bomb attack on the Ali-al-Hadi Mausoleum which
houses the tombs of the two Imams in Samarra, 120 km north of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Hazim al-Araji, Shiite representative of the Sadr Current, said,
"We stand united together and vow to build Iraq with unity and love."
"We all condemn the criminal act of bombing the two revered tombs in Samarra
and we also condemn the sabotages of the Muslim mosques and all the terrorist
acts as well," he added.
The agreement also stated that the Sadr Current and the Sunni association
would establish a joint fact-finding committee to scrutinize the reasons for the
recent violence and bring those responsible to justice, Araji revealed.
On Wednesday, unidentified militants bombed the Ali al-Hadi Mausoleum, also
called the al-Hadhrah al-Askariyah, one of the holies Shiite mosques which
houses the tombs of Ali al-Hadi, who died in 868 A.D., and his son Hassan
al-Askari who died in 874 A.D.
The two are the 10th and 11th of the Shiite's 12 most revered Imams. Shiite
pilgrims visited the shrine from all over the world.
The bomb attack outraged the Shiite community who blamed the Sunni community
for the explosion and attacked Sunni mosques in retaliation.
Over 100 Iraqi people have been killed in the rising sectarian conflicts
during the past few days.