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Sunni and Shiite clerics agree to halt violence in Baghdad
(People' Daily)
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.

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