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Un Envoy In Iraq Condemns Assassination Of Imam

Un Envoy In Iraq Condemns Assassination Of Imam

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq today condemned the latest round of sectarian violence, including the assassination of an Imam from the southern city of Basra and a deadly blast at a mosque in the capital, Baghdad.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi, "strongly condemned Friday's criminal attack on Buratha Mosque in Baghdad which killed a number of innocent worshippers and injured many others."

In a statement, he also "strongly condemned the assassination of the Imam of Al-Basra Kabir Mosque and three other persons accompanying him, while he was on his way to the mosque for the Friday prayers."

Mr. Qazi warned of "dire consequences for the people of Iraq if such violence was allowed to envelop the country" and called on the Government, political and religious leaders to intensify their mutual efforts to bring about a reduction of violence and to strengthen human rights protection for all Iraqis.

In addition, the envoy called for the protection of the sanctity of holy sites and places of worship and voiced hope that Iraq's political and religious leaders "will have a crucial role to play in successfully implementing the Iraqi Prime Minister's National Reconciliation Plan."

Ends

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