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Feb. 24, 2006

Ethnic strife grips Iraq

by Hokuma Karimova, Foreign Desk Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the BBC News article "Iraq curfew aims to curb violence". Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

The suspected Al Quaeda bombing of a Shiite mosque has left Iraq in a state of inter-ethnic tension as curfews go into place throughout the country.

Tensions exploded Monday when al-Askari Mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest sites in the Shiite sect of Islam, crumbled in ruins after a bomb explosion.

Since the al-Askari shrine bombing at least 130 people have died due to continued violence between Sunnis and Shiites. In protest, Sunni politicians have pulled out of emergency talks with the government, according to BBC News.

In hopes of halting the sectarian hostility, the government has ordered a temporary curfew in the capital, Baghdad, and three provinces until Friday. The curfew will be extended if further violence occurs.

Police officers are manning checkpoints and stopping motorists who are trying to cross the city. They are, however, allowing people to walk to mosques in their local areas.

Even with the curfew, there have been 12 killings overnight. Of these 12 killings, three Shiites were gunned down in their house in the town of Latifiya, south of Baghdad.

The latest wave of violence was by far the most shocking and brutal. Forty-seven bodies, both Sunnis and Shiites, were found in a ditch outside of the capital.

The Iraqi leadership is united in calling for peace and is doing everything in their power to prevent a civil war, said Hiwa Osman, a spokesman for President Jalal Talabani.

"Everything will fall apart if we have civil war so, no, I do not think that there will be an all-out civil war," said Osman.

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  • heh on February 25, 2006 at 1:03 PM
    "Ethnic strife grips Iraq?!?!" Wow. About 1,200 years late on that one, SCO...
  • . on February 26, 2006 at 1:31 AM
    shut up "heh." good job hokuma.
  • M. al Sadr on February 26, 2006 at 9:35 PM
    "Mosques explosion pits Sunni against Shiite..."

    Ummm I believe it was the martyrdom of Imam Ali that pit Sunni against Shiite.
  • Jon B on February 27, 2006 at 9:25 PM
    Here's a thought - How come so many readers seem to be reacting so apathetically? We're talking about a possible Civil War that could yet be averted that is going to affect both them and us in a big way - and how come there seems to be so little interest? This could be just me, but I thought that there would be many more comments than this.

    Just wondering. If you don't want to post, I understand that is your decision, and I respect that. I'm just trying to find the reasons behind it.

  • Jeff on March 11, 2006 at 1:51 PM
    To Jon B:
    The reason there's not a lot of comments is because this isn't really news. This same conflict has been going on since the birth of Islam. There has already been, to some extent, a civil war.
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