There has been international condemnation at yesterday’s bombing of the Shi’ite shrine and the sectarian violence that has followed. The United Nations Security Council has said the attacks aim at inflaming religious hatred. That is a fear echoed by Britain and the US – both nations have pledged to contribute to the Golden Mosque’s reconstruction. The US has also called on Iraqis to show restraint.
The White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: “The States stands ready to do all in its power to assist the government of Iraq to identify and bring to justice those responsible for this terrible act.”
“The American people pledge to work with the people of Iraq to rebuild and restore the Golden Mosque of Samarra to its former glory,” he added.
The al Aksari shrine which was bombed is one of two at Samarra – both are dedicated to revered imams. They are of immense spiritual importance for Shia’s and attract millions of pilgrims across the Muslim world.