Iraq: UN mission condemns wave of attacks during Arba’een commemoration

The Holy Shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala. Photo: UNAMI/Anne Czichos

4 January 2013 – The United Nations political mission in Iraq (UNAMI) today strongly condemned the wave of attacks over the past days which killed and wounded dozens of worshippers participating in the religious Shia Muslim commemoration of Arba’een.

In a news release, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) also called on all Iraqi leaders to “urgently engage in an inclusive, constructive and peaceful dialogue in accordance with the constitution and the law.”

According to media reports, a car bomb exploded in a car park on Thursday in the Iraqi town of Musayyib, south of the capital Baghdad, killing some 20 people and wounding others. The bomb reportedly went off near a bus stop where coaches carry pilgrims from other Iraqi cities. In addition, bombs were also reported to have killed several people in Musayyib on Monday.

“The Mission expresses its profound sympathy to the families of the victims, to whom it extends sincere condolences, and wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded,” UNAMI added.

Arba’een is a Shia Muslim religious observation that commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein bin Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Mourning his death, more than 10 million people make the pilgrimage to the Iraqi city of Karbala – located near Musayyib – every year to mark the end of a 40-day period of mourning.

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