Ban condemns killing of dozens of Sunni worshippers in eastern Iraq

A mosque in Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/K. Brooks (file)

22 August 2014 – Condemning in the strongest terms the reported attack on a mosque in eastern Iraq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all Iraqi authorities to ensure that the attack is properly investigated and its perpetrators held to account.

“Attacks on places of worship are completely unacceptable and are prohibited under international law,” Mr. Ban said in a statement from his spokesperson.

According to Iraqi security sources cited in media reports, at least 70 people were killed when attackers opened fire in a Sunni mosque in Diyala Province. Mr. Ban extended his condolences to the families of the victims.

In today’s statement, Mr. Ban expressed deep concern about the impact of sectarian violence on the already grave security situation in the country.

He also voiced his concern about the impact of such attacks on the political process, which aims to establish a unified Government capable of confronting the threat posed by the armed group, Islamic State.

Mr. Ban “urges all political leaders to unite and call on their constituents to refrain from sectarianism and to give the political process a chance,” he said.

Underscoring that “sectarian attacks and counter-attacks only serve the enemies of Iraq.”


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