UN envoy for Iraq condemns attacks on mosques in Babylon Province

Worshippers gather at a mosque in Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi (file)

5 January 2016 – The most senior UN official in Iraq has condemned attacks which took place against three Sunni mosques in Babylon Province on Sunday evening, as well as other acts of violence.

“These attacks are an attempt to stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq and the region,” the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, said in a statement.

"Those behind the attacks attempt to exploit the current regional circumstances and weaken the unity of Iraq and its people. They serve ultimately the interests of the terrorist ISIL,” he added.

Mr. Kubiš recalled the recent appeal of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for calm and restraint in reaction to the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr last Saturday by Saudi Arabian authorities. Mr. Ban also appealed to all regional leaders to work to avoid the exacerbation of sectarian tensions, voicing deep dismay over the recent executions by Saudi Arabia of 47 people, including the Sheikh.

“I urge all Iraqis, all Iraqi political forces and representatives and the media to demonstrate their commitment to the unity and solidarity of Iraq and its people and to show restraint including in their statements,” the UN envoy further added, calling on the Iraqi authorities and the Security Forces to prevent and counter attempts to incite violence and divisions.

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