Left
Left
centre
Copyright © Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
Friday February 24, 2006
extremeright
Sectarian violence claimed more than 130 lives across Iraq
yesterday despite calls for calm from leaders fearful of
all-out civil war.

A day after a suspected al-Qa'eda bomb destroyed a major
Shia shrine, leave was cancelled for the police and army.
Minority Sunni political leaders pulled out of US-backed
talks on forming a national unity government, accusing the
ruling Shias of fomenting dozens of attacks on Sunni
mosques.

The attacks showed a precision and brutality exceptional
even in Iraq. At a makeshift checkpoint outside Baghdad,
gunmen dragged drivers from their cars to be shot. In all, 47
bodies - all Shias who had been demonstrating against
Wednesday's bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarrah -
were found in a ditch near the village of Nahrawan.

In the capital, more than 80 bullet-ridden corpses were
taken to the mortuary in the 24 hours after two explosions
destroyed the gold-plated dome of the 1,200-year-old
mosque. Most were Sunnis.

Seven more people died in fighting between Shia militiamen
and Sunni gunmen in Mahmoudiyah, south of the capital,
while in Baquba a bomb killed at least 16, though its
intended target may have been an Iraqi army patrol.
Spectre of civil war in Iraq grows
Other cartoons of interest