Iraq: March 2, 2004

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Several bombs went off in Karbala, during a Shia religious festival in this, the most holy city for Shias. Over three dozen died and more were wounded. Terrorist attacks during the festival were feared, because of stories about Saddam supporters and al Qaeda seeking to trigger a civil war in Iraq (between Sunnis and Shia). But the bodies and wounded were cleared away and the religious activities continued. Bombs went off in Baghdad mosques as well. Iraqis tend to blame all these attacks on "foreigners" (al Qaeda and other Islamic radicals). But in the past, there has been violent acts by radical Sunni and Shia groups against each others religious shrines.

Sunni clergy have issued fatwas (religious declarations) asking Iraqis to stop terrorist attacks on other Iraqis. The religious leaders did not ask for attacks to be halted against foreigners.

 

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