Tuesday, January 10, 2006
AP: Sunni coalition leader blames U.S. occupation for attacks - Jan. 10
By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer - 20 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A Sunni Arab politician denounced a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite mosque that killed at least 60 people but blamed the violence inon the country's occupation by U.S. troops.
Sunni men and women walk past security, right, as they arrive at the Um al-Qura mosque on the first day of Eid al-Adha, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006, in central Baghdad, Iraq. Muslims around the world started the celebrations of Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, a three day Muslim feast of sacrifice to commemorate the prophet Abraham's offering of his son to God. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Harith al-Ubaidi of the Iraqi Accordance Front said Sunnis were "hand in hand" with Shiites against last week's attack in Karbala, south of Baghdad. His remarks were significant because the Iraqi Accordance Front is the main Sunni coalition that is negotiating with Shiites and Kurds over a coalition government.
"We also demand that the occupier get out, because he is the reason behind every crime," al-Ubaidi said. "If the occupier would leave, Iraqis would live as brothers."
He spoke at the Um al-Qura mosque, Baghdad headquarters of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni clerical group that is believed to have ties to some insurgent groups.
The sermon was followed by a demonstration against a U.S. raid on the mosque over the weekend. Hundreds of worshippers took part in the protest.
The mosque is in the al-Adel neighborhood, one of Baghdad's roughest and the same area where American journalist Jill Carroll, a 28-year-old freelancer for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped on Saturday.
A U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the raid was a necessary immediate response to the kidnapping based on a tip provided by an Iraqi citizen. The military said Sunday that six people were detained. No other details were released.
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