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  • » 07/31/2008, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims show solidarity for Kirkuk attack victims



    In the company of Sunni and Shia religious leaders as well as tribal leaders, Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, today visited in hospital the people injured in last Monday’s bomb attack. This initiative represents an additional signal of the common desire for peace and mutual forgiveness.
    Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – Kirkuk’s top religious and political authorities visited survivors who were injured in the 28 July suicide bomb attack in which scores of others were killed. Kirkuk’s archbishop, Mgr Louis Sako, along with Muslim religious leaders, both Sunni and Shia, as well as Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen tribal leaders, went to the city’s hospital to visit the wounded and offer them some comfort.

    The gesture was significant because it saw the city’s political and religious leaders show “solidarity towards the victims of the massacre,” irrespective of creed or ethnicity, and reaffirm their “condemnation of every form of violence’, whatever its source.

    Last Monday a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a crowd that was protesting against the new election law adopted by parliament.

    The crowd had gathered near local government offices, close to the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Demonstrators had just begun their march when a suicide bomber blew himself up, causing a massacre, killing 28 and wounding dozens.

    At the end of the hospital visit, the delegation met the leaders of the most important Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), as well as their Turkmen counterpart, urging all of them to work together to bring calm back to the region.

    “I call on political leaders to think about the common good of the population and fight the aberrant logic of violence,” Monsignor Sako said.

    The prelate also said that he hoped that all political parties “will sit together around the table to talk and discuss,” putting aside threats and extremisms because “with violence nothing is obtained,” whilst with mutual “forgiveness” it will be possible to rebuilt unity and peaceful coexistence for all.

    This morning’s initiative, which the Catholic Church strongly backed, was unanimously welcomed by both Muslim religious leaders and all political parties. All local media covered it.

    During the visit the archbishop of Kirkuk handed out medicines to the wounded, wishing them a quick recovery, inviting them to come to “a brotherly meal.”

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    See also

    02/01/2008 IRAQ
    Hope for peace in Iraq voiced in New Year Mass
    Muslim leaders are present in the cathedral. The Chaldean bishop mentions that peace is “both a collective and a personal project” that cannot exclude others. Al-Sistani’s representative gives the prelate a golden Qur’an for Christmas.

    03/03/2008 IRAQ
    Muslim leaders also call for the release of the bishop of Mosul
    No contacts with Mgr Faraj Rahho’s kidnappers. In Mosul people are still convinced he is alive despite the lack of any evidence. In Kirkuk a representative of al-Sadr’s Shia movement raises a banner that says that “Such actions are bad for Iraq.” The Chaldean community makes a “pained appeal.”

    22/05/2009 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: young Christian teacher is freed thanks to help of Muslims
    Joint intervention of army and tribal leaders led to the release of Namir Nadhim Gourguis, kidnapped on May 14th last. No ransom was paid. Decisive the mediation between Imam and tribal chiefs. Msgr Sako: “the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.

    13/10/2006 IRAQ
    Sunni and Shia religious leader preparing a plea to stop bloodshed in Iraq
    Under the auspices of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Saudi Arabia, religious leaders are set to meet next week in Makkah.

    29/07/2008 IRAQ
    Archbishop Sako: in Kirkuk, "shameful" acts against the country's "fragile" recovery
    The archbishop of Kirkuk expresses the condemnation by political and religious leaders over the attack yesterday morning, which caused the death of 28 people. The attack struck a crowd demonstrating against the new electoral law. Political and economic interests are undermining the stability of Iraqi Kurdistan.



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