06/22/2009, 00.00
IRAQ
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Kirkuk, Christian solidarity for the victims of the Taza mosque attack

Archbishop Louis Sako at the head of a delegation that met with the civil authorities and Muslim religious leaders, who "appreciate" the "gesture of solidarity." The prelate denounces a "volatile situation" and stresses the "fear of the people." The explosion of the truck-bomb has caused 74 deaths and more than 200 injured.

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - The Christian community expresses its condolences and solidarity to Muslims for the tragedy that June 20 last that struck the Shiite mosque of Taza, a town 20 km from Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. A delegation led by Msgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, visited the scene of the massacre to meet the families of the victims and the civilian population. The bishop also met with the heads of local government and the Muslim religious authorities, who have "appreciated" the gesture of solidarity. "   On June 20th a truck bomb exploded at the market of Taza, near the local Shia mosque of al Rasoul, killing 74 people and wounding about 200, more than 50 houses destroyed in the blaze. The attack took place at the end of the prayer, while the faithful were leaving the place of worship. Local sources speak of a tragedy that has so far "not been claimed by any group”, but which has registered the bloodiest death toll in the country over the last year.   "In Iraq the situation is still unstable" comments Mgr. Louis Sako to AsiaNews,. The archbishop of Kirkuk confirms that there are still many cases of “abductions, assassinations and explosions.” "The population is afraid," added the prelate, and the withdrawal of American troops is causing more "concern" because the situation could precipitate. Local authorities and Muslim religious leaders have "appreciated" the gesture of the Christian community, which emphasizes its "closeness" and "solidarity" to the victims of the massacre.

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