The top United Nations official in Iraq today condemned in the strongest terms the coordinated attacks on several Husseiniyas, places of religious significance for Shia Muslims, in the capital Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk that killed and injured dozens, including Cleric Muhsin Al-Battat, Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani’s representative in Kirkuk.
“These are despicable and brutal acts of violence, particularly in such sensitive areas as Kirkuk,” said Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
A series of car bombs near Shia Muslim mosques targeting worshippers attending Friday prayers have killed at least 18 people and injured more than 100, according to Al Jazeera.
The blasts on Friday, struck within an hour of each other in the Baghdad neighbourhoods of Binook, Qahira, Zafraniyah and Jihad, as well as in an area of the northern city of Kirkuk, the news agency added.
“These acts will not undermine the true and deep believe in peaceful coexistence among the people of the symbolic province of Kirkuk,” Mr. Kobler added.
No group immediately has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni Muslim fighters linked to al-Qaeda frequently target Shia Muslims.
The latest blasts come just days after the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq in, which tousted the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Kobler extended his deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured.