SRSG for Iraq Ashraf Qazi condemns in the strongest terms the new attack on the holy Shrines in Samarra, urges all Iraqis to exercise maximum restraint

Baghdad, 13 June 2007-- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Ashraf Qazi condemned in the strongest terms possible the sacrilegious attack on the holy Shrines of Imam Ali Al-Hadi and Imam Hassan Al-Askary in Samarra this morning. He described this atrocious attack as a horrendous, sinister and unspeakable crime whose perpetrators once again intended to inflame sectarian passions, destroy efforts aimed at national reconciliation and undermine any prospect of peace and stability in Iraq.

Urging Iraqis to exercise maximum restraint and recalling the horrible attack on the Shrine of Abdul-Qader Al-Gilani Mosque in Baghdad two weeks ago, Mr. Qazi reaffirmed the United Nations rejection and condemnation of the targeting of all places of worship. He called on all Iraqis, to close ranks more than ever before and demonstrate unity and resolve in the face of this menace that threatens Iraq national fabric. Doing so, will deny those behind such horrific acts the opportunity to undermine the ongoing efforts to consolidate peace and security in the country.

Mr. Qazi concluded by again calling on the Iraqi authorities to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.