Top UN envoy condemns terrorist attack on Iraqi pilgrims

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The top United Nations envoy in Iraq has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that occurred on Saturday on pilgrims in the southern city of Basra, resulting in a large number of deaths and injuries.

At least 50 people are reportedly dead following the suicide attack that took place at a checkpoint en route to a Shia Muslim mosque.

“Today's terrorist attack claimed the precious lives of Iraqis who were gathering on the occasion of Arbaeen to practice their religion. I am saddened by these horrific crimes that continue to target defenceless civilians,” said Martin Kobler.

“I call on all Iraqis to maintain the shared bonds that are so deeply rooted in their collective memory to break the vicious circle of violence.

“It is time for Iraq to reconcile and heal, not to continue to bleed,” added Mr. Kobler, who is the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

He extended his condolences to the bereaved families and his wishes for a full and speedy recovery to the wounded. He also expressed his full support for Iraqis in their resolve to continue advancing peace, stability and national reconciliation.