The following statement was issued today by the spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General was deeply shocked to learn of today's destructive attack on the holy shrines of Imam Ali al-Hadi and Imam Hassan al-Askary in Samarra, which follows a similar attack in 2006. The Secretary-General strongly condemns this act, which was clearly aimed at provoking sectarian strife and undermining the peace and stability of Iraq.
The Secretary-General calls on all Iraqis to avoid succumbing to the vicious cycle of revenge and to exercise maximum restraint while demonstrating unity and resolve in the face of this terrible attack. The Secretary-General welcomes the efforts by political and religious leaders of Iraq to calm the situation and to promote respect for human rights and the protection of religious sites.
The United Nations will continue to do everything possible to help the Iraqi people promote intercommunal dialogue and national reconciliation.
For information media - not an official record