RealNews

Mosque attacks fuel fears of Iraq civil war

Sheik Nadhim Khalaf, a Sunni Muslim cleric, narrowly escaped when four men opened fire on his car, gunning down his son and brother-in-law. But he says he has ordered his followers not to take revenge, or even to look too hard for the killers, because he fears a civil war. A series of attacks on Sunni and Shi’ite neighborhood mosques and religious figures this month has killed about a dozen people and prompted clerics of the two Muslim sects to publicly proclaim their solidarity. Privately, they worry that they are seeing the start of the sectarian conflict they have dreaded since the end of Saddam Hussein’s iron rule. Within hours of the March 12 attack on Khalaf, a half-constructed Shi’ite mosque — the first to be built in a mostly Sunni neighborhood — was dynamited. A well-known Shi’ite cleric was assassinated as he walked across a central Baghdad square. And at least two other Sunni mosques reported small-arms or grenade attacks that killed a total of three people. Full Story

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