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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
In quotes: Reaction to Iraq stampede

Governments and world leaders have offered their condolences after the deadly stampede at a Shia religious shrine in Baghdad. The stampede is said to have been triggered by rumours that a suicide bomber was in the crowd.

SYRIAN GOVERNMENT

The Syrian government and people express their sympathy to Iraqis and to the families of the victims, and they wait for the day when security, stability and progress reign in the country.

Foreign ministry official quoted by state news agency Sana

IRANIAN GOVERNMENT

[Iran offers its] condolences and sympathy with the Iraqi people and government. Suspicious hands are involved in conspiracies to incite violence and bloodshed among the different Iraqi groups and tribes so that they disturb the security and calm of the Iraqi people

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi

UK GOVERNMENT AND EUROPEAN UNION

It is still not clear exactly what started the stampede which led to these hundreds of deaths and injuries. However, it is clear that the same crowd of Shia pilgrims, celebrating an important Shia religious festival, had earlier suffered a mortar attack... I condemn utterly this despicable act of terrorism against innocent civilians just as I condemn, too, those that continue to use violence and terror more widely in order to further their aims in Iraq. The depravity of these individuals who commit these acts of terrorism against their fellow Muslims sadly knows no bounds.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking on behalf of the EU and the UK - current holder of the EU presidency

US GOVERNMENT

The United States deeply regrets the tragic loss of life of worshipers in Kadhimiya, Baghdad today... Our sincere condolences and thoughts and prayers go out to the many Iraqi families who lost loved ones in this tragedy.

State department spokesman Sean McCormack

AMR MOUSSA, ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL

[We need a] redoubling of Arab efforts to support the Iraqi people in their sad hour.

PAKISTANI PRESIDENT PERVEZ MUSHARRAF

It is with most profound sadness and grief that I had learnt about the death of hundreds of pilgrims in Baghdad.

KOFI ANNAN, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL

The secretary general has learned with great sadness of the human tragedy that took place today in Baghdad.

UN spokeswoman Marie Okabe


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