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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 15:43 GMT
Samarra bombs outrage Mideast press
Arabic press

Papers in Iraq condemn the bomb attack on the Samarra shrine in the strongest terms, with one calling it an insult to mankind whilst another labels it a "heinous crime".

One commentator is worried that the bombings may unleash sectarian violence, and another urges Iraqis to "stand shoulder-to-shoulder".

Dailies across the region also worry that revenge attacks may cause a civil war, but some blame US forces for failing to prevent the bombings and believe that they are set to gain from the escalation in violence.

SHAKIR AL-ANBARI IN IRAQ'S AL-MADA

An attack on what is holy insults mankind. The bombing of the shrine is an affront to all Iraqis. It cannot be isolated from attacks on labourers, on shoppers in markets, on passengers in buses and on children on their way to school... The hand that tries to hamper construction, stability and development is the same hand that does not want foreign troops to leave Iraq... What they want is ruin, devastation, explosions, sectarian wars and ethnic tension to turn the land of Mesopotamia into a battlefield for settling scores.

IRAQ'S AL-ZAMAN

The heinous crime of bombing the holy shrine in Samarra is the key wanted by the evildoers to unleash the fire of sectarian tension on Iraqis after the failure of psychological and physical terrorist methods over the past three years.

IRAQ'S BAGHDAD

Iraqis, who have been scorched by the fire of terrorism and appalled at the terrorists' crimes and who have demanded more than once solutions to the crisis, are today required more than ever before to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, unite and close ranks.

IRAN'S HAMSHAHRI

Despite spending billions of dollars and killing thousands of the people, the occupiers have gained nothing considerable in Iraq, while the Shia population and the people are victorious. So the only remaining way for the occupiers to continue their occupation is to create tribal and sectarian tensions and start a civil war.

IRAN'S E'TEMAAD-E-MELLI

We have to ask who may benefit from these explosions that aim to create division among the Shias and the Sunnis in Iraq... While the occupiers are in Iraq they are responsible for the country's security and have to be held accountable for it.

EGYPT'S AL-JUMHURIYAH

The deterioration of conditions in Iraq from bad to worse indicates that the foreign hands which directed the invasion, landed their forces in Iraq and planted their agents in powerful positions seem to be ready to sacrifice everything to continue the occupation.

BASIM SAKKIJHA IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

We understand there are disputes in Iraq between the Sunnis and the Shias. We also understand that these disputes can be expressed through politics and occasionally through minor clashes. But a sensible person cannot understand the reason for destroying the domes of mosques and blowing up other mosques.

UK-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Peaceful demonstrations are a legitimate right. But it is a crime to attack mosques and kill imams and those innocents who were praying at the mausoleum in Samarra... This destroys any chance of peaceful co-existence in the country and only serves the interests of the enemies of Iraq and of Muslims.

QATAR'S AL-RAYAH

Yesterday's war of mosques in Iraq will exacerbate the divisions, stir up the tensions between Sunnis and Shias which have surfaced since the American invasion and push the country to the brink of civil war... This will only serve the occupiers, who will use the pretext of preventing civil war to justify their presence.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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