Blasts Destroy Remnants of Samarra Shiite ShrineBreaking News
No one was injured in the 9 a.m. explosions at the revered Askariya shrine in Samarra, about 65 miles north of Baghdad. But officials said it was just the sort of event that could spark a spiral of retaliatory attacks and make it harder to reduce the violence that has brought the addition of thousands of extra U.S. troops stationed at high-profile posts on the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere.
The Feb. 22, 2006, attack on the shrine -- historically known as the Golden Mosque because of its brilliant dome -- was a seminal moment in the four-year Iraq war, sparking a vicious cycle of bloodshed that has never fully stopped. In the 16 months since, thousands of Iraqis -- and perhaps tens of thousands -- have been killed in Sunni-Shiite fighting.
Immediately after the 2006 attack, Shiite death squads accelerated their killings, dumping thousands of mutilated bodies -- most of them Sunni Arabs -- around the capital. More than 100 Sunni mosques were damaged in counter strikes. Tens of thousands of Sunnis and Shiites were driven from their homes in bouts of ethnic cleansing, including in Samarra, which was always predominantly Sunni, but now almost exclusively so.
Fearing a backlash from the latest attack, the Iraqi government imposed an indefinite curfew across Baghdad starting 3 p.m. Wednesday. U.S. military officials said Samarra remained quiet in the hours after the attack.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges
- English professor uses literature to help cure historical amnesia
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't