February 8th, 2013 11:56 EST
UN Appeals to Iraqi Leadership to Unite Sectarian Groups
The top United Nations official in Iraq has urged the country`s leadership to take immediate and necessary measures to stop sectarian violence from spreading, following a series of bombings today that killed and injured dozens of civilians.
The attacks were planned in popular and crowded places in Baghdad`s northern Khadimiya neighbourhood and the town of Shomali in Babel province, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a news release.
Perpetrators of these heinous and horrible acts are ruthless criminals whose sole goal is to push the country back to sectarian violence, " said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and head of UNAMI, Martin Kobler.
Media reports say that today`s attacks targeted Shiite areas, killing at least 36 people in what is being called the bloodiest day in more than two months. Meanwhile, Sunni groups reportedly staged anti-Government protests against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Mr. Kobler appealed to Iraqi leaders to unite and work together to stop the violence from spreading, once and for all. It is their duty and responsibility to sit together to see what can be put in place to stop this heinous, horrible violence ".
It is the duty of the Iraqi leaders, " he added, to find a solution to the current political stalemate in the country. "
Earlier this month, coordinated attacks on the police headquarters in the northern city of Kirkuk killed dozens of people and injured many more. Mr. Kobler had strongly condemned the attack.
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