April 19th, 2007 15:51 EST
UN officials express outrage at deadly string of Baghdad attacks
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his senior envoy to Iraq today strongly denounced the recent series of deadly attacks in Baghdad, where nearly 200 people were killed and hundreds more injured.
Mr. Ban decried the “callousness and scale with which innocent civilians are being slaughtered on an almost daily basis in Iraq,” his spokesperson said in a statement.
He “expresses his solidarity with the Iraqi people and he appeals to all communities of Iraq to show maximum restraint,” and called for the country’s political and religious leaders to unite in a spirit of mutual respect to find a solution to the “destructive spiral of violence.”
In a statement released in Baghdad, Ashraf Qazi, Mr. Ban’s Special Representative to Iraq, characterized the attacks of 18 and 19 April, targeting the areas of Sadr City, Al-Sadriyah, Al-Saydiyah and Al Karradah, as “malicious and premeditated mass murders, aimed at tearing apart prospects for peaceful and lasting coexistence among Iraq’s different communities.”
He also warned that the bombings threaten the country’s integrity and viability, jeopardize Iraq’s future and plunge citizens deeper into the “cycle of violence and vengeance.”
“Iraqis must keep hope alive by uniting, facing together the current crises and together lift their country to the shores of peace and prosperity,” he said, calling on the people to stand firm against sectarianism.
Mr. Qazi called on Iraqi authorities to vigorously pursue those behind the attacks and bring them to justice, urging all leaders to urgently join forces to bring an end to the violence.