The dome of the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, Iraq, was destroyed by a bomb explosion this morning. The attack was almost surely carried out by Sunni militants intent on starting up a long feared civil war in Iraq. However, the Shia's most influential holy man, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is urging calm among the Shia, as well as a 5 day period of mourning.
There have been some disturbances with crowds of angry Shia attacking and destroying some 5 Sunni mosques in Baghdad.
Iraq the Model says that he believes foreign terrorists are behind the bombing because the shrine has existed in Sunni controlled Samarra for a thousand years without major trouble (the dome of the shrine was completed in 1905). Iraq the Model also says that the Sunni in Samarra have always taken advantage of the income from the great number of Shia pilgrims who visit the shrine. Economic interests would seem to preclude local Sunni involvement in the bombing.
TAGS: al-Askari shrine, Samarra, Ali al-Sistani, Shia, Sunni, Iraq