//Sunni and Shiite clerics reach agreement to ease tension

Sunni and Shiite clerics reach agreement to ease tension

Baghdad, Feb 25: Sunni and Shiite clerics agreed today to prohibit killing members of the two sects and banning attacks on each other`s mosques in an effort to ease tension between Iraq`s Muslim communities following sectarian violence after the bombing of a Shiite shrine.


The agreement was made during a meeting between representatives of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Shiite religious leader Jawad al-Khalisi and members of the influential Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars at the Abu Hanifa mosque, a Sunni place of worship.

The agreement followed sectarian violence that left more than 150 people dead since Wednesday`s explosion that damaged a Shiite holy shrine in the Central city of Samarra. Dozens of Sunni mosques were attacked after that.

A statement read by association member Abdul-Salam al-Kubaisi condemned attacks on holy places and "those who tried through the media to incite sectarian strife and civil war."

The clerics also agreed to prohibit killings of Sunnis and Shiites as well as attacks on mosques and shrines. They asked the government to rebuild the damaged mosques and compensate those who were harmed.

The meeting was attended by Baghdad`s Army commanders Maj. Gen. Jawad Roumi Dayni and Brig. Gen. Jalil Khalaf.