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Bombing of Al-Askari (a.s.) Mosque

Bombing of Al-Askari (a.s.) Mosque

The 2006 al-Askari Mosque bombing occurred at the al-Askari Mosque in the Iraqi city of Samarra, on February 22, 2006, at about 6:55 a.m. local time. The attack on the mosque, one of the holiest sites in Shi'a Islam, is believed to have been caused by Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Although no injuries occurred in the blasts, the mosque was severely damaged.

The bombing was followed by retaliatory violence with over a hundred dead bodies being found the next day; at least a hundred sixty-five people are thought to have been killed in total in the following days.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani sent instructions to his followers forbidding attacks on Sunni mosques, especially the major ones in Baghdad, and calling for seven days of mourning.[28] He hinted that religious militias could be given a bigger security role if the government was incapable of protecting holy shrines.

On February 25 Ayatollah Sistani called for Iraq’s powerful tribes to be deployed to protect the country’s holy places after three attacks on Shia shrines in four days: "Ayatollah Sistani, who received a tribal delegation from Kufa, asked that the Iraqi tribes reclaim their role of protecting the shrines,” said an official in Ayatollah Sistani’s office in the Shia clerical center of Najaf ... . After the crimes against the places of worship, including the blowing up of the mausoleum in Samarra and the attacks against the tombs of Salman the Persian and Imam Ali bin Mussa al-Rida, the tribes must take a stand and claim a role in the protection of these sites."

City of Samarra is united by reconstruction of bombed shrine

Workers are toiling up to 18 hours a day in order to rebuild the shrine as quickly as possible. Once completed, it is hoped that pilgrims and tourists will return to the city in the near future.

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