Saturday, August 07, 2004

Iran denounces Najaf violence

Iran denounces Najaf violence: "Saturday 7th August, 2004

Iran denounces Najaf violence

Iran expressed deep concern Saturday over escalating violence in Iraq between U.S. forces and Shiite gunmen led by radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asasfi denounced excessive violence he claims has been used by the U.S.-led multinational forces against the Iraqi people.

The excessive violence further exacerbates tensions in Iraq and the region, Asafi was quoted as saying by the Iranian News Agency, IRNA.

He called for safeguarding the Shiite holy shrines in the cities of Najaf and nearby Karbala in central Iraq, both of which were the scene of fierce battles during the past two days.

At least 300 gunmen belonging to Sadr's al-Mehdi Army were reportedly killed Thursday and Friday."

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