Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.

English translation of the statement from the office of His Eminence Ayatullah Seestani (long may he live) regarding the anniversary of the tragic bombing of the two Askari Imams' holy shrines in Samarra.

In The Name of Allah The Compassionate The Merciful

Today marks the first anniversary of the tragic bombing of the two Askari Imams' holy shrines in Samarra. This great tragedy that violated the sanctity of the immaculate Prophet's household (peace be on them). From east to west, tens of millions of their devout followers' hearts bled – exacerbating the sorrows they have been enduring throughout history at the hands of tyrants and oppressors.

Takfiri criminals who perpetrated this heinous violation intended it to be the beginning of an all out sectarian strife in Iraq thinking they would reach their evil aims in this beloved country – after having failed to ignite the flames of discord for more than two years since the beginning of the occupation, despite the savage massacres they perpetrated in different places including the holy cities of Najaf, Karbala and Kadhimiyyah. Such massacres were confronted by patience and restraint from the citizens who did not fall for internal conflict until the great tragedy of the destruction of the two Askari Imams' holy shrine. This hurled the country into a cycle of blind violence claiming the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people as well as a great number of wounded, permanently handicapped and displaced. Only Allah knows when these atrocities will end and when the hands of the enemies and the greedy ones will be lifted in order to halt the plight of this oppressed nation.

The religious Marja'iyyah condemns that tragic and painful violation and renews its condolences to the Imam of Our Time, may his reappearance be hastened. We urge the Iraqi government to expedite the required process to rebuild the sacred mausoleum from which national unity can be consolidated between the peoples of this generous land. We also call upon the faithful, who are commemorating this sad occasion by showing their grief towards the violation of the sanctity of their Imams (peace be on them), to observe the highest levels of self restraint and not to embark on saying or doing anything that may cause harm to the citizens of our Sunni brothers who are innocent of this appalling crime and who reject it completely.

We ask Allah Almighty to guard this Umma from all forms of harm and calamity for He is All Hearing and [He] Answers prayers.

Seal of The Office of Ayatullah Seestani (long may he live) – Najaf
23 Muharram 1428H