US Ambassador: Afghan attacks will not start sectarian war

By REUTERS
December 10, 2011 12:26

KABUL - This week's deadly sectarian attacks in Afghanistan will not kick off a cycle of Sunni versus Shi'ite Muslim violence in the country, the US ambassador to Kabul said on Saturday.

The bombings, which killed nearly 60 people, have raised fears that more violence between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims is to come, following a pattern that has been part of the Pakistani and Iraqi political landscapes for years but not Afghanistan's.

"Whoever the architects were, they don't have much Afghan support," Ambassador Ryan Crocker said. "I do not see this turning into a sectarian conflict, just looking at the reaction on the part of the Shi'ite leadership, calling for calm."

Tuesday's attacks, including a huge suicide bomb blast which killed 55 at a shrine in Kabul thronged by Shi'ite Muslims, a minority in Afghanistan, marking a holy day.


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