President George W. Bush said Thursday the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in Iraq was "an evil act" intended to create strife.
As violence and bloodshed spread after the attack on the Samarra shrine known as the Golden Mosque, Bush said he appreciated that leaders from all aspects of Iraqi society have stood up and urged calm.
"The act was an evil act," Bush said. "The destruction of a holy site is a political act intending to create strife. So I am pleased with the voices of reason that have spoken out. And we will continue to work with those voices of reason to enable Iraq to continue on the path of a democracy that unites people and doesn't divide them."
He said the United States was serious in its commitment to help rebuild the Golden Mosque.
"We understand its importance to Iraqi society and we want to stand side by side with the government in making sure that beautiful dome is restored," Bush said.