Last updated: 29 July, 2013

UN leader warns Iraq on the brink

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Monday that Iraq is on “the brink” after more coordinated attacks killed scores of Muslim Shiites, a spokesman said.

Ban is “alarmed” by the worsening security in Iraq, said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.

“Iraq is at another crossroads,” Ban was quoted as saying by the spokesman.

“Its political leaders have a clear responsibility to bring the country back from the brink, and to leave no space to those who seek to exploit the political stalemate through violence and terror.”

Ban “urges Iraqi political leaders to address the legitimate grievances of all Iraqi communities by entering into a serious dialogue with a spirit of compromise.”

More than 3,000 people have been killed in attacks this year, including more than 800 in July, setting off renewed fears about sectarian strife in the country. Nearly 70 people were killed in car bombs and other attacks on Monday, alone.

Iraq’s minority Sunnis accuse the Shiite-led government of marginalizing and targeting their community, including through unwarranted arrests and terrorism charges.