Source: Khaleej Times
On March 4, 2004 the Khaleej Times reported, "Shiite clerics joined Sunni preachers in a march of thousands of mostly black-clad men, trying to keep sectarian passions in check after a horrific attack on Shiite pilgrims that raised fears of civil war. US and Iraqi officials disagreed over how many people died in Tuesday’s bombings in Baghdad and Karbala - the deadliest here since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Governing Council said Wednesday that 271 people were killed. US officials put the toll at 117. The attacks - at some of the holiest shrines of Shiite Islam and on the most sacred day in the Shiite calendar - threatened to turn Shiites against Sunnis if the bombers were found to have been Iraqi Sunni extremists...'It was a crime directed not only against Shiites, or Islam, but against humanity,' said Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a prominent Shiite council member. 'Anyone who kills a Sunni is against the spirit of Shiism. And anyone who kills a Shiite is against the spirit of Sunnism,' he said."