Submitted by Mr Faiq Bourachi Caritas Iraq strongly condemns the horrendous attacks on Shiite Muslim Iraqis that occurred during the holy Ashura on 2 March in Kerbala and Al-Kadhimiya in Baghdad. All Iraqis must unite against attempts to create hatred and division between different religious communities in Iraqi. Caritas Iraq is the relief organisation of the Catholic Church in Iraq. Following the attacks, which resulted in more than 180 killed and more than 500 seriously wounded, Caritas Iraq donated shipments of essential drugs and other medical supplies to the over-burdened hospitals. This help first of all aims to alleviate the suffering of the the wounded, but is also meant as a symbolic gesture of solidarity and unity with other religious groups in Iraq. Truckloads of drugs were handed over to Al-Hussein Hospital in Kerbala and Al-Kadhimiya Hospital in north-western Baghdad. With help from partners abroad, Caritas Iraq has brought into Iraq medical items, which are essential in relation to recurring blasts and the typical injuries on affected victims - in particular burns and fractures. Caritas Iraq appreciates the declarations of thankfulness from Director General Hussein Nasrallah, Al-Hussein Hospital and inter-religious solidarity expressed by the religious leaders of the Shiite community in Kerbala. Dr. Kais Al-Bustani, Director General of Al-Kadhimiya praised the attitude and the honourable steps taken by the Iraqis during the first hours of the tragedy in Iraq's Al-Sabah newspaper citing the 370 units of blood donated by Sunni rite people of Anbar, and the efforts of Caritas Iraq in collaboration with the Chaldean Patriarchate, for the huge donation of medicine and consumables. This specific intervention is part of the efforts of Caritas Iraq to cover emergency needs, assist in the rehabilitation of the Iraqi health sector, and promote reconciliation between religious rites. Complete rehabilitation has recently been completed in six large primary health care centres in Baghdad together with rehabilitation of the Al-Thura Centre for Disabled and the re-opening of the physical therapy for 135 disabled war veterans. In a few weeks a newly built public primary health care centre in Al-Kamaliya will be completed thereby improving health service for more than 80.000 people in eastern Baghdad. In addition, targeted distribution of medical supplies continues to hospitals and health centres.
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