Russia condemns terrorist acts in Iraq, calls for reconciliation

MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia strongly condemns recent terrorist acts in Iraq that killed over 70 people, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

Suicide bombers killed at least 72 and wounded over 140 people at two popular Baghdad pet

markets on Friday in the city's worst attacks in six months.

"Russia resolutely condemns all forms or methods of terror, regardless of any justification provided by terrorist leaders and instigators," Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

He extended his condolences to the relatives of the victims and said today's attacks showed that security in Iraq is far from getting better, despite encouraging reports by U.S.-led coalition authorities and Iraqi officials.

"The improvement in the situation in that country [Iraq] is possible only through political means, including national accord and reconciliation," he said.

"We call upon leaders of all political forces, religious and ethnic communities to show solidarity against threats and challenges facing the country, and to stop a further escalation in violence," the Russian diplomat said.

Russia supports all international and regional efforts aimed at strengthening peace and stability in Iraq, Kamynin added.

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