"And they say there is no sectarian war? What do you call this?"
An unidentified Iraqi man at the main Baghdad morgue, as quoted in The Washington Post
The famous, golden-domed al-Askari mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest sites in Shi'a Islam, is badly damaged by two men in a dawn attack on February 22. The bombing, thought to be perpetrated by followers of al-Qaeda in Iraq, does not injure anyone, but it is followed by immediate reprisal raids on Sunni mosques and sparks a deadly series of sectarian counter attacks, including many grisly executions. Despite a round-the-clock curfew imposed for a few days in Baghdad, more than 1300 Iraqis die.