The United Kingdom, as Presidency of the European Union, condemns in the strongest terms the mortar attacks on Shia pilgrims in Baghdad which led to today’s tragic loss of life and offers condolences to the families of the victims and sympathies to the injured. The British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw said:

"This is a most shocking and terrible tragedy, initiated by terrorism, and its scale almost defies imagination. On behalf of the United Kingdom and the European Union, I would like to offer my sympathy to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.

The stampede which caused these deaths was started by mortar attacks. This was a despicable assault on innocent civilians attending a religious ceremony at the local mosque. The depravity of the individuals responsible knows no bounds. The United Kingdom and the European Union condemn utterly those who continue to use violence and terror in order to further their aims in Iraq, and urges all Iraqis to remain committed to the political process and its aim of establishing democracy and stability in their country."