Religious officials call for international probe into wedding fire

by ian

Christian leaders in Iraq are calling on the international community to investigate the deadly wedding fire from last week.

The Iraqi government recently wrapped its own probe into the tragedy, and it blamed the fire on negligence and lack of precautionary measures. But Father Boutros Sheeto, an Iraqi Syriac Catholic priest, placed further blame on widespread corruption and the influence of armed militias.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Father Sheeto rejected the accidental nature of the fire presented by the government. He and other religious leaders said they were “confident that it was intentional and therefore we demand an international investigation.” These leaders believe the fire to have been a targeted attack against the Christian population.

The death toll from the blaze rests at 113, including 41 who have yet to be identified. Twelve people who suffered severe burns were sent abroad for further treatment.