The Askariya mosque, a Shiite shrine whose bombing ignited sectarian violence last year, was attacked again this morning, destroying the minarets left standing after its Golden Dome was shattered earlier. Iraq now braces for a bloody response; US troops rushed to Samarra, and a curfew was called on group gatherings and auto traffic, the AP reports.
The prime minister's party blamed al-Qaeda for attempting to "burn Iraq with the fire of sectarian strife" and called for an investigation. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for peaceful mourning. The mosque, housing the tombs of two early imams, hasn't re-opened since the first assault destroyed its dome, and it’s unclear how the muscular security was breached today. The twice-desecrated shrine is 60 miles from the capital.