The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), the highest Sunni authority in Iraq, has issued a statement condemning the recent violence.

The AMS stressed the attackers who launched the criminal attacks in Arbil, Baghdad, al-Iskandariya and Falluja should be caught and brought to justice, and warned such attacks could spark civil conflict.

Dr Muhammad Ayash al-Kubaisi the spokesperson for AMS told Aljazeera.net the association believed such acts could not serve the aims of Iraqis who wanted to be free from the occupation.

"If the Iraqi resistance wants to attack people who work for the occupation, that does not mean it should launch massive explosions that kill scores of innocent Iraqis," al-Kubaisi said.

Iraqi resistance says it fights
for the liberation of Iraq

"We demand that those who performed the attacks against Iraqi citizens should be brought to justice and shown on television .... we want Iraqis to know the identity of those people who are killing innocent Iraqis," al-Kubaisi said. 

The statement expressed AMS's concern over intensive attacks on Iraqi police and army installations and civilians.

Al-Kubaisi said: "We have first-hand information from inside the city of Falluja that the attackers of the police station and the Falluja civil defence centre came from outside the city. We believe that they aim to stir up sectarian riots."

Islamist resistance

Also on Monday a group claiming to represent an Islamist resistance organisation in Falluja called for a halt to all attacks against the Iraqi police and army after a weekend assault that killed 23 policemen and a number of Iraqi civilians.

The Mujahedeen [holy warriors] Of Falluja said in leaflets circulated in the town, 50km west of Baghdad, it had decided "to stop all attacks against policeman and the [Iraqi] army until there is a new order,".


"We the fighters of Falluja vow we do not have any ties to the operation carried out by the rabble without faith or honour that sullied our reputation," the group said. 

It denied any connection to the raid on the Falluja police station and a paramilitary base on Saturday that also saw 72 prisoners freed from jail.

Aljazeera's reporter in Baghdad travelled to Falluja on Saturday and surveyed people's reactions there.

People there said their impression was also that the attackers had come from outside the city, and were surprised that US forces had not intervened when they entered the city or during their withdrawal after the attack.