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Iraqi Mosque Death Toll More Than 50

18 November 2005 -- Two suicide bombers killed at least 54 people and wounded at least 60 others when they blew themselves up inside two crowded Shi'ite mosques in a northeastern Iraqi town today.

The blasts went off as worshippers were attending Friday prayers in Khanaqin, a mixed Shiite-Kurdish town northeast of Baghdad, near the border with Iran.

The blasts occurred several hours after two car bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing at least six people and injuring some 40 others.

A U.S. soldier, identified only as Sergeant Carwin, told the Reuters news agency the bombers in the Baghdad attacks targeted the Al-Hamra hotel, which is near an Interior Ministry building.

"Both trucks blew up right here, did tremendous damage to this apartment building right here and destroyed this apartment building over here, wounding scores of innocent Iraqi people," Carwin said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military today said U.S. and Iraqi forces have killed 32 rebels after more than 50 insurgents started a series of attacks against military outposts in Al-Ramadi, west of Baghdad. A U.S. military statement says one U.S. marine and an Iraqi soldier were wounded in the fighting.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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