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50 Killed in Iraq Violence

28 June 2007

About 50 people have been killed or found dead in Iraq, in another day of violence in the country.

Iraqi police say the bodies of 20 men - all beheaded - have been pulled from the Tigris River south of Baghdad. The bodies were found with their hands and legs bound, on a riverbank in a Sunni village, near Salman Pak.

Baghdad police say a car bomb blast at a bus station during morning rush hour Thursday killed more than 20 people and wounded 40 others in a mainly Shi'ite district, Bayaa.

Elsewhere in the capital, mortars hit the central Shorja commercial district, killing at least two people.

Roadside bomb blasts killed one U.S. soldier in Baghdad, and three British soldiers in Basra.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that al-Qaida extremists in Iraq have what he called "wide-ranging and dangerous" plans to destabilize countries in the region.

Mr. Maliki made his remarks to Iraqi anti-terrorism officials meeting in Baghdad Thursday. He said al-Qaida is facing heavy blows in Iraq, and is sending operatives to other countries suffering from religious and sectarian problems.

The U.S. military also reported Thursday detaining five suspected al-Qaida terrorists in Baghdad raids.

U.S. forces say they continue to clear the violent city of Baquba in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.

Since the start of "Operation Arrowhead Ripper" last week, U.S. officials say they have handed out more than 265,000 pounds of rice and flour to residents, killed 60 suspected al-Qaida operatives and detained 74 others.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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