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Revenge attacks follow Baghdad bombings

Revenge attacks and fresh suicide bombings were reported in Iraq on Friday, a day after a series of car bombings in Sadr City.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2006 00:38 IST

Revenge attacks and fresh suicide bombings were reported in Iraq on Friday, a day after a series of car bombings in Sadr City left more than 200 people dead.

Two suicide explosions in car showrooms in the northern town of Tal Afar left 24 people dead and 45 wounded, 15 of them seriously, hospital sources said.

Three other explosions struck Sunni targets in Baghdad's Azamiya, Palestine Street and Bab al-Moazzam districts, leaving 11 dead and 23 wounded on Thursday evening.

According to the Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni organisation, as many as 12 mortar rounds landed on their headquarters but caused no casualties.

The victims of Thursday attacks in Sadr City were meanwhile buried, as other districts of Baghdad remained quiet following the imposition of an open-ended curfew on the city.

A spokesman for the ministry of health said that 138 people were killed and 201 injured in Thursday's bombing series, while the state-run al-Iraqiya broadcaster put the death toll at over 200, with around 250 people injured.

At the same time, political leaders of the Sunni and Shia groups called for moderation. The spiritual leader of the Iraqi Shias, Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani, called on all Iraqis to refrain from seeking revenge, local media reported.

In his sermon at Friday prayers, however, radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has a great following in the Sadr City, called on the chairman of the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, to issue a fatwa (religious edict) forbidding the killing of Shias.

The parliamentary faction representing the Sadr Movement threatened to leave the government if Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki carried out a planned meeting in Amman with US President George W Bush.

Sadr Movement parliamentarian Nosab al-Rubai, speaking on the al-Jazeera broadcaster, claimed that the Sunni extremists and the US occupation were "two sides of the same coin."

Since the start of the US-led invasion of Iraq in early 2003, upwards of 53,000 civilians have lost their lives to violence, according to the initiative "Iraq Body Count." Other sources even put the death toll greatly higher.