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20 killed in Iraq attacks

Drive-by shootings, roadside bombings and sectarian killings have left nearly 20 Iraqis dead in Baghdad.
None | By Associated Press, Baghdad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 24, 2006 04:22 PM IST

Drive-by shootings, roadside bombings and sectarian killings left nearly 20 Iraqis dead in Baghdad on Friday, when American and Iraqi troops swept the oil-rich region of Kirkuk for suspected insurgents and captured dozens.

Drive-by gunmen killed three policemen in west Baghdad and three power station workers headed to their jobs in Taji, just north of the capital, police said.

In south Baghdad's Saydiyah district, gunmen killed four employees of a pastry shop, police said. Nearby, a roadside bomb killed a policeman.

Retaliatory killings between Shiite and Sunni Muslims have become increasingly common in the capital since the February 22 bombing of an important Shiite shrine which unleashed the continuing rash of sectarian murders.

Baghdad police said they discovered 13 bodies, blindfolded and shot, on Friday in the Binok, Kazimiyah and Sadr City neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division joined Iraqi troops in a sweep of five villages outside the city of Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad. Forty suspected insurgents were picked up in Hawija, police said.

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