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Gunmen stop bus, kill 23 from ancient sect

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2007

BAGHDAD – Gunmen shot and killed 23 members of an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq on Sunday after stopping their bus and separating out followers of other faiths.

Armed men stopped the bus as it was carrying workers to their hometown of Bashika, which has a mixed population of Christians and Yazidis – a primarily Kurdish sect.

The gunmen checked the passengers’ identification cards, then asked all Christians to get off the bus, police Brig. Mohammed al-Wagga said. The gunmen drove the Yazidis to eastern Mosul, where they were lined up and shot to death, al-Wagga said.

In Baghdad, two suicide car bombs exploded within moments of each other in Baiyaa, a mixed Sunni-Shiite area. Police said 13 people died.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, a parked car bomb exploded in the Sadiyah neighborhood, killing seven civilians and wounding 42, police said. A roadside bomb then struck a police patrol coming to check on the blast, killing one officer.

The U.S. military reported the deaths of three soldiers. Two were killed in attacks in Baghdad on Saturday, while the third died from an unidentified noncombat cause, the military said.

Associated Press


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