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Bomb Blasts In Baghdad Kill At Least 30 --> Security forces in Baghdad (file photo) (epa) 28 February 2006 -- At least three bombs have exploded in separate parts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killing at least 30 people.

Iraqi authorities say more than 50 others were wounded in the attacks.

Two of the bombs were reportedly in the east of the city, while the third was in the city center.

The blasts come amid heightened sectarian tensions following the bombing on 22 February of a Shi'ite shrine in Samarra. More than 200 people have died in reprisal attacks.

In other developments, two British soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack in the southern city of Amara. A third soldier was wounded.

In Tikrit, police say a bomb attack there damaged a small mosque in which the father of the deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is buried. There were no reports of injuries.

And south of the central Iraqi city of Ba'qubah, the Iraqi army has discovered nine bullet-ridden bodies. It was not clear when the victims, mostly men and boys, were killed.

(compiled from agency reports)

Reactions To The Samarra Attack
Demonstrators in Baghdad on February 23 (epa)

Iraqi religious and government leaders, as well as international officials, condemned the February 22 bomb attack that wrecked the Golden Mosque, a major Shi'ite Muslim shrine in Samarra. Below is a selection of statements on the incident.

"This new ugly crime comes as a warning that there is a conspiracy against the Iraqi people to spark a war among brothers. God willing, we will not allow this.... We must cooperate and work together against this danger, the danger of civil war. This is the fiercest danger because it threatens our unity and our country with a devastating civil war." -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani

"The timing of this crime indicates that one of its aims is to stall the political process and to hamper the negotiations on the formation of a national-unity government." -- President Talabani

"I announce on this occasion three days of mourning. I hope our heroic people will take more care on this occasion to bolster Islamic unity and protect Islamic brotherhood and Iraqi national brotherhood." -- Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari

"Oh honorable people of Samarra! We should stand as one, united in confronting terrorism.... This assault is an assault on all Muslims." -- Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabur

"They will fail to draw the Iraqi people into civil war as they have failed in the past." -- Iraqi National Security Adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubay'i

"If the security systems are unable to secure necessary protection, the believers are able to do so with the might of God." -- Shi'ite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

"We will not only condemn and protest but we will act against those militants. If the Iraqi government does not do its job to defend the Iraqi people we are ready to do so." -- Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, speaking through spokesman Abdel Hadi al-Darajee

(compiled by Reuters)

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