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Iraqi soldiers impose a curfew in central Baghdad (file photo) (epa) July 22, 2006 -- Violence returned to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, after the end of an extended curfew on July 21.


In the west of the city, seven Shi'ite workers were killed and, in the east district of the capital, two blasts left one civilian dead.


Elsewhere in the country, gunmen ambushed a police patrol in Ba'qubah in central Iraq, causing a number of casualties.


Curfews are now a regular feature of life in the capital on Fridays. Traffic is usually stopped for four hours, but in a sign that fears of sectarian violence are becoming greater still, the curfew was extended on July 21 to most of the day.


This has been one of the bloodiest weeks seen this year in Iraq, and in the rest of the country the violence continued unabated while Baghdadis were indoors. Late on July 21, a suicide bomber attacked a police post close to Al-Fallujah, 70 kilometers west of Baghdad, leaving five police officers dead and 13 wounded.


In the town of Al-Mahmudiyah, gunmen attacked two Shi'ite neighborhoods, killing at least 18 people.


(Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP)

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