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The Imam Ali shrine in Al-Najaf (file photo) (epa)
July 6, 2007 -- Iraqi officials say the man responsible for one of the first and deadliest bombings in the country's sectarian war has been executed.
Justice Ministry spokesman Busho Ibrahim said Oras Muhammad Abdul-Aziz was executed by hanging on July 3.
Iraq's Central Criminal Court in 2006 handed down a death sentence to Abdul-Aziz for his role in the August 2003 bombing of the Imam Ali shrine in Al-Najaf.
The blast killed at least 85 people, including leading moderate Shi'ite cleric Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, then the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).
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SUNNI, SHI'A: Iraq is riven along sectarian lines, faults that frequently produce violent clashes and are a constant source of tension. Sectarian concerns drive much of Iraqi politics and are the main threat to the country's fragile security environment.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.