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Bomb Explodes During Friday Prayers At Mosque In Iraqi Town Of Baquba

Baquba, Iraq; 9 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- At least five people were reported killed and scores of others wounded when a bomb exploded during Friday prayers at a Shi'a mosque in the central Iraqi town of Baquba today.

Local police in the town, about 60 kilometers north of Baghdad, said the bomb exploded at a small mosque in a residential area. It was unclear if the bomb was inside the mosque or planted outside.

Meanwhile, U.S. military forces launched a raid in the northern city of Tikrit, home of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, in the aftermath of the downing of a Black Hawk helicopter yesterday that killed nine U.S. soldiers.

About 30 suspects were detained in those raids, which began overnight.

In Baghdad, rockets hit the Bourj al-Hayat Hotel, where foreigners are known to stay, just after dawn this morning. No casualties were reported though here was some damage to the building.