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Violence Mounts In Iraq

10 March 2005 -- The reported death toll from violence around Iraq hit nearly 60 people yesterday.

They included at least 41 people who were found shot dead or beheaded at two sites -- near Al-Qa'im close to the Iraqi-Syrian border, and south of Baghdad. Some of the corpses were believed to have been Iraqi soldiers, while others were civilians.

In other violence, four people -- including two attackers -- were reported killed when a garbage truck packed with explosives blew up outside a Baghdad hotel. The U.S. Embassy said 30 American contractors were among 40 people injured in the blast.

The interim Iraqi planning minister, Mahdi al-Hafidh, escaped uninjured from a shooting attack on his convoy, but two of his guards were reported killed.

Also yesterday, the U.S. military said one U.S. soldier was killed and another injured in a bomb explosion in Baghdad.


For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".