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Violence Across Iraq Kills At Least 20

A Sunni Muslim reads the Koran during Friday prayers at the Um Al-Qura in Baghdad (file photo) (epa) July 19, 2006 -- At least 20 people are reported to have been killed today in a string of bombings and shootings across Iraq.

Most of the deaths were in Baghdad. In the deadliest attack in the capital, five people were killed and some 20 injured in a series of explosions targeting a police patrol and then rescue workers who rushed to the scene.

Sixteen other bodies were found in various parts of the country. All appeared to be the victims of sectarian death squads.

Also in Baghdad, gunmen kidnapped some 20 employees of an organization managing Sunni institutions and shrines nationwide.

A spokesman for the Sunni Endowment, the state agency responsible for Sunni mosques and shrines, says the employees were seized as they took a bus from their Baghdad offices to their homes in the north.

The organization says it is suspending all work due to the kidnappings.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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