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At Least 35 Dead In Al-Najaf Blast

(RFE/RL) August 10, 2006 -- Police in the southern Iraqi holy city of Al-Najaf say some 35 people have been killed and dozens more injured in at least one explosion near a revered Shi'ite shrine.

Police said the bomber blew himself up at a police checkpoint at a busy market, packed with pilgrims and shoppers, near the Imam Ali Shrine.

Police officers and civilians were among the dead.

Reports say there were two separate attacks.

The Shi'ite Endowment, which takes care of Shi'ite shrines in Iraq, urged people not to be incited by "this terrorist and criminal attack."

Al-Najaf, some 160 kilometers south of Baghdad, is a major pilgrimage destination for Shi'a around the world.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

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