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Gunmen Slaughter 23 Members Of Iraq Religious Minority

A man walking near a Yazidi temple in northern Iraq (file photo) (RFE/RL) April 22, 2007 -- Unidentified gunmen in northern Iraq dragged 23 members of the Yazidi religious minority from a bus today and shot them dead.

Police said gunmen in Mosul stopped buses carrying textile workers home. They singled out the Yazidis among the passengers and killed them.

Three Yazidis survived. The Yazidis number some 500,000 and live mainly in northern Iraq. They speak a dialect of Kurdish but follow a pre-Islamic religion and have their own cultural traditions.

Baghdad Bombings

Meanwhile, two car bombs exploded at a police station in southwestern Baghdad today, killing 13 people and wounding nealy 100.

Reports say the blasts, which occurred in the Al-Baiyah area, damaged many homes.

The victims reportedly included policemen and civilians.

At least six more people were killed in another car bomb attack in Baghdad.

Green Zone Targeted

Explosions also rocked the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad in an apparent mortar attack for the second consecutive day, sending black smoke billowing into the sky. The U.S. military said no casualties were immediately reported.

South of Baghdad, the U.S. military said it carried out air strikes on a known Al-Qaeda meeting location, killing 15 militants. It said ground forces later killed another three militants in the operation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said insurgents killed three of its soldiers in and around Baghdad on Saturday, taking to 58 the U.S. military's losses for April alone.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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