Al-Qaida bombers target shrine again

SUSPECTED al-Qaida insurgents today again targeted the famous Golden Dome Shia shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra, threatening to spark fresh sectarian violence.

It was a repeat of last year's bombing that shattered the Askariya shrine's dome and unleashed a wave of retaliatory attacks.

Police said the attack, at about 9am local time, involved explosives and brought down the two minarets which had flanked the dome's ruins. No casualties were reported.

A curfew was immediately put on the Sunni city, 60 miles north of Baghdad, amid fears the bombing might further inflame tensions. Sectarian killings have declined since February, after the start of a major US-Iraqi push to pacify Baghdad.

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