Blasts damage Shiite shrine

Sunday, May 14, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A series of roadside bombs and explosions damaged a Shiite shrine east of the volatile city of Baqouba late Saturday, police and the Interior Ministry said.

The bombing at the Imam Abdullah Ali al-Hadi shrine, which caused no injuries, marks the second time in nearly three months that assailants have targeted a site sacred to Iraq's Shiite majority. It is likely to further heighten sectarian tensions, particularly in Baqouba, a mixed Sunni Arab-Shiite town that has recently seen an increase in violence.

On Feb. 22 bombs heavily damaged the Golden Dome in Samarra, which holds the tomb of Imam Abdullah's father. That attack dramatically escalated tensions between Shiites and Sunni Arabs who form the core support for the insurgency.

-- AP

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