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Blast destroys Shi'ite shrine in Iraq

Written by: Staff

BAGHDAD, Feb 22 (Reuters) An explosion destroyed a sacred Shi'ite shrine in the Iraqi town of Samarra north of Baghdad today, the U.S.

military said.

The military said the cause of the explosion was being investigated.

''Gunmen entered the shrine at dawn and planted bombs and blew it up,'' Abdullah al-Jubaara, deputy governor of Salaheddine Province which includes Samarra, told Reuters.

A resident of Samarra said people had started to gather for a demonstration.

The complex, where two imams are buried, is one of the holiest Shi'ite shrines in Iraq.

Reuters SI DB1258

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