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Gunmen kill three members of Shi'ite family in Iraq

By Staff
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BAGHDAD, Feb 24 (Reuters) Three members of a Shi'ite family were killed and two of their children were wounded when gunmen stormed their house southwest of the Iraqi capital today as sectarian violence rages, police said.

They said the gunmen broke down the door and opened fire on the family early in the morning in Latifiya, part of the so-called triangle of death -- a cluster of mixed towns southwest of Baghdad where Sunni insurgents are active.

Two of the dead were men and one was a woman, the police said.

The children were aged around 11 and 13 years old.

Dozens of Iraqis have been killed since Wednesday when an attack on a major Shi'ite Muslim shrine in the northern city of Samarra sparked reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques.

Iraq's government put Baghdad under curfew today to try to stop sectarian violence among crowds from rival mosques on the Muslim day of prayer, setting a critical test for its authority and its U.S.-trained forces.

REUTERS CH PC1440

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