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Guerillas attack police HQ in Iraqi town, 18 dead

Written by: Staff

BAQUBA, Iraq, Mar 21 (Reuters) Guerrillas attacked the police headquarters and courthouse in the Iraqi town of Muqdadiya today, killing at least 18 people and releasing prisoners, police said.

They said initial reports indicated 14 policemen were killed at the police headquarters in the town north of Baghdad and then two bodies were found at the courthouse after guards at the building came under attack.

Two other policemen were killed by a roadside bomb as their unit rushed to Muqdadiya from the nearby town of Baquba to help defend the headquarters, said police.

They said the attackers, equipped with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 assault rifles, set fire to the headquarters and badly damaged it.

The attack occurred as Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim, Kurdish and Sunni Arab leaders struggled to form a national unity government more than three months after elections.

Such a coalition is widely seen as vital to avert any slide into an all-out sectarian war in the country.


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