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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
In pictures: Samarra shrine blasts

Smoke near the damaged al-Askari shrine in Samarra (13 June 2007)

Explosions at the al-Askari shrine in Samarra, north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, have destroyed both its minarets.

A boy looks at the remains of the mosque

Witnesses say the mosque, one of Shia Islam's holiest sites, was hit by two bombs at around 0900 (0500 GMT).

Little remains of the minarets which stood either side of the shrine

The two minarets used to stand either side of the mosque, which houses the remains of two revered Shia imams.

The damaged al-Askari shrine in Samarra (13 June 2007)

Police reinforcements were rushed to Samarra after the attack, which prompted demonstrations by angry Shias.

The damaged al-Askari shrine in Samarra in 2006

The minarets survived an earlier attack in February 2006, which destroyed the mosque's famous golden dome and led to a wave of sectarian violence.

Pilgrims walk in front of the famous shrine in Samarra in February 2004

The site is of immense spiritual importance for Shia Muslims around the world and has attracted millions of pilgrims over the centuries, such as these in 2004.

Blast hits key Iraq Shia shrine
13 Jun 07 |  Middle East

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