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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Nine killed in Iraq court attack
Aftermath of a bombing in Baghdad earlier in the week
Baghdad has been shaken by a series of blasts this week
At least nine people have been killed and 46 injured in a suicide bomb attack outside a courthouse in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police say.

The bomber exploded his device near a convoy of police vehicles on a main road in the mainly-Shia Sadr City area.

Meanwhile, Iraqi sources say at least five civilians died in a US raid on a house in the city of Ramadi, although the US military has not confirmed this.

Ramadi was the scene of clashes between US troops and rebels last month.

Crowded target

Hospital and police officials are quoted as saying the civilian deaths happened when US aircraft bombed a house in the Aziziyah area of the city, about 115km (70 miles) west of Baghdad.

Map showing Ramadi
The US military confirmed an operation had taken place, but did not give any other information.

The area of Thursday's attack in Baghdad was crowded with people submitting petitions to the court and others drafting documents for petitioners.

Medics said two women and a child were among the dead.

The violence, which has claimed dozens of lives in recent days, comes as Iraqi politicians try to form a government of national unity.

Prime Minister-designate Nouri Maliki has until 21 May to install his cabinet, but wrangling over ministerial portfolios has held up the process.

Elections were held five months ago and delays in forming a government have fuelled the mainly Sunni Muslim insurgency, amid growing sectarian violence between Sunnis and their Shia Muslim compatriots.


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