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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Baghdad hit by co-ordinated bombs
Scene of explosions in Baghdad 06 09
Most of the victims were from the first of the two bombs
Two bombs have exploded within minutes of each other in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, leaving eight people dead and 46 injured, police said.

The first blast was caused by a car bomb, targeting a busy street in the capital's northern Qahira district at about 0800 (0400 GMT).

The second was a roadside bomb that exploded nearby soon afterwards as Iraqi soldiers arrived at the scene.

Baghdad police also said they found the bodies of 19 people shot dead.

In the bomb attacks, a number of soldiers were said to be among the casualties.

Most of the victims died or were hurt in the first attack, one police spokesman said.

One witness, local resident Abdel-Majeed Salah, said the bomb exploded in a vehicle outside a tyre repair shop.

A minibus was parked next to the car, and all those on board were killed, he said.

The attacks, in a mainly Shia area of the capital, came despite a massive security operation across Baghdad, involving Iraqi and US troops.

Military handover

Baghdad police said the 19 bodies found in various parts of the capital had all shown signs of torture.

Police regularly find people who have been killed in sectarian violence in Iraq.

In other violence:

  • Three people were shot and killed in the mainly Sunni town of Baquba, north-east of Baghdad
  • Insurgents killed six policemen and wounded six more in a bomb attack in Sinjar, 100km (63 miles) north-west of the northern city of Mosul, police told AFP news agency
  • Al-Qaeda-linked militant group, the Mujahideen Shura Council, broadcast a video on a website apparently showing the killing with shots to the head of two Iraqi national guardsmen it branded as collaborators, Reuters news agency reported

On Tuesday the Iraqi parliament voted to extend the state of emergency in the country by one month, giving security forces extended powers of curfew and detention.

The powers have been in place for almost two years.

A delayed ceremony to mark the US military's formal handing over of command of the Iraqi armed forces to the Iraqi government will now take place on Thursday, officials said.

The accord will be signed in the presence of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and US General George Casey.

Some reports say the delay from Saturday was caused by disagreement among Iraqis over who would sign for the government. Other report say the wording of the document was in question.

The Iraqi administration was handed control of southern Muthanna province in July. Dhiqar, also in the south, is scheduled to follow this month.

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